Fire in the dryer

Hey hey! Welcome to the weekend! It’s rainy and dark this morning and I LOVE it. Rainy days make me feel so relaxed – I’d take a couple a week. :)

So today’s post is a brief one but I was surprised when I learned this so I thought I would share it with you all.

A few weeks ago we noticed that every time we dried our clothes they came out of the dryer smelling AWFUL. Like…fire.

I was annoyed that something would be wrong with the dryer considering it’s only a couple years old:

laundry room gray

Yes, the laundry room still isn’t done. We’re the only ones who see it so it’s down on the list. :)

I did some research online to see if it was something we could fix ourselves. We already clean out the lint every time we use it and at least a couple times a year we clean out the duct in the wall that goes outside. (SO important to do that – just do it yourself with a cleaning kit and a wet dry vac if your ductwork is short enough. Before we moved our laundry room ours ran through our garage so we hired out.)

So I couldn't figure out why we would smell fire. More specifically our clothes smelled like we had been sitting by a campfire. I read online that it is usually due to lint catching on fire inside the machine – which totally freaked me out. We stopped drying clothes in it for a few days till our appliance guy could come out and take a look.

To my relief but confusion right away he said it was nothing to worry about – and he asked if we had just painted inside our house. Funny he said that because that’s something I read online but dismissed it because we hadn’t been painting. THEN he asked about our floors – the ones we had just had restained in the family room and kitchen.

I was standing there wondering how in the world he would know we had just done our floors and told him yes and asked why. He explained that any oil-based or petroleum product will react with the gas dryer and cause the kerosene smell. Kerosene – THAT was the smell!

CRAZY. I had no idea. Our dryer is just below the floors that were refinished so that explains it. Funny thing is, when we first had the floors installed years ago our old gas dryer was on the same level as the floors and I don’t remember the clothes smelling like this. Maybe I was avoiding laundry at the time, who knows. ;)

So…if you ever do any work to your home that involves oil-based paint or have floors refinished – look out for that smell. We had aired out the house after the floors were done but it wasn’t enough obviously. I opened a bunch of windows that day and from then on they didn’t smell again – of course!

He said opening windows helps but otherwise you just have to wait till the floors really cure before it will go away. Crazy.

The good thing is that nothing was wrong with the dryer! Bad thing is we still had to pay for a service call. (He gave us a discount since it was so brief.)

Anyway, just thought I would share that little tidbit! If you notice that smell and haven’t had any work done in your home then get it checked out for sure. If you have and notice the smell around that time, it’s most likely from that.

Anyone ever had that happen? Do you all clean out your dryer ducts regularly? It goes a long way to avoiding dryer fires!

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