Why Does Your Dryer Smells Like Fish? (Answered)

dryer smells like fish
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dryer smells like fish

With every new day comes new advancement. Dryers are a marvel of the current technology. Although the most efficient and effective method of drying clothes is in the sun, the time has changed now. It is not easy to air-dry clothes in an apartment or humid places. No matter the weather, you can wash and dry clothes. Furthermore, using a dryer is time-saving. If you have a big family, a dryer is convenient and gets laundry done quickly. Dryers leave clothes fresh upon wearing. However, if your dryer smells like fish, we have solutions for this problem. 

Why Does Your Dryer Smells Like Fish?

When you know the problem, only then you can find a solution. A dryer that smells fish will most likely cause the clothes to smell the same way. however, sometimes this is not the case. It is just the dryer that smells fishy and causes the room to fish the same way. 

Lint buildup:

The main culprit is the lint buildup in the vent area. When you are drying clothes, some bits of fabric get off the clothes. This is known as lint and starts to build up inside the dryer. Usually, the lint goes to the lint screen. However, due to air lint may get stuck in the vent. So, if you don’t check it, your dryer will smell fishy. 

Whenever the vent is obstructed by lint, the steam will come back into the water. Now, there comes a deadly combination. It includes lint, water, and steam. This will cause a fishy smell. 

Are you thinking that the technician can add a lint screen at the exit point of the vent? That would be a terrible idea. It is even not allowed to do this. The exit of the vent should have a flap that opens when the dryer is working. If you place a screen, it can cause the dryer to catch fire. 

So, to check if lint is the reason behind this, detach the connection tube from the dryer. Here, you need to keep a super tip in mind. Keep a vacuum and a mop with you. If you have not cleaned your dryer in ages, then the connection tube will be full of water. If you have some good electrical appliances knowledge, you can clean the dryer yourself too. 

You have to remove the lint filter and wash it by using some detergent and hot water. 


If you didn’t find any problem with the lint and vent system, you need to do some more digging. Sometimes, there is some fuse in the electric compartment or a bakelite component that is overheating. So, you need to fix this issue and replace the fuse. 

What can you do to fix it? 

Nothing beats some advice from a professional. An expert in this field will guide you better. If you can’t fix the issue by the techniques we mentioned, it is better to invest in a technician. 

An expert can help you get rid of lint buildup in the dryer vent. It is advisable to choose a pro because you can mess things up more than they were earlier. Remember that lint buildup will not only give an unpleasant smell but also is a fire hazard. It can cause the dryer to catch fire. 

A DIY fix is to use distilled white vinegar. So, with the help of a cloth, run it inside the dryer including the part under the rubber gasket. Vinegar has the ability to deodorize the inside. All the smelly fish will be gone. Now, open up the dryer to let vinegar’s smell blow away.

If you went to the laundry room today and smelled something funky like a dead fish, chances are something’s wrong with the dryer. Your clothes may smell funny too, ruining the ultimate purpose of using a dryer, i.e., dry and fresh clothes. Mainly the problem lies with the lint build-up in the dryer. So, if you clean up the lint, the smell will most likely resolve. The problem can also lie with overheating. However, your first focus should be on the lint. Either you contact an expert technician or do it yourself, be careful during the whole process.

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