New Dryer Smells like Burning? Find Out Why

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Did you just welcome a shiny new dryer into your laundry haven, only to be greeted by a disturbing burning plastic smell?

Don’t hit the panic button! While the scenario might seem alarming, a burning smell from a new dryer is a fairly common occurrence.

But before you dismiss it as harmless, let’s explore why your new dryer smells like burning and what you can do to ensure your appliance’s safety and longevity.

Why Does My New Dryer Smells Like Burning

A new dryer inside a laundry area.

If your new dryer smells like burning, it’s probably because of manufacturing residue, electrical and ventilation issues, or thermostat failure. Allow us to elaborate below.

Manufacturing Residues on Internal Parts

New dryers often emit a burning smell during initial use due to manufacturing residues on internal components. These residues are remnants of the manufacturing process and the creation of the motor. They include oils, lubricants, and protective coatings applied to various parts. 

When the dryer operates for the first time, these substances heat up and burn off, releasing a distinct burning plastic odor.

While this odor is temporary and typically dissipates after a few cycles, it is a normal part of the breaking-in process for newly manufactured appliances. You should ensure proper ventilation during the initial uses and allow the appliance to run empty for a cycle to hasten the dissipation of these residues.

Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring or malfunctioning electrical components within the dryer can emit a distinct burning odor. This is a serious concern as it poses a potential fire hazard. To address this problem, stop using the dryer immediately and seek professional assistance.

Not paying attention to this problem could cause bigger issues. It’s really important to make safety a top priority and talk to a skilled technician to check and fix any electrical problems with the appliance.  

Ventilation and Installation Issues

A new installation of a dryer.

If your new dryer smells like burning, it could also be attributed to ventilation and installation issues. Blocked vents or lint traps can impede the proper airflow, causing overheating and unpleasant odors in your house. Adequate ventilation is crucial for expelling hot air efficiently. 

When vents are obstructed, heat accumulates, potentially causing burning smells. Regularly clean lint traps and ensure vents are free from blockages to maintain optimal dryer performance. 

Giving attention to proper installation and maintaining clear ventilation pathways is crucial, not only to avoid unwanted smells but also to extend the lifespan and ensure the safety of your dryer.


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Mechanical Components Friction

Mechanical friction could be another reason your new dryer smells like burning. The introduction of fresh parts might generate temporary friction during the initial operation. Belts, drums, and motors may contribute to this friction-induced odor.

Thermostat Failure

If your new dryer releases a burning smell, thermostat failure could be the reason. The internal thermostat plays a crucial role in regulating the appliance’s temperature. When it malfunctions, the dryer may not shut off when it overheats, leading to a distinct burning odor akin to burning wires. This situation poses a potential fire hazard and should not be ignored.

How Long Does the Burning Smell Last in a New Dryer?

 The burning smell in a new dryer typically disappears within 15-20 minutes of the initial operation. However, it may linger for a slightly longer duration depending on the amount of residual packing materials or oils present.

To eliminate the smell in your dryer, you can empty it and run it for at least 20 minutes. In most cases, the burning odor lasts for the first few cycles as the new dryer heats up and burns off any residual substances.

It is advisable to run the dryer without any clothes during this initial period to allow the components to settle and the smell to dissipate. Adequate ventilation in the laundry area can also help accelerate the process.

If the burning smell persists beyond a few cycles or appears to be more intense than expected, it is crucial to check for any signs of malfunction or defects. In such cases, consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines and contacting customer support may be necessary to ensure the appliance’s proper function and safety.

How to Troubleshoot Burning Smell From New Dryer

Before troubleshooting a burning smell from a new dryer, prioritize safety. Unplug the appliance immediately to prevent any potential hazards. Ensure proper ventilation in the area.

Do not use the dryer once the issue is resolved to avoid fire risks. Always prioritize safety over troubleshooting. Below is a step-by-step process on how to troubleshoot the burning smell from a new dryer.

Step 1: Inspecting the Dryer Vent Hose

If your new dryer smells like burning, start by examining the dryer vent hose. Ensure it is properly installed, free of kinks, and unobstructed. Clear any blockages that may impede airflow, as a well-functioning vent hose is crucial in preventing overheating and unpleasant odors. 

Adequate ventilation facilitates efficient drying and reduces the risk of burning smells. Regularly maintain and clean the vent hose to optimize your dryer’s performance and safety.

Step 2: Examining the Heating Element and Thermostat

When troubleshooting a burning smell from a new dryer, first inspect the heating element for any visible issues, such as fraying or damage. A malfunctioning heating element may generate excessive heat, leading to burning odors. 

Additionally, check the thermostat for any irregularities. Most thermostats are installed on an interior wall, often in a central location of your home. Common areas include the living room, hallway, or kitchen. It’s a small device with a digital or analog display.

Once you locate it, check the thermostat display for any error messages, unusual readings, or blank screens. If the display is not functioning correctly, it could indicate a power issue or a problem with the thermostat itself.

Moreover, overheating caused by a faulty thermostat can result in a burning smell. A thorough examination of these components can help pinpoint and address the source of the problem.

Step 3: Assessing the Drum and Belt

Inspect the dryer drum for signs of misalignment or damage, such as unusual noises or uneven rotation. Misaligned or damaged drums can lead to friction, causing a burning smell. Additionally, examine the belt for wear and tear.

While some wear is normal, significant damage may result in overheating. According to a study by the U.S. Fire Administration, dryer fires are a common occurrence, emphasizing the importance of regular maintenance to prevent hazardous situations.

When Should You Be Concerned About a Burning Smell From Your Dryer?

You should be concerned about a burning smell from your dryer when it is persistent for more than 20 minutes or becomes stronger over time. This could indicate a potential fire hazard, and immediate action, such as unplugging the dryer and inspecting it for any issues, is recommended.  

Burning smells could suggest electrical issues, while musty odors might signal mold or mildew. Pay attention to any sudden, strong, or foul smells that deviate from the norm.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

A technician inspecting a dryer.

Calling a technician becomes crucial when issues persist or escalate. If your dryer consistently fails to dry clothes, produces loud, strange noises, or exhibits erratic behavior, seeking professional assistance is advisable.


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Tips for Preventing Burning Smells in New Dryers

While the initial burning smell in a new dryer is usually harmless, it’s still important to take steps to prevent it from reoccurring and ensure your appliance’s smooth operation. Here are some simple tips to keep your dryer smelling fresh and functioning flawlessly:

Proper Installation and Setup:

  • Follow manufacturer guidelines meticulously for correct installation.
  • Pay special attention to the ventilation setup to maximize airflow and prevent overheating.
  • Adequate installation and ventilation contribute to a safer and more efficient drying process.

Cleaning Recommendations for the First Few Uses:

  • Run an empty cycle before loading laundry to burn off any residual manufacturing oils or packing materials.
  • Regularly clean the lint filter after each drying cycle to prevent lint buildup.
  • Inspect the entire vent system, including the hose and outdoor vent hood, for blockages.
  • Check for stuck objects in the dryer drum or vent system that may cause friction and burning.
  • Avoid overloading the dryer to prevent trapping moisture and heat.
  • For thorough cleaning, consider hiring a professional dryer vent cleaning service.


While a burning smell in a new dryer might seem alarming at first, it’s often a harmless symptom of manufacturing residues burning off. However, it’s vital to address this issue to prevent potential safety hazards and ensure your appliance’s longevity.

If your new dryer smells like burning, implement the simple tips discussed in this article to keep it smelling fresh and functioning flawlessly for years to come.

Remember, proper use, consistent maintenance, and a watchful eye are key to keeping your laundry haven a safe and efficient haven. So, embrace your new dryer with confidence and enjoy the convenience of effortless laundry care!

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.