Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lessons Learned

When we purchased our house, the appliances were all included in the sales contract.  We had some initial concerns about the age of our washer and dryer, but so far they have done exactly what their names suggest except for one minor issue.  We have noticed that occasionally our dryer gives our clothes a slight burning smell.  Each time it happens, we think to ourselves, "Oh great, looks like we will be buying a new dryer,"  but (thankfully) and miraculously, the burning smell goes away really quickly. 

Yesterday, it happened again....This time, the smell was quite a bit worse which made us pretty concerned.  While Deanne went on and on about how we shouldn't run the dryer unless we are standing right in front of it, I ran upstairs and googled the issue and I was  surprised by what I found.  Don't worry, the picture below isn't our house!

The very first link that I clicked said "the use of oil-based paints or stains in your home can cause your dryer to smell like burning."  Well...Guess who had just finished staining the desk with an oil-based stain, 20-feet from the dryer? Guilty as charged. We do all of our staining and painting in the basement and the thought had never even crossed our minds that our dryer could be affected. Apparently the dryer's air intake sucks in the fumes and and as the air is heated, it starts to smell like burning kerosene. If left un-attended the fumes can actually combust.  Washing the clothes again and running the dryer on a no-heat setting will get rid of the burning smell. 

It sounds like most user's manuals will explain this but since we didn't actually buy our dryer, we never got the manual (not that I would have read it if we got it from the previous owners).  Might be time to move our staining/painting location to somewhere with better ventilation.  Or better yet- we may start coordinating the laundry/staining schedule so they don't overlap.  Either way, we are very happy to discover we don't need to buy a new dryer (knock-on-freshly-stained-wood)... just yet.

Note: You may also notice this "burning" smell near the stove or if you run a hair dryer soon after staining.  So don't be alarmed.  And in case you want to read more, here is just one of many forums about the mysterious smell.

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