Dryer in Humid Basement makes clothing smell terrible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-13-2009, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I just rented a new house. The washer/dryer are in the basement and it's really humid down there. I didn't realize this would happen, since it's the first time that I've lived in a house with this kind of setup, but the clothes I dried in the dryer today smell HORRIBLE. Like, that terrible basement smell magnified a million times.

What am I going to do? I took this house b/c of the washer/dryer, I can't lug laundry to the laundromat when I have perfectly good machines down there.

There is a dehumidifier, but they said it's an energy waster and I am already scared what the electric heat is going to run me, so I don't really want to run it unless I have to.

Is this what dryer sheets are for? Any other suggestions?


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#2 of 3 Old 10-14-2009, 10:48 AM
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When we had a laundry smell issue, we solved it with ONE hot water/bleach cycle of the washer follow also keeping the washer lid open all of the time when not in use (top loading washer). I would check the washer first.

Next, make sure the dryer is running properly. Check the lint trap (of course) and make sure the dryer is properly vented to the outside. The dryer vent can get disconnected pretty easily, or filled with lint. If filled with lint, dry times will be greatly lengthened. If the vent pipe is flexible vinyl, this is a fire hazard and needs to be replaced ASAP.

Does the dehumidifier drain to the outside, into a sink, or into a floor drain? I would run the dehumidifier, at least until the basement feels "fresh" rather than muggy. (indoor humidity should be less than 60-70% or mold will grow.) Going into winter, dehumidifier usage should be less.

If you are low income, check your state's weatherization program. They do work with renters, and they can find ways to decrease electric heating costs.
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#3 of 3 Old 10-14-2009, 11:27 AM
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Hey you!

At my parents, the basement would be quite humid in the summer. That's where my bedroom is/was and the washer and dryer. We didn't have problems with the washer/dryer smelling, but it's possible that if they haven't been used for a while they soaked up bad smells? Maybe after a couple uses they'll smell better? Definitely try the cleaning routines mentioned by the PP.

As for the dehumidifier, because I was sleeping in the basement, I wanted to be comfortable. I'd run the dehumidifier a couple hours here and there in the summer. I didn't use the continuous run/drain option, I just emptied the water basket as needed. Using the dehumidifier made a HUGE difference in the feel of the room. It was really necessary to run it during the summer. We bought a brand new one for about $200CAD? so I'm sure it cost less to run than an old one. I don't recall electric bills skyrocketing.

During the winter, we turn on the electric baseboard heaters in the basement. Turning on the heat solved the dampness problem.

Good luck!

ETA: A quick, easy way to close up air leaks and drafts is to buy a couple bottles of spray foam and sealant (caulking) to seal around doors and windows and any other place you feel a chill. Also think about covering windows with clear plastic (or even walls!) with heavy curtains, quilts or woven rugs. Have plenty of throw rugs on the floor where you stand/sit for a while (in front of kitchen sink, in front of sofa, beside bed etc)

Also make sure you have your basement heat on but set low so that your pipes won't freeze this winter. I think we have our basement set to 12C but I know the previous owner had it at 10C.

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