Are your clothes coming out of your dryer with a burnt smell?

There are two things that can cause that:

  1. Lint building up inside dryer and catching on fire.
  2. Fumes from painting or staining getting pulled into your dryer.

The second one, maybe seems a little strange. But the fumes from painting, staining, refinishing floors, etc., get pulled into the dryer, burnt by the burner, and then embedded into your clothes in the dryer. Obviously, there are times when painting, stain, etc., have to be done and the wash needs to be done as well. The best way to mitigate this problem is to open a window in the room or area where the dryer is when it is running to help get, fresh air to the dryer. And just know it will go away as the fumes dissipate. Electric dryers don’t “burn” the fumes, so it isn’t as bad, but can sometimes still be noticeable.

The first reason, lint fire, is a bigger deal.

Lint build up in your dryer is almost always caused by a restricted vent line. A restricted vent line causes higher air pressure inside the dryer and causes air and lint to push through the drum seal. Once this happens the lint builds up all over the inside of the dryer. Eventually the lint builds up enough in the right spot that it catches on fire and burns.

The good news is that lint burns fast and goes out very quickly because there isn’t much substance to fuel the fire.

The bad news is that your clothes will stink, you will need to get an appliance repair man out to clean out the dryer, and you will need to clean or have someone clean your vent line.
If you have a long vent line, a vent line that makes a lot of turns, or goes up for a decent distance, you will want to have it cleaned at least twice a year. I recommend spring and fall.
Dryer fires, at least use to be, the second leading cause of household fires. So it is very wise to keep your vent lines in good condition.