How to clean poop out of the dryer. And the washing machine too because if it’s in the dryer then it’s probably in the washer too.
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Subtitle: The post I never knew I’d need to write.
Let me tell you the story of how this all happened first… I made a video. If you don’t want the deets, you may want to skip to the tutorial section.
I like to think I’m fairly “green” and I also don’t like to throw stuff out unnecessarily so tossing the dryer wasn’t a viable option. The dryer was also less than a month old (because of course). So I cleaned it. And probably over cleaned it. But I was taking zerrrrrroooo chances.
Now I can’t promise this is the perfect solution for cleaning it all. Chances are, this isn’t perfect. But my dryer didn’t smell and appears clean now. Also, all my pictures are “after” photos. You’re welcome.
Supplies Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.
- Old rags
- Patience and a good gag reflex
Check the washing machine for residual poop. You’ll want to open the flaps if you have a front loading washer and check inside. It’ll be in there, along with other grossness. Get it out.
Wipe the front door of the washer with a wet rag (I used some white vinegar) to get off any residue. Throw the laundry into the washing machine and run a quick wash with detergent, as well as white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Don’t fret- I’m going to wash the washing machine, then wash these clothes AGAIN after. Until then, let the cycle run, then throw the wet clothes into an empty laundry basket.
Once the clothes are out of the washing machine, you can run a cycle with bleach and hot water. If you have a steam machine, you could also use that. And you can follow up with a “machine cleaning” cycle for good measure with Affresh washing machine tablets (that might only be a whirlpool washer thing, not sure). At this point, leave the front of the washing machine open to dry if you have a front loader.
The dryer is sort of a fussy item to wash out. I obviously didn’t want to add a ton of water to it. First, I wiped out all of the poop smears (sigh) with a rag soaked in vinegar. I also wiped the front door and other areas that looked like they’d been hit by a shit bomb.
My dryer has a steam cycle. I wet a large towel and put it through the dryer on steam cycle. This whole incident happened late at night so I wanted to do something via a cycle on the dryer overnight until I could tackle it with bleach in the morning. But steam is generally a pretty good way to kill germs so I figured- why not? Did it work? Not sure. But the smell was gone in the morning so at least there was that.
I had my husband tackle the next step because I can’t tolerate bleach. He wiped out the entire interior of the dryer with bleach on a rag. Vinegar and steam are good, but I figured we’d follow up with bleach. He also checked the vents because I wanted to be sure we didn’t have shit moldering in the vents… we didn’t, thank Jesus. Also- take the lint trap out to clean and soak as well.
Now I went and placed the wet laundry in the laundry basket back into the washing machine, washing it with a detergent and white vinegar rinse again (“just in case”). Laundered as usual with the washing machine and dryer.
At this stage if you forgot to shake ALL of the poop out then you’re in for a treat because you’ll get to do this all over again.
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