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New LG 3431 - Hot Plasticky Smell from Dryer

December 28, 2007

After reading through this forum, we purchased an LG WM 3431 washer/dryer combo unit about a month ago (Nov 07). We were concerned about how well the dryer would work. Well, it seems to "dry" OK, though it takes a while.

The problem we're having, which we haven't seen mentioned anywhere, is this: The dryer seems to impart an odor of -- how can I describe it? -- hot plastic into everthing it dries. The odor comes out of the dryer when you open the door to remove the clothes, and it permeates the clothes and does not dissipate when they cool.

Has anybody else experienced/dealt with this?

Comments (67)

  • Jessica Bierd

    I never called for service because I knew right off that the heat from the dry cycle caused the inner rubber seal to release the smell, the machine itself functioned fine. I do regularly use the unit for the wash feature and it's been great, but I don't use it on high heat for the wash because that can also cause it and my clothes to smell like burnt rubber. Another thing working against me is that I don't use regular detergent, I use soap nuts and Dr Bronners soap so there isn't much fragrance to mask the rubber smell.

  • Kate

    Thank you to all who have commented. I thought there must be something wrong because I, too, was getting the awful smell from the very first load. I was advised it must be because it's new and so it should go away. Glad to hear there is a work-around with the low temp drying option.

  • florence_morimont

    I am afraid it's not just LG, I just purchased a Hotpoint and have the same smell after first dry. I am hoping using the Eco option will help with the smell as I don't have an option to lower temperature on the dry. It sucks. I am very sensitive when it comes to smell! :(

  • lauriekistler

    same issue.. like everything about the lg combo except that smell. will tey the damp setting.

  • mrlaughlin101

    Do all ventless dryers make your clothes smell like a burning tire? I have a new LG washer/dryer combo and it make the room and my clothes smell like burned oil. I washed them at the laundromat in regular machines and cannot get the smell out. HELP! does anyone know if there is there a ventless dryer that doesn't create that smell? I'll go out and buy it today!

  • mrlaughlin101

    I have a new LG washer dryer combo unit. It causes my clothes to smell horrible. It's not mold or mildew and I have tried everything to resolve this issue (i.e. trouble shooting with LG, Home Depot, cleaning the machine with bleach, vinegar, washing machine cleaner) nothing helps. It's a burning rubber smell. I cannot get the smell out of the laundry, even after taking it and having it professionally cleaned, this machine has ruined thousands of dollars of clothing, sheets and towels. Lg will not warranty and 'odor issues" and Home Depot will not return or exchange it for a different device. Do not buy this machine, it's horrible! Waste of money!!1

  • HU-5695350

    You are right! The smell is horrible. The only way I have found to avoid it is to use the "LOW TEMP" setting ONLY! LG should change the machine's temperature gauge and should warn/advise people about the machines which have the drying temperature which is too high.

  • mrlaughlin101

    Update: I just spoke to my neighbor who had the same machine and the same horrible smell. She filed a case in small claims court against LG. Before the case was seen by the judge, they reached out to her and refunded her for the cost of the machine, all service calls, legal fees, time from work, and paid for the replacement of her smelly clothes. She said it cost her less than $100 to file and serve LG with the paperwork. I suggest all of us do this! Please post the results on this forum.

  • Melissa Huynh

    Omg, I was literally going to post an extensive new thread over the absolutely frustrating journey I've had over our unit and this horrific smell! I've been seriously tempted to take all of my washed laundry to laundromats as well because of this. The drum smells the worst when I open the door right after it's done, and not too noticeable if I let it cool. Some clothes are more susceptible to absorbing the bulk of the odor, while others can appear "neutral". Sometimes its evenly dispersed throughout the whole load or not noticeable at all. Sadly, I'm almost used to it. It completely kills most attempts to scent laundry through liquid FS, dryer sheets, scented wool balls, etc. -- I've found scent boosters permeate it the best (as it can, anyways). But trying to layer a perfume over this for date night? The worst. I've taken to line-drying my clothing now and then manually streaming the wrinkles out.

  • HU-5695350

    It is a terrible smell, in my opinion. The work-around is to use "low temp" only!

    LG should not have the high temp as an option at all. It is dreadful.

  • joelmasol

    I got LG combo wash/dryer latest model in January 2017. After first wash and dry cycle I began to feel sick and had to open the house windows, I had headache/cough, and the very next day I was seeing by a doctor who prescribed me an asma inhailer to help with what he thought was a irritation of my respiratory tubes caused by the burning, unbearable smell of quemical tyre rubber. The machine was gone from my house immediately after one wash.

  • Marianne Fay

    Wish I had seen this before I just purchased and had delivered to my 4th floor walk up condo! I have asthma and a very sensitive sense of smell. The smell is awful! I'm so upset and interested in any class action suits if this is not resolved.

  • Robin Strecker

    Hi all have to comment on this, I have had my machine now for over a year, when purchased new, yes the gasket smell was awful, I have used the low setting with fabric softener, and after a week or so, it's all gone, never came back even on a high settings, I know this is troubling for so many, but I promise it will go away!!!!! And never come back! I love my machine and it's the best appliance purchase I have made! Never back to a laundry mat again!!

  • Marianne Fay

    Also, when it arrived, an internal cold water hose wasn't connected so it flooded my kitchen twice. Yesterday I started a medium load at 8AM and it didn't finish til 3pm. That can't be normal! It was after cleaning the tub as directed by customer service to get rid of the smell, which of course didn't work!

  • Marianne Fay

    Robin Strecker. Thanks for giving me some hope!!! I so want this to work!

  • Robin Strecker

    Marianne try doing small loads mine are typically 3 to 4 hours.

  • HU-5695350

    Only use "low temp"!!!

    Otherwise will have hot plastic smell.

    Also, unless you are just washing clothes,and hanging to dry, you must do smaller loads so clothes have room to tumble dry.

    LG should NOT NOT NOT have the high temp dryer setting! Crazy bad smell.

  • moineauricain

    I have the same issue. Used the machine for the first time yesterday and the smell is unbearable. It remains in the clothes, in the house and is sooo disturbing. I am quite sure it is extremely bad for one's health. I wish I had found those remarks before and I would not have purchased this machine. It is so offensive!

  • Marianne Fay

    I know. I was so excited but it's so depressing. Have you had any luck with complaints?

  • moineauricain

    I spoke with customer service on the phone at LG: showed absolutely no interest or concern. I sent an email as well to customer service at LG: no answer, not even aknoledgement of receipt!

    I washed same clothes again (as they are unwearable) and used the low temp setting for drying cycle: smell was not as offensive during operation but clothes came out smelling almost as bad as before and it is not going away. Not sure what to do next but want to pursue this: it is simply not acceptable!

  • rcomstock

    100% agree. The smell is horrible! These units are not cheap. How could they sell such a frustrating and bad product. Would never recommend this as a solution to anyone needing a small washer dryer unit. Going to try the low setting. Thanks to everyone who has shared their story.

  • moineauricain

    Follow up to my comments dated April 3, 2017:

    I have since done loads of laundry on the lowest temperature. I set spinning at the highest level. Clothes now come out without that awful smell and are acceptably dry as long as load is fairly sized. I am now starting to ramp up the temperature and washed a king size sheet yesterday with drying set on normal. To my surprise it came out fine and there was no offensive smell... I will try the higher drying temp soon (I'm afraid ... that smell is just so horrid and lingers in the house for so long!). I will report on this next step as soon as I do it. Do not dispair "rcomstock".

  • Marianne Fay

    I tried perm press but they still smelled. I don't like to have spin on high as I live on the top floor of a old building and I worry about shaking my neighbors walls below. Arggg!!!

  • Shaun Aspinall

    I have a Hotpoint Ariston washer dryer and it smells terrible too when on drying mode. The clothes are so bad that it's not possible to go out in them. So it's not just the LG it seems the problem is with a few different makes.

  • Karin

    We just had our old washer/dryer replaced with a new one 'similar' to it by Domestic and General appliance insurers (UK). Last one began to smell horrid 3 replacement door seals ago - and the first 2 seals developed holes in the same place. So when the 3rd also smelled like them I wouldn't settle for this and we demanded a new one. We now also have a mold problem along the cabinet floorboards in the kitchen from the flooding. This has been an absolute nightmare. My husband has a fungal sinus infection (hoping for 2nd surgery soon) and I have a hyper-sensitive nose. New machine also smell horrible - they replaced it for free, without even a delivery charge, but it's not enough!!! I've been hanging clothes outside but I'm going to have to 'woman-up' and contact D&G and complain that this Indesit machine also stinks. And I'm sick of my clothes stinking and the danger this may be to us. What is in all of these machines that's causing this smell of burning rubber? I don't smell it on the inside of the machine after it's dried the clothes but I can smell it in the house and how it's made the wash smell bad. Even on the Eco cycle and with fabric fresheners. So - this has been going on for 10 years according to the original complaint here. Any news lately?

  • ed_lmow1896

    I started with Edgestar a few years ago without a problem. We have replaced with the LG. I have found putting a small rag soaked in lemon juice neutralizes the odor. I also use fabric softener spray directly on the clothes before i start my dry cycle.

  • Michelle Sevast

    I have the same issue , I was wondering why my clothes are coming out with that smell and I love my clothes to smell like fabric softener and no matter how much fabric softener or dryer sheets I use the clothes still doesn't smell like fabric softener. It makes me so mad to spend so much money and have this problem.

  • ed_lmow1896
    I know. neutralizing is fine but love a fresh scent. I have been experimenting with soaking a rag in a little bit of vinegar with about 30 drops of an essential oil like lavender. I've also dropped the heat on non work clothes. I love,love my lg. the edgestar was so sensitive and disappointing. if all I can do is neutralize the "plastic" smell and spray fabreze on each piece after drying I'm ok with that.
  • ed_lmow1896
    Also I've been using fabric softener on clothes I plan on hanging up to dry. on towels and stuff the vinegar seems to act as a fabric softener and the vinegar smell dissipates with the intense heat.
  • Marianne Fay

    One shouldn’t have to do any of that for an expensive brand new machine!

  • ed_lmow1896
    True, true. But the benefits really out weigh the negatives for me. It seriously dries my clothes. (Edgestar was always damp). maintenance is easy (We had to learn to do our own repairs) And these machines are being improved upon all the time. I expected some tweaking and found regular tub cleaning and drain cleaning a must. will be 1yr this month. Each wash has gotten pleasant comments from hubby. Really the only thing I different is make my own dryer cloths. The paper ones disintegrate with the intense heat. plus I hate laundry mats. I don't have to babysit the loads. my dogs wait for the dryer to stop so they sit next to the clothes while I fold. (IG's Love warm blankets and stuff)

    I guess it just comes down to personal preference and expectations. I just needed a solution that works for my family. the homemade dryer cloths are working for us.
  • tim777

    I have had the same problem of the ‘dire smell’. Consequent upon an engineer’s visit, it turns out that this machine should NOT be placed in the standard space allotted for a washing machine as it needs additional space (all around!) to prevent overheating. This also means that it should not be placed under a standard kitchen worktop (as they are not high enough), which may rule it out for many people. The engineer was adamant that this is the problem, and that this is the reason you get a ‘burning’ smell - there is insufficient airflow around the machine to prevent overheating when operating in dryer mode.

    In effect, the problem is that LG do not sufficiently inform retailers of this issue.

    In the end, I obtained a 100% refund but, needless to say, it was a huge waste of time.

    And my sympathies to anyone else who ends up with this machine as a result of insufficiest advice being given to retailers and consumers as to its additional space requirements.

  • ed_lmow1896


    Ours is located in an open area. The plastic smell is gone now (comes from heated gasket) For a little extra freshness I spray a bit of Fabreze on the clothes before starting the dry cycle.

    We just had our yearly maintenance which went very smoothly.

    We love our machine. I'm sorry yours didn't perform the way you wanted. We had Edgestar at first. My LG beats. the Edgestar hands down.

  • klb0901

    We have had our LG front loader and dryer units for about 6 years now and only in the last 8 months or so have I been complaining that our clothes smell sour or like plastic (just not fresh and clean) right out of the dryer. I cleaned the washer, used vinegar towels in the dryer, repeatedly washing clothes twice in a row, used with fabric softener, without, with dryer sheets, without...STILL STINK! When clothes are wet from wash they smell exactly how I want them to, like my detergent. Anything I dont throw in dryer smells great air dried. We dont have a life condusive to line drying clothes so thats not an option and we do a lot of laundry. Ive even lined my shelves and closets thinking it was them but nope, its the dryer. My LG has a Perm Press setting but it doesnt show 3 hours worth of time but Im about to try it on sheets that are washing. We have the extra capacity machines but I rarely Stuff them full so its not an overloading issue and everything is completely dry when I take it out to fold so its not mildew. They do seem to be very hot if I catch it as soon as its done. I stopped dryer sheets since they coat everything and it made sense that after a while my clothes wouldnt be getting as clean with a coat of wax on them. I also cleaned the lint thing so thats not it either. Hoping low temp will do the trick but I am not hopeful at all.

  • ed_lmow1896

    Small rags soaked in lemon juice and lavender essential oil. Few drops of the oil may help. Let me know if that helps.

  • Lois Barnett

    I just bought a Magic Chef 'ventless' dryer that oddly has to be vented out a window... but, back to the smell. I'm a canary and a health professional. I signed up with Houzz just to leave this comment: That smell is deadly toxic and no one should be breathing it. The tactic of adding laundry products with fragrance to mask it = adding chemicals that you will breathe through your skin and lungs which are hormone disrupters. ALL 'fragrances' that are not from organic essential oils are chemicals made from petrochemicals. They are in febreeze, air 'fresheners', hair products, skin lotions ... and they are making people SICK. Our hormonal balance is essential to every function of our bodymindspirits ... if you deal with depression, try taking all the scented products out of your life for 3 months ... then add them back in, and I guarentee you will notice the difference. As for drying clothes...looks like I'm going back to hanging them. I bought my dryer from Home Depot and they will allow me to send it back, no shipping charge. just an fyi for future purchases. Wishing You All Well.

  • Lois Barnett

    PS: companies that make scented products are putting out 'unscented' versions which are actually full of the same chemicals, but have ADDED chemicals to mask the chemical fragrances. TRUTH. https://branchbasics.com/blog/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

  • Marianne Fay

    Thank you for your comments. I stopped using the machine. Big waste of money I couldn’t afford. I’m on board with fragrance free and essential oils.

  • ed_lmow1896

    Lately I have switched to using wool

    balls with a drop or two of the oils from Glade plug in.(They are designed to work with heat.) I

    put 1 or 2 balls the last 30

    minutes of cycle.

    I'm sorry Lois you're machine didn't

    work for you. Mine is completely ventless, but I'm hooked on "fresh" smell in my laundry regardless of

    the organic risks. Can't hang clothes outside.

  • everybear

    This smell doesn't always happen with mine, but I noticed water in the fabric softener compartment when the smell does happen. I searched on what causes that and it's a matter of leveling. (or re-leveling in my case) the machine. I'll try that and see if the smell goes away. I think that leveling the machine would be a very important element since the dryer needs water to run over the condenser to keep it cool. I'm hoping that resolves both issues -- the overheating smell and the water in the fabric softener compartment. Just another tactic... I'll keep this group posted on whether that helps take care of it.

  • Marianne Fay

    Thank you! Please do. I No longer use the machine but it sits in kitchen taunting me while I lug laundry down 4 flights to the basement! ☹️

  • Jen Copley
    I can’t believe how many people have this problem! It is so disappointing, especially since it was so expensive. I am definitely going to try the lower heat setting. Thank you to everyone for the suggestions. Maybe I will try the small claims court idea too.
  • ed_lmow1896

    Hi everybear:

    We have the LG3997, although I don't how much difference that makes. Our operating manual says to expect some water residual in the dispenser after each wash.

    I'm still having success with the dryer balls. I use the MountClear brand and use the essential oil that they use in the plug in (withstands the extreme heat.) The clothes come out soft with a hint of lavender or whatever scent you prefer. I still use liquid fabric softener (habit I guess). I normally use regular heat, and even though it's large capacity, I don't overload the tub.

    I don't mind the xtra wash/dry time. I just load the dispenser and run errands or something.

    For our purposes we're happy with the machine. Maybe this method can work for you.

  • ed_lmow1896

    everbear..I put the wool balls in the last 30 minutes of

  • Steph G

    I wish I saw this thread a couple months ago... my company bought a ventless LG combo washer/dryer for us, and the first time we used the dryer I noticed this awful, chemical smell. I wouldn't mind so much if it were just the air, but it makes the clothes stink! Often I take them out when they are still slightly damp and shake them outside, then hang dry the last little bit. Clothes don't smell that way, but what a huge hassle for a brand new machine!

    We had a 3rd party tech come in and he blamed the gasket and how anything over 90degrees will get all that rubber stinking. It doesn't happen in a normal dryer because it's all metal. He said he can replace all the rubber bits under warranty. He's not confident it'll do anything, but it also can't hurt. I'll update if anything magical happens, but in the interim will try to low temp setting (we had previously thought of that, but weren't sure how to change the temperature).

    Thanks for the ideas (and the reassurance that I'm not crazy, at least on this matter...)

  • Marianne Fay

    Would love to know if changing the gasket works!

  • ed_lmow1896

    I haven't changed the gasket.

  • everybear

    So leveling the machine worked for me. while it had looked level according to the actual level, when I pushed hard (Very Hard) on the corners there was subtle rocking. Took a while to rectify but no burning smell with this current load. hope you all have the same success! If it comes back I'll post again.

  • dadoes

    Leveling has no relation whatsoever to a burning odor.

  • ed_lmow1896

    Steph G

    We had an Edge Star. When we needed a service call, the tech didn't know a ventless was. (6 yrs ago). This time we bought LG. Their techs really know their machines. He identified the part, ordered and replaced.

    Very happy with service. Our machine is about 2yrs old.

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