If you have recently painted or varnished something then just air out the house. The fumes can react w/ the heat of the dryer to create this smell. It smells different than the actual fumes, but still like some sort of solvent.
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A lot of time a chemical smell is the result of blown capacity where the electrolitic is leaking out. Large caps are used in the moter start circuit and are usually located close to the motor. After awhile there will be an impact on the motor starting and the performance of your machine.
If it is the belt slipping you would get a burnt oil smell. If it was the blower motor or the drive motor it would be more of an electrical smell - burnt plastic type.
You first thought was probably the correct one...the fumes from the new paint may take a few days to disspate enough not to react with the heat of the dryer...I would give it a few dyas to clear before looking any further...
If it smells like gas on your clothes, your exhaust vent is probably being restricted, causing the exhaust to back up into the dryer cavity. Remove exhaust hose, make sure it is clear all the way to where it exits your home.( sometimes birds build nests in the outlet vent) Look into vent where hose attatches to dryer, and make sure it is clear also. If you smell gas when moving the dryer, there should be a shutoff valve near the wall, close it. DO NOT THE DRYER ! ! Call someone qualified to make the repair.
if you are using the heater to dry them .. have you ever washed anything plastic that may have melted onto the heater element? You might try flushing the dishwasher with white vinegar and then run a set of glasses in the energy efficient mode ( no heater to dry them)..just air dried.. See if any of these ideas rid the chemical smell you have observed... Hope this helps///
Have you recently painted anywhere in your home. And I mean anywhere? Paint fumes or other chemical type cleaners or solvents will get in the elements and put off that whole gas or oil smell. If no, have you put any type of clothes in the dryer that may have had some paint or anything else petroleum based on them to dry. That also could have caused this smell as well. If your hot water heater runs on propane or natural gas, check it careful for leaks. This could be a serious situation as a major explosion could happen if it is leaking. Leave the house and call 911 immediatly from a safe distance. I doubt that this is the problem, but be safe than sorry. Let me know if none of these are the culprits. Thanks and let me know.
I would imagine that you are saying you have an electric dryer, but it smells like it has a gas leak correct? Let me ask one question, have you used any kind of paints or chemicals in your house lately? If you have painted anything (in any room as well), the fumes of that paint (or other chemical) will get into the elements, and produce that smell for sure. I have actually had customers give me the clothes they dried to smell them, and sure enough, it will get in the clothes for sure. If this isnt the case, be sure that you dont have a gas line behind the dryer that may be leaking, or if your hot water heater or furnace is gas, you dont have a leak there. If you do have gas coming into your home, and you havent painted, etc, call your gas or propane service provider IMMEDIATLY from another home or location and let them come out to be sure you dont have a hidden leak. Good Luck!!!!!