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Discussion Starter #1
For the past week or so I've noticed that my bath towels have a burnt smell to them. They smelled like kerosene fumes.

I thought there was something wrong with my dryer, so I set up an appointment to have a guy from the gas company take a look at it.

I was pretty sure that the smell was coming from singed lint or something and realized it's past time to clean the dryer vent, but wanted to have it checked in case I was wrong.

The guy called to let me know he was on his way and asked what the problem was.

I told him about the odor in the towels and he asked if I noticed it from the washer and dryer. I told him it's just the dryer.

He asked if it's a gas dryer and I told him yes. Then out of the clear blue, he asked me if I had been painting, varnishing or using caulk/adhesive. That question caught me off guard. How did he know I'd been painting?

I said something like, "holy cow, how did you know that?"

Then he explained how, even though I can't smell the paint fumes anymore, they're still in the air in the house and every time the flame on a gas appliance lights, it mixes with the paint fumes, which causes a kerosene smell. He didn't say it in those exact words, but pretty close.

When he got here, he turned the dryer on for a little bit and had me smell the inside of the drum. Then he lit the burner on the stove and both appliances gave off that odor.

He said it's called aldehyde.

I'm opening windows as much as I can now, but it's too cold out to leave them open very long.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting as I'd never heard of such a thing and thought someone else might learn from it - probably not you pro's, but maybe someone who doesn't deal with this kind of thing every day.

Barb
 

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the Musigician
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Sure have, it happened to us too. I thought our oven was screwed up.
I even posted a thread here to see if anyone could explain it.

DM
 

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I get that a lot--I have a wood shop and the stain and Poly cause that a frequently---

That can't be healthy---
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I get that a lot--I have a wood shop and the stain and Poly cause that a frequently---

That can't be healthy---
That's what I was thinking.

What I'm also curious about is if low VOC paints cause the aldehyde too.

The primer I used on the walls is low VOC, so even while I was using it, with the windows closed, there was no paint smell. But I wonder if, like regular paint when the smell is gone, would an open flame cause the smell?

I'll have to experiment with it once the house has aired out. Not that it matters, but it might be good to know.
 

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I've only seen that happen with oil based finishes like Poly --stain can do it,too, But you must be doing a LOT of staining.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sure have, it happened to us too. I thought our oven was screwed up.
I even posted a thread here to see if anyone could explain it.

DM
Same here. Last weekend I had a roast in the oven and two pans of food cooking on top of the stove and I remember thinking that the gas fumes seemed heavy. But it wasn't the same as the natural gas smell, so it didn't worry me as much.
 

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I've only seen that happen with oil based finishes like Poly --stain can do it,too, But you must be doing a LOT of staining.
I'm staining 107' of 1"x6" boards and the same length of 1/4-round. Everything had to be stained 2 times because the color came out too lite the 1st time. There are also 12 rosettes and 12 plinth (?) boards that have had their 1st coat of polyurethane.

Now that you mention it Mike, I started painting the walls a couple days after Christmas and didn't notice the problem then. The smell has been just over the past week or so, which is how long I've been doing the staining and using the poly.
 

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I think the Poly is the one that causes the most stink----

Good product except for the odor when drying---
 
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