Caught on video: unbelievable dryer explosion wrecks laundromat and narrowly misses customer. Can you guess what caused the blast?

OK, I was going by a search result that described it as “sometimes flammable”. It was actually the top hit in a search for information about TCE, but I should have been warned (and did in fact wonder) by the fact that none of the other hits talked about flammability.

A timely reminder that we had bad information on the Internet long before ChatGPT and friends came along to further blur the line between fact and hallucination.

Thank you for the correction.


I feel like the Mythbusters tried blowing a drier up with a lighter in a pocket and couldn’t get it to happen.


Area 51 Aliens GIF by Sky HISTORY UK


Yeah, and I feel like the amount of butane in your average lighter would create quite the fireball, but probably not as concussive as what’s in the video. Lithium batteries could maybe produce a lot of flame, but from what I’ve seen, it would be a more prolonged reaction, not the burst that literally blew the doors off the place. I don’t even think lint, though it might flame up, could produce this amount of force. I’m with @Purplecat - I think this is a gas dryer, and the combination of a gas leak, the door gasketing (and maybe a latch) letting pressure build, along with an ignition source, is the only thing that would have created this much force. If you notice, there’s no flame until the door pops. Maybe the latch made a spark when it popped open, or lack of a dryer sheet caused a static spark when the clothes flopped out, and boom.


It’s organic, though.


A few folks in this thread seem surprised at the continued existence of gas dryers, but for what it’s worth, they are still common in many parts of the world. I had only gas dryers in all my different places of residence over 25 years of living in the US. They’re great because they are very cheap to run and dry better than electric does. I’ve never heard of any accidents with them, but that doesn’t mean it never happens of course.

My point being they aren’t the insane death traps that people seem to be making them out to be. There are millions of them out there working just fine every day. I was a little disappointed when I moved to Canada where gas dryers seem to be very rare. I have electric now and it’s… fine. :neutral_face:



I’ve seen people soak clothes in kerosene to get stains out, but surely the washer would get that out? A lighter? I had one go off in my hand with little damage.

Probably a pair of gasoline soaked jeans like on the legs maybe with the pockets being full of lint to create an initial ignition source for static to catch on if someone threw it into a dryer without throwing it in the wash first. Most people know to let that shit completely air dry before you even consider throwing it in the wash let alone a dryer. Gas soaked clothes reek with fumes as the fuel evaporates



Lithium batteries do exactly this in thermal runaway. It’s a deflagration event - the heat event off-gasses hydrogen products that build up beyond the LEL (lower explosive limit) and then explode when ignited. There’s no proof that this is what happened, but this looks like the Arizona Public Services explosion… just don’t know how they could have gotten that much battery in there accidentally.


I dropped an asthma inhaler in the campfire once. That made a nice boom - but not flammable like this.

1 Like


Never operate laundry equipment when you have hot dog fingers


Although, it’s a yellow fireball, and hydrogen is noted for burning with a nearly invisible flame, so there‘d have to be some other fuel too.

It looks like the door pops open before there’s any flame, so perhaps it’s a lil’ hydrogen explosion from a vape battery and then a lint explosion follows?

ETA then again it does happen suspiciously quickly – if it was on purpose it could be a bottle of acetone or who knows what


Catastrophic failure of a butane lighter, emptying itself instantly rather than leaking. It the hot environment of a dryer, the liquid butane would instantly vaporize and be easily ignited by the dryer’s heat source.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :upside_down_face:


(goes to clean out his dryer ducting)


C4 is probably the safest thing on that list to put in a dryer. It’ll just melt all over the place.


Huh. Didn’t know that. Are hydrogen “products” (compounds from thermal runaway) usually also invisible? I’ve got video of LFP batteries on fire during the UL9540A test (it’s a “apply heat until the batteries go exothermic” practical test) and flames are visible, but I don’t know if that’s the hydrogen off-gassing or other parts of the electrolyte doing that. The battery off-gassing isn’t pure hydrogen, but I lack the chemistry to really describe it…