Dryer maintenance is an important aspect of prolonging the life of your dryer. You want your clothes dryer to be operating at peak efficiency because it gets your clothes to the proper amount of dryness, uses shorter cycles when it is well-maintained, and operates smoothly for an easier laundry day. It's not difficult to care for your clothes dryer. Follow these easy dryer tips.
Clean the Lint Filter Regularly
Get into the habit of cleaning the lint filter, or lint screen, before or after every load. Remove the filter and simply wipe off the lint using your fingers or a used dryer sheet. Throw away the lint, and return the filter to its place. The housing where the filter fits into could also get filled with bits of lint. Try to pull it out with a long, skinny object, such as a pencil, or suck it up using a vacuum extension. If too much lint accumulates on your filter or in the filter housing, your dryer will have to work harder to function, and it could start a fire.
Sanitize the Dryer Tub
Your dryer tub might not look dirty, but take time to wipe the interior of the tub about once a month. First, unplug your dryer, and then wipe down the interior with warm, soapy water or rubbing alcohol.
The best way to avoid a dirty dryer is to only put clean items in it. If you want to dry your swimsuit, or a pair of wet socks, first make sure they are not sandy or muddy.
Clean the Exterior of Your Dryer
The outside of your dryer should be kept clean, too. If you have a habit of placing your newly-washed clothes onto the dryer top before putting them into the dryer, you may be getting soap residue on the dryer surface. Easily clean up that residue, or any other dirt, by wiping the dryer exterior with a damp cloth once or twice a week.
Clean the Dryer Vent
One of the most important, and overlooked, dryer maintenance steps is cleaning the dryer vent. This is the vent that leads to the outdoors. It can become obstructed with lint or other materials, such as pet hair, thereby forcing your dryer to work harder to function properly. It can also be a fire hazard because your dryer may overheat as it works harder to get your laundry dry. To ensure your dryer lasts a long time, clean out your dryer vent at least twice a year. You can purchase special brushes that are made for this purpose, or you can use a tool of your own invention.
Some dryers may have a feature, such as smartphone notifications with a compatible application, that lets you know when it's time to clean out the dryer vent. These features are great reminders for you, and you should pay attention to their warnings.
Clean the Condenser Unit of Your Ventless Dryer
Ventless dryers don't have vents to clean, but they still have lint traps and a condenser unit. To clean the condenser unit, remove it from the dryer and allow clean water to run through it, using a large sink or a hose. Wash it thoroughly with a cloth, removing any built-up lint, and let it air dry before returning it to the dryer.
Clean the Area Around the Dryer
Your laundry room can get dusty and grimy if you don't clean it on a regular basis. Make a practice of sweeping around your dryer (and washer), vacuuming, and/or mopping. Less dust and grime = better functioning dryer.
Make Sure Your Dryer is Properly Balanced
If your dryer is not properly balanced, the tub will rotate unevenly and wear out sooner. If the dryer is vibrating more than usual or making more noise, check the balance. There should be instructions in your dryer manual about balancing the unit, usually by adjusting the feet at the bottom of the machine.
Do Not Overload Your Dryer
Wet clothes can be heavy. Too much weight will cause your dryer to work harder than it should, leading to breakdowns. Keep your loads smaller, so your dryer will last longer.
Taking good care of your clothes dryer is usually a matter of establishing good cleaning habits. Lengthening the lifespan of your dryer through good dryer maintenance saves you money in the long run because you will have less expensive service calls and you won't have to replace the dryer.
How long should a dryer last?
A dryer usually lasts 10-13 years with proper care and dryer maintenance. Improve your dryer's life expectancy by always cleaning the lint trap after every use and cleaning out the vent frequently.
How do you know if your dryer is going out?
Your dryer may need to be fixed or replaced if you notice your clothes are not getting dried, the dryer stops in the middle of a cycle, you hear a rhythmic thumping noise, you hear metal grinding noises, or the dryer refuses to start even after you check to make sure it is plugged in properly.