Cleaning Lint Traps

There is something about the arrival of Winter that always gets me anxious about fire hazards.  Maybe it’s because advertisements change from campfires to smoke alarms, maybe it’s just because we’re indoors more, maybe I’m a highly anxious person that looks for trouble where none exists….

maybe, but not this time.

I looked it up, and these are the top 10 causes of house fires (in the U.S.A.)

  1. Cooking
  2. Children playing with matches
  3. Smoking
  4. Heating
  5. Electrical
  6. Candles
  7. Fireplace
  8. Dryers
  9. Flammables in the house
  10. Christmas trees

All of those make sense – but did you notice that “Dryers” was number 8?  Right after candles and the fireplace – which are open, obvious flames.

There have been reports of dryer sheets that could lead to fires in the laundry area but it is far more common for improper dryer vents and venting to be the cause of a dryer related fire.  It’s also incredibly important to stay on top of clearing lint away from the dryer (under it, on top of it, behind it, etc.).  Treat this has highly flammable material and just keep your dryer well maintained.         ~Commissioner Randy Leonard

  • So we have smoke alarms around cooking areas and near bedrooms so cooking – check
  • My girls are old enough not to play with matches – check
  • None of us smoke – check
  • Heating – we had a furnace tune up last year, and I try to keep on top of changing out the filters once a month – half-check
  • Electrical – our home was only built 10 years ago, so all of our wiring is up to current standards – check
  • Candles – we usually use battery operated – check
  • Fireplace – we have a gas one so there is a glass face to it – check
  • Dryers – OH MY GOD!  I have a dryer and I don’t give it nearly enough attention!

This post serves a double-duty; 1.  to keep you safe and remind you to clean out your lint traps and dryer venting thoroughly and 2. to show you an easy way to do it so that you can maintain a safe dryer without much effort at all.

We’ll start with an example:

Clean out your dryer inside and out to prevent house fires - ENJO Dust Flexi Fibre

I am embarrassed to admit that you are looking at my dryer vent.  It’s at the side of the house and I almost never check it – as you can tell.

ENJO dust wand - 3

This lint build-up blocks the hot air from escaping the house when the dryer is on – causing over-heating of the machine and the laundry room.  An accident waiting to happen?

This is the ENJO Dust Flexi – it’s a long wand (21.6″ / 55cm) of flexible stainless steel that can be bent in any direction covered with ENJO‘s patented dust fibre.  As you can see here, I was able to put it up into my dryer vent and it was able to wipe out the dryer venting with a few swirls.

ENJO dust wand - 5

This is some of what I was able to pull out of the venting – the venting that you don’t see in the walls of your house.

ENJO dust wand - 7

ENJO dust wand - 8

Now for the inside; I clean my lint filter after every load, but there is always lint that seems to accumulate around the edges of my filter that I can’t quite get out.  I’ve tried using the long, pointy vacuum attachment, but it’s too wide to fit in this space, plus it’s a bummer to lug around – so I tend not to try.  The ENJO Dust Flexi fibre is small and light and easily fits into the tiniest cracks to pull all of the dust out.  No chemicals, no liquids (please don’t ever use liquids of any kind – including water – to clean your lint traps), just this dry fibre with a slight static charge and it attracts the dust and lint with no effort.

ENJO dust wand - 13

Finally, you need to clean out the back of your dryer.  The venting pipe should slide off relatively easily and then you can use the ENJO Flexi to reach inside the back of the machine and up into the venting pipe itself.  You may want to unplug your dryer for this part – just to be on the safe side.

ENJO dust wand - 15

After I finished all three areas, I turned the dryer on and you should have heard all of the residual lint being blown out of the house.  The ENJO Flexi got all of the main areas and having those clean allowed the air pressure in the dryer to clean out the rest.

I will admit, I was shocked at how bad it was.

Turns out my anxiety was well-founded and I feel safer already knowing this 15 minute task made such an obvious difference.

I love this fibre!  It’s light, easy to store, easy to clean and incredibly effective on so many areas:

ENJO Dust wand 1

Ideal for dusting hard to reach areas like blinds and shutters, radiators, ceiling lights and fans, air vents, baseboards and under appliances.

I use it for those pesky transoms above doors and window sills too high to reach without a step stool.

ENJO Dust wand 2

The moral of this story…  it’s time to go check your dryer vents – inside, outside, the venting pipe, on top of and underneath the dryer itself.

Need help?  Contact Lynn to order your own ENJO Dust Flexi Fibre.

Tell your friends – together we could put a dent in the number of occurrences of house fires due to dryer maintenance.

Clean out your dryer inside and out to prevent house fires - ENJO Dust Flexi Fibre

 

Lynn Grushka, Team Leader – ENJO Canada

lgrushka@enjo-canada.com

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Website – click on “Brochure” for more information on these revolutionary fibres

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2018-06-18T13:41:30-04:00November 10th, 2015|CLEAN|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pam November 10, 2015 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    I’ve always cleaned my dryer vents….glad you posted this. Our neighbors 20yrs ago did not and had their dryer next to the hot water heater in the garage. The 2AM fire was mostly in garage and living room so everyone got out safe except 1 dog hiding in the bathroom died from smoke. Very sad and very hard on my son who loved playing with the boys and the dogs. So every few months clean the vents!

  2. Cheri@mySweetHomeinAlabama November 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    This is very good information. I’m always surprised at how much lint is in the hose between the dryer and the vent. I’ve also had success with the wet/dry vacuum and vacuuming out the hose from the vent end.

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca November 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Great tip! Those shop vacs are pretty powerful and would probably do an amazing job! Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to comment!

  3. Glossy Cleaners December 1, 2015 at 8:21 am - Reply

    WOW I have to check my lint traps. Thank you for sharing this article! I always forget for them. It is amazing how dirty they can become for a month or two. Best regards!

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca December 7, 2015 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Hey, pass it on to friends and family – we don’t want anyone risking a fire, especially this time of the year.

  4. Jeannie January 2, 2016 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Here’s another idea for ones that are not easy to get to. You can pull your dryer out and get a leaf blower or I suppose you could use the blowing part of shop-vac and blow it all out. If you don’t want all the lint everywhere outside you can get pantyhose or an old pillow case and tie it to the lint trap opening.Cleaning the dryer vent and ductwork regularly also helps your dryer to last longer. Also, your clothes will dry faster.

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