We all wipe the lint filter free of lint, but there are a few other VERY important dryer maintenance tasks that you should do each moth. It will save your home from fire, your clothes from damage, your dryer from breaking, and your wallet from energy costs.
I’ll start by apologizing…
I’m delving into the world of Instagram “Reels”, which has moved more towards short videos than photographs anymore… so I’ve been capturing more videos lately, and (in today’s case) totally forgot to take still photos as well. 🤦🏻♀️
I do have a Youtube video and Instagram reel that will take you through the steps very clearly, but I ended up having to capture screen shots for this blog post. Less-than-professional and I apologize.
BUT, the message is still very important and worth sharing to friends and family.
As part of daily dryer maintenance, we all clean our lint traps right?
Of course we do – our Mom’s taught us this years ago; never let the lint trap fill up.
BUT, if you look at the photo above, do you notice that the lint isn’t accumulating on the screen evenly? It’s more condensed at the bottom with bare spots at the top. Part of that is gravity, but part of that is due to residue.
More lint accumulates where more airflow is being pushed through.
Need more proof?
My counter is white. The lint screen clearly shows a sort of brown build-up in certain areas.
If you use dryer sheets (which are particularly bad) and even some fabric softeners, it is very likely that your lint screen is accumulating a residue on it.
This residue slows, and can eventually block, the airflow in your dryer, causing your machine to run hot, clothes taking longer to dry, and your bills (energy costs) being more than they should.
Worst case scenario – this is a recipe for a fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are an average each year of 15,970 home structure fires involving a clothes dryer or washing machine. The vast majority of these fires (92%) involved clothes dryers. Mar 3, 2021. ~CED Technologies Inc.
I noticed the imbalance of lint distribution, and probably even noticed (subconsciously) the residue build up on the filter, but what finally got me to thinking about dryer maintenance was because it was taking so long for my clothes to dry, and quite often – the machine would stop before they were completely dry at all.
I decided to give my filter a little wash and found this:
The water isn’t running through the lint screen freely. In fact, it’s pooling in areas! If water can’t flow through a screen easily, then you know that air can’t either.
I washed my lint filter gently, but thoroughly, with Bath & Bodyworks foaming soap (it does a beautiful job cleaning your glasses lenses without leaving any residue).
Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is a residue-free cleaner; no point doing dryer maintenance to make things worse.
It might be a bit difficult to discern here, but the lint filter is a different colour! The brownish residue is gone and the water flowed freely through when I rinsed the screen out. Check out the video and see for yourself!
In a perfect world I should have pulled the dryer out, vacuumed underneath and behind, then removed the hose to the outside and thoroughly vacuumed that out from end to end.
I might still, but this was a quick dryer maintenance that can be done monthly without too much time or effort.
Next, take the long extension wand and your vacuum and clean down inside the filter pocket. My shop vac had a longer wand, and while it didn’t fit my vacuum completely, I held it in place so that most of the suction went through.
I clogged the wand!!
There was so much lint down in the lint compartment, that hadn’t been captured by the lint filter itself, that it fully clogged the extension wand! We’re talking maybe 2 cups of lint build-up! That REALLY surprised me.
Knowing that my lint screen had residue and the lint trap itself was too full, it was time to head outside to see the damage there.
Turns out my outdoor dryer vent was so clogged that the hot air coming from the dryer pushed the grill right out of the vent!
I know – trust me, I know! “Who wants to go out side in the snow and check the outdoor vent regularly?” Obviously I didn’t and without that “save” of the grill actually being pushed out, I was risking a fire.
As it was, having the grill out isn’t ideal either, because this allows rodents into your home.
Do better Shelly! This isn’t your first rodeo! 🤦🏻♀️
I WILL take a look at the hoses behind my dryer when I have a bit more time, but these few simple and quick steps in dryer maintenance have already made a HUGE difference!
I ran a load of jeans and towels through the dryer and they came out completely dry, not over-heated, and in 2/3’s the time it had been taking previously.
Please, as a PSA, please share this with friends and family – and then head over to your dryer and do a very quick, very easy dryer clean to start out your new year right. It’s always easier to remember changing out furnace filters and other monthly or quarterly tasks if you start in January. (in my opinion).
You don’t have to buy this dryer maintenance kit, but I’m sharing it because I am.
And please watch my video? It’s only my 3rd attempt at a voice over and I really tried to sound like a professional infomercial spokesperson. lol
Oh! and I even managed to add background music!
Yes, welcome to the 20th (not 21st) century Shelly. 😂😂
Have a great one!