How To Clean Your Dryer To Protect Your Clothes And Your Home
You may clean your washing machine from time to time, but how often do you ever maintain your dryer? Probably never. However, neglecting your dryer can cause damaged, shrunken clothing, higher utility bills, and even put your home at risk of a fire. Here are Consumer Reports‘ tips for cleaning and maintaining your dryer to avoid these things.
1. The Lint Screen
After every single time you use the dryer, you need to empty the lint screen. Even skipping one or two times won’t allow the air to pass through, leading to longer drying times and the potential for a house fire.
2. The Dryer Vent
Even when you regularly empty the lint screen, small pieces of lint can make their way into the dryer vent, creating the possibility of a fire over time. To clean your dryer’s vent, start by moving the dryer away from the wall and unplugging the dryer from its power source (if you have a gas dryer, you should have a professional gas fitter disconnect it). Remove the vent pipe from the dryer (at the back of the machine) and use a vacuum to suck up any lint, dust, and other residue before reattaching it.
3. The Moisture Sensors
Most newer dryers have moisture sensors that work to shut off the dryer when they sense the clothing is dry. Over time, these sensors can become covered in film, especially if you use dryer sheets. This causes the sensors to become ineffective, either leaving your clothes damp or way too dry. Every few months, use a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol to wipe down the sensors. The sensors are usually located right inside the dryer underneath the door, and they look like metal bars, about six inches long, that follow the contours of the dryer door.
Thanks to Consumer Reports for sharing this important information on dryer maintenance!