Preventative Dryer Trick

David Trammel's picture

One of the things that will needed in the Future, are ways to extend the life of appliances. Well not just the Future but the Today too.

From FB: "INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS (I do this all the time) The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material. I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free. That nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box...well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new every day! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share! Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it, the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!"

This bit of information makes me wonder what other unintended consequences come from people's desire for convenience.

And yes, a clothes line is the best of options, but sometimes using a dryer is good too.

Yes. Tips to make dryers last longer. I have younger son take the dryer hose outside once a year (or less now that we almost never use the dryer) and run a long-handled round fuzzy brush through it. It's amazing what comes out the other end.

I'll have to test the dryer lint filter. I use my dryer sheets until they've turned into decayed Kleenex so I'm not sure how much waxy build-up I get.

While on the subject of appliances: A fridge man told me to wipe down the gasket on the doors (freezers too) on an annual basis and the gasket will last far longer. Don't forget to vacuum the (wrong word here) heat diffusers on a monthly basis. They get clogged with dust and don't shed heat like they should.

For washers, run a full, empty cycle monthly with an entire gallon of cleaning vinegar to strip out all gunk building up from the laundry soap. This works for dishwashers too.

The other very important thing to do with washers is CHECK THE POCKETS! Faithfully! A single nail, screw, pin, or bobby pin will destroy your washer.

I'd still be using my beloved Kenmore instead of my SECOND replacement high-efficiency piece of *&^%&. Someone (probably me) didn't check pockets thoroughly and something (like a bobby pin) slipped through. A washer looks like it's a big metal tub full of holes. However, that big metal tub full of holes sits inside a bigger drum made of plastic. The bobby pin slips through and wedges itself between the inner drum and the outer drum and gradually, cycle after cycle, wears a rip in the outer plastic drum.

You discover the issue when the drum finally tears open and you get water on the floor. The flood can be catastrophic if the rip is down low and annoying if the rip is at the top of the drum. Wherever the rip is, the washer is completely ruined. The cost to repair is the same as buying a new washing machine. I suppose if you were handy, you could salvage an outer drum from another machine that fits, take apart machine number one and install the new drum.

I'm now using my second replacement high-efficiency washer (a Maytag) and I hate it. Nothing cleaned as well as my old Kenmore.

ClareBroommaker's picture

Ah, motivated and action taken. Just cleaned the refrigerator seal and dusted the coils. I keep a long, skinny, bristle brush hanging on the back of the fridge. It is from the Fuller Brush Company from the days when they sold door-to door. With it I can reach all the coils without moving the fridge which is not fitted or built-in. But evidently I needed the reminder to actually use it. The coils were really dusty.

As for my dryer, yes I do have one, but no, I haven't used it in years. I've been trying to decide whether to remove it because I sure could use a heavy duty storage shelf where it sits. As for cleaning dryers, my brother showed me something years ago. Lint collects around the outside of the barrel and motor. He showed me how to open the top of the dryer to get the lint out of there. I had faithfully cleaned both the lint trap and dryer vent, but had no idea so much lint was collecting around the barrel and motor.

I'd forgotten about this since we so rarely use the dryer anymore. I also use a very long, very bendy bristle brush (like the kind you would use for cleaning the inside of a straw) to reach inside the dryer via the lint filter opening.

I do this when I remember and it's amazing how much lint collects.

Why do they make dryers that can't be opened easily and cleaned? It would help the dryers last longer AND prevent dryer fires.