Your tumble dryer is one of the most essential appliances in your home, and most people use their dryer on a regular basis. Whether you have just invested in a new dryer or want to make sure that your existing one lasts for as long as possible, there are several things that you can do to prolong its life cycle and make sure that your dryer stays reliable for as long as possible. From regular maintenance to proper care each time that you use it, how you treat your dryer can make a massive difference when it comes to how long it lasts you.
Most people know that they should clean out the lint filter after every time they use their dryer, but if that’s all you’re doing, you can add more steps to your maintenance routine to keep your dryer in top condition. These dryer maintenance tips will keep your appliance running well for longer, improve the safety of your home by preventing fires, and increase energy efficiency.
It can be tempting to try and squeeze a few more items of laundry into the dryer to get more done, but overloading the dryer can not only impact the quality of the dry but it will also take longer and use more energy. If you’re constantly taking clothes out of the dryer that is still damp after being dried for some time, chances are that you are putting too much in at a time.
Deep Clean the Lint Filter
You know that you should clean the lint filter after every dry, but don’t stop there. Every few months, give your lint filter a thorough deep cleaning with some water and laundry detergent to get rid of all those small particles that are hard to get off by hand. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly and let it dry off before using your dryer again. If you use dryer sheets and they have left residue on the lint filter, you can put it in the dishwasher to get rid of them.
Clean the Drum
Even though the clothes that you put into your dryer are clean, over time, dirt, dust, and debris can build up and collect in your dryer drum. Every month or so, give the inside of your dryer a thorough cleaning by wiping down the drum with some rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth, which will help to remove any dryer sheet residue left behind from previous uses. Give the drum some time to dry thoroughly before using the dryer.
Clean the Exhaust Vent
You should thoroughly clean the dryer’s exhaust vent once every two years. This can be done yourself but you might find it helpful to invest in professional dryer vent cleaning for a thorough and safe job. Cleaning the exhaust vent is a very important step not only to maintain your dryer and keep it running for longer, but also to make sure that your home is safe and hazard-free since the build-up in the vent can be a big risk factor for house fires. You should also remove the vent from the back of the dryer and clean any lint build-up from the opening.
Clean Out the Lint Trap
Even if you are cleaning out the lint filter with every use of your dryer, don’t forget that sometimes, lint can miss the filter and end up stuck in the lint trap instead, which might go missed when you’re cleaning the filter. Every week or so, check the lint trap for any build-up of lint and get a dryer lint brush to easily clean it out since it’s not the easiest of places to reach by hand.
Upgrade the Vents
If your dryer came with plastic exhaust vents, it’s well worth considering upgrading them to metal ones. Not only are metal vents more durable and more likely to last longer, especially with heavy use, but they are also often a safer choice. Plastic vents are more likely to catch fire and could be an unnecessary hazard in your home.
Inspect the Vent Hose
Around once a year, you should inspect your dryer vent hose for any signs of wear and tear that could be leading to your dryer underperforming. Make sure that it is connected properly to the dryer and look out for any holes, rips, or tears in the vent itself. If you find any signs of damage, it’s worth considering upgrading your vent hose to a more sturdy metal pipe or a flexible metal dryer vent, which will do a better job of venting your dryer securely.
Level the Dryer
Make sure that your dryer is on a flat surface and that the feet are leveled. A dryer that is unbalanced can get bumped around quite a lot when in use, which can lead to damage and component failure over time. Keeping the dryer level will allow it to continue working at maximum function.
What to Avoid Putting in the Dryer
Along with these basic maintenance tips, there are also several things that can damage your dryer and should never be put inside. Before putting any wet laundry in your dryer, look out for any metal buttons or hooks which can damage the dryer drum or the door window on a front load dryer. You should also avoid putting anything that may have oil residue in the dryer, even if it has been washed, because of the risk of combustion. Finally, clothes that are soaking wet should be avoided because they are very heavy, which can lead to damage to the drum and the dryer motor. If your clothes are very wet, it’s a good idea to run them through another rinse and spin cycle in your washing machine before putting them in the dryer.
Whether you’ve just invested in a new dryer or simply want to keep hold of yours for as long as possible, keep these tips in mind to help keep your dryer in the best condition for longer and ensure that it is running safely.