Dryer, Dryer, Pants on Fire
Well, it happened again. I needed a service call on my dryer for no heat. Why did this happen? I take care of the dryer. I clean out the lint trap after every load. I don’t overload the dryer. I even use one of those long neck brushes to clean out lint. But still, I blew out the heating element. Of course, it had to happen with one load in and another waiting to go in.
So I learned the lint filter was about halfway clogged….and NOT with lint. The lint filter can get clogged with residue from dryer sheets. What happens is that the residue creates a waxy film that you really can’t see, but it’s there. That film is what burns out the heating unit as the air cannot flow freely through it and overheating results.
Funny thing is, I hardly use those sheets…only occasionally through the life of my now 4 year old dryer.,.. but it was on its way to a full clog AND it already affected the heating element.
Here’s how you can test and clean your dryer lint filter to prevent a service call AND possibly prevent a dryer fire.
- Remove the filter from the dryer, remove lint, and vacuum filter if necessary
- Run HOT water over it
- If the water just sits on it or a part of it, it is definitely clogged.
- Wash it with hot, soapy water and scrub with an old toothbrush.
- Run water over it again. Water should flow freely, and not puddle anywhere.
- Rinse well
- DRY COMPLETELY with a towel before replacing
Doing this little drill every few months (or sooner depending on usage) can:
- Prevent the dryer from overheating
- Prevent a fire from happening
- Prevent burning out the heating element
- Extend the life of the dryer
- Increase the efficiency by lowering your energy usage – clothes will dry faster with better air flow
If you’re a big dryer sheet user, you should definitely try this drill. It’s worth the few minutes it takes.
A few other tips:
Use a vinegar/water solution to clean the filter if the buildup is stubborn.
Throw a big, DRY fluffy towel into your dryer load to reduce drying time.