How to care for your clothes dryer
Extend the life span of your laundry appliances with these maintenance tips.
Ignoring regular dryer maintenance can impact the machine's efficiency — and pose a fire hazard. If you spot any of these signs, your clothes dryer needs some extra attention:
- Dryer runs for much longer than it needs to.
- Clothes removed from the dryer after one cycle are still wet or damp.
- Dryer moves or shakes as it operates.
Follow these easy steps for dryer maintenance
- Clean the lint screen before or after every load. Carefully remove the screen from your dryer, wipe away the lint and clean with a used fabric softener sheet.
- Keep the lint screen area clear. Remove the lint screen and clean its housing cavity with a dryer lint brush. You may also use the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner for this task.
- Wipe down your dryer's interior. Even if there are no stains or residue inside your dryer, it's best to clean the interior monthly. Unplug the appliance, then clean the drum with a rag dipped in warm, soapy water or microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol.
- Vacuum behind and underneath the dryer. Moisture, dirt and lint can accumulate quickly. Clean around the dryer every three months.
- Check the balance of your dryer. If your dryer is not level, the rotating components will wear out sooner. Adjust the feet at the bottom of the unit if the dryer moves or shakes when in use.
- Inspect and clean the vent system. Hire professionals to clean your ducts and vent if you notice a decrease in dryer performance. If you have pets or a large family, this could be necessary as often as twice a year. Upgrade the vent hose if needed.
- Check the exterior exhaust. Air should flow through the vent but is sometimes restricted by debris.
- Don't overload the dryer with clothes.
Your clothes dryer isn't the only laundry room appliance that needs regular care. Check out these tips for maintaining your washing machine as well.