10 Things You Must Avoid Doing to Your Dryer: Most people tend to treat their clothes dryers with less care until it starts developing faults.
Although this common household appliance is often used daily or at different times in a week, many people hardly give it a second thought until they need to make use of it.
For instance, a user might toss their wet laundry into the dryer on a Sunday evening hoping to start the following work week with fluffy, dry career garbs.
However, things might go awry if the humble dryer machine refuses to work, especially when less attention has been given to it previously.
With improper care, your dryer can leave your garments only partly dry. It might even stop working altogether or worst-case scenario even becomes a fire hazard.
If you want the dryer section of your washer-dryer to last for many years, here are 10 things you should avoid doing to it.
1. Having your washer-dryer standing on an uneven floor
For your washer-dryer to function optimally, it needs to be on level ground. If you’re not sure whether the ground in your laundry room is flat under your appliance, make use of a leveling device to confirm.
If after checking, you find that your appliance is even half a bubble off on what’s meant to be a leveled surface, you should get the dryer’s repair manual to learn how to adjust your appliance’s feet to its favored position.
2. Forgetting to clean the lint trap
You might have decided to clean out your dryer’s lint trap at some point, however, procrastination often sets in meaning you’ll likely never get to clean it.
You should cultivate the habit of cleaning out your dryer’s lint screen after every single load.
This immensely helps in keeping your dryer functioning as it should for a long time to come.
3. Using vinyl tubing
If you have been using vinyl tubing before now, then this is a good time to stop doing so.
The product fails to meet standard fire codes as it lacks the flexible texture of aluminum tubing.
Rather, utilize the proper tubing, a semi-rigid product often referred to as vent duct tubing.
4. Keeping the washer-dryer in a tight space
One of the mistakes many people make is they tend to squeeze their washer-dryer in tight closets.
Dryers require some extra room so that air can circulate around them. By squishing your appliance into a small closet without giving it room for air, you’d put the machine at risk of malfunctioning or even starting a fire.
5. Failing to check the venting tube
In addition to cleaning out the regular lint trap, it’s also crucial to make sure that your venting tubes are clear of debris. In fact, this step should be performed several times a year. Those tubes allow the heat to flow out and escape. While heat is what you need to dry your clothes, an excess amount can create a dangerous situation, like catching on fire.
While this may seem like an extreme circumstance, if you neglect to clean out the vent tubes and a ball of lint or a stray sock is blocking the heat from escaping, then it’s possible that your dryer can overheat. Safety devices are now on the market to help alleviate this danger, such as an alarm system to alert homeowners of problematic clogs and a 20-foot long brush that can clear the length of venting tubes.
6. Forget How Many Dryer Sheets You’ve Used
Dryer sheets have developed a bad reputation for creating snafus in dryers, but the problems are typically due to user-errors. These products are designed to cut down on static-cling, and if they’re used with care, they should be safe enough to do the job. For one thing, consumers need to only use the recommended number of sheets.
If too many sheets are used at one time, the chemicals in them that are designed to soften fabric can leave a residue, which can lead to clogs. Wiping out the dryer and inner mechanisms periodically can alleviate buildup of the residue.
Also, sometimes a sheet will get lost and jam up the works by wedging into the mechanisms. After every load, the one or two softener sheets that were used should be located, and then discarded.
7. Leave the Vent Open to the Outside
Don’t leave your vent open to the outside without putting a screen over it. This warm space is an invitation to wildlife to come nest in this toasty little area. If you were a squirrel or bird living outside during the winter, wouldn’t you want to build your home in a tube that had a built-in heating system? Having a family of birds or a community of rodents move into your ventilation tubing is not a pleasant experience. Not only does this increase your risk of damaging your dryer, you may eventually have some unwanted roommates walking (or flying) around your home.
8. Jam-Pack the Dryer
Some people figure that they can shove a ton of wet clothes into the dryer, believing that “the more the merrier” pertains to dryers. This is a big mistake. Not only will the clothes end up wrinkled, damp, or even still wet, it can overwork the drum, bearings, heating elements and cause the unit to breakdown. It’s a wise move to follow the owner’s manual guidelines when it comes to the maximum load capacity.
9. Put the Wrong Things in There
Some consumers figure they can toss anything into their clothes dryer. Heck, they figure, it’s just a metal box of swirling hot air, but this is an inaccurate assumption. Dryers are designed specifically to dry fabric, not toys, purses, or wigs. It’s also a good idea to keep the dryer-door closed when it’s not in use, especially if pets live in the home. There have been instances of cats and dogs climbing into the appliance to nap, which may lead to some very sad and unfortunate consequences.
Where would we be without our clothes dryers? Yes, we could always hang our laundry out on clotheslines with wooden clothespins like the old days, but that doesn’t help much when you have nothing to wear but wet clothes on a Monday morning. Plus, when laundered items are hung outdoors, they fade and often have to be ironed. In order to keep your loyal appliance in tiptop shape, show it the respect it deserves.