Learn How To Clean Your Dryer Vent and More
Dryers play a crucial role in getting tomorrow’s work clothes ready, drying out the kids’ school-wear and in getting the bed ready for surprise guests who just happened to phone on the day they’ll arrive. Whatever the case, your dryer is pretty important – which is exactly why you should take care of it. While us humans can run on hugs and positive comments, dryers need a different type of care. While they’re not exactly going to run off to the next human if you don’t provide that care, they will start causing you problems.
These problems can include clothes being shrunk, sensitive textiles being damaged by the heat, less accurate cycles, damp laundry and longer-than-ever drying times. At worst, it can even be a fire hazard – with a lack of cleaning often found to be a culprit in such worst-case scenarios.
But not to worry, we’re here to hopefully prevent all of the above from ever happening by providing you with a few simple tasks that can improve your dryer’s efficiency, performance and, of course, safety.
Task #1: Bin the Lint
If you really want to make sure that your dryer is at its most effective, and that it has the best chance of lasting over the course of many years, then you’ll want to make sure you’re emptying the lint screen. While actually doing this now and then is better than not thinking about it or not doing it at all, getting the most out of your dryer means cleaning out the flint every single time you use the dryer. This is because if the screen has a build up of lint, then the heated air within the dryer won’t be able to move around your machine with the same effectiveness – leading to longer dryer times. So if you want to save time on drying items, and possibly even knock a bit off your energy bills, then keep lint out of your machine.
Task #2: Clean the Vent
With all of the above said, lint isn’t just located on the screen. This is because smaller fibres can get through into your dryer’s vent. When trapped in there, the fibres begin to amass – causing a blockage in your vent. This can greatly increase the chances of a fire as it just takes one spark within the vent to set the trapped fibres on fire – and possibly even your whole dryer, and then your whole property. While that level of escalation is highly unlikely, it’s still important to cover it off by cleaning your vent every couple of months.
To access the vent, you’re going to want to pull the dryer away from the wall it sits against. If the vent isn’t accessible by doing this, then you’re going to have to phone a professional to access the vent for you – such as Repair Aid. If you can access it, then make sure to disconnect your dryer from any power sources before fiddling around with the vent.
Simply separate the vent from the machine and vacuum out either end of the vent by using the appropriate attachment for your vacuum cleaner – such as a crevice nozzle. If you use your dryer a lot, and cannot get around to cleaning the vent as much as you like, then you could always get a metal vent installed. Unlike vents made of plastic and other flammable materials, metal vents are more likely to contain any sort of fire caused by a build-up of lint.
Task #3: Wipe the Motion Sensors
If you have a dryer that utilises moisture sensors – which detect dampness in fabrics so that the dryer knows when to shut off an automatic drying cycle – then it can be a good idea to wipe down the sensors every now and then.
This is because the sensors can attract a build-up which can affect its ability to judge dampness – meaning that an automatic cycle may leave your clothes still damp or completely frazzled from being over-heated. If you’re noticing that this has been happening to your clothing, then the sensors could be the source of the problem.
To clean the sensors, apply some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and rub down the sensors. If you’re not sure where they are located, look at the area underneath the door. If you can’t see or feel them, consult your user manual or dryer’s guide. If you no longer have the manual, you should be able to find your machine’s user manual on the manufacturer’s website.