A marvel of engineering and convenience, a clothes dryer is a vastly underappreciated staple in most households—that is until it stops working. For as often as we use our dryers, most of us don’t realize the critical importance of routine maintenance and cleaning. What exactly does that entail? Here to discuss actions you can take to keep your dryer in good working condition are the appliance repair experts at G&G Appliance Service in New York. Below, you’ll find routine maintenance tips that can help keep your household safe, while prolonging the life of your machine.
Regularly Remove Lint From the Lint Filter
Of all the things you can do to maintain your dryer, regularly removing lint from the lint filter is arguably one of the most important. Removing lint after each load of clothes helps increase the efficiency of your dryer by improving airflow through the exhaust vent. Just this one simple action can take unnecessary stress off your dryer, extending its life and reducing the need for dryer repair. And if that’s not enough motivation to clean your lint filter regularly, perhaps a dryer fire is. Because your dryer generates considerable heat, and lint is highly flammable, any lint accumulation within the vent can potentially catch fire. Consistent lint removal helps eliminate this risk.
Clean the Outside Vent Opening
Over time, lint can accumulate inside the outdoor dryer vent opening. As warm air travels from your dryer through the exhaust hose and outside, small lint particles travel with it. And, as these particles build up inside and around the vent opening, your risk of a dryer fire grows.
Besides a fire, lint buildup in this area can also lead to moisture accumulation, forcing your dryer to work longer and harder, and more than likely, causing it to fail sooner. To help prevent fire and improve your dryer’s efficiency, a quick cleaning of the outside vent can work wonders. To clean the outside vent, simply remove the vent cover, pull out any lint accumulation, and use a long brush to gently remove lint within the duct.
Deep Clean the Lint Trap and Screen
Even if you regularly remove lint from the lint screen, it’s still necessary to give the lint trap and filter screen a regular deep cleaning. Your dryer’s lint filter cannot catch every particle of lint that flies off your clothes during a dryer cycle. Some lint will travel around the sides of the filter, and very small particles may pass directly through it. When you remove your lint screen to discard buildup after each cycle, you may see extra lint accumulation within the trap itself. While this is a normal occurrence, if you ignore it too long, you risk a dryer fire. To clean it, pull out larger lint pieces with your hands, and use a thin vacuum attachment to remove smaller particles.
It’s also important to give your filter screen some deep cleaning attention as it may contain potentially damaging buildup. If you use fabric softener sheets, you’ll notice that over time, the screen develops a thin coating of residue. With substantial residue buildup, your filter no longer functions as intended, reducing the efficiency of your appliance, and potentially necessitating dryer repair. To deep clean your lint trap and filter screen, perform the following steps:
● Fill a sink or tub with enough hot, soapy water to fully submerge the filter screen. A degreasing dish soap works well for this step.
● Remove any lint from the screen using your hands, a cloth, or vacuum.
● Submerge your filter screen beneath the hot water and allow it to soak for several minutes.
● Use a brush to gently scrub away residue buildup from the surface of the screen. You may need to rinse the screen several times in between scrubbing to evaluate how much residue remains. Continue the scrub/rinse process until you’ve removed all buildup.
● Perform a final rinse of the screen, and gently dry it using a soft, clean cloth. Allow the screen to air dry completely before reinserting within the dryer.
If soap and water aren’t strong enough to remove the residue buildup, you can try sprinkling it with baking soda and dousing it in vinegar. Let this mixture fizz, and then scrub the screen. Rinse, and allow the filter to dry completely before returning it to the dryer.
Clean the Dryer Drum
If you have pets, live near the beach, or have children with pockets in their jeans, you’ve seen what can accumulate inside your dryer drum. Pet hair, sand, and who-knows-what from your kids’ pockets all leave residue in your machine, and if you want truly clean, dry clothes, you’ll need to keep up with regular drum cleanings.
For loose residues like pet hair or sand, you can give your drum a simple wipe down with a soft, damp cloth. For the stickier stuff like gum and chapstick, you’ll want to throw in a few old towels and warm the drum for a few minutes before you attempt to clean it. Once the drum is warm, you can gently scrape away sticky residue with a rubber spatula. To completely remove the residue, wipe out the drum with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Finally, use a dry cloth to clean up any remaining soap and moisture.
Clean the Exhaust Hose
This maintenance item is best left to a trained technician. While regular exhaust hose cleaning is necessary for dryer longevity, it’s not a job you can perform without special equipment. Cleaning the exhaust hose is vital to help ensure lint accumulation does not result in a potentially damaging dryer fire. Not only does exhaust duct cleaning reduce your risk of fire, but it also allows for proper airflow through the vent system, improving the machine’s efficiency. We recommend cleaning your dryer ducts at least once a year to manage lint buildup.
Don’t Overload the Machine
Even though it’s tempting to stuff as much laundry as you can into your dryer, it’s not a good idea. Damp clothes are heavy and can put excessive stress on your machine’s motor, causing it to burn out quickly. In fact, overloading is one of the leading causes of dryer failure, and subsequently, dryer repair. Not to mention, overloading can significantly impact your electric bill as your machine struggles to pull enough energy to perform its job. We recommend only filling your dryer to about one-half its capacity. However, certain items, such as light, voluminous comforters can safety fill the drum without risking burnout.
Your Expert Dryer Repair Company in New York
If your dryer seems to be functioning slower than normal, or has quit altogether, the experts at G&G Appliance Service can bring it back to life. We service all brands and models, and our technicians are expertly trained in both diagnostic and dryer repair service. We pride ourselves on transparent, flat-rate fees, so you’ll know exactly what your in for when you request your quote. And, beyond dryers, we service just about any household appliance you’ve got. For any questions, or to schedule service on your machine, contact our team at 718-848-2100.