How to extend the life of your clothes dryer

United States
January 29, 2008 5:53pm CST
This tip is gleaned from the knowledge of a handyman: Dryer sheets, like Bounce, cause a film over the lint trap of your dryer. you can't see the film, but it's there. This has the potential of even causing the dryer to catch on fire. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time and keep your electric bill lower is to take the lint filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush or other brush at least every six months.
5 people like this
9 responses
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
1 Feb 08
I use dryer sheets in mine also. I take the lint trap out and clean it if the lint does not roll up off it very well when i go to empty it. I use srcubbing bubbles on mine to remove the film. I spray it on there and take a toothbrush to it and it cleans it right up. I can use my dryer for quite some time after that without it clinging and sticking to the vent.
• United States
1 Feb 08
That's great information! Thank you for the tip, steph.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
2 Feb 08
You are very welcome joyce. I am very glad to help. You have the best tips ever and I appreciate all of them.
@freak369 (5050)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I use a Shop Vac on mine and that seems to get 99% of the dust, dirt and lint out of it. I buy replacement lint screens about once a year because trying to wash them would probably result in me destroying them lol.
@freak369 (5050)
• United States
5 Feb 08
Sorry for the double post .. the site is so slow right now that the pages keep stalling and then refreshing and posting things twice.
@miller1978 (1104)
• United States
30 Jan 08
Thanks for this information. After I read it I went and cleaned my lint trap. Man was that thing ever so nasty. Now the clothes get dry faster as well. LOL Who knew??? Now I only have to run the dryer one cycle per load instead of 2. This should help lower my bill a lot.
• United States
30 Jan 08
Your testimony is inspiring. Thank you!
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
30 Jan 08
My husband is a maintenance man and when I read this to him he said, "Well actually someone just told me that a short time ago and I didn't know anything about it", but he agreed this is a wise thing to do. I keep my washer and dryer clean at all times and I always keep the lint trap clean, but I have never washed it. I am going to now that I know a film can build up Thank you.
• United States
30 Jan 08
you're welcome. Long live our clothes driers :) and thank U for your comment.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
30 Jan 08
Thanks for the tip. I do not use Bounce or any fabric softener because I am allergic to the chemicals in them. I use vinegar, but my lint catchall does get pull and usually I just bang it against the side of the dryer, but this does sound like a good idea and we will be getting a shower and sink put down stairs pretty soon so I do not have to go upstairs to do this.
• United States
30 Jan 08
This is an example of scratching each other's back with info. I didn't know about the vinegar. Is that added in the rinse cycle of the washer and is it for softening your clothes? What about static cling? Thank you for your comments.
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
30 Jan 08
wow- thanks for the info. I just recently bought a new dryer and now I know how to keep it going! Great post! Thanks!
• United States
30 Jan 08
Glad to share whatever good info comes my way. Thanks for your response.
@Kaeli72 (1230)
• United States
8 Feb 08
Wow, that was really useful. A + from me! Hubby bought a used dryer last year because the old one was working just fine. JK. It wasn't drying anything. So, with this "new" dryer, I use Bounce fabric sheets all the time because my family can't remember to use the liquid fabric softener. I'm crazy when it comes to clean smelling clothes. But, now that I know to CLEAN the lint screen as you've mentioned, I'll be sure to put that on my calander! With small children in the house, I want to take all the precautions I can to make sure their world is safe.
@freak369 (5050)
• United States
5 Feb 08
I use a Shop Vac on mine and that seems to get 99% of the dust, dirt and lint out of it. I buy replacement lint screens about once a year because trying to wash them would probably result in me destroying them lol.
@whittby (3073)
• United States
31 Jan 08
Okay, I'll bite. I clean my darn lint filter constantly, but not a good wash. Will do. Actually, I had to had to have a maintenance call on my dryer not too long ago. Once of those dryer sheets had worked its way underneath and got caught in the workings. The repairman said, lady start using the liquid softener. Back to the Downey ball.