How and Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Today
Dryer lint traps loaded with build-up can be a huge fire hazard; stay safe by making a habit of cleaning the inside of your dryer. Plus, a clean dryer will run more efficiently, thus saving money on utility bills.
Don’t underestimate the importance of keeping your dryer clean. Failure to properly remove dust, fibers and lint is the leading cause of fires in residential dryers according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Keeping your appliance properly maintained is a multi-step process — it goes beyond emptying the lint trap — but you can make it easier and rest better at night if you buy a few tools (like the rotary bristle brush below) to simplify the process.
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Keep a Clean Lint Trap
Removing lint that's captured in the mesh screen of your lint trap is critical to preventing fires because a dust-free trap allows for better airflow. When cleaning your dryer, it’s also a good practice to remove the lint trap and vacuum the area with a crevice attachment to keep dust and debris that evaded the trap at bay.
If you use dryer sheets and fabric softeners, there’s an increased likelihood of residue buildup on the mesh lint trap. Be wary of this buildup, and proactively use an old toothbrush dipped in warm, soapy water to clean the mesh. Allow the trap to dry completely before putting it back into the machine.
In addition to reducing the risk of fire, a clean lint trap helps airflow which directly improves the speed at which your dryer can do its job. And when you shorten the running time of the appliance, you’ll also reduce your overall energy bill.
Wipe Down the Dryer Drum
Residue from dryer sheets and fabric softener not only clog your lint trap but can add a film to the inside of your machine. Once a month, use a spray of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water to mist the inside of the drum. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth, and leave the dryer door open so it can air dry.
How to Clean a Dryer Vent Yourself
About a third of house fires are caused by clogged dryer vents. Protect yourself and your family by regularly clearing out dryer vents. Plus, clean vents will help your dryer run more efficiently.