Four things that hurt your dryer

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1. Not cleaning the lint filter

People often ask, “Are fabric softener sheets bad for my dryer?”

No, fabric softener sheets are not “bad” for your dryer. However, chemicals from the sheets may leave residue on the lint filter (a.k.a. lint screen). If the lint filter is not cleaned off from time to time, it may become partially clogged and restrict proper air flow. The residue could also coat the electronic moisture sensor, which has the important job of sensing moisture in clothing. If this sensor is damaged, it will send inaccurate messages  about the presence of moisture and disrupt drying time, leading to big problems. Tweet this tip.

You can clean the filter using a little bit of detergent and a soft-bristle brush. You can wipe off the sensor with a cotton ball and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning out lintCounting sheets
Sometimes softener sheets lodge themselves within the lint filter and the lint filter housing or over the vents on the inside of the dryer. Pay attention when you remove a load of clothes from your dryer. If the sheets are missing, find them. Tweet this tip.

How often should you remove lint from the lint filter?

You should remove lint after every load. As your dryer’s owner manual will emphasize, this step is extremely important to its proper functioning.

A few times per year, it’s also wise to clean lint from the chute that houses the lint filter. Pieces of lint inevitably settle in there as you remove and replace the filter. This long-handle brush works well for this. You can also use this long vacuum hose attachment to do the job fast, too.

2. Overloading it.

Read your dryer’s owner manual for specific information about load sizes. Overloading your dryer can cause damage to the drum, bearings and other important components. Additionally, an overloaded dryer will not properly dry clothes. You’ll find that the clothing may be overly dried in some spots and damp in other areas. Tweet this tip.

3. Keeping it level

All appliances in your home should be level in order to work effectively. Having an unlevel dryer may lead to premature wearing of critical parts. Place a bubble level on the dryer to check this.

Follow your dryer’s owner manual for instructions on how to properly and safely adjust the dryer’s feet to attain the most level position possible. Most laundry room floors are, unfortunately, rarely level themselves.

4. Leaving lint buildup in venting tube

Lint, dryer venting system blockage and heat are a lethal combination. Every year, clothes dryers cause thousands of major residential fires in the U.S.

So, we’re not exaggerating when we tell people that it’s a serious necessity. A venting system should be cleaned out from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap at least once per year. Our bestselling 20-foot cleaning brush enables you to easily remove lint buildup from within the entire tube. If you have a gas dryer, consider  Lint Alert. It monitors for lint build-up and other blockage and alerts you if there is a fire risk with your gas dryer. Does it work? Consumer Reports says yes.

Lint Alert
Lint Alert monitors gas dryers for lint build up and alerts you so that you can check the buildup situation.

Pieces of lint inevitably settle in there as you remove and replace the lint filter. This long-handle brush works well for this.  It’s extremely common for lint to build up within the dryer, too. You should disassemble the dryer and remove the lint from the dryer’s interior using a vacuum. You can also use this long vacuum hose attachment. Tweet this tip.

Long-handled bristle brush
Our bestselling long-handled bristle brush makes cleaning out a dryer’s lint filter chute a quick and easy job.

Related helpful information

7 dryer care facts to keep your home safe and save you money

How to prevent pilling on your clothing

9 tips for washing machine care

Maintenance tips

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