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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

"Why do I need to remove lint from the dryer?": Tips for Preventing Laundry Emergencies

10/2/2015 (Permalink)

Dryer lint is definitely the least stylish part of owning clothes. It's murky, it's fuzzy, and it kind of smells like "Linen Freshness," if your linens were left in a burning building. 

Without proper precautions, dryer lint could turn that imaginary burning building into a reality. Lint, when left behind, can cause your dryer to combust and enact massive damage to your home. Here's how to keep flammable situations at bay:

Basic Prevention

Most homeowners clean out their lint traps on a regular basis, usually right before they toss in the next load of wet clothes. It's a great habit! 

In the process of clearing the trap, however, lint can become airborne and settle around the dryer. Over time, this can accumulate, especially behind and under the appliance. 

Take a damp towel and wipe around the back your machine and below. The water on the towel will stick to the dryer lint and help you measure the amount of lint your machine emits. 

Ventilation Systems

Most dryer manufacturers recommend that homeowners use aluminum duct venting with minimal corners and directional changes, not longer than 15'.

Many families, however, have ventilation systems that use flexible tubing, so it's important to clean the various twists, turns, and bends on an annual basis. 

Good Practices

Dryer sheets can leave behind a waxy substance in your lint trap, which makes lint removal less effective. Once a week, wash this screen in warm, soapy water and let it dry overnight. Do NOT put the screen back into the dryer if it is damp!

Every 18 months, have a qualified service technician clean out the drum of the dryer, along with the ventilation system and lint screen. 

And, don't operate the dryer without a lint trap!

Green Ideas

Using your dryer efficiently is also another way of preventing fire. For example, you could use a faster spin cycle in the washing machine to cut drying time. You should also use the automatic drying cycle to save energy and time. 

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