If you’re anything like me, you rarely give your tumble dryer much thought. Sure, it probably gets cleaned from time to time at least enough that it doesn’t smell like stale socks but that’s about it. You might not even know what makes your dryer run, or how to fix it if something goes wrong with it. If you want to keep your dryer in peak condition, keep reading to find out how to clean and maintain your tumble dryer so that it can do its job well and run smoothly for as long as possible.
A common cause of tumble dryer problems
If you want your tumble dryer to be a reliable appliance, it’s important that you take care of it properly. Over time, your machine will suffer from regular wear and tear, but there are ways you can prolong its life. The most common problems with tumble dryers are lint build-up and lack of airflow.
Remove any excess lint
Cleaning out a tumble dryer is one of those jobs that we know needs doing, but can’t really be bothered with. We assume it will happen again soon and fill up once more. It’s important to remove any excess lint after each cycle so that you don’t end up with a blockage and your machine running hot without heat.
While it’s not essential that you do it regularly, over time built-up lint can cause problems for your machine – not only do you risk overheating but if your lint trap has partially blocked or become detached from your dryer then there’s every chance that fluff may end up in your garments yuck! If ever unsure about how best to unblock a dryer, always contact an expert first!
Use air vent tools for narrow parts
If you’re not sure which vents need cleaning, use an air vent cleaning tool with a narrow brush attachment. These tools are designed for vent cleaning and can fit in spaces that a regular vacuum brush attachment can’t. It allows you to easily clean out your air vents without having to take off any lint or debris.
Never use these air vent tools on a full dryer, only when it’s powered off and empty. That will help prevent any possible damage or burns caused by excess heat as well as protect any children who may be around while you do it. Also, be sure not to touch any of your electrical appliances while they’re plugged in but especially not a running dryer!
Turn off the switch and unplug it before opening-up
The first step when cleaning a tumble dryer is to turn off and unplug it from any power source. Once you’ve done that, open up your machine carefully, making sure not to touch any of its parts.
Carefully check for lint or other debris that might have accumulated in nooks and crannies; remove any you find with a cloth or vacuum.
Never use water or cleaners on your dryer, as these can damage your machine. Let it air out: While your dryer’s running after cleaning, close its door and allow it to run until there are no more wet spots on its interior; letting it air out will help get rid of unwanted odors another common problem with appliances like driers.
Avoid taking apart your tumble dryer if you can help it!
Most of us don’t want to go near our tumble dryers. This is because they are hot, dirty, and often require taking apart.
The best way to avoid having a maintenance issue in your tumble dryer is if you just get it serviced regularly by a professional so that you know that it’s cleaned out and running smoothly.
When your machine does need an overhaul though, there are several parts that can easily be taken apart yourself such as mesh filters and lint collectors but getting into any other area could lead to some pretty big problems. It’s worth taking advice from a technician if you think there’s anything wrong with your tumble dryer before starting any disassembly.
Gather replacement parts while your machine is open
While your tumble dryer is open for cleaning, now’s a good time to check and see if you need any replacement parts. If something needs replacing or it’s been a while since your last clean, don’t just leave it until next time buy and fit new parts now! It may seem a little like overkill but having spare parts means you can carry on with cleaning without having to stop in mid-flow (which would no doubt cause some drying mishaps) and take time out to buy them.
There are a few things that commonly need replacing: heating element, fan motor, lint filter, etc., but these will depend on your individual machine.
Get some electrical tape if you don’t have much duct tape
If your filter is anything like mine, you’ll need some way of holding it in place. This can be as simple as wrapping a bit of electrical tape around its edge and sticking it back on.
Make sure that your cleaning solution covers all parts of your dryer and fills up with water if necessary. Even though we’re concerned about getting rid of mold and mildew, you’ll still want to make sure that you get a good mix of cleaner so that there isn’t just one type of mold growing in just one section. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but do make sure that you get everything wet!
Use sealant tape on all seams before putting your machine back together
Sealant tape is a quick and easy way to make sure your dryer’s seams are properly sealed. Before reassembling, simply wrap sealant tape around all of your dryer’s seams.
The small strip of tape creates a moisture-proof barrier that will ensure that no lint or foreign particles enter your dryer. By investing in a cheap roll of sealant tape, you can avoid future problems by making sure nothing interferes with your appliance’s operation.
Use silicone spray generously on all moving parts (especially hinges)
Silicone spray will make sure that your tumble dryer functions smoothly for a long time. It’s also incredibly easy to apply just give all moving parts a good coating and leave it overnight. Come back in a few hours, clean up any excess with a tissue or cloth, and you’re done! The next time you use your dryer, it will function like new!
Just like any other appliance, your tumble dryer needs proper care and cleaning. It’s critical that you don’t take these tasks lightly. Like every other appliance in your home, a tumble dryer doesn’t last forever and it has to be maintained on a regular basis. If you want your tumble dryer to work smoothly for years, there are a few essential steps you should follow when taking care of it. Learn more about those here