I learn something new today.
The clothes dryer stopped drying. The repairman went to the dryer and pulled
out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter
after every load of clothes. He told us that he wanted to show us something.
He took the filter over to the sink, and ran hot water over it. I am sure
you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. WELL...the hot water just
sat on top of the screen! It did not go through it at all!
He told us that dryer sheets cause a waxy film to build up over the screen,
and this does not let the air pass through, so the heating unit overheats
and burns out.
You cannot SEE the film, but it's there. This is also what causes dryer's to
catch fire, and potentially burn your house down with it !
He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to
keep your electric bill lower because your clothes will dry faster) is to
clean that filter after every load, and wash it with hot soapy water with an
old toothbrush (or other brush) every three months.
He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about
that! Learn something new everyday !
I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!
NOTE: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The
water ran thru a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh
screen. I washed it with warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had it done
in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right thru the screen!
There wasn't any puddle of water at all !
That repairman knew what he was talking about !
While the information about lint filters in the email is true, it is
difficult to ascertain if the incident described (the conversation with "the
Maytag guy") actually occurred. It may simply be a fictionally tool to get
the point of the message across. In short, this tip is well worth heeding if
you own a clothes dryer. If you use dryer sheets, it would be wise to scrub
the lint filter periodically to remove any residue. As well, general lint
build-up can be a fire hazard and significantly reduce the efficiency of the
The information in this email forward is basically true. Dryer sheets can,
in fact, clog the lint filter in the way described. Asko appliances, has the
following information on its website:
Can my lint filter be clogged even though it appears clean?
Yes, the chemicals from fabric softener sheets can clog the filter. To test
this, drop some water on it, if it runs through, it's OK. If not, it's
clogged. This can easily be washed away with soap and water and a soft
brush. We don't recommend dryer sheets, but if you feel you need them, use
only half a sheet and be sure to remove them after each load.
Also, the Asko DRYER USE AND CARE GUIDE includes the following
We recommend that you do not use fabric softener sheets in the dryer.
Over time, the chemicals on these sheets can build up inside the lint filter
and clog the holes that circulate the air.
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2001 -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
estimates that in 1997, there were an estimated 16,700 fires, 30 deaths and
430 injuries associated with clothes dryers. Some of these fires can occur
when lint builds up in the filter or in the exhaust duct. Under certain
conditions, when lint blocks the flow of air, excessive heat build-up can
cause a fire in some dryers.
To prevent fires:
- Clean the lint filter
regularly and make sure the dryer is operating properly. Clean the filter
after each load of clothes. While the dryer is operating, check the
outside exhaust to make sure exhaust air is escaping normally. If it is
not, turn the dryer off and look inside both ends of the duct for lint.
Remove any lint found there. If there are signs that the dryer is hotter
than normal, this may be a sign that the dryer's temperature control
thermostat needs servicing.
- If clothing is still
damp at the end of a normal cycle or requires longer dryer times, this may
be a sign that the exhaust or ling screen is blocked.
- Check the exhaust
duct more often if you have a plastic, flexible duct. This type of duct is
more apt to trap lint than ducting without ridges. Inspect the duct for
kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.
- Closely follow
manufacturers' instructions for new installations. Most manufacturers
specify the use of a rigid or flexible metal duct to provide a minimum
restriction of airflow. If metal duct is not available at the retailer
where the dryer was purchased, check other locations, such as hardware or
builder supply stores. If you are having the dryer installed, insist upon
metal duct unless the installer has verified that the manufacturer permits
the use of plastic duct.