Appliance Spotlight: Dryers

Our final appliance spotlight shifts the focus to the washer’s true right hand man, the dryer.

MONTHLY MAINTENANCE

Check and Clean the Lint Trap

Like a furnace filter, the lint trap in a washer serves many purposes. It collects debris, lowers the risk of fire, and ensures the dryer runs as efficient as possible. Don’t just clean it monthly. Clean it after every, single use.

Check the Dryer Hose

The large aluminum hose on the back of the dryer allows for venting. Ensure that the hose is all in one piece (you can get replacements at the U-Fix-It).

Clean Under and Behind

Regularly cleaning under and behind appliances is always the way to go. Be careful with dryers, while some are electric, others are gas powered and have a gas line that is attached to the back.  Make sure this hose is properly secured before using. If at any point in time you smell gas, turn off the dryer, get out, and call 911.

Wipe Down the Inside

Using a cloth or damp sponge, wipe down the inside of the dryer to prevent odors.

GENERAL ADVICE

Check the Dials

Ensure that the dryer is set to the appropriate cycle for what is being dried. Usually white sheets or linens are dried on a higher heat, while dedicates are dried on a lower heat.

Source the Problem

One of the biggest dryer issues we see is actually a washer issue. Like all teams, if one member is not working their hardest, the whole team suffers. Items should be damp when placed in a dryer (not soaking wet); soaking wet clothes could be a sign that the washer is skipping a spin cycle or has been overloaded.

The Power of Towels

A clean, dry towel can be placed in the dryer with a load of wet laundry to help speed up the drying process.

A clean, damp towel can be placed in the dryer for 15-30 minutes with a load of dry (but wrinkled) laundry to help eliminate wrinkles.

Check Your Pockets

If somehow you scraped by without checking your pockets before your put your clothes in the washer, go ahead and redeem yourself before placing them in the dryer. In fact, check them again regardless, it only takes a minute and that blouse looks perfect as is without the addition of blue ink splotches.

Fold Immediately

While it’s tempting to use the dryer as a second closet, this often leads to wrinkling. Pulling laundry out and folding, especially after delicate or permanent press cycles, can help prevent wrinkles.

Read the Tags on Your Clothes and Linens

The tags offer advise on how to dry the clothes. Follow this advise; not everything can be dried in a dryer. Always err on the side of caution, if unsure, contact the clothing manufacturer for clarification (or at the very least use a gentle air-only cycle).

Wikipedia has a pretty detailed explanation on laundry symbols. 

Don’t Leave it Alone

Never leave any appliance running unsupervised. While it may be tempting to load up some clothes, pack up the car and head to Kenai; remember that any appliance can fail. This isn’t just an Aurora thing or a JBER or Alaska thing, this is everywhere. Things break; catching a fire or smoke mid cycle is far better than catching it after a two day fishing trip.

COMMON PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS

“I clean my lint trap regularly, but my dryer seems to be slowly losing its mojo” 

While the lint trap catches the bulk of the lint, some lint makes its way out through the dryer vent. Lint can build up in here, and prevent proper venting, making the dryer less efficient. Contact maintenance to have the vent snaked.

“My dryer is unevenly drying my clothes”

Believe it or not, how you load your clothes has a big impact on efficiency. Throwing in a big ball of tangled shirts, pants, and towels is not the best approach. Separate each article of clothing and place it in the dryer.

“Can I bring my own dryer, it has Alexa built in and lots of buttons”

Of course, and congrats! You’re welcome to bring your own, just know that ours must be stored in the unit.