If your laundry is still damp after it comes out of the dryer, or it takes your dryer a long time to dry your laundry (more than 30-45 minutes) and the outside of your dryer is hot to the touch, these are all signs that you might have clogged duct work or venting and it’s time to clean your dryer.
Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of 16,800 home fires reported in 2010, according to a report by the National Fire Protection Association. These fires contributed to 51 deaths, 380 injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
To clean out your clothes dryer, use a lint brush to reach deep into the lint screen compartment of your clothes dryer where lint is trapped inside. After unplugging your dryer, remove your lint screen and push the brush deep inside the lint shoot. Pull out the brush and either using a vacuum attachment or your hand to remove the lint stuck to the brush. It might be a good idea to wear a mask while cleaning due to floating lint or dust particles.
Next, clear lint from your clothes dryer duct work using a Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush. Remove the vent from the back of your dryer and stick the brush inside your vent tubing. Once the brush cannot move any further, gently pull it out to remove any lint clogging the vent.
Finally, after unplugging your dryer (if you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas) and doing some disassembly, use a Refrigerator and Crevice Cleaning Tool Vacuum Attachment to clean inside the dryer itself. The tool attaches to your vacuum cleaner and allows you to reach underneath the dryer drum and into all the crevices inside your dryer’s cabinet to remove dust and lint. It’s flat enough to fit underneath the dryer drum, saving you from disassembling more parts and removing the dryer drum. Plus, it can also be used to clean underneath other appliances as well.
For a video on how to clean your clothes dryer. including how to disassemble the cabinet to reach inside, visit http://youtu.be/gtcVvFMG9YA
Other additional tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:
- Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
- Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
- Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
- Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
- Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
For more tips, visit http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/clothes_dryers.shtm