These Simple Dryer Tips Can Help Prevent A Fire

How to maintain your dryer and prevent dryer fires

Today’s post comes straight from the file of “stuff I should probably be doing more often.” I want to talk about your clothes dryer, specifically how to clean and maintain your dryer properly. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually a safety issue! The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that poorly maintained dryers cause nearly 3,000 house fires each year. So hopefully we can all learn something today that will help us avoid a similar fate!

It’s actually quite easy to keep your clothes dryer running in tip-top shape, and there are more reasons to do it than just avoiding a fire! A well-maintained clothes dryer will dry your clothes faster and requires less energy to operate, which saves you time and money. There are a few easy tasks that will help keep your dryer clean, and I’ve divided them up based on how often you should do them. So let’s get started! :-)

Related: Here’s What To Do When You Find A Mess In Your Dryer

How To Clean And Maintain Your Dryer

How to prevent dryer fires

Every Day (Or After Each Use)

You should clean the lint trap in your dryer before or after each use. It’s a good habit to get into, even for small loads. If you make it a habit, you’ll be much less likely to accidentally forget about it.

Related:  9 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Costly Washer & Dryer Repairs

How to prevent dryer fires

Once A Month

Removing the lint from your lint trap is important, but it won’t get it completely clean. All sorts of things can build up on the trap over time, including fabric softener residue and detergent residue. These residues trap some of the lint and can form a film that makes it hard for air to pass through.

So once a month, it’s a good idea to remove your lint trap and give it a good wash. Gently scrub it with soap and warm water, and rinse it well. Let the trap dry completely before replacing it in your dryer.

How to prevent dryer fires

Once A Year

Once a year or so, you should perform a more thorough inspection/cleaning of your dryer. (Be sure to unplug your dryer before performing any interior maintenance!) You can usually pop off one of the panels with a screwdriver. Then you’ll want to use your vacuum to remove any dust and lint hanging around, but steer clear of wiring, belts, and other mechanical parts.

How to prevent dryer fires

You should also check the exhaust hose to make sure it’s clear of dust and debris. A shop or house vacuum cleaner can help reach inside and usually does a good job of removing the lint.

If you’re not sure you’re up for it, you can always call an appliance repair specialist in to do it for you. Preventative maintenance is always going to be cheaper than large repairs, and definitely cheaper than dealing with a house fire, so it’s an investment worth making!

How to prevent dryer fires

Dryer Tips

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for heat settings and clothing amount. Overfilling your dryer can actually cause it to overheat.

How to prevent dryer fires

Buy an inexpensive cleaning brush or kit to help clean out your lint trap and the area underneath your dryer. We found this 3-piece kit on Amazon for less than $30:  Dryer Lint Removal Kit

Be aware of the signs that your dryer could use a tune-up. Signs include:

  • Clothes coming out of the dryer feel very hot.
  • The outside of your dryer is hot.
  • Your laundry room seems humid.
  • A burnt smell.
  • The exhaust flow is weak.

Now you can sit back and enjoy peak performance, efficiency, and safety from your clothes dryer!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


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