Problem solving tips for Dryers
Posted on July 12, 2011
Clothes dryers are used to dry wet clothes. You have typical dryer problems when your dryer leaves lint or dirt streaks on clothes, fails to dry loads or smears stains on laundry. These problems can be prevented or fixed with simple cleaning and routine maintenance. When you face such common problems, try these tips before you call for help.
Examine the lint screen trap which typically slides into the dryer through a top lid slot. Remove it carefully and roll out trapped lint with your fingers, and throw it away.
Wash the lint screen. If water pools on the screen and does not flow easily through the mesh, it signifies that the screen is coated with fabric softener. Liquid fabric softener or fabric sheets leave an invisible film on the mesh, which prevents air and water from flowing through the blocked screen. Squirt a few drops of liquid dish detergent on the screen. Lather gently with a nail brush or scrub brush. Rinse until water flows freely through the screen.
Damp clothes or long drying times indicate the dryer vent is probably plugged. The vent is the pipe or tube that runs from the dryer to the outdoors to carry hot, damp air out of the dryer. When the vent is plugged or blocked, the dryer cannot exhaust the damp air.
Inspect outside the house to see if the vent opens and closes easily. Remove any lint or debris. Inside the house, review your dryer manual and follow directions for removing the vent from the dryer. Clean out lint or debris inside the vent pipe. Put the vent back on the dryer. If you cannot easily remove the vent, try cleaning it from outside the house. Use a vacuum with a flexible hose to reach into the vent and clean out the duct.
Inspect pockets for ink pens, color markers and crayons, which melt in dryer heat. Their dyes stain the clothes and the dryer drum. Lipstick and makeup soften and smear in heat. Cosmetics are often paraffin or oil-based so that the oil is an added stain.
Remove the stained clothes. Treat them with a stain remover or gently rub detergent into the stains. Wash them immediately. While the clothes are washing, clean the dryer drum. Otherwise ink or lipstick will remain on the drum and stain the next laundry loads.
Inspect the dryer for stains. Use laundry prewash spray on the stains or use a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to scrub the stains. Run wet rags in the dryer. Inspect for remaining stains.