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Essential Maintenance Tips for the Longevity of Your Clothes Dryer

A Person Setting Up Washing Machine
At one time owning a clothes dryer felt like a luxury, and while they are more common now, it still represents a significant investment. Keep your investment running smoothly with regular maintenance.
Have the Dryer Vent Checked and Maintained
The dryer vent is the catalyst of many home fires. Flammable lint and combustible residue get trapped in the tubing between the lint trap and the vent. When the heat from the dryer heats up the tubing, it can ignite a fire. To prevent this occurrence, have your dryer vent checked and cleaned out once a year.
Scrub the Lint Trap
You likely know you should clean the lint trap between dryer loads. However, wiping the lint out of the trap isn't sufficient for maintaining its cleanliness. In fact, the lint trap is the first point of outtake for gases inside the dryer, and they can leave a buildup in the basket weave over time. Every three months or so, remove the lint basket and clean it with a cleanser and a brush.
Vacuum Out the Lint Trap Cavity
Even though the lint trap is made of a fine metal screen, lint still escapes through the tiny holes. The first area lint accumulates is in the cavity around the screen, or the lint trap casement. To clean this area, remove the screen and use the crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck out the excess lint. You can also use a dryer lint brush if you have one.
Wipe Down the Dryer Drum
The lint trap isn't the only place lint and residue can accumulate. The inside of the dryer often accumulates both. Once a month, wipe down the dryer drum. To do so, unplug the dryer, and dip a rag in warm, soapy water. After wringing out the rag, wipe down the interior of the dryer. Rinse out the rag, and repeat the wipe down. Leave the dryer door open so the drum can dry out.
Clean the Dryer Exterior
The most important consideration for your clothes dryer is that it functions efficiently when you need to use it. But you also don't want grime to build up on the outside, not just because it’s unsightly. Get in the habit of using a soft cloth and an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the exterior of the dryer. Such attention will ensure the finish doesn't become corroded or stained.
Similarly, the area around the dryer may not seem like an important aspect of keeping your appliance in good repair. However, the area can accumulate moisture, dirt, and lint, all of which can easily transfer to the dryer. To avoid this transfer, sweep away or vacuum the area around the appliance at least once a week.
Use the Dryer Only for Washed Clothes
You may be tempted to use the dryer to dry clothes that became damp due to a sudden downpour, a big, spill, or a day at the beach. However, a clothes dryer is meant to be a clean space, and drying soiled clothing can transfer the dirt to the drum and lint screen. Only dry clothes that are coming from the washer to avoid this transference.
Keep the Dryer Level
If your dryer is unbalanced during usage, it will start to vibrate. The vibration can affect the alignment of the interior drum. To check the dryer, use a carpenter's level — you might also be able to download an app on your phone. If the dryer isn't level, use the adjustable feet to fix the problem. Don't wedge anything under the feet to make it level, as this is an impermanent solution.
With some basic maintenance, your clothes dryer can last for years. Talk to Mountain Vista Appliance about a regular maintenance schedule and repairs for your dryer.