Clothes Dryer Mistakes and Safety: 11 Tips You Need Now!


-Updated 10/17/2021

Dryers are great when they work but must be maintained so they can continue to dry your clothes.

If you have had a dyer that doesn’t dry…you know what I mean.

The most common mistakes that most of us make are listed below.

Check out which is your common mistake and also get a bit of free advice to overcome it.

  • Put the pockets out
  • Not drying long enough
  • Wrong heat setting
  • Not cleaning the lint trap
  • Not cleaning exhaust flex hose
  • Not checking the inside of dryer equipment
  • Too Many dryer Sheets
  • Too many clothes

Now to discuss each in detail, let us start with the most common and silly one.

1. Not checking pockets

The first and foremost mistake that we all tend to make is not checking the pockets before laundry.

The main culprit here would be the children.

They would often forget to remove food, pens, money or their play articles from their pockets.

To them, their pockets are the safest hideout for their favorite petit collections.

How do we blame them?

It’s highly impossible to even think of it.

So, it is our duty to check their pockets out before any disaster could happen.

Now, this does not mean, adults don’t stuff things into their pockets. They are often guilty parties.

So, ensure that you put your pockets out before the laundry.

2. Not drying long enough

You might think about how long you should be drying.

For you to understand this, you must first understand the working principle of the clothes dryer.

Clothes are dried by absorbing all the moisture content from the cloth that we have used.

The dryer turns the water into vapor and thus dries the clothes.

So you must dry the clothes long enough to completely dry them.

The sensors in some dryers might be sensing these however if it does not, you should be able to check for the moisture content before taking the clothes out.

3. Wrong heat setting

There are three things that would favor the perfect drying.

First – For the evaporation to take place correctly, the first and foremost thing required would be the temperature setting.

If the right temperature is set then the number of molecules that can turn water into vapor can be set correctly.

Second – Then the next important thing required would be the air movement to carry the water away from the clothes so that the air is dry that complements drying further.

Finally – Then low humidity is another factor required.

Low humidity lets the clothes dry quicker since there is less water in the air and clothes.

4. Not cleaning the lint trap

This is one of the things that is never or less cared for by all of us.

We keep thinking and postponing the act of cleaning the lint trap.

When we postpone we don’t do it at all. This act of not cleaning the lint trap reduces the efficiency of the dryer and also might cause a fire hazard.

This might be a problem permanently raising the need to altogether change your dryer.

So make it a habit to clean the lint trap after every use.

It might sound too much but would reduce the risks.

5. Not cleaning exhaust flex hose

This exhaust flex hose is responsible for the heat escaping from the dryer and exhaust outside.

It runs from the back of the dryer. Even though we need heat to dry the clothes, too much heat is not required.

This might be clogged of any pet hair or the lint sometimes.

This might lead to a fire. So it is always better to clean the exhaust flex hose a few times a year so that they are clear of debris.

Fire Safety

According to the NFPA there are over 15,000 house fires per year and dryers are involved in many of the incidents. A critical part of keeping your house safe is to regularly clean your dryer from excess lint.

According to FEMA here are the Facts about home clothes dryer fires

2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.

More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

Make sure to check:

Dryer front door screen which we just discussed above.

But you should also check underneath the dryer. If too much lint has built up it can land near the heating element which burns at 1112 degrees F or 600 C. That is incredibly hot and will quickly burn the lint and catch the dryer on fire.

How:

  • Suck out any lint from below the screen trap. This will ensure that lint does not build up which is the main cuase of dryer fires.
  • Pull off the bottom dryer panel. You may need to use a small socket set or adaptor for your screw gun.
  • vacuum up any lint. The small attachments on many vacuums help with this process.
  • Use a flashlight to shine below and search all over to make sure there isn’t any hidden lint.

Remove and clean before EVERY use or else it can quickly build up and become a serious fire hazard.

6. Not checking inside of dryer equipment

We always think that everyday use of our dryer keeps the unit clean but this is not true.

The drum might look shining but the other side is not the way we look at it.

We must regularly clean the dryer equipment in order to maintain the freshness of the fabrics we use in it.

If we don’t do this, we might end up wearing musty-smelling clothes.

We might have seen our clothes with white streaks at times.

This is because we don’t clean the dryer equipment correctly.

We should set aside periodic maintenance timing for it.

7. Too many dryer sheets

It’s not wrong to use a dryer sheet.

They are often used for the softening of clothes and to reduce the static grip.

If it is not wrong then why we should not use it is the question running in your minds. We should use only one dryer sheet per cycle.

Adding too many dryer sheets is not going to give you any extra effect.

It will not soften more.

In fact, they might get jammed and create problems for the inner parts of the dryer.

Also, ensure to remove the dryer sheet off the dryer every time you use it.

8. Too many clothes

Putting many clothes in the dryer is not always a wise idea.

This is a very important piece of advice for everyone to remember because it is the most frequently made mistake.

It’s not all advisable to overstuff the dryer.

When we do this, we always think we are saving time but end up doing things twice.

So it is always better to split our laundry and put it into the dryer.

This might cause a lot of physical damage to the drum and hence it might break alone with bearings and heating elements.

So it is best to read through the user manual provided and feed the dryer properly with the optimum settings to get a long life with it.

Just imagine what it would be like to be without dryers.

Also, it is not very complicated to maintain the dryer. Less than 5 seconds per use can clean the lint screen and keep the lint down to a minimum.

FAQs

Can dryers explode?

Electric – No. Gas – yes. Most home dryers are electric and will not explode. They are vulnerable to lint fires, however, and should be cleaned regularly to avoid fires.

Is it OK to leave the dryer on overnight?

Yes. It is ok to leave the dryer on overnight, just as in the daytime.

Make sure the dryer vent, screen are clean and you won’t have anything to worry about.

Most fires start as a result of excess lint buildup which can happen at any time.

That is why you should regularly clean your dryer and hose so it is always safe.

Can batteries explode in a dryer?

Yes, if batteries get hot enough they can explode in a dryer. Never put anything flamable or explosive in a dryer.

More likely than not, they will leak and stain the dryer.

Is it worth it fixing a dryer?

Yes, it is worth it fixing a dryer.

Most breakdowns are the result of several inexpensive parts.

Many times the thermostat, or heating element or sensor are the cause of the dryer not working.

These parts are available on Amazon or other sites that sell appliance parts.

Should you drey clothes on high heat?

No. Not unless the clothes require high heat. Towels or other durable pieces of cloth can be put on high heat since they will not shrink.

Clothing and, in particularly shirts will likely shrink if they are dried on high heat.

I spent $60 for a new heating element and thermostat from Amazon. I watched a few youtube videos and was able to replace both in around 90 minutes

Wrapping Up

You can now maintain your clothes for a long time and consider the advice given here and elsewhere in this article. 

So, if you want your dryer to last longer you should also read through the user manual and make sure it is cared for properly with the appropriate settings. 

Consider what your life would be like if you didn’t have dryers.

We’ll be able to say goodbye to our clothesline with a little additional care if we work together.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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