In rainy autumnal weather tumble dryers are likely to be used more often than in the summer months.
But before you start using your tumble dryer regularly again, these are the simple maintenance tasks to carry out to keep it running well.
Check Lint Filters for Rips and Tears
Lint filters should be cleaned each time you use your tumble dryer to stop lint building up in your machine and potentially reaching the heating element and causing fires. Check your lint filter is intact and remove the lint it has caught every time you use your appliance. Doing so will keep your tumble dryer running more safely and efficiently.
Vacuum out Lint Filter
Use your vacuum crevice tool or handheld vacuum to clean out the lint filter housing and vent hose to remove excess lint from your tumble dryer about once a month.
Keep an Eye on your Dryer
You may have seen reports in the news of tumble dryer fires. The manufacturing issue causing these fires affects some models of Whirlpool, Indesit, Creda and Hotpoint machines. You can check whether your Hotpoint or Indesit model is affected online and book a free repair.
Even if your model isn’t affected be sure to clean your lint filter every time you use your tumble dryer and don’t run it when you’re sleeping or away from home.
Maintain Condenser Dryers
Condenser dryers (the sort that collect the water that’s been evaporated from your clothes) need clean condensers to work well. Remove the condenser in your tumble dryer and run water though it to make sure it’s free of lint, dust and debris, by flushing water through at least twice in the sink. The water container will need emptying each time you use this type of dryer too.
Maintain Vented Dryers
Vented dryers get rid of evaporated moisture by venting it outside. If you have this type of tumble dryer check the vent hose for rips, tears and build ups of lint. Check the vent outside is clear of obstructions too.
Clean your Tumble Dryer Sensor
Some tumble dryers have metal strips inside the door cavity that detect water and tell your machine when your clothes are dry. Give these sensor strips a wipe down to ensure they’ve not been made less efficient with dried on excess detergent or fabric softener.
Dust Down the Outside of the Appliance
The outside of your tumble dryer may need a wipe down too; if it hasn’t been used in a while it’s probably accumulated some dust and grime. A damp cloth or kitchen towel with your preferred household cleaning product should do the job. If the front of your dryer is scratched or chipped you can improve its appearance with some touch up paint.
Four golden rules for efficient tumble drying are:
- Dry clothes of the same thickness in the same tumble dryer load.
- Use tumble dryer balls to aid the speed of drying and soften clothes.
- Untangle clothes before putting them into the dryer. (Avoid drying large sheets and duvet covers that clothes get tangled up in.)
- Don’t overload your appliance; it’s bad for efficiency and can cause overheating.
For demonstration of some of the above maintenance tips see our video.
If you’re having problems with your tumble dryer and you’ve put off fixing it over the summer, you can’t put it off for much longer! Diagnose your tumble dryer fault and fix it up before your machine becomes a crucial part of your weekly laundry routine again.