April has been a busy month around here. Track and softball are in full swing and both kids have birthdays in April as well. With one turning 11 and the other 13, we are officially the house of hormones. Because one outfit a day is never enough, smelly sports clothes get the toss and multiple showers are in order, the towel inventory dwindles until I have a chance to run a load (or several) in the wash.
Laundry is a chore I don’t feel I’m ever really caught up on. I’m sure I am not alone in this. With everything I mentioned above, and a husband that pleads the fifth when asked to have anything to do with laundry, the task is all my own. For now.
I’m always perplexed at the amount of soap sum that ends up attaching itself to the washer window, and I take care of that with a swipe of a Clorox wipe, but it’s when the “check filter” light comes on the dryer that I take heed.
In addition to cleaning the dryer filter after each load has dried, there are many other areas in and around the dryer where lint can accumulate and could potentially be dangerous and cause a fire. I feel there’s no time like the present to share a few dryer safety tips. I reached out to my friend Victor, a retired firefighter, to give me a few dryer safety recommendations as well.
It was last week when the check filter light came on, so I decided right then and there to do a deep cleaning. To start, I took the front filter out, and vacuumed it thoroughly. Using a long, slim brush in one hand and the vacuum nozzle in the other, I got inside the filter area and vacuumed up as much lint as I could.
Next, I pulled out the dryer so I could get behind and perform a heaving cleaning in that area. Once I got back there, I unscrewed the vent and brushed and vacuumed the lint that was all around the inside. I vacuumed the floor and the walls, and removed the lint buildup in the vent area leading outside. Next, I unscrewed the top of the dryer and vacuumed all around the drum area. These are all places that aren’t right in front of us on a daily basis, but where lint can accumulate in dangerous quantities and needs to be removed. Here are a few more of Victor’s dryer safety tips:
- Make sure dryer sheets are not dropped under the dryer
- Make sure your dryer has plenty of room around and underneath to vent and breath
- Don’t place items close to the dryer, especially plastic laundry baskets. The heat from the dryer can cause them to ignite.
- The vent tube should be made out of corrugated metal, not the thin foil kind.
- And most of all, never ever leave our dryer on when you leave your house. This goes for the washer too. All machines fail and it’s better if you’re there to mitigate the problem.
So, for the safety of your home and your family, perform a deep lint clean up at least twice a year, or more often with heavy use. Being that heavy use is the case around here, I’ll be on lint cleaning duty four times a year until further notice. Meh.