Let’s tackle the easiest chore first. We all know that dryer filters should be cleaned after each use. However, your filter may still be clogged if you use fabric softener sheets in the dryer.
Test your dryer filter by clearing it of lint, then pouring a small amount of water onto the filter screen. If the water pools up instead of flowing through the screen, wash the screen in warm, soapy water using a brush. Rinse, retest and repeat until the water flows through.
The dryer drum usually doesn’t need cleaning unless you’re drying a load of hairy pet items or gritty play clothes. In those cases, try to shake the hair and grit off the articles before tossing them into the dryer. After the load is dry, wipe out the drum with a damp cloth to remove hair and grit.
Should lipstick, gum, crayon, etc. accidentally find its way into your dryer, it’s OK to scream. After you cool down, however, follow this advice from Debra Johnson, national home cleaning expert at Merry Maids.
“Get the stuff off by warming the dryer for a few minutes. (Toss in a couple old towels or rags first.) Remove the excess by scraping it off with a hard rubber spatula. Tackle the remaining residue by wiping the area with a cloth dampened with a small amount of laundry detergent and hot water. Use a dry cloth to remove any excess water or suds,” she said.
Believe it or not, that was the easy part of dryer maintenance. Now it’s time to bring out the big guns.