A few nights ago I was having trouble getting to sleep. My usual remedy for those restless hours is to peruse through Pinterest on my ipad, looking to pin new ideas that catch my fancy. I am finally starting to get sleepy when I notice a Pin offering
“17 Tips To Make Your Life Easier.” Hmmmm…sounds likes something I need to check out. Don’t you think so? Now, while I found it interesting that you could re-heat pizza on a nonstick skillet, and that using hair conditioner is a lot cheaper than shaving cream to shave your legs, the one tid-bit of info I found highly enlightening was the tip about clothes dryers. If you tend to use dryer sheets on a regular basis, or perhaps intermittently like me, you should be aware of what they leave behind on the mesh filter. First, let me say that I am somewhat of a fanatic about keeping my lint filter clean. The idea that my dryer could go up in flames, due to an abundance of lint accumulating in the filter, was embedded in my brain years ago when I was a little girl, by….my Mother. I do believe she did mention that the dryer would work more efficiently, but it was the fire part that really stuck.
Anyway, since I didn’t want to re-type all the text you are about to read, let me tell you that the following information can be found on the website of DESERT NEWS.
“While dryer sheets leave your clothes static free, smelling nice and feeling soft, they can also create a film in the lint filter that may cause a fire or make a dryer stop working. To see if you have wax buildup from dryer sheets, take out the filter and run it under hot water. The parts of the filter with buildup will retain the hot water.
To prevent a dryer fire, clean the lint filter at least once every six months. Take the filter out and wash it out with hot soapy water, scrubbing the mesh liner with an old toothbrush or cleaning brush. This will keep a dryer working well for at least twice as long.”
Now here it is one o’clock in the morning, and I am bounding out of bed, headed for the laundry room to test this theory out. I open the dryer door, pull out the clean lint filter and pad out to the kitchen. I am hardly sleepy now, for I am on a mission. I run the water over the filter and low and behold….parts of it are holding water! Hmmm….seems the few dryer sheets I have used over the last 8 months really are leaving a film behind. So, I did just as instructed. I washed the filter with hot soapy water, re-tested the mesh screen by running more water over it, and this time it all ran through. Satisfied and thrilled that I have just increased the life of my dryer, off to bed I went. Slept quite well after that if you must know.
You should know that I did check out this “must know” information on Snopes.com. If you don’t know about Snopes, it is “The definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.” Basically it tells you whether or not all the things you hear, like “Drinking cold water after meals will cause cancer,” are a bunch of crap or not. No! drinking cold water after a meal will NOT cause cancer! What Snopes did say, was that keeping the lint filter clean is a simple way to increase the efficiency and lifespan of your dryer. However, it also went on to say that ONLY removing the lint from the filter wasn’t always enough. The fine mesh that composes the lint filter can be clogged in ways that aren’t always obvious to the naked eye. Dryer sheets can cause a waxy buildup, which along with the lint, keeps the warm moist air from passing through the filter, and allowing it vent outside. But, don’t despair because the buildup is easily remedied with hot soapy water and a light scrub followed by a thorough rinse.
So, what are you giving up for lint? Efficiency? Money? A longer life for your dryer? Well, whatever it is, I highly urge you to waterboard your lint filter to find out what secrets it’s “holding.”