If you have a tumble dryer, you’re sure to appreciate its time-saving abilities, particularly when it’s cold or wet outside. To ensure you keep reaping the benefits of your dryer, it’s important to look after it to avoid any major problems developing. Here are some simple ways to keep everything running smoothly.

It’s easy to forget, but always remove any buildup from the lint filter after every cycle. This will keep the dryer working as efficiently as possible, helping to keep your energy bills down and maximising the time the machine saves you. Cleaning the lint filter can be done in seconds; all you need to do is to pull off the lint with your fingers and put it in the bin. Just make sure it’s completely cooled down first.

If you want to give the filter a more thorough clean, some are safe to wash in warm water, so check your manual or manufacturer’s website to see if this applies to you.

When you’re cleaning the lint filter, check for any signs of damage. The filters are cheap and easy to replace, and are essential to keep the dryer working well.

As you might expect, the area around the lint filter can also accumulate debris. This doesn’t need cleaning as often, and a quick vacuum once every six months should be all that’s needed. While you have the vacuum cleaner out, it’s also a good idea to clean the back of the machine, as a buildup of dust in this area can also affect the dryer’s function.

Allow the dryer to cool, then unplug it and disconnect the vent hose. You can then unscrew the back panel and vacuum around the blower and vent pipe connection. Reattach the back panel, reconnect the dryer, and it should keep running as well as possible.

If your tumble dryer uses a sensor, you will also need to clean the drum with either a stainless steel cleaner or white vinegar once every few months.

The dryer’s seals are also an important area to clean. As the dryer is often warm and damp, the parts of the seals that are harder to get at can be a breeding ground for all kinds of unpleasant microbes. Make cleaning them a part of your regular housework, and you can help keep your tumble-dried clothes smelling good.

Dryers can overheat and become damaged if they are overfilled. Even with a ten kilogram drum, avoid drying duvets and other similarly bulky items. Not only do they endanger your machine, they will probably come out damp due to lack of space. Therefore, it’s definitely worth air-drying these items.

Even if your items aren’t too bulky, check the care labels before putting anything in your dryer. Some synthetic items can even melt at high temperatures, potentially causing problems if they drip into the workings of the machine. Of course, you’re unlikely to be thrilled about melting your clothes as well, so if the label says “do not tumble dry”, believe it.

© Axonn 2015