Rainy season is the time when we require our clothes dryers to run in full efficiency. As you would know clothes dryers, produce very large quantities of lint. When clothes go through the washing machine, dirt and lint are lifted from the garments but remain on the fabric in its wet state. When we use the clothes dryer, the lint is released from these garments as water is removed from the wet fabric and friction increases as a result of the tumbling action. A heating mechanism within the dryer called an open-wire element creates an air stream that sweeps through the garments, blowing the lint off and trapping it in the lint screen.
What is Lint?
Lint is composed of tiny bits of fabric fibers that are shed from the edges of our garments. Fabrics made of natural fibers like cotton and wool generate more lint than fabrics made of rayon or other synthetic materials. Bits of fiber breaks off from our clothing from the friction of wear. The dryer’s exhaust system, which pulls the moisture out, also helps to suction the lint off the clothes. When these fibers collect inside clothes dryers, the majority of the time, the resulting wad of fluff has a bluish-gray tint, despite the fact that your clothes come in myriad shades of green, red, pink, yellow, blue and so on. The reason for the uniformity of color is that when you mix colors at random you end up with a muddy, dark mix. But when you mix clothes that are mostly blues, grays and blacks — as is typical with most wardrobes — with a splattering of reds, browns and greens, the mess becomes bluish gray every time.
Most people assume their lint traps catch all the lint, and that all they need to do is clean them out after each load. However, a significant amount of this lint is not caught by the lint trap and builds up inside the dryer- even on the heating element! Try pulling out the lint trap and looking underneath it- you are sure to find large heaps of lint staring back at you. Lint can build up on the heating element and in other places inside the dryer, causing it to overheat and possibly catch fire. As a rule, a fire starts from a spark in the machine.
By keeping your dryer clean, not only will you significantly reduce the fire hazard, you will also save money as your dryer will run more efficiently and last longer. To keep your dryer clean:
- Use a lint brush or vacuum attachment to remove accumulated lint from under the lint trap and other accessible places on a periodic basis or preferably after each load.
- Every 1-3 years, depending upon usage, have the dryer taken apart and thoroughly cleaned out by a qualified service technician.
- Do not use the clothes dryer without a lint filter.
Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating.
Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean the lint out or get the clothes dryer lint removal service done.