1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

September 2, 2008

:246 Clogged Dryer Lint Screen

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:246 EcoTip: Thanks to MistyMom for today’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip. Check your dryer lint screen to see if it is clogged with a waxy buildup from dryer sheets and fabric softeners. I’ve been holding this tip for awhile trying to vet it before it was published. Those of you that have been following this blog know I try to be careful to post factual information, or issue the appropriate disclaimer – well here is one that had me stumped for awhile because the nature of the post that was sent to me was somewhat questionable. Our family doesn’t use fabric softeners and dryer sheets so I couldn’t test it out myself – but snopes.com came to the rescue. You can see the exact nature of the email information that was sent to me below, then the confirmation.

The point the post below makes is that clogged lint screens can cause your dryer to burn out. My additional point is the clogged screens make it take longer to dry your clothes and waste energy.

(A personal note to MistyMom: I’m sorry I doubted you – but you know you’ve forwarded me some whoppers that have turned out to be false.)

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :071, :245

Here’s the information that was sent to me: 

INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS
The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the
house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material… I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like. Well, the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that’s what burns out the heating unit.

You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free… that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ..well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.  He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?!
Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets would do that.
So, I thought I’d share!

Note:
I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it… the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all!
That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Click here for Snopes.com confirmation of this tip.

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