Watch the Lint: Washer and Dryer Maintenance Tips to Know

May 03, 2016

Weston Wolfe

Categories: Home, House Fire Safety, Safety Tips

Mother and daughter doing laundry together.

Doing the laundry is a pivotal point in our weekly lives: from separating the lights and the darks to finding that missing sock, this task consumes a portion of our week for the best and the worst. However, the lack of upkeep with your washer and dryer can lead to serious issues. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one out of every 22 home structure fires were due to dryer and washer incidents between 2006 and 2010.

Dust, fiber, and lint collection in dryers are the leading cause of clothes fires due to reduced airflow. Lint easily combusts and poses a serious fire hazard for homeowners. Follow these helpful tips to keep your home safe and worry free.


Proper Insulation

Have a service professional install and inspect your units upon arrival. Read through user manuals to ensure that your machine properly works for your homes’ electrical plugs. For gas drying machines, have it inspected by a professional to make sure the gas line is working efficiently and there are no leaks within the gas lines.

Clear the Lint

No “lint bunnies” allowed. Maintain a clean lint filter before each load of laundry. Check the dryer’s drum for lint collection and limit the accumulation within this area. If you have a new item that may be more prone to lint build up, such as bath mats and bath towels, considering intermediate clean up of the lint filter during the drying cycle to avoid excess build up.

Inspect Vents and Ducts

Make periodic checks a part of your home habits. Check the ductwork that runs from the back of your dryer to the wall and outside, ensure it is free of any build up or clogs. If you see an blockage, consult a professional to remove the debris in order to eliminate any hazards.

Laundry Safety 101

Follow these simple safety tips when using your washer and dryer:

  • Each machine is different – follow the manufacturer’s manuals
  • Don’t run the machines when you are asleep or away from the home
  • Keep the area surrounding the units clear and organized to avoid mishaps
  • Don’t overload the machines
  • Don’t store items on top of the washer or dryer
  • Take caution and consult the operator manuals for items soiled with chemicals such as gasoline, oil paint, or cooking oil