Your tumble dryer puts in a lot of work to make the time-old chore of laundry that bit easier. But with all this hard work, the appliance will need a bit of TLC. Not only will maintaining your dryer keep it performing at its best, it’ll extend its life. So follow these maintenance tips, and your tumble dryer will thank you.
Though it may be tempting to bung all you can into your appliance, overloading is a bit of a cardinal sin when it comes to caring for your tumble dryer. Not only does it put undue stress on the machine, it also drastically reduces its efficiency and thus increases its energy consumption.
If you want to learn more about how to load your tumble dryer, check out this article, but a good rule of thumb to follow is to only fill the drum just over half way, so all your garments have freedom to move.
Clean the lint filter after every use
Think cleaning the lint filter after every drying cycle is overkill? Well, take a look at your appliance’s user manual, and you’ll see that the manufacturer recommends this as well. You’ll be surprised just how much lint is caught after just one standard load of laundry.
A filter clogged with lint not only reduces drying efficiency, it puts undue stress on your dryer, and that can lead to avoidable wear and tear. Get into this habit, and you’ll be doing your tumble dryer a big favour.
Deep clean the lint filter and it’s housing every few months
Regular deep cleaning of the lint filter and the filter housing is also key to keeping the appliance running smoothly. You can wash the lint filter under the tap and use a vacuum cleaner on a low suction setting to clean out the lint filter housing. Just make sure that the lint filter is completely dry before you put it back in the housing.
Clean the filter drawer or the condenser regularly
It’s not just the lint filter you have to keep clean, there’s the filter drawer or condenser too. Heat pump tumble dryers have a filter drawer whereas condenser models have a condenser to do the same job. You can find both behind the kick plate cover at the bottom corner of the tumble dryer.
Open the cover and remove the filter from its housing. Every appliance is different, so check your user manual if you’re not sure how to do this. The filter drawer itself can be opened up to expose the foam pad inside. Clean the surfaces of the filter housing either by hand or with a vacuum cleaner set to a low suction power. If the foam pad looks dirty, you can give this a rinse under the sink. Make sure you let the pad dry before putting it back in the housing and back in the tumble dryer. Aim to do this once every four or five cycles.
Keep the inside and outside of the appliance clean
Giving the drum a wipe down using a mild, non-abrasive cleaning product or a solution of vinegar and water with a soft cloth will help keep the machine free of any nasty odour. Use the same cleaning product or vinegar solution to wipe down the front, sides and back of the machine.
Give your tumble dryer space to breathe
Your tumble dryer needs space around its back and side to ventilate properly, so avoid squeezing it into tight spaces. The most space-efficient solution may be to stack your tumble dryer on top of your washing machine, so check out this article if you want to learn how to do this.
Keep vent hoses clean
If you have a vented tumble dryer (a model that expels warm, moist air via a hose out of your home), clearing the vent hose every three months is essential, as lint and other debris can build up here. Make sure you disconnect your machine from the mains, and then disconnect the vent hose. Depending on how long the hose is, you can use a cloth and mild cleaning product or feather duster. If your vent hose is plastic, consider replacing this with an aluminium one, as these are less of a fire hazard.
Keep your tumble dryer balanced
When you installed your tumble dryer, you probably adjusted the appliance’s feet to keep it stable. With all the centrifugal force that’s applied inside the dryer, the feet may need readjustment from time to time. Regularly check that the appliance isn’t rocking back and forth and adjust the feet to stabilise the appliance if necessary.
There it is. Following these 8 pointers will help you get the most out of your tumble dryer for years to come. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the performance of your dryer. If a load has taken longer to dry than it normally does, working your way through this list will likely solve the issue.
Keeping your appliance clean is the first step in good appliance maintenance. If you’re looking for more tips, see our guide on how to clean your tumble dryer.