You know it's important to keep the lint trap in your dryer clean (ie clean it after every use, etc); mostly because we talk about it A LOT (hey, it's important stuff!). A related question we get a lot is “Will dryer sheets damage my dryer?”. Well....If you use dryer sheets on a regular basis and never wash the screen of your lint trap, it's possible the film left on your lint trap can block airflow to the point where your dryer overheats and some electronics fail. Yikes. See, the chemicals in these sheets actually clog the mesh screen of your lint trap, causing your dryer to work harder and run less efficiently. What's a person to do?? You could clean the mesh lint trap every couple of months but it's 2017 and life is all about hacks. So here are some life hacks to avoid the agony of lint build-up.
1. One of the easiest things you can do to avoid dryer sheets? Wear natural fabrics! Fabric softeners are mostly static cling busters, and synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, are prone to static. Wear natural fiber clothing, which doesn’t get static cling. (And maybe get a whole new wardrobe out of it?)
2. Try dryer balls. There are different kinds out there so see which you like best. Lots of people report great results when they toss a couple of rubbery dryer balls in with each load in the dryer. They soften fabric by virtue of their nubby texture that helps fluff up the fibers. Then there are wool dryer balls. These you can buy OR make. These are more expensive, BUT they also last anywhere from 3-5 years, and besides keeping clothing soft and static-free, they can noticeably reduce drying time. So really, it all works out!
3. Okay, hear us out on this one – vinegar & baking soda. We know what you're thinking but it totally works and no, your clothes won't smell like vinegar, we promise! Just pour a ½ cup of baking soda into your washing machine while putting your clothes in. Then, pour a ½ cup of vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of the washing machine before you hit start (Many get great results with only a quarter-cup). After you’ve run your clothes through the dryer, you’ll have softer clothes with no static cling. Try it out, then report back to us on our Facebook page and let us know what you thought!
4. Make your own dryer sheets! Okay, see, here's another thing about the dryer sheets you currently use – they are freaking toxic, man. Look, dryer sheets are just a super-thin piece of polyester covered in a slick layer of chemicals. Many of these chemicals in dryer sheets emit toxic fumes such as toluene, styrene, ethyl acetate and formaldehyde (otherwise known as Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or “quats”). The biggest problem with quats is that they are well recognized “asthmagens”. That means they can cause acute respiratory tract inflammation and irritation, as well as skin rashes. Scary, huh? And “natural” dryer sheets aren't actually better. Researchers found they emit as many toxic chemicals as regular sheets.
So what CAN you do? Take a rag, spray it with vinegar (yep, vinegar again!), toss it into your dryer with the laundry and voila! You can also use one teaspoon of natural hair conditioner in place of the vinegar if you'd like if you want some fragrance.
5. Got hard water? Borax may be the key. Just add a ½ cup of Borax to your washing machine before you put in your laundry. It softens hard water and your clothing, too!
Can't let go of the commercial dryer sheets? Just be sure to test your dryer’s lint trap every couple of months to make sure the mesh screen isn’t clogged. Clean off the lint, then take it to a sink and run water through it. If the water pools up on the screen, take a little dishwashing soap and gently clean the screen with a soft brush or your fingers. K?
We're the experts for professional NY Metro dryer vent cleaning and repair! Give us a call at 845-610-2779 so NY Metro Dryer Vent Wizard can help you save energy, time, and money. Some of the towns we service include: Middletown, Monroe, Mountainville, New Hampton, New Milfrod, Otisville, Pine Island, Slate Hill, Southfields, Sterling Forest, Sugar Loaf, Thompson Ride, Tuxedo Park, Unionville, Warwick, Washingtonville, West Point, Westtown, Cornwall, Cornwall On Hudson, Maybrook, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor, Mid Huson, Pine Bush Rock Tavern and many others.