DryersDIY: Maintaining and Preserving an Old Laundry Dryer

DIY: Maintaining and Preserving an Old Laundry Dryer

In preparing to build a smaller home, I began researching my needs in terms of laundry and how I will utilize an old washer and dryer set. Unsure how to maintain a washer and dryer in such a tiny space, I put together some useful hints that apply to the maintenance of these units. For the old dryer, in particular, I must take special care to ensure there are no fire risks as this could destroy the entire home in just a few minutes.

If you are using an older dryer in your home, here are the tips I’ve prepared for keeping your dryer in tip-top shape:

Code Enforcement Issues

Since I’m using an older dryer, it is important that I make sure the dryer is up-to-code, according to fire codes. The vent pipes, in particular, as often outdated in these older dryers but a person familiar with fire codes can tell me if I need to change out from a plastic flexible hose to a metal duct. If you are also using an older dryer, be sure to contact someone at your local fire department to see what the requirements are to bring a dryer up to code.

Laundry Dryer
Laundry Dryer

Lint Filter Maintenance

As with a new dryer, older dryers also need special care when addressing the lint filter. I remember, as an insurance adjuster, handling many claims in which house fires were started because lint filters were not properly cleaned. Beyond code issues, the lint filter is probably the most important aspect of maintaining an older dryer in your home.

Because softener-coated dryer sheets often leave a film on the lint filter, be sure to take the filter out twice a year and scrub it clean with an all-purpose cleaner. This, coupled with cleaning the filter of lint after each load, will ensure your dryer lasts longer and that you have fewer risks with house fires.

Ink or Dye Stains

Older dryers, when acquired from an unknown source, can come with a slew of issues with regard to stains and dye. If you look inside the interior of your dryer and see ink or dye stains, be sure to clean these immediately by hand washing with a mixture of ¼ cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Then I dry damp, old towels with the purpose of cleaning the stains off the interior.

By practicing these general maintenance and cleaning techniques, you’ll find that your old dryer will last much longer – saving money on the purchase of a new dryer. If you live in a small home, as I do, you’ll find the dryer will save energy and meet your needs while you work to live a minimalist life.

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