Are you using your dryer right? Maybe not… With these tips, you will prolong its life and achieve better results in your clothes.
It is accused -wrongly- that it is an expensive appliance to use, deteriorates clothes or consumes a lot of energy, but for you the dryer gives you life, especially in winter, when it rains or now that you are a large family and you juggle to reconcile work with family life. But are you sure you’re using it right? To clear your doubts, take note of the main mistakes we make when using it.
NOT BUYING AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT MODEL
Before we get into whether or not you are using the dryer correctly, it would be good if you had made the right choice when you bought it.
As you know, there are several types of dryers: heat pump, condensing and evacuation. Whichever one you choose, you should opt for an energy-efficient model.
Although A+++ energy labeled appliances are more expensive, they are more effective in the long run because they help you save energy, so it would be a mistake not to get one. Your pocket and the planet will thank you for it. Did you know that with an A+++ dryer you are saving 40% more in consumption than with an A+?
PUT STAINED CLOTHES IN THE DRYER
Once you are aware of this, the first usage error occurs in the transition from the washing machine to the dryer. Before putting the clothes in the dryer, you should look garment by garment, inside out, to make sure that there are no traces of stains. If a stain has not been completely removed, the hot air from the dryer will fix it forever.
NOT PERIODICALLY CLEANING VENTILATION DUCTS
Clothes dryers are the biggest fire hazard in the home, mostly due to lint buildup in the dryer piping and lack of airway and duct cleaning.
BELIEVING THAT THE DRYER CLEANS ITSELF
After each use you should clean the water tank and the lint filter. This will help the appliance maintain its energy efficiency throughout its life. If the filter is full of lint at the beginning, the lint will enter the condenser. Over time, the dust will block the water pump and the lint will form mold.
Fortunately, new heat pump dryer models include a self-cleaning filter function. However, it is a good idea to clean it thoroughly with cold water to remove any debris.
You should also clean the condenser every 10 to 12 drying programs for proper operation. This device is located at the bottom of the dryer. If it is removable, run it under cold water and wash it from the back to the front. If it is not removable, vacuum and clean the vent. Finally, wipe the drum with a dry cloth to prevent limescale build-up and the moisture sensor to prevent moisture build-up.
PUT ALL TYPES OF CLOTHES IN THE DRYER
Imagine, as you read this, an alarm ringing incessantly in your head. Yes, because there is a list of forbidden items that you should write down. You should never, ever put clothes in the dryer that contain foam – watch out for padded bras -, rubber (sneakers or bags) or derivatives, as they could melt (and worse, burn) due to the high temperatures.
Also, garments that include pearls, sequins or beads. They can come off and damage the device. Nor pure cotton or linen clothes because they will shrink. If in doubt, read the labels. If a circle with a cross inside a square appears, the garment cannot be put in the dryer.
DO NOT SEPARATE CLOTHES ACCORDING TO FABRICS
If you put all the clothes in the dryer regardless of the material they are made of, it is possible that when you take them out, you will get your hands on your head. You must make a previous selection because each type of fabric requires a different temperature and speed.
And if you separate them by colors (light and dark) much better, so you will avoid that your garments fade. Once separated, you can select the most suitable program.
USING TOO MUCH FABRIC SOFTENER DURING THE WASHING PROCESS
Not only is it a mistake because it damages the washing machine, but also because the fabric softener residues also end up in the dryer. This can clog the moisture sensor and cause clothes to dry for too long.
Also note that some fabric softeners develop an unpleasant odor with heat. If this is your case, switch brands (or scents).
OVERLOADING THE DRYER
If you don’t want your shirts to come out looking like an accordion, try to leave 20% of the drum capacity free. How do you know exactly? It’s very easy. Each program accepts a certain amount of load depending on the size and weight of the clothes.
Balance is the key. You can combine lighter items with others that weigh more or you can also choose to do two loading cycles in a row, one with heavier items and another with lighter ones; this way the drum will be freer, you will avoid wrinkles, you will save energy and it will make ironing easier.
NOT KNOWING THE FUNCTIONS OF YOUR DRYER
Whenever you buy an appliance, you should always read the manual beforehand so that you know how to use it, know all the features it offers and get the most out of it. In the case of the dryer, too.
This way you will know, for example, what a hot or cold timer is. The hot timer is the usual cycle for removing moisture from clothes, while the cold timer is used to remove unpleasant odors or air clothes that are not too dirty. It is done dry and only lasts a few minutes.
DO NOT USE THE ECO PROGRAM BECAUSE IT LASTS TOO LONG
This is one of the most common mistakes -also in the washing machine-. Have you been frightened when you have selected it for the first time and the timer reveals a super long duration? Surely, you have directly discarded it.
How can a program that lasts two hours be environmentally friendly, you may have asked yourself, not without a certain logic? Well, yes, it is sustainable because even if it lasts longer, the energy consumption is lower.
LEAVING CLOTHES IN THE DRYER DRUM FOR TOO LONG
Too bad! Once the drying cycle is over, you should take the clothes out immediately. Otherwise, the condensed humidity inside the drum could dampen them again.
RECYCLE CONDENSED WATER FROM YOUR DRYER
If your green spirit leads you to recycle the condensed water from your dryer for watering plants or ironing, we are sorry to say that this is not a good idea. Condensed water contains traces of lint and detergent. Neither your plants nor your iron will be very happy about it.
LEAVE THE DRYER ON AND LEAVE THE HOUSE
For safety reasons, you should never leave appliances running if you plan to leave the house. A water leak or a small short circuit can be fatal. If your dryer smells slightly burnt or even fishy in the dryer area, it is a sign of broken electrical parts.
It would not hurt to install a fire detector as a preventive measure. And if you smell burnt lint after drying, it would be a good idea to remove the rear panel (where the motor is) and vacuum the inside of the appliance.
USE IT ALL YEAR ROUND
Dryer manufacturers will tell you that you can use it all year round. Yes, that’s true, but do you really need it? After working hard in the fall and winter, your dryer deserves a break, don’t you think?
With the arrival of good weather you can always hang your clothes outside. And if what bothers you is that it dries too much and gets stiff or you’re afraid of pollen sticking to it, hang it out at night when it’s cooler, pick it up early in the morning and problem solved!
PLACING IT IN A NON-VENTILATED AREA
If you think that the location does not matter, you are very wrong. The dryer should never be placed in humid or too warm spaces (especially condensation dryers). The humidity in the air lengthens the drying process and excessive heat damages the appliance.
You do not need to have a specific laundry room, you can place the dryer in the kitchen next to the washing machine -in tower or in 2 in 1, washer/dryer, you will save space- but always in well ventilated places.
And in view of this, have you made many mistakes?