Caring for your clothes dryer involves more than just cleaning its lint trap. In order to keep your appliance running safely and efficiently, there are several regular steps you’ll need to perform.

These are some telltale signs that your dryer needs attention:

  • The machine runs longer than necessary.
  • Clothes are still wet or damp after one cycle.
  • The machine moves or shakes while it operates.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your dryer running well:

  • Clean the lint screen before or after every load.
  • Keep the lint trap clear by removing the lint screen and cleaning its housing cavity with the crevice attachment on your vacuum or a dryer lint brush.
  • Wipe down the dryer’s interior monthly by unplugging the appliance and cleaning the drum with a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water.
  • Vacuum behind and underneath the dryer every three months to help avoid moisture, dirt and lint buildup.
  • Make sure your dryer is balanced. If your dryer moves or shakes when in use, it is not level, which can cause the rotating components to wear out sooner. Simply adjust the feet at the bottom of the unit to fix this.
  • Don’t overload the dryer. This can create inefficient airflow, increase drying times and potentially damage critical parts of the machine.
  • Ensure that your dryer vent is short and straight vs. long and full of bends.
  • Check that there is adequate clearance space between your dryer and wall. If your dryer is too close to the wall, there is a chance you are crushing the venting material, which can restrict airflow.
  • Inspect and clean the vent system. This can be a DIY job, or you can hire a professional. If you have pets or a large family, it may be necessary to clean the vent system as often as twice a year.

Follow these steps, and you can help maximize your dryer’s lifespan and keep it running for years to come.