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3 easy ways to avoid common dryer problems

A Black man in a brownish-red shirt reaches into an open dryer with his right arm to grab a white garment

Doing laundry is pretty easy these days – especially if you can machine dry your clothes. Continue saving time with our tips to keep your dryer running safer, better, and longer.  

#1: Start with dryer maintenance

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure you’re already taking these steps to keep your dryer in tip-top shape.

Clean your dryer lint screen

If you don’t currently clean out your dryer’s lint screen before or after each dry cycle, now is a good time to get into the habit—no one wants a dryer fire to remind them to do it more often!

Don’t overload it!

Laundry may feel like the chore you can’t finish fast enough, but rushing the process may mean you’ll have to run a load twice, only adding frustration. Give your dryer the best chance to show off – load it and use it according to the manual’s instructions.

Give your dryer a break

If you have a large household or you find you do laundry often, space out your loads to avoid churning your machine for hours on end. Not only will this reduce the sudden pile of clothes waiting to be folded, but it can also get you more usage out of your dryer for years to come.


A white dryer sits open and half-full of gray, blue, white, and black clothing


#2: Check your dryer for flow

Airflow is critical to your dryer’s ability to work properly. When airflow is limited, there’s an increased chance of your clothes not coming out clean, dry, or linen fresh, as well as a higher risk for electrical fire. Keep an eye out for any of the following signs:

  • Clothes drying inefficiently because of trapped moisture
  • Dryer drum beginning to smell due to not fully being dried
  • Portions of the venting system showing damage or making unusual noises
  • Excess lint and debris in or around the dryer’s lint screen

Pro Tip: Check your exterior dryer vent to make sure it’s fully unblocked and opens completely when the dryer is in use.


A white hand holds a full lint screen on top of a white dryer in a laundry room


The trouble with lint

Lint can be a big contributor to airflow problems with your dryer. Keep the lint to a minimum by clearing the lint screen after each use and taking the following steps:

  • If you have furry friends in your home, lint roll your clothes before washing
  • The lint screen won’t catch it all – remove it and clean the built-in dryer vent
  • Check behind your dryer at least once a year and safely remove any fallen or stuck lint


A white man in a blue polo shirt and ball cap lifts the lint screen out of a white dryer


#3: Know when to call in the pros

DIY can be good for some things, but teaching yourself how to fix electrical appliances is not worth the risk. If you encounter a problem that regular maintenance can’t solve or if your dryer’s vent system needs some attention, it might to be time to hire a professional. 

With these tips, you’re now equipped to run your next load of laundry with ease!