On Saturday night, I was home by myself with Will and trying to get one last load of laundry done while I nursed him before bedtime. The dryer started to make a really loud rattling sound and I knew something wasn’t right so I quickly laid Will in his crib and went in there to check it out.
I suspected the problem was something caught somewhere, but I didn’t see anything in the drum or the lint trap.
I nudged the hose (that leads to the vent outside) to see if I could dislodge anything, but it didn’t help. So, I gave up (Will was crying at this point because he wanted the rest of his milk) and just left the door open for Wyatt to look at later.
When he got home from the Sporting Kansas City game, he gave it a quick look but didn’t see anything, which made me feel good for not missing something obvious, but not so great about the possibility of a bigger problem. Then, after church the next day, he set out to do more investigating.
Now, I realize this isn’t really the kind of thing most blog readers are going to be interested in, but I’m sharing this here because I figured it might be helpful to anyone, who, like me, wouldn’t want to call a repairman for something as simple as some spare pennies stuck in the hose, or in our case, a toothpick and bunch of bobby pins, but I’ll get to that in a bit. So, maybe we’ll help one poor soul and save them some time and money. And if not, maybe we’ll convince you clean your dryer every now and then, because YUCK.
Anyway, Wyatt started by removing the screws that hold the main back plate in place.
Once that was off, we realized how dusty the dryer really gets. No wonder they are a leading cause of house fires. Even though I empty the lint trap every load, or at least check it, there was link all over the back of our dryer. We’ve only been using this for less than four years, too. Imagine if you’ve had the same dryer for 10 years, or 15!
Anyway, the next step was to remove the screws that held the lint trap in place. There are four you’ll need to remove on the back side, as well as two to remove on the top that were hidden by the lint screen.
This is the metal “tube,” for lack of a better word, that the lint trap slides into and the runs down the back of the dryer. It’s on the left in the photo below.
And yes, this is where things really got gross. We found a whole bunch of stuff that could have caused a problem…but the main offender was a toothpick that was wedged in and hitting the belt. Oops.
Of course, I blame Wyatt because I haven’t used a toothpick in…I don’t know. Ever?
But it just as easily could have been one of the six bobby pins that were also in there.
We used our Shop-Vac to suck all the dust and lint and junk out, and to clean up the dusty floor from behind the dryer. Then, Wyatt reattached the dryer lint tube and the vent tube. It was a simple fix, but only if you know what you’re looking for and where to look for it. I would have been a little overwhelmed to just start unscrewing things from the back of the dryer, so hopefully this will be helpful. Also, a good reminder to maybe take off these pieces and clean them out if your dryer is several years old.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been disgusted by the grossness underneath my couch and the grossness in my dryer. Then, with the warmer weather, I’ve been dismayed by the amount of filth in our windows when I go to open them…not to mention my baseboards….There’s nothing like having a crawling baby to make you feel like you need to hire a maid to come deep clean your house and get it sparkling clean. Maybe that’s what I’ll ask Wyatt for as a Mother’s Day gift.
Alright, make me feel better…what are the dirtiest places in your house?