Don’t underestimate how important it is to clean the filters inside your tumble dryer. The main filters should be cleaned out after every single use if they have attracted any amount of fluff – especially when drying towels and sheets.
Vented dryers often only have one filter but condenser dryers can have 2 or 3. So make sure you check your instruction manual to see where they all are and how often they need cleaning. Failure to clean filters not only risks reducing drying times and increasing energy costs but it risks causing a fire.
I’ve just received an email, which has reminded me of an amusing incident many years ago when I worked in a workshop with a spares counter. A customer came in wanting to buy a new filter for their tumble dryer because theirs had torn.
We couldn’t believe it when they passed over a beautiful multi coloured round blanket of fluff in the exact shape of a tumble dryer filter. It was over half an inch thick and genuinely looked like a manufactured part. It had indeed torn – but it wasn’t a filter – it was just several years of fluff that had been compressed into this amazing “part” because they had never cleaned out the filter.
Safety warning: Tumble dryer fire risk
Tumble dryers can catch fire if too much fluff accumulates inside them. Make sure you clean out the filters after each use of the tumble dryer or at least check them. Some laundry won’t leave much fluff behind but towels and sheets tend to leave a fair bit. Newer dryers, especially condenser dryers can usually have more than one filter. The location of other filters may not be obvious so check the instruction book. Always replace a torn or damaged filter otherwise fluff will get inside and could contact the heating elements and ignite.
Tumble dryer safety notices
Check my list of known (to me) tumble dryer safety notices – especially this one which is specifically about millions of tumble dryers with a dangerous fault causing fluff getting past the filters to set the whole dryer and sometimes the house on fire!