Why is the clothes dryer destroying my clothes?

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It happened again, your clothes were ruined by the dryer! Burn holes in your underwear and your other articles of clothing, torn and shredded. What is going on? You dryer might need some fixin’ and here’s what you will need to replace.

If your clothes are getting ripped, cut or torn, your dryer probably has a felt-like seal at the front and/or rear of the dryer drum that has worn out, is torn or is missing. Your clothes might be getting caught in the gap between the clothes drum and the front or rear of the dryer interior. When a clothes dryer seal wears out, you need to replace it.

Also, check the lint filter or lint trap; it might be worn or showing sharp edges. Your clothes could possible be getting caught on this during the cycle. Be sure to replace this part immediately.

If your clothing comes out marked up, the support parts for the dryer drum might be worn out, thus, throwing the drum off-balances and getting your clothes pinched in between parts of the dryer. Check the glides, rollers, wheels, and seals for wear. Replace the whole set of glides, rollers, or wheels if one or more are bad. You will also want to check the rear support for any play in it. Sometimes the rear drum bearing gets worn out.

If your laundry is coming out smelling smoky, your dryer may have had a small lint fire inside the cabinet, leaving a smoky odor in the clothes drum and on your clothes. Even though there is a lint filter in your dryer, it doesn’t catch all the lint. You need to check inside the cabinet at least yearly to look for and clean out any lint build-up. Check the inside cabinet and inner ductwork of your dryer. A dryer vent lint brush will help you reach inside the machine and vent to brush off and remove any built up lint. Also, be sure to clean out the lint trap after every use.

A lint fire is nothing to take lightly; many house fires are caused by lint build up in dryers and their vents. According to this 2005 article from CBS News, 15,000 house fires are caused by dryers every year. Keep your family safe by checking for lint buildup in the cabinet at least yearly. Be sure to check your outside exhaust vent for blockages. Install a smoke alarm near your dryer for added protection. Have a professional appliance repair person check the dryer for damage caused by any lint fires and to cleanout any lint from any pipes connected to the dryer.

Also, don’t put items in the dryer such as garage rags stained with motor oil or gasoline, and aprons, dish towels, or napkins stained with cooking oil. Even if the items was washed previously, some residue might still remain and possible cause a combustion.

Other items that aren’t meant for the dryer: anything made of rubber or plastic, such as baby diaper pants, bath mats, even foam-padded bras (bras and other delicates should be air-dried anyways to prevent them from bending and losing their shape!)

A signal that your dryer might be becoming clogged with lint, your clothes just aren’t coming out dry.

If your clothes are coming out all wrinkled, do not let your clothes sit in the dryer after the cycle has ended – remove the clothes promptly from the dryer and either hang or fold them. Also, dry only one load at a time; don’t pack the dryer too full. Do not dry heavy items with light items. Use the permanent press cycle to give clothes a cool down cycle at the end to reduce wrinkling.

Make sure you are also washing the clothes in the correct temperature (water that is too hot can also cause clothes to wrinkle). Be sure to read and follow the care instructions on the clothing item’s label for best results.

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3 responses to “Why is the clothes dryer destroying my clothes?

  1. I have a Kenmore front load dryer (Model no. 417.98042701). Per your note above, any clothes that has a zipper, strap, string or metal snap button seems to get caught in the door drum and then it destroys it. How difficult would it be to buy a part and replace it? Can you reference a guide? I refuse to pay for Sear’s $200 service charge when the dryer was crappy to begin with.

  2. I have a Kenmore Front Load Dryer all the clothes with a
    strap or string gets caught on the dryer door and spins on the door until
    the dryer stops. It tears all the straps and strings off my clothes have lost lots of money. Called Sears I was told I should put them in laundery bag that means I would have to put half of my clothes in a laundry bag which would never get dry. I think Sears should recall this dryer.

  3. i have a General Electric dryer and in for of the lint trap they have a plastic piece and it keeps ruining the zippers on our coats and zipper sweatshirts to have them check this out they want 80.00. Why should we have to pay for them to see there own mistakes.

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