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Dryer Hints to Save Cash, Go Greener & Be Safer

One of the homemaker's blessings in modern times is the clothes dryer.  I simply don't have time (or space) to hang things outside, and beside the dust in the city air, it rains frequently and with little warning in Florida.  Dryers have their drawbacks, however, mainly in cost of use.  Here's some hints that can help in several ways.

Clean out the lint filter after every use.  Lint accumulation costs you money, and can overheat your clothes while drying them slower.  If you use softener or dryer sheets, they can create a waxy build-up on the lint screen, which has the same effect.  Clean with warm soapy water at least once a week.

If your washing machine has an extra spin cycle, use it for heavier items or loads.  Better, on heavy items, hang them on a rack or line until mostly dry, then finish in the dryer for fluffiness.  You'll save quite a bit.

Most dryers have a sensor cycle that stops when it senses everything is dry.  This is by far the most economical setting.  Use it when possible.

If you finish a load and everything is dry except for 1 or 2 towels or similar items, hang them on the rack or a hook or hanger to finish drying.  It's not economical to run the dryer for just a couple of items.

Invest in a dryer rack that mounts on the wall and pulls out.  This is great for bras, underwear, woolens or anything that the dryer might harm.  Just toss them up there.  Never put athletic shoes in the dryer, even if you wash them in the machine.  Air dry them!  Same for anything woolen. 

Clean the lint out of the air duct with a vent brush every six months to a year, depending on use.  Check the duct for holes or splits since you'll have it open, and replace the ducting if you find any damage.  While you're at it, clean lint, dust bunnies and debris from underneath the dryer; this can be a fire hazard especially in gas dryers. 

When you have to replace your dryer, if you have gas available, try to replace it with a gas dryer.  They cost a little more, but you'll save operating costs very quickly.

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