The obvious benefit of more efficient clothes drying is the cost savings, but there are other advantages as well. Minimizing the time you run your dryer will extend the life of both your clothing and of the appliance itself. Effective clothes-washing products and techniques will help improve your drying results too, as will taking a few simple precautions. Read on for tips and tricks for better laundry results.
Good Drying Starts with Good Washing
Many common drying problems actually start in the washing machine. Laundry detergent’s major strength is to help break down skin oils and other greasy substances in and on fabrics; however detergent does less for cleaning clothes than water and agitation cycles do. Most people overuse laundry soap, making it difficult to rinse it out. Insufficient rinsing leads to clothes that take longer to dry and that attract dirt more when dry.
For today’s high-efficiency (HE) washing machines, HE detergent is required because it is easier to rinse away. Cut the amount of detergent you use by half for best results, or try pod-type or HE soap (even if your machine is not rated for it). If you have a particularly dirty load and feel the need to use more soap, run the load through a secondary rinse cycle. Choose a detergent formula without fabric softener or scent, both of which are harder to rinse out.
Ways You May Be Drying Clothes Incorrectly
Although it may seem like a fairly intuitive process, there are right ways and wrong ways to dry clothes. Even if your laundry machines are rated for large capacity, it’s usually more efficient (in time and cost) to run smaller loads. Small loads get cleaner in the washer and dry more quickly. Launder fabrics based not only on color groups but also on thickness. Heavy fabrics will prevent lighter ones from getting as clean or drying as quickly as they would otherwise. Once you’ve run a dryer load, the machine will have a build-up of heat. Run multiple loads one after the other to take advantage of this.
Be obsessive about cleaning your lint filters and keeping obstructions away from your dryer vent outlet. Lint build-up and vent obstructions drastically reduce the machine’s ability to do its job, and also increase the odds of a fire. Finally, experts believe that most consumers over-dry their clothing and household linens. Try an abbreviated cycle and you may be surprised to find your items are dry much sooner than you expect.
When the Problem is Equipment Rather than Technique
If you’re doing everything right but still experiencing disappointing results, the problem may be the equipment rather than the technique. Old equipment uses more energy to operate and does a much less effective job than modern, high-efficiency models. If your home has gas service, today’s gas dryers are highly cost effective and as kind to your clothes as electric dryers. If a new machine isn’t in the budget this year, you can greatly improve the efficiency of your existing dryer by having a professional maintenance service performed.
A technician can remove built-up lint from the internal exhaust system, calibrate the thermostat and timer, replace seals and maintain other critical components. Best of all, regular dryer maintenance will catch most major problems before they become critical. In the Salt Lake City area, Complete Appliance Repair is your expert in dryer service, repair and replacement. Call today and ask Complete Appliance Repair for their professional advice on more efficient clothes-drying techniques.