Keep It Clean: Laundry 101

The washing machine and clothes dryer can be helpful amenities to any household, but when used incorrectly, they are often found to be the cause of many fire and water damages, as well as shocks and electrocution. So how do you make your house a home with so many household items presenting dangerous risks?

The Dryer

The greatest problem with dryers is their inevitable collection of lint, which is highly combustible. It is crucial to empty the lint screen frequently, but many dryer users do not consider that lint does not just collect on the filter. At least once a year, check where the exhaust hose connects to the dryer (after unplugging the machine). After disconnecting the hose, clean lint from the opening of the dryer and from inside the hose. A shop vacuum is helpful for this. Don’t forget to clean out the exterior vent as well. When using your dryer, be sure to avoid drying clothing that may have flammable materials on it (i.e. gasoline). If the clothing must be dried, wash it more than once before running it through the dryer.

The Washing Machine

Washing machines are the culprit for many homes’ water damage. Check your supply hoses regularly for cracked or frayed material. These hoses can bust if left unchecked. In addition to replacing the hoses, flood stopping units are also available. Lastly, like all major appliances, make sure your washer and dryer are both properly grounded. Make sure your fuse or breaker switch is the right size.

Sandy Hayden

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