February 11, 2016

How to keep a dryer clean and economical

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Keeping a dryer clean and economical.

You don’t want to put clean clothes from the washer into a dirty or stained dryer. Here are some ideas for cleaning your dryer so it works efficiently and safely.

  • A full lint filter blocks the free flow of air, making your dryer less efficient. So clean the lint filter after every load as well as the area that the filter slips into.

  • Every 6 months or so, remove the lint filter and then, using a nylon brush and warm water, scrub both sides of the filter. Rinse the filter in hot water and dry completely with a clean towel before reinstalling in the dryer.

  • A clogged vent hose makes the dryer work harder to dry a load and is a fire hazard, because lint can catch fire. At least once a year, unplug the dryer and clean the hose and vent hood on the outside wall. Check airflow outside at the vent hood to make sure there are no kinks in the vent hose.

  • For stains inside the dryer drum, determine the type of stain, and then refer to your owner's manual for proper procedure for the stain type. Never use any type of flammable cleaning solution inside or on your dryer. Also, never dry any cloth or rag that has any flammable solution on it, as the flammable solution could ignite or explode from the high heat of the element or burner.

  • Most newer dryers have moisture sensor bars inside the drum; check your owner's manual for the location. If you use dryer sheets to soften fabrics, periodically wipe the bars with a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the softener residue the sheets leave.

Symptoms common to all dryers

Choose a symptom to see related dryer repairs.

Main causes: bad gas valve coils, broken heating element, tripped safety thermostat or fuse, bad operating thermostat, control failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust system, heating system failure, deposits on moisture sensor, control system failure
Main causes: bad drum support roller, damaged idler pulley, broken blower fan blade, worn drum glide bearing, bad drive motor
Main causes: door switch failure, lack of power, broken belt, blown thermal fuse, bad drive motor, control system failure
Main causes: clogged exhaust vent, bad motor relay, loose dryer door catch, bad door switch, control system failure, faulty drive motor
Main causes: lack of electrical power, bad power cord, wiring failure, bad control board, blown thermal fuse, bad door switch
Main causes: bad timer or electronic control board, door switch failure
Main causes: damaged door strike, worn door catch
Repair guides common to all dryers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your dryer.

How to replace a heating element in an electric dryer

The heating element in an electric dryer generates the dryer's heat—it's one of the first things to check if the air in the dryer doesn't get warm. If it's damaged, this repair guide will show you how to replace the heating element.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a thermal fuse in an electric dryer

When the air in the dryer overheats—usually because the vent is clogged—the thermal fuse blows, stopping the dryer. You can't reset the fuse; you must replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to install a thermal cut-off fuse kit in a gas dryer

The thermal cut-off fuse shuts off the heat if the dryer overheats when the high-limit thermostat fails. The thermal cut-off fuse kit includes both parts.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Articles and videos common to all dryers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your dryer.

June 20, 2016
Electric dryer won't start troubleshooting video
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what four things to check if your electric dryer won't start or run.

February 26, 2016
Quiz: Are you abusing your appliances?
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Take our quiz to see how well you treat your appliances. Then, find out what you can do to help them last longer.

February 11, 2016
How to keep a dryer clean and economical
By Sears PartsDirect staff

This easy-to-follow advice helps your dryer run efficiently, so you spend less on energy and your clothes dry faster.