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Make the Most of the Dryer

Tip 1: Sort wet clothes into slow-drying (jeans, sweatshirts) and quick-drying (khakis, dress shirts) loads. Otherwise, the lightweight items will tumble longer than they need to and end up “over-dried,” which will cause garments to prematurely wear, fray and lose elasticity.

Tip 2: Untangle clothes and add each item to the dryer separately, filling up the drum no more than three-quarters of the way for normal loads and halfway for permanent press ones. Trying to dry a boulder-size wad of wet material, or overcrowding the machine, slows down the process and causes things to wrinkle.

Tip 3: Don’t use dryer sheets (or liquid fabric softener) in every load. These deposit a waxy coating on the lint screen which, when it builds up, prevents air from circulating properly and slows drying. Use a half- or quarter-sheet per load (follow the same ratios when measuring liquid) and periodically wash the screen with dish detergent and a scrub brush to remove film. You’ll know it’s time when lint no longer sticks to the screen, but peels off in one big piece.

Tip 4 Clean out the exhaust duct, which runs from the back of the machine to a vent outside, every two years. A buildup of lint inside the duct restricts airflow, leading to longer drying times and wrinkling—it’s also a pretty serious fire hazard.
(Photo: Jon Day/Country Homes and Interiors/IPC Syndication)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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