Have you noticed your clothes aren’t getting as clean as they used to? It could have to do with your laundry habits — or, your machine could be due for a dryer vent cleaning. Whatever the cause, these laundry room tips can help you get your clothes looking spotless and smelling fresh again.
1. Use Less Detergent
More detergent does not always equal cleaner clothes. Using too much soap or detergent can leave soapy residue behind on the fabric. To make matters worse, the excess detergent can clog up your washing machine and impede water from draining properly, resulting in a pile of wet, smelly clothes.
So, how much detergent should you use? That depends on the manufacturer’s instructions. The detergent maker often recommends you use more than necessary, so you should follow the machine rather than what it says on the packaging.
2. Clean Your Washing Machine
Like the dishwasher, the washing machine is one appliance we often forget to clean. However, you should run a cleaning cycle at least once every six months to get rid of the soap residue that builds up inside. If your washing machine does not have a built-in cycle for cleaning, try adding a cup of white vinegar to hot water cycle (with the machine empty of clothing, of course).
3. Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned
If your clothes are taking longer to dry (or are still damp at the end of the cycle) the problem likely rests in the dryer vent.
The dryer vent is designed to push moist, hot air out of the machine so your clothes can dry. Over time, this vent gets clogged with lint, which makes it harder for the dryer to expel air as it should. Worse, it raises the temperature inside the machine, which makes the flammable lint a highly serious fire hazard.
Many people are shocked to see how much lint gets trapped in the dryer vent. Just check out these before and after photos we took while performing a dryer vent cleaning in the Greater Toronto Area! It’s no surprise lint build-up is the number one factor contributing to dryer fires.
4. Don’t Over-stuff the Machine
Doing laundry only when you have a full load of clothes to clean is a tried-and-true way to save energy. But there is a catch: if you try to wash and dry too much at once, your appliances will not do the job properly.
You have to leave enough room inside the washing machine for soap and water to circulate through the clothes to loosen and rinse away dirt. Otherwise, you will end up with a less-than-clean load of laundry that will require a second rinse.
The same is true for the dryer. Dryers tend to use a lot of energy, so it is wise to dry a single big load instead of a several smaller ones. However, a single cycle may not be enough to get your clothes dry if you overdo it, negating the energy you might have saved.
5. Sort By Fabric Type
You know not to wash your best white shirt with your lucky red cap. But what about fleece sweaters and yoga pants? Stretchy fabrics like spandex are prone to attract and cling to dryer lint, so it’s best not to wash them with garments that shed. While you’re in the process of sorting your lights and darks, it pays to separate clothes by fabric type as well.
Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning in the Greater Toronto Area
Having your dryer vent cleaned has the dual benefits of helping your clothes dry faster and protecting your family from a hidden fire hazard. If your machine needs a clean, AtlasCare provides professional dryer vent cleaning services in the Greater Toronto Area.
Image: Vadim Guzhva