About two weeks ago, I had my hubs go to my mom's house to clean her dryer vents.
Let's back up a wee bit first.
About a month ago, I was helping my mom out and started a load of laundry. Her washing machine is a top loader where you add fabric softener in the center hole of the agitator. It was totally mucked up with residue of thousands of washes, so I decided to take it off to clean it out.
On a side note: My mom was unaware that this piece was removeable, which means it hadn't been cleaned in TEN years.
I pull this thing off and discover the tube down the center and leading to the bottom of the machine was filled with moldy fabric softener residue, along with the piece I pulled off, which can be seperated into two pieces. I spent about 30 minutes cleaning these pieces with scalding hot water. It was disgusting and it probably led to the sour smell of her laundry.
I clean my soap/bleach/fabric softener dispenser on my machine--a front loader--at least 3-4 times a year. My machine tends to get the pink bacteria gunk that can inhabit showers UNDER the piece, so you have to remove it to find the yuck.
After doing this I thought that Mom probably hadn't had her dryer vents cleaned.
On another side note: I have personally known two people who have had fires burn down their houses due to excessive lint build up in their dryer vents. It can happen. This is also why I NEVER leave my dryer running when I leave the house. It's a safety thing.
So hubs brings our handy dandy rotary dryer cleaner tool over to Mom's house. This particular tool is attatched to a hand drill. We bought this product many, many years ago and clean our vents twice a year. We do this with our dryer system because there are FOUR bends in our vents before it actually blows outside.
He detaches the hose and a PILE of lint falls out. I'd have to say it was about an 8 X 8 X 3 inches. Enough to cause an air blockage while drying clothes . . . and a house fire. She put in the dryer about ten years ago when the washer was installed. Odds are good that the installation techs cleaned the vent, but she can't remember.
So, my friends, take care of your washer and dryer and it will continue to take care of your clothes!
Oh, and since our dryer is also a gas dryer, I have a fire extinguisher right outside the door in the garage. Yes, I check the charge and expiration date periodically.
This is your public service announcement for the week.