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Old 07-07-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
Jennie@ifish
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Default Dryer sheets cause fires?

Willie just sent me this. He says Snopes says it's true. I'll go look into it. I'm sure you will, too!
Jen

Go figure, who would have ever thought.

I checked this out with Snopes & truth or fiction and they said this is true. Who would have thought about this?


I had a wonderful morning, until the heating unit went out on my dryer!

The repair man went in to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. He told us that he wanted to show us something.

He took the filter over to the sink, ran hot water over it. Now, the lint filter is made of a mesh material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like.

WELL.....the hot water just sat on top of the mesh!!! It didn't go through it at all!!!

He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over the mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit.. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn your house down! He said the best way t o keep your dryer working for a
very long time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.

He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that???!!!! Learn something new everyday!

I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd share!

Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran thru a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen.

I washed it with warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it and the water ran right thru the screen!

There wasn't any puddling at all!

That repairman knew what he was talking about!

PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK.

NOT ONLY COULD IT SAVE SOMEONE'S HOME, BUT IT COULD SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE

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Old 07-07-2006, 06:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/a...-306/index.htm

That says it's not true. Hmmmm...

What do you think?
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

I wonder if consumer reports used the test dryer for six months. I think the repairman may have more experience with that sort of thing. Real life it seems is different than lab tests. Your guess though is as good as mine. I think I'm going to wash my lint filter just to be safe. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
troutski
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

I guess any reason to be safer is a good thing, thanks for thinking of us..........tight lines.
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

After 13 years of dryer sheets, you would think that I would have burned down at least one house.

Air passes through my filter just fine.

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Old 07-07-2006, 09:19 PM   #6
txaggie
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Sounds like just a bunch of hot air to me... :grin:
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Old 07-07-2006, 09:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Quote:
Air passes through my filter just fine.

While I certainly see there being nothing wrong with cleaning the lint screen every six months, especially since it doesn't cost a dime, I really don't think it would help anything. What makes me question whether this "film" actually causes any blockage is the fact that, at least in my understanding, liquid tends to behave in a much different fashion then gas.

If the dryer sheet has fabric softener in it, I would expect that it could leave a sort of soapy residue (Get a dryer sheet damp and it lathers similar to soap, I'm assuming that's from the fabric softener). I would think that this residue would increase the surface tension of the water poured over the mesh, leading to the water remaining on the mesh after rinsing it. If you wash it that residue would go away. I wouldn't think that air would be slowed down by this residue to the same extent as water would.

Of course this is just what makes sense to me.

Pat
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:11 PM   #8
Fast Water
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Yes.

My understanding is that the primary compound (whatever it is) in the softener is hydrophobic.

My Mom keeps telling me not to put in dryer sheets when doing towels because it will reduce their absorbency.
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Mother knows best!
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:22 PM   #10
WheresMyBobber
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

I have no idea if this thing about dryer sheets is true or not, but I've been on lots of dryer fires, and the main reason I've seen is lack of cleaning and overloading. Most people would be amazed if they pulled their dryer away from the wall and took the back panel off. From what I've seen some amount of lint always gets around your filter and settles on the insides of your dryer (drum, electrical connections, heating element, the floor under the dryer etc...). Then you go put in a big load of heavy wet towels, the dryer overheats, the lints starts to smoulder, and next thing you know you have a dryer fire. I've seen it dozens of times.

About once a year I take the back of my dryer off to vaccum and wipe out the lint that has built up. I also take the leaf blower and blow out the dryer vent hose that goes to the outside. Cleaning the filter with water and a brush would also be a good thing to do, and I'll add that to my list for this year. That may actually be something a person could do every couple of months just to be safe. A few minutes of preventative maintenance can save major headaches later!
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:09 AM   #11
Jennie@ifish
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Wheresmybobber, thanks! Now that sounds like good, solid advice!
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Old 07-08-2006, 10:54 AM   #12
adobe wall
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

When Bounce fabric softener first came out, as a liquid, (back in the 70's) it would cause some of the hoses in your washing machine to dissolve. Mom ended up with a load of clothes with oil spots all over them, the repairman said he'd been fixing a lot of washers for the same thing lately and all were Bounce users.

So Mom quit using Bounce until it came out as dryer sheets. She bought a box of them and sent back to college with me while I was home on spring break.

Soon after returning to school, I developed a heck of a rash. It got progressively worse to the point where I had to take tranquilizers just to sleep. I was literally coated with Calamine lotion, which caused me to have to wash my clothes and sheets much more frequently....

A month of this, the doctor had tested me for everything up to and including syphilis (!?!) when he finally had me stand up buck naked in the exam room. He noted that the rash stopped at my wrist and my neck and asked about a change in laundry detergent....sure enough, I was horribly allergic to the Bounce fabric softener. It's the only allergy I've got.

I'd climb a tree backwards to avoid using the stuff.

regards, aw
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Old 07-08-2006, 11:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dryer sheets cause fires?

Wheresmybobber has hit it on the head, last dryer fire I went on totalled the entire house. This was due to the dryer was eating SOCKS. The homeowner stated that they were always missing socks. After we took the dryer apart to investigate, we found numerous socks in the motor area with all the electrical wiring. Cause of dryer fire was socks that were being eaten. Be sure to clean out the dryer so not to have a problem. This is only about a half hour job on the honey do list. Happy clothes drying. :smile:
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