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We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes....or so we thought we did. The appliance tech told us that he wanted to show us something. He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. Now, this thing is like a mesh-I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like - WELL......the hot water just lay on top of the mesh!!! It didn't go through it at all!!! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what can burn out the heating unit or cause longer than normal drying times. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time ( and to keep your electric bill lower ) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and 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!
Note: We went to dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. Sure enough, the water collected in a puddle, nothing went through screen! And this was after I used the vacuum cleaner hose on it! So I turned on the hot water and took a little detergent and a nylon brush and gave it a little scrub I had it done in 30 seconds. I then ran the water over the screen and what a difference the water just gushed through it with no puddle at all and this time!