Monday, October 20, 2008

Tip for the Dryer-Challenged

Those of you who have followed this blog from its inception know how I feel about doing laundry in Italy. One of things I missed most was my American clothes dryer.

Fluffy clothes.

Warm towels.

Not waiting days for your clothes to dry because it's been raining for the last
week but it's too warm in the house to turn on the radiators and drape your laundry over them.

What's not to love?

So we've been in our home here for about 6 weeks, and I'm loving my clothes dryer. Then about 10 days ago, I notice that the clothes aren't drying like they should. I'd been using the second highest heat setting so as not to ruin our bought-in-Italy clothes that were not made to withstand the high heat of a dryer. But as the days go
on, the loads of laundry are more and more damp at the end of the cycle.

So I ramp it up to high heat. No messing around now--we're talking the Cotton Cycle. I figure the Italian-made clothes will just have to bear the heat or get out of the dryer--with 3 kids, I don't have time to weed out American vs.Italian clothes. The survivors earn a place in our dresser drawers. Those who can't take the heat are destined for the scrap pile.

The Cotton Cycle worked for about 2 days. Then the damp seeped in once again, and I found myself needing to run the clothes through a cycle and a half. Then two. I thought I was destined to have to pay for a new motor, or worse, a whole new dryer.

Then this morning, I went down to take out another load (which was finally dry after the third cycle). I'd forgotten the laundry basket, so I needed to pile the laundry on top of the dryer in order to switch the other set of clothes from the washer to the dryer.

I clear off the top of the dryer (boxes of stuff we haven't unpacked yet), and there it was.

The lint trap door.

The one I'm supposed to be cleaning out after each load.


Now, here's what you probably find in your lint trap:

The lint I heaved out of my lint trap was monstrous. I would post a photo, but we can't find the recharger for our digital camera (it's probably in one of the boxes that was stacked on top of the dryer). But if/when I do, I will add a photo to this post.

I kid you not, the lint is 3 inches thick.

Just goes to show what 5 dryer-less years out of the country can do...