Certain Dryer Softener Sheets can Clog your Lint Filter-Truth!

Some Dryer Softener Sheets can Clog your Lint FilterTruth!

Summary of eRumor:

The eRumor is a first-hand account of a person whose heating unit in a clothes dryer failed.
The man who repaired it pulled out what appeared to be a clean lint filter but when taken over to the kitchen sink would not allow water to run through it.
It was clogged.
The repairman said it was the result of using dryer sheets, that they result in a film that clogs the filter and that can only be removed by scrubbing the filter with a brush as well as soap.

The Truth:

There appears to be some truth to this one, although not all dryer sheets are the same.

We did some checking and found several manufacturers of clothes dryers who discouraged using dryer sheets.

The owners manuals for  Eurotech brand tumble dryers say “We recommend using a liquid fabric softener in the washer’s rinse cycle.  We do not recommend using fabric softener sheets in the dryer. Over time, the chemicals on these sheets can build up inside the lint filter and clog the holes that circulate the air.”

The Asko Corporation, which makes washers and dryers, publishes a “Dryer Use and Car Guide.”
They have the same recommendation against using fabric softener sheets in dryers because of chemical build-up that can clog the filter.

Frigidaire in its FAQ about dryers says that not only should the lint screen be cleaned after every load but occasionally washed in soap and water to remove built-up residue from dryer sheets.

Dave Harnish of Dave’s Repair Service in New Albany, PA, publishes a newsletter about appliances titled DRSNews.
In his 10/18/03 edition, he said “If you use dryer fabric softener sheets, be careful to use only one sheet per load (or two). The chemical used in these sheets can clog lint filters…”
He recommends washing them with hot water and soap, scrubbing with a brush.

Most of the articles we found said the build-up on the lint filters is because of chemicals used in the dryer sheets.
There are some products that claim to reduce static, soften fabric, and do not use chemicals, but we’ve not seen an independent evaluation of those.
Doing a search at www.google.com  for: dryer sheets “chemical free” will list some of those.

.Last updated 2/24/05