They don't shoot dryers do they?
November 2, 2008 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Should we put a misbehaving dryer in permanent time out?

Two-part-washer-dryer-question filter:

Ms. mrhaydel has a washer and dryer pair that is newer than my washer and dryer pair by roughly 5 years. We will be engaging in full fledged cohabitation in about one month, thereby eliminating the need for two washers and two dryers.

However, her dryer has a nasty habit of leaving grease streaks, randomly, on articles of clothing (photo one, two, three). For the most part, it doesn't show through clothing (washing everything inside-out, natch), but the possibility is still there that the dryer leaves a mark on the outside of a piece of clothing.

So, my first question is, should we toss her dryer to the curb, and bring in my dryer (which works perfectly fine), thereby creating a mismatched pair? How hard is it to sell a mismatched pair? What about selling washers and dryers separately? For what it's worth, my washer does not agitate quite as well as hers, so that's why we're not using my pair.

The second question is, has anyone ever had a similar problem of a dryer leaving grease streaks on clothing? We've concluded with certainty that it is *not* the washer doing it. The only thing we've come up with is that *maybe* the pieces of clothing are somehow getting stuck momentarily in the latch of the door (it's a front loading dryer), but, we just haven't been able to track down the source of the aforementioned grease.

So, what say you, Hivemind?
posted by mrhaydel to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
My parents' (very, very) old washer started putting grease streaks on clothes about two years ago. After fussing with it for so long, the finally gave up and bought a whole new set. (The dryer was just as old but was working fine.) They gave away the busted washer for scrap and the dryer to my brother for his first apartment (he got himself a newer washer secondhand). That he got a secondhand washer suggests that there are people who 1) have them for sale and 2) people who want them. There are a lot of people out there who don't care if their washer/dryers are mismatched as long as they work.
posted by phunniemee at 12:47 PM on November 2, 2008

Oh, and with the offending (top-loader) washer, in our case it was clothes getting stuck under the agitator.
posted by phunniemee at 12:48 PM on November 2, 2008

I'd be tempted to drag it outside, open it up as much as possible, and hose it down and scrub it with detergent. Then let dry inside with a fan on it for a week or so. If that didn't fix it, I'd throw it out.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:11 PM on November 2, 2008

I had a dryer that did that, years ago. The repairs, they did nothing. Get rid of the dryer.

There's nothing wrong with having a mismatched washer and dryer. I do right now, as I got a new washer and kept the old dryer. I can't think of any reason why that would be a problem, unless you want them to look all matchy-matchy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:24 PM on November 2, 2008

If the dryer was purchased second hand, someone could have put grease in the latch. (It sounds like it was bought new, but if it was, then you know the history of the latch and what's in it.)
Are you sure it's actual grease? The images aren't that clear on this point, but it looks like it could be graphite from here (unless the thing has be been rewashed enough to dull it down). Is there any chance there's a broken pencil lead stuck in the holes somewhere inside?
All else being equal, hers is 5 years newer and the first thing to go on a dryer is the electronic igniter, assuming it's gas, and this igniter is 5 years newer, so less likely to go soon. That's just a thought. *
My next guess would be that it's coming from the axle that turns the tub, and it's leaking in.
If you have the skill set to look into the back of the machine and see if you have random grease someplace you can see, the very best site for this is Samurai Appliance Repair Man, where they have diagrams for fixing things, and most usefully, the simple directions for taking the back or front off so you can see where the problem might be. It will allow you to make the informed choice of whether or not you are good enough to even look into it, and how big a job that's going to be, and you can see where the screws are, which is better than floundering around back there with a screwdriver and no plan.

* W/R/T electronic igniters, if this one does fail, and you call the dryer fixer, he is likely to tell you they don't make replacement parts any more. (I got that story with one that was nigh on to 25 years old.) Fortunately, we found a nice old guy dryer fixer who advised us to bring in the broken parts of the old igniter. He said if the part will fit in the hole, it will work, and he went in the back room and found one that looked pretty much like it and the dimensions were right, and we got another 5 + years out of the dryer. This is worth knowing for those who can't afford a new dryer right now, which is why I mention it. (Not so much for you, but other dryer searchers.) It took all of 30 seconds to plug it in.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 1:56 PM on November 2, 2008

Best answer: If anything, selling washer + dryer secondhand will get you less than selling a washer and dryer separately. Your market for both will only be people who want a washer and a dryer, whereas selling them separately, you can sell to people who want one, the other, or both.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:11 PM on November 2, 2008

Are you using dryer sheets? I had that problem. Some dryers make them stain.
posted by gjc at 4:14 PM on November 2, 2008

Best answer: This likely falls 'statistically' speaking somewhere between a negative binomial process and a Poisson process the important part, things work till they don't. A 20 year old dryer could be better than a failing 6 month old dryer. I would suggest favoring a machine that is behaving nicely and ditching the greasy one.
posted by RobGF at 9:52 PM on November 2, 2008

Best answer: aeschenkarnos has a good point; if they want a set, they'd probably buy them new, and most people don't care if they match. It's usually not out where they show.
All else being equal, RobGF is right. I'm the kind of person who's going to try to take a look at it before I toss it, but if you aren't, he's right. Things die when they feel like it, and statistically, the older one could last longer; you never know. So yeah, if you don't want to look into it, he's right, get rid of the one that's making trouble now and go on.
If they show and you'd rather they matched, you could get matching tablecloths and just toss over them. They do make appliance paint but it's a messy, heavy, nasty job. (I painted a refrigerator once, and I think it was epoxy based paint and didn't come out/off of anything.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the helpful responses.

Ultimately, we probably will have a look at its insides, and see what we can find in the way of offending grease spots and such.

If we can't find anything, we may just keep the pair Ms. mrhaydel has, as it would be a bit of a logistics nightmare to try and get my pair out of my apartment, and only put 1/2 of my pair in her house, while 1/2 of her pair goes elsehwere.

Either way, I'll try and update this thread with the outcome.

Thanks again!
posted by mrhaydel at 7:00 AM on November 5, 2008

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