Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Clothes Dryer Problem

diday | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Has anyone heard of something going wrong with a clothes dryer that would cause tiny (pin-point) black grease or oil specks on clean clothes during the drying process? I have rewashed 6-8 knit tops for the second time and the same thing happened. I won’t use the dryer again until it’s fixed. Does anyone know a cause or solution to the dryer problem? Thanks for any insight.


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    How old is the dryer?  Is it gas or electric?

    Could be the seal between the drum and the front & back face of the interior is wearing out?

    I feel your pain!!


    PS maybe something got on the surface of the interior from another load, wipe the entire inside with a rag soaked in dilute amonia, wipe with a wet rag, then dry a load of OLD towles and see what happens

    Edited 7/30/2007 9:21 am ET by Becky-book

    1. diday | | #2

      How old is it? Oh my, I think it's the one I bought from my parents in 1965?! Or 1980? It's an electric GE Model DE710E2. I always keep the lint screen at the front opening cleaned out every time I use it but after reading your post I used a trouble light to look inside. There are vent holes at the back of the drum and the surface of the metal around these holes has a layer of brown cooked on "something" maybe fabric softener. Inside those dryer vent holes is an accumulation of lint brown in color like the cooked-on stuff. This looks like a tear-down job to get clean. I tried some hot vinegar and salt and it looks like it might cut it but it will be a long process. Goo Gone didn't work. Maybe acetone nail polish remover? I doubt a vacuum hose will pull the lint back through the holes so will probably have to pull the back off the dryer. I can't afford a new dryer but I don't want to dry any more clothes in it until it's cleaned out thoroughly. Thanks for your idea about ammonia, I'll try it and anything else that might work.

      1. katina | | #3

        The instructions for my washing machine say to clean it out occasionally by running it empty through a full cycle on the hottest setting. Perhaps you could try running an old towel or sheet through your dryer to see if it collects this dirty lint?

      2. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4

        Baked on fabric softener is a good guess, especially if you use the sheet-in-the-dryer kind (I don't like them). Be careful to completely rinse off any solvents you use to clean it; you don't want to risk a fire inside the dryer!!

        Any cleaner you use will need some time to soften that baked on stuff, so don't expect a quick wipe to get it. But you don't want to get other parts of the dryer wet, especially an ELECTRIC dryer! Please un plug it! Here is a wacky thought... try moistening several small rags with cleaner of choice and then stuff them part way into the holes, let set for 20-30 minutes then check for softened gunk to wipe off? I have not tried this... just trying to think of a way to keep cleaner in contact with the problem long enough to soften it up.

        I usually like taking things apart, but not my dryer.  I would try every possibility from the inside before attempting a dismantle job.  But if you have taken it apart before and know how it goes back together, that might be the best way to get it really clean!

        Be careful not to strain your back or neck leaning into the "mouth"!! LOL


    2. Gloriasews | | #5

      I believe Becky is right about it being the seal between the drum & the front of the machine (not the door seal).  I had that problem a few years ago when I found all these pinched-looking black marks all over my T-shirts, blouses & nightgowns (not on the heavier things like towels).  It drove me nuts trying to get rid of them, as I didn't know what was causing them.  I had the dryer repairman come & he replaced the seal - he said that it was wearing & getting loose; hence, the clothes would briefly get caught between the seal & the drum as they tumbled.  Since he replaced the seal, I've had no problems (& my dryer is old, too).  I don't think that removing the built-up fabric softener will do the job for you - you really should call the repairman.

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #6

    I had that problem a number of years ago and it turned out to be the tar on my husbands trousers that he ran through the washer with lestoil.  The tar ended up on the outside of the washer drum and specks came in when it filled up. 

    The dryer now.  Well, I'm one of those that takes things apart.  My belt broke a few months ago.  I have a Kenmore but I think that they're mostly the same.  The top lifts up after you unscrew the lint catcher or anything else screwed down to the top.  You can check this by seeing if there's hinges on the back.  The next piece is the front,  the top of the front has just clips so you pull forward, (which releases the drum and it comes crashing to the floor if the belt isn't there) and then lift the front up over the metal sleeve.  I'ts easy to take apart.  It's the putting back together that's tricky so don't move anything to far away as you have to hold the drum up with one hand and put the front back on with the other. 

    But on the brighter side, I didn't get any black specks in the laundry prior to the belt breaking, so  I think the others are right.  The belt and the seal are the only 2 pieces of black rubber in the thing.  You might want to change your dryer vent hose though.  Every couple of years I buy a new one as I have found that the pipe gets full of lint just like the inside of the vent holes in the drum.  Your clothes will dry alot faster too.

    1. diday | | #7

      Thanks to all who posted. You've given me some ideas I can definitely work with!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All