Here at First Coast Home Pros, we take the prevention of dryer fires very seriously. It’s important to sort fact from fiction where dryer fires are concerned. There is a lot of information on the Internet about dryer fires and their causes. Some of this information is undoubtedly true, while some is simply false.
It’s been said that the use of fabric softener sheets can cause the heating element in your dryer to fail and potentially cause a fire. There is no evidence that suggests fabric softener sheets can cause your dryer’s heating element to fail. It is, however, proven that the use of liquid fabric softener has been found to add to the flammability of fabrics such as cotton, terry cloth, or velour.
Another online claim states that the use of fabric softener sheets will create a buildup of invisible film on your dryer’s lint screen. This alleged buildup prevents the water from flowing through the lint screen properly and creates a backup, which can also lead to a dryer fire. The claim further states that dryer owners should remove the lint screen and brush clean with a soap and water solution at least every six months. A thorough cleaning is always a good idea. These claims, however, can be misleading, and, even though, they contain some useful tips, they are not entirely accurate.