The Clothes Dryer that Ripped Holes in my Clothes and Set them on Fire

We bought this Kenmore clothes dryer at Sears twenty-one years ago:

Our old Kenmore clothes dryer, in its space in our laundry room.

The dryer served us well, but for the last year it’s had the unfortunate new feature of occasionally ripping holes in our clothes, and sometimes setting them on fire. 

Not “on fire” in the sense that flames were involved—I don’t think—but rather rendering them lightly singed.  

All of this was caused by a drum no longer aligned properly with the body, leaving a gap into which clothes could get caught, and then spun around with much friction. 

It is a testament to my ability to procrastinate, and my dislike of the appliance purchasing and delivery experience, that I was willing to have my clothes torn to shreds and set alight to avoid fixing the problem. 

But I finally overcame that: Olivia and I popped in to M&M Furniture in East Royalty on Saturday morning, talked to the friendly and helpful Helen Tran, and picked out a sleek, modern LG DLE3600W. Total time to purchase: 15 minutes. Consumer Reports was not involved, meaning my father is turning over in his grave (and perhaps that I will live to regret my haste).

The new dryer arrived today, and was hefted into place, and installed, by a capable crew of two, who also carted away the fire-dryer.

Our new clothes dryer, in place in the laundry room.

I’ve dried two loads of laundry in the new dryer so far, and none of my clothes have caught fire. Which you think would be a kind of baseline for a clothes dryer, but still seems amazing to me in light of recent practice.

It being 2021, the new dryer is, of course, also wifi-connected, meaning that I can, from my phone, stop it, start it, and tell how much time is left until the clothes are dry, from anywhere in the world!

A screen shot of the LG app running on my phone.

I am unclear as to how this is an improvement over the previous “the clothes are dry when the dryer stops” method, but I’m game to experiment. In theory I can also say “Alexa, dry the clothes,” but I haven’t got that set up yet.


Todd Gallant's picture
Todd Gallant on September 22, 2021 - 20:56 Permalink

We had the same problem about 5 years ago with our now 22yo dryer. Some YouTube research confirmed the problem parts. I ordered a kit that included felt pads to realign the drum and high temperature grease. Has worked like a charm ever since. Was a nice punch on my man card!

Ton Zijlstra's picture
Ton Zijlstra on September 23, 2021 - 01:48 Permalink

Our new dishwasher came with wifi capabilities and an app. No way am I going to bring that appliance online. :D

Olle Jonsson's picture
Olle Jonsson on September 23, 2021 - 03:20 Permalink

Ah, the no-fire drying method. New-school, I see.

Jeremy Cherfas's picture
Jeremy Cherfas on September 23, 2021 - 08:00 Permalink

A dryer? Haven't used one for 21 years. And yes, it does sometimes rain here.

Andrew's picture
Andrew on September 23, 2021 - 08:56 Permalink

The wifi feature is great if you happen to leave the house while it’s running, you can easily turn it off workout returning home. You should never run a dryer while you’re not home because, as you know, they do sometime scorch clothing…doesn’t take much for a fire to ignite at that point. And with the dryer venting through the wall, you can quickly see a small dryer fire extending into the wall cavity and up to the attic.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 23, 2021 - 09:06 Permalink

If my walls were to catch on fire, wouldn’t I be better positioned as far away from my house as possible?

Jarek's picture
Jarek on September 23, 2021 - 09:33 Permalink

This depends on whether the app can also report that the dryer is on fire.

Andrew's picture
Andrew on September 23, 2021 - 12:00 Permalink

The best outcome would be for you to be home when the clothing starts to heat up toward ignition and your smoke detector alerts you so the chain of combustion can be stopped by turning off the dryer and calling the fire department the prevent it from becoming a fire that destroys your home, and possibly both neighbouring properties. That was a breath full. But absolutely, if your wall is on fire you’d want to be away from the house.

Either way, I hope you enjoy the new dryer.