Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An Unexpected Time Capsule

I am very ADD, and therefore, very talented at avoiding things that I don't really want to do. One of things I am famous for avoiding is cleaning my house. Monday was one of those days.

The day started out well with a coupon swap. Excellent! Got some great coupons, shared some. It was great.

I left quickly because my new refrigerator was being delivered. A friend of mine hooked me up with a superb deal. The fridge was missing the handle on the freezer, which is easily replaceable for really cheap. Hence the good deal. But our fridge is getting up in years (it was from when I was a teen), so we were ready to jump when a good deal came along.

So of course, I had to sweep out the garage so there would be a clean spot for the fridge to be placed. As I was sweeping, I noticed that there was quite a bit of lit around my dryer. So I began sweeping. I could quickly see that sweeping was not going to cut it. I ran inside and got my handy dandy Kenmore canister.

I vacuumed around the dryer and I began vacuuming around the vent that goes to the outside. Well, now I had a challenge! It was full of caked on lint from years of neglect. I pulled it out of the wall (saw a little lizard hiding in the cracks), and scrubbed the heck out of that vent! I even discovered that it had a little flap to cover the opening when the dryer was not in use. Who knew?!?! I was able to restore that little flap to its intended function. (You're welcome little flap).

After the vent was spic and span, I moved onto the dryer's lint trap. How was I to get down this curvy crevice? Here's my first idea:

Well, the hanger and tape didn't grab too much. So I tried to squeeze the hose of the vacuum into the trap. No luck. I tried the skinny little crack attachment... Denied again! I opened the dryer to see if I could vacuum out the excess lint through the little holes in the back of the drum. Nope. Not gonna work. So I looked at the dryer. I was going to get that lint. But how? There was only one option. Time to get the drill....

So I unplug the dryer, and wiggle it out from its happy little home for the past 5 1/2 years. Slowly, but surely, I was able to pull it out enough to squeeze behind it. (Thanks for those skinny genes Mom!) I bust out the hubby's ratchet set & drill to begin unscrewing the pack plates on the dryer. It took me a little time, but I was able to find the right size bit for the job. And of course, once I found it, I dropped it down the lint trap. Now I had to get to that lint trap! My resolve was strengthened.

After I got the main plate off the back, there were more screws on the lint trap. Luckily, they were a different size than the bit that fell down the lint trap. Once they were all removed, I tried to remove the trap. Easier said than done. I wiggled it. I shook it. I tried to pry it off. I bent down low to see if I could see some mysterious connection that I had missed. Little did I know, I was searching in the complete opposite direction that I should have been looking. I will not say how long I was stumped by the dilemma that lay before me, but let's just say I think my baby gained a pound or two as I was perplexed.

I was just about to give up, when I remembered seeing 2 screws on the top of the dryer right where the lint trap catcher goes in. Ah ha! I quickly found my Phillip's head bit for the drill and removed them. They were it! I was able to wriggle it loose just enough to get my hand under.

I was so thankful that I'm not one that gets grossed out easily because there was a lot of yucky stuff in the back of that dryer! This dryer was my mom's when I was a kid, and I highly doubt that Mom ever unscrewed the back to clean it out. That suspicion was quickly confirmed as I proceeded to pull out wads of lint.

As I picked through the lint (yep, I picked through the lint), I found a vast array of tiny treasures.

  • An eraser tip
  • A piece of petrified cat food
  • 3 safety pins of varying rust levels
  • A yellow thumb tack
  • 2 Collar tabs
  • 4 letter beads, D P V Y
  • 7 blue beads
  • A part of a Lego man's helmet (the little blue curvy thing)
  • A screw
  • A straight pin
  • A toothpick
  • 7 earrings (including a red note earring from when I was in middle school)
  • 2 blue barrettes from when I was a kid
  • A small bit of a plastic barrette, white
  • A piece of a pen cap
  • The all important drill bit, the newest member of the group
  • A paper clip
  • A bobby pin
  • A hot pink barrette
  • $0.11 and a fake penny

    I also found a couple socks behind the washer.

    If you'd like a close up of the treasures, click here.

    I cleaned everything up, and I was able to put it all back together! Yay for me! And the dryer still works! I used it today. So now I have a spotless dryer. Just don't ask me about the house....

    And if you care to see how many bottle of laundry detergent I have from The Grocery Game, here you go:


    Kelli said...

    YAY! Now the dryer is ready for another 10 years or more!

    Bored Insomniac said...

    lol, I couldn't stop laughing as I was reading your post. Good for you showing the dryer who's boss!

    Suzi said...

    I really can't believe that you did all of that. I can't believe that that dryer still works. And I really really can't believe all of detergent! Oh and I remember those red note earrings...weren't they part of a big pack???

    Mugglemom's mom said...

    Oh my, what a hoot! I would love to have been there to witness all that DIRT but it gives me great satisfaction that you recorded it so beautifully so I could get satisfaction from afar on your great accomplishment with that dryer. I, too, am amazed it still works and now you don't have a freaking fire trap with all that built up lint!
    Love you! Mom

    Emily said...

    I could see myself tearing the dryer out, but putting it all back is another story! Way to go! You should hire yourself out as a professional lint cleaner. Love the treasures you found. Too funny! And looks like you have enough laundry soap to last til the millenium (when hopefully we don't have to do laundry!) Cool.