Pet hair

pet-hairJoerg Huettenhoelscher/Shutterstock

Anyone who has a furry friend at home knows just how messy things can get—their hair ends up everywhere. But one place where it should never, ever end up is in the dryer. If the hair builds up over time, it could begin combining with lint and debris around it, especially if the lint screen isn’t emptied before every load. “Excess dryer lint is a major fire hazard, can cause your dryer to become damaged, and also reduces the efficiency of your dryer,” according to Dave Lavalle, founder of Dryer Vent Wizard, the nation’s leader in dryer vent repair, cleaning, and maintenance. “To avoid a possible fire sparking, make sure to keep the areas around your dryer, including underneath and behind, free of extra pet hair, lint, and debris that might build up.” 

Chewing gum

GumFecundap stock/Shutterstock

While you’re probably not actively trying to dry your chewing gum, it does occasionally get thrown in there by accident. And unfortunately, by the time you notice, the damage has probably already been done. “Gum can have lasting damage if left in the pockets of your clothes,” says Josh Matteson, a writer for Lula, a home services on-demand company. “It can either permanently stick itself to clothes or fall out of the pocket and stretch all over the wall of your dryer.” Here are 9 laundry facts you didn’t know until now

Spandex

SpandexAndrey Vasiliskov/shutterstock

If you’ve ever bought spandex leggings or yoga pants, you probably know that they can be pretty expensive. With that being said, if you toss them in the dryer, they probably won’t ruin your machine itself—but there’s a good chance they’ll shrink a bit, which could be costly to replace. “[They should] be hang-dried to avoid shrinking,” says Peters. “Although many people will also dry them with an air dry cycle with good results.”