How to Prevent Your Dryer from Squeaking When it Spins

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No one enjoys the sound of a squeaking dryer. We use our dryers constantly. When we wash laundry, those wet clothes have to get dry somehow and most of us are not prepared to rig up a clothesline, much less because of an annoying sound. And when you get home and the clothes are dry? You fire that dryer back up to warm and fluff everything before you fold it. So when the dryer squeaks, this can put a real crimp in your style.

A squeaky dryer is not just annoying, it can ruin the peace and happiness of your time at home. Not to mention your laundry efficiency. So when you’ve had enough, it’s time to grab a screwdriver and hunt down that squeak. Believe it or not, many of the possible solutions are things you can easily take care of at home with the right tools, attitude, and a few model-specific guides.   

Gather Your Supplies

Always start by gathering your supplies. For this project, it’s hard to know what you’ll need right away, except that you’ll probably be taking the dryer apart and there’s a good chance it’ll involve oil. You may need to replace a part, you may need to realign or lubricate a few parts. So first, you’ll need a screwdriver, nut driver, and crescent wrench to infiltrate your washer. Then you’ll likely want a dryer repair kit, which comes with a collection of helpful replacement parts that homeowners often wind up replacing in their dryers. This can save you the trouble of ordering a specific part or component in a few minutes when you hunt down the problem.

  • Screwdriver
  • Nut Driver
  • Crescent Wrench
  • 100 Grit Sandpaper
  • Impact Driver (optional)
  • Service Kit of Replacement Parts
  • 3 in 1 Oil and/or WD4-0

Safety Precautions

If you do plan to open up your dryer today, remember to unplug the unit first. Never perform any appliance repair without cutting the power, or you put yourself at risk of an electric shock injury. Before you pick up that screwdriver, unplug the dryer. 

Find That Squeak – Place Your Ear to the Dryer

The first step to this repair is just to use your years. Start the dryer and wait for the squeaking to begin. Then listen closely. Put your ear to the dryer and hut down exactly where in the dryer the squeak is coming from. If you can get the general location, you can get a pretty good guess as to what the squeaking component may be. Take your time and hunt down the squeak using your refined auditory senses. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from a relative or roommate if you’re not 100% sure where the squeak is coming from at first. 

Front Squeak – Door Felt

Okay, so if the squeak appears to be coming from the front or the door panel, then it’s probably the door. When the dryer wiggles, the door can wiggle metal-on-metal against the dryer housing. It’s no surprise if this sound is irritating because of the kind of movement that might cause it.

Normally, there are pieces of felt in the door pocket to prevent the door from rubbing of squeaking as the dryer runs. But over time, these pieces of felt wear out and can be rubbed completely flat. You’ll need to replace the pieces of felt by removing the old glue and sanding it off with your sandpaper. Then apply high-heat glue, wait 30 seconds, and apply two new pieces of felt to soften the door’s contact with the dryer housing. 

Top Squeak – Dryer Belt

So what if you hear the squeaking from the top of your dryer, just under the top panel? In that case, the problem is very likely to be the dryer belt. This is a belt that wraps around the drum and causes it to turn. Over time, the dryer belt wears out and becomes slack with age. This can cause it to loosen and slip, which is what results in that squeaking sound. You’ll need to open the dryer top panel and front panel to change out the belt.

Remove the lint filter and mounting screws in the lint housing. Then press the tabs under the lip and lift the top panel. From there, remove two mounting screws and remove the front panel. You should now have full access to the dryer drum and belt. Remove the old worn belt by unhooking it from the mechanism and setting it aside. You may see visible wear and damage in the old belt. Then wrap the new belt around your dryer drum and thread it through the mechanism. Be sure to re-secure everything as you found it before you close the front and top panels again. 

Back Panel Squeak – Drum Bearing

If you hear the squeak near the back of the dryer, this most likely means the drum bearings are at fault. The drum bearings are greased wheels around the edge of the dryer drum that helps it spin smoothly. If the drum bearings are squeaking, this means that they are low on lubrication and will need to be re-oiled or possibly even replaced if one is broken inside your dryer.

For this repair, you’ll also need to open up the top and front panels and remove the current dryer belt. From there, pull the entire dryer drum out of the housing and take a close look at the wheels around the edge of the housing. Give them a spin with your hand. If they squeak, oil them with 3in1 lubrication and reassemble your dryer. 

Floor-Level Squeak – Idler Pulley or Motor

If you hear the squeak coming from near the floor, the problem is either the idler pulley or the motor. The idler pulley is an automatic tensioning device that holds the dryer belt taut. And like any pulley, if it is broken or wobbles, the pulley wheel can cause a constant squeak. If the pulley seems to be in good shape but is squeaking, give it an oil treatment and see if that fixes the problem. Otherwise, replace your idler pulley.

If the problem is your motor, it will squeak as it runs. The bearings that are part of the spinning driveshaft are no longer doing their job. If the two bearings that support the driveshaft go bad, then you’ll need to replace the entire motor.

—Dryer went squeaky? Don’t let it drive you insane. Instead, hunt down that squeak and figure out the problem. From there, you can decide whether you’re ready to tackle a DIY repair or would rather leave this fix in the hands of professionals.

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