Hello and welcome to my DIY appliance maintenance articles. I see so many appliances that break down and have unnecessary repairs due to a filthy machine, and extremely worn out parts. This can easily be remedied by doing a one hour cleaning every other year or so. I would suggest splitting up your appliances and do a couple of them at a time, do these the first year and then the next year do the other set then you can go back to the first set the third year, and so on. If you haven't unplugged the machine yet, do so now, the last thing you need is to be shocked.
For this demonstration I will be using a Maytag performa dryer, this machine is easy to work on and you only need a 5/16th nut driver, I have one that is a screwdriver hand tool. A butter knife or flat spatula applicator also for pressing on clip springs. First slide your butter knife in the crease approximately at locations shown in photo, this will allow you to flip the lid up and lean it against the wall, be careful the lid doesn't slide up and off the hinge at back. Now you can access the sheet metal type screws on top inside corners of cabinet. Remove these and tip front of cabinet forward and up off the lower slots in base.
Make sure you unplug the door switch, and note the wires positions for reassembly.
Once you have the front off the machine off, the drum can be removed. Depending on the model you have in your home the belt needs to be loosened. Reach your arms into the spaces below the drum and feel for the belt, follow this to the idler puller gear. Push or pull the puller gear to the side and unhook the belt. Now the tub can be slid towards the front of the machine and off of the rear rollers, take note of the padding in the tracks by making sure they it stays in place during removal and at the time of reinstallation.
Take a good look at the belt, rotate it around the drum and look for fraying on sides or delaminating between the layers both are signs of wear and should be replaced. You will see a lot of dust and some lint, go thru and vacuum up what you can reach. Take a look at the idler pulley
and check to see if any grooves have been worn into the wheel, if so replace it. See pics below to see what you will be looking at in your machine.
As you can see between some of the pics where it was really dirty and how clean it is afterwards
this will help the efficiency of the machine, pay close attention to lint trap and duct leading up to blower fan, check condition of fan and the padding that seals it up. Also check the heat element coils behind the heat vent, check to see if any lint is trapped near it, that could possibly be a fire hazard, clean area. Check your coils for broken sections or loose hanging sections, this is a bad element, replace.
Now you can reverse these procedures to put machine back together. Load it up with wet cloths and sit back and watch your now clean, efficient machine do its magic.