Tossing a pile of laundry into the dryer after it’s done in the wash is inarguably one of the most routine household chores. But many fail to realize that after dozens of loads, lint begins to build up in dryer vents.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 15,970 dryer fires in the U.S. annually, with “failure to clean” cited as the leading factor contributing to fires in residential buildings.
In order to raise awareness of the importance of having dryer vents professionally cleaned every two to three years, the national maintenance and repair company Dryer Vent Wizard, which has a location in Bensalem, set out to achieve the Guinness World Records title for largest ball of lint.
Throughout the spring and summer, Dryer Vent Wizard collected dryer lint from more than 9,000 communities across the country, which was compiled by the corporate team at its headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Heavily involved in the project was Joe DeLorenzo, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of Lower Bucks County.
“Being able to participate in creating the world’s largest lint ball was an incredibly rewarding experience,” he said. “The second we found out about this, we started collecting lint to send to help participate. Fellow franchisees from around the country sent in over 1,300 pounds of lint they collected from cleaning customers’ dryer vents. Dryer vent safety is a serious home maintenance issue that needs to be addressed. This was a great way for us to help raise awareness for this important cause.”
According to DeLorenzo, the previous record for largest lint ball was about 100 pounds. He and the rest of the Dryer Vent Wizard family knew they could easily surpass that. The company began the lint collection in April, encouraging its 95 franchisees to save “good” lint they cleaned from clients’ homes as part of the record-setting attempt.
The finished product was officially measured to be 19 feet 6 inches in circumference, and 4 feet 4 inches in height. DeLorenzo explained that the massive structure took shape after much trial and error.
“We didn’t realize how intricate the World Records really wanted everything,” he said. “But we were able to do what we set out to do.”
The employees in Michigan determined a way to assemble the lint into a ball and compress it, since a Guinness requirement was for it to maintain its spherical shape when lifted. During a national meeting in Detroit, which was attended by “wizards” from across the country and Guinness officials, the ball was set up in an empty parking lot. Here, the 690-pound creation was lifted and weighed on a miniature construction crane.
To drive home the purpose of the initiative – fire awareness – the ball was set ablaze by the Farmington Hills Fire Department. The lint ball was then hosed down to highlight how lack of proper maintenance not only shortens the life of the appliance, but can have severe consequences to the safety of the homeowners.
The ceremony concluded with Dryer Vent Wizard receiving a certificate stating that its accomplishment would be entered into the Guinness World Records book.
“There was an opportunity to bring awareness to how much lint is actually in vent lines,” DeLorenzo said, adding that lint is a microfiber that easily adheres to the walls of the vent line. “People are pretty aware of what’s going on, we’re just trying to reach more people about how important it is to get dryer vents cleaned. Every year, we try to look at doing something to bring more awareness to that situation.” ••
Visit lowerbucksdryervent.com for more information.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org