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I accidentally put a CFL bulb in the clothes dryer and it broke, what do i do now?

I picked up clothes that were on top of my clothes dryer and mistakenly grabbed a CFL bulb and threw it into the dryer along with the clothes, it broke in the dryer do i need to rewash the clothes?

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4 Responses to “I accidentally put a CFL bulb in the clothes dryer and it broke, what do i do now?”

  1. slammamama said :

    try removing everything carefully and placing it into a laundry basket or other container. take it all outdoors and shake it really well to get the shards out. Vacuum the dryer out really well, try vacuuming the clothes, too. My big concern is that there will be tiny little bits of glass that you can’t see and I don’t know if washing will remove them. You know those invisible kind you step on after a glass has broken in the kitchen? ow.

    at any rate, I would rewash for sure on an agressive cycle to try and shake them all loose. good luck

  2. dali333 said :

    throw out the entire machine.

  3. arkiemom said :

    As you already know CFL bulbs contain mercury which can be very hazardous if not dealt with properly.
    Here are the steps you need to follow:
    1. Ventilate the area by opening a window.
    2. Gently shake any remaining glass fragments from the clothes into a trash bag.
    3. Use a stiff piece of cardboard to get any remaining glass fragments from the dryer. DO NOT use a vacuum when cleaning up a broken CFL bulb. Avoid touching any of the pieces.
    4. Follow up by taking pieces of sticky tape to remove any unseen particles.
    5. Do one final cleaning of the dryer with damp paper towels.
    6. Also be sure to clean out the lint filter and wipe it with the damp cloth.
    6. Dispose of all the cleaning materials in an outdoor trash can.
    7. Definitely rewash all of the clothing that was in the dryer.

    That should sufficiently get rid of the problem. This may seem excessive, but this is the recommended way to deal with the breakage of these bulbs. This is also one reason I have switched back to regular bulbs. After weighing the environmental costs of the mercury these bulbs contain, I have decided to go back to low energy “regulars.”

  4. It's just me said :

    Actually the small amount of mercury contained in the CFL bulbs is so minimal that it vaporizes immediately when exposed to air. If I were you, this is what I’d do.

    Take my clothes out of the dryer and immediately bring them outside. Carefully examine each item for large pieces of glass them shake out and hang to eliminate any of this mercury that may remain. Leave the clothes air out all day then rewash them tonight. remember that there is environmental mercury in the air already. This small amount more is negligible.

    For the dryer, I would vacuum it out to get any glass shards including the dryer vent. Then wipe it out with a damp sponge. Leave the door open all day today. Then use as normal.


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