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My dryer is squeaking something fierce. It is a GE gas dryer, approximately 10 years old (model DBB3300GA2WW, U.S.). The noise is so bad that with it being in the corner of the basement, and me being on the first floor with multiple closed doors between us, it is still loud and annoying. The noise repeats itself approximately every 1.25 seconds, which is the rotational period of the drum as opposed to the motor or impeller which are the other two parts that frequently are at fault for noise issues.

Today I replaced the drum bearing after googling indicated that it is the first part to wear out and cause excessive noise. While I had the drum removed I also lubricated the motor pulley and the tension pulley with silicone. I turned it on, and the loud squeaking immediately came back. The noise will stop every once in a while for a few seconds, then come back again.

I have had good success with white lithium grease in automotive applications, not surprising given it is designed for metal-on-metal lubrication. However, I am unsure if this would be a good idea to use in the dryer.

Is white lithium grease safe to use in a dryer? My two concerns:

  • The dryer gets hot, captain obvious. The spray can states to keep it away from heat, however, it reads that the can should be kept away from heat, not the grease after application. Will the heat in a dryer ignite or otherwise cause problems with the grease?
  • The metal parts in the bearing assembly are right behind the diffuser, meaning that hot air is being pushed past them and into the drum. If I spray white lithium grease on those parts, is it feasible that the hot air blowing past them will dislodge some of the grease and cook it into my clothing as it dries?
  • Does it even make sense to use white lithium on the bearing assembly since it is plastic on metal?

NB: I am not asking for general advice on how to stop dryer squeaking, that is too broad. My concerns are specific to applying white lithium grease to dryers to stop the squeaking, specifically the safety as it relates to heat and getting it in clothing. Also, links are to the specific products I own/used.

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    find out which part is squeaking answers may change depending on it – ratchet freak Jan 11 '15 at 14:00
  • It is really hard to narrow down given how loud it is. If this were a little squeak I could put my ear to different parts of the cabinet. If I did that now, I would go deaf. – user4302 Jan 11 '15 at 18:47
  • rotate the drum by hand it makes it easier – ratchet freak Jan 11 '15 at 18:55
  • It does not squeak if I rotate it by hand. – user4302 Jan 11 '15 at 19:04
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I think you have or had same problem I am having which is not a bearing at all. It is the glides (small plastic strips) that the outter drum rides on have either dried out or in my case 1 is missing.

I came here looking for the same answer you were about the silicone due to the amount of time it takes to deliver parts and the fact that the family is going crazy.

  • You are correct: this was the problem (easy fix) and I forgot to come back and mention something here. While it does not technically answer the question as asked it does address the larger issue. – user4302 Apr 2 '16 at 19:32
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Mine was stuck, humming and not running when I pressed the start button. I just added some duralube (just a few drops) to my drum rides, and that seemed to do the trick.

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I can't answer definitively, but I think you're on the right track. If it were me, I'd apply a light coat of lithium on the bearings in question and give it a try.

From the little I've seen on this topic, white lithium should be well suited to temps in the average dryer (below 250F, approx). It's ignition point is quite high about 500F), so the worst that will happen is it'll melt onto the clothes.

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/340/high-temperature-grease

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