Just as your body exhibits distinctive symptoms when you're sick, a squeaky dryer indicates problems with your dryer's internal functions -- diagnosing the exact cause of the noise is key to executing successful solutions. Although basic remedies apply virtually universally across appliances, clothes dryers vary widely by make and model -- always consult your appliance's user manual before you start troubleshooting.
A low-pitched squeaking sound may result from a worn dryer door seal, a circular strip typically made of rubbery material that keeps metal from scraping on metal. Replacing a seal entails removing the existing seal and using high-temperature adhesive to glue a new seal onto the door. Drum glides or slides, adhesive-backed pads of nylon or other soft material located on either side of the drum, may also need replacement and require a similar process. Sometimes, you can remedy high-pitched squeaks by lubricating your dryer's moving parts, particularly the drum bearings. When lubricating the dryer, however, do not lubricate the drum support roller shafts.
Leveling for Success
Often, a shaky dryer produces chirping or rattling squeaks. To remedy this, check all exposed screws on the appliance and tighten them as necessary. Once the screws are tightened, ensure that the dryer is level -- otherwise, it may jostle or "walk" across the floor as it operates. With a carpenter's level, ensure that the appliance is level from side to side and front to back. If it's not, enlist a partner to help raise the dryer as you adjust its leveling legs, which generally you can lower by turning them counterclockwise and raise by turning them clockwise, until the dryer is level and remains stable during operation.
In some cases, faulty parts produce squeaking or squealing sounds. For instance, a squeaky dryer may need replacement drum bearings, typically located on the rear left and right corners of the drum. Likewise, worn drum rollers -- usually located on the rear bulkhead, though they sometimes appear on the front bulkhead, too -- prevent the drum from rotating smoothly, causing squeaking or thumping noises. A squeal may result from a drive motor with worn bearings; this repair calls for professional assistance, as the drive motor bearings are permanently sealed and cannot be lubricated like other dryer parts.
More to Consider
Some minor squeaks occur as a result of normal dryer operation. For example, squeaks during the first few seconds of starting are of no concern for most dryers. For major repairs, parts replacement or troubleshooting procedures that lie outside of your experience, contact the manufacturer or an authorized service center rather than potentially voiding your manufacturer's warranty or risking damage to your dryer.