Are you beginning to notice that it’s taking a lot longer to get a load of laundry dry in the dryer? This is likely due to a buildup in the lint filter, dryer vent, or vent pipe. Learn how to clean lint from a dryer during everyday cleaning and as part of your home improvement routine.
House fires are not always the result of the obvious. Over time, the dryer builds an accumulation of lint around the dryer’s back, and in the lint trap, heating element, exhaust venting, and dryer duct. Lint is highly flammable and a fire hazard, and keeping your dryer lint-free is vital to your home’s safety. Not only is a clogged dryer a risk, but it doesn’t perform nearly as well as it should.
Lint buildup makes the appliance work twice as hard to get your clothing dry and causes the appliance to overheat. It also costs you extra on your utility bill while shortening your dryer’s life.
- Removing Clothes Dryer Lint and Appliance Maintenance
Removing Clothes Dryer Lint and Appliance Maintenance
When compared to taking care of nasty dryer smells, it’s much easier to pull out the lint screen and swipe away a handful of lint. However, other areas of the dryer require regular lint cleaning to ensure it runs smoothly and prevent dryer fires.
Ways to Get Lint off Clothes in a Dryer
While it is almost effortless to clean the lint tray, there are many ways to get lint off clothes in a dryer. Some of them are basic and straightforward, while others require a bit of time and patience.
The first step in keeping your dryer free of lint is to clean the tray after each laundry load. If you use dryer sheets, consider deep cleaning the screen once a month, as well as the inside of the drum.
To remove stubborn lint from clothes, try using a lint brush to wipe it clean. The inside of the dryer’s rear section contains the heating element, exhaust, and other components that require cleaning once every six months.
The dryer vent is another area that attracts lint, and we recommend using a vacuum to clean this area at least once per year.
Remove Lint From a Dryer Screen
It’s important to remove lint from a dryer screen every time you dry your clothing. A dryer lint trap accumulates a large amount of lint with each session, and the buildup prevents the appliance from operating correctly.
Dryer Screen Cleaning
Grab the handle of the lint tray and slide it outward. The tray is generally located on the top of the machine or the bottom area directly inside the door. Begin at one edge of the screen and use your hands to ball the lint up while pulling it away.
If you’re having difficulty removing the lint, try using a vacuum cleaner hose attachment with a brush to loosen and suck the screen clean. Slide the tray back into place for the next load of laundry.
Deep Cleaning the Lint Tray
While it’s easy to pull away lint from the dryer screen, this doesn’t always get the fine mesh clog free.
Fabric softener dryer sheets leave residue on the screen, which clogs lint filters and lengthens the drying time. Deep cleaning the tray removes this film for optimal performance.
Remove the lint screen from the dryer, hold it over the kitchen sink, and use the kitchen sprayer to force lint and dust out the other side. Get a sponge wet and apply a small amount of dish soap to the surface.
Use the soapy sponge to clean fabric softener residue from the screen, and then rinse it thoroughly with cold water. Set the filter in the dish rack to air dry completely before returning it to the dryer.
If the screen has a few stubborn spots, try vinegar. This is only one of the many vinegar uses for laundry.
Cleaning the Lint Tray Compartment
While the lint screen gathers a majority of lint from your dryer, sometimes the lint compartment collects small bunches of lint, especially if the screen isn’t cleaned regularly. Peer inside the slot periodically to check for lint and clean it as needed.
Remove the lint tray and set it aside. Use a cotton swab to pull the tight bundles of lint from the crevices inside the compartment.
Place the extended vacuum attachment on the hose of your vacuum, insert it into the slot, and clean out the loosened bits of lint. Replace the lint filter before drying another load of clothes.
How to Clean Lint From a Dryer Vent
While cleaning the dryer lint trap is simple, other areas of the dryer attract lint. The vent exhausts hot air from the appliance to the outdoors and is often a lint magnet.
To clean a dryer duct and vent, unplug the dryer and pull the machine away from the wall enough for you to wiggle your way behind it. Locate the exhaust hose and remove it by squeezing the O-ring clamp or removing the bolt in the center.
Remove the hose from the metal duct on the back of the dryer and the vent opening in the wall and carry it outside to prevent creating a mess indoors.
Insert the brush of a vacuum hose attachment into one end of the vent hose and suck away lint and dust, while lightly brushing the inner tube. Repeat the process on the other side.
Attach the clean hose to the back of the dryer and wall, making sure to secure the clamps, slide the dryer back in place, and plug it back into the socket.
Deep Cleaning to Remove Lint from a Dryer
Lint has a way of getting into many different crevices in and around your dryer, and it’s essential to clean a dryer inside and out to keep it running smoothly.
We often overlook the backside of the machine, but this space contains components that need regular cleaning, too.
Unplug your appliance and slide it away from the wall. Use a screwdriver to remove the back access panel and set it out of the way.
Suck lint and dust from the interior with the vacuum cleaner hose, paying particular attention to the exhaust vent and heating element. Replace the panel and screws, move the dryer back in place, and plug it in.
Cleaning Lint from the Dryer Drum
If your dryer has a lint tray on the inside of the door, there is a good chance that lint is gathering around the interior tray. Keeping this area clean prevents the lint from sticking to your clothes while drying.
Get a cloth or rag wet with warm water and wipe the area around the lint tray and the entire inside of the drum. Rinse the cloth and clean the door seal by pulling it gently outward and slipping the damp rag around the seal.
Wipe the tub and door with a dry cloth before shutting the lid. To clean the outside of the clothes dryer and washing machine, use a simple solution of soapy water or the best kitchen cleaner for all-purpose cleaning.
How to Maintain a Dryer for Optimal Performance
Setting up a schedule for routine cleaning and maintenance of your appliances helps them run properly and safely while saving you money. Keeping your laundry room and dryer components lint-free takes a bit of effort but is well worth it.
Always remove the lint tray and clean the screen after every laundry load, making sure to dispose of the lint ball in the trash. Do not let lint accumulate in a pile on top of the dryer or the floor around your appliances.
Check the dryer drum after each load to ensure that some unwanted object that was left in a pocket did not create a problem in the dryer. A pen, crayon, gum, and more, create other issues that must be handled immediately.
It’s helpful to know how to remove ink from dryer areas and have a ready arsenal of other stain removal products handy. Rubbing alcohol, a scraper, old towels, and vinegar can help clean gum out of your dryer and get rid of ink stains, too.
Avoid using dryer sheets to prevent a film build-up on the lint screen. Consider using a liquid fabric softener instead.
Set up a routine cleaning schedule for removing debris from the lint compartment, back dryer panel, venting hose, and ductwork, and pull the washer and dryer away from the wall periodically to sweep up lint, dust, and other debris from the floor.
Inspect the vent duct hose regularly for damage or cracks and repair it with duct tape if necessary. Check the outside vent for clogs and make sure the vent cap is in place. If you notice any cracks in a dryer exhaust or duct’s rigid metal, replace it as soon as possible.
Keeping your appliance lint-free is not only essential to its performance but the safety of your home.
The accumulation of dryer lint in and around your clothes dryer and laundry room is not only messy but a fire hazard, so it’s vital to clean the lint tray consistently while routinely cleaning other key areas of the dryer.
Now that you know how to clean lint from a dryer, inside and out, why not share our step-by-step dryer lint cleaning guide with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?