You probably already know that you have to clean the lint trap on your dryer. But do you remove the lint after every cycle? Do you ever wash your lint screen? It’s important to know how to clean your dryer lint trap properly in order to improve your dryer’s performance and avoid fire hazards.
Where does all that dryer lint come from?
First things first. Clothes are woven from soft fabrics to provide flexibility, breathability, and comfort. The fabric eventually begins to deteriorate even if it is not washed or dried. The agitator of a washing machine will loosen these fibers from the cloth in the form of lint. We can certainly see the result when the clothes are placed in a clothes dryer.
The dryer creates static friction that compounds the process. Dryers need to dispense their hot air exhaust and a lint trap or screen helps to block most of the loose fabric from entering the exhaust vent.
Why should you clean your dryer lint trap?
A clogged lint trap decreases your dryer’s performance. If you don’t know how to clean your dryer lint trap, you may notice that your dryer takes two cycles to dry clothes or that clothes are still damp after a cycle. This will eventually create a fire hazard that could have been easily avoided.
Steps for How to Clean Your Dryer Lint Trap Properly
Step #1: Remove Lint from Lint Trap
Remove all lint from the screen after every load of laundry. Peel the lint of the screen and throw it away. Make sure you remove all the lint that might cling to the frame of the screen as well. Dampen your fingers to make this step even easier.
Step #2: Inspect Dryer Lint Trap for Wax Build-Up
You can use two simple methods to tell if your lint trap has wax build-up. Hold the screen up to a bright ceiling light or window. Any areas that aren’t transparent are filled with wax from dryer sheets and fabric softener.
Or hold the lint trap under running water. If the water pools, you have wax build-up.
Step #3: Scrub Build-Up from the Lint Trap
Use a few pumps of dishwashing detergent and water to clean the screen. A soft to medium bristle cleaning brush works best to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Rinse the trap thoroughly. If water continues to pool, consider using a heavier cleaning agent, like Clorox Clean-Up Spray, to clean your dryer lint trap.
How to Clean Your Dryer Vents
Cleaning your dryer vents is an important task that helps ensure the safety and efficiency of your appliance. It is recommended to clean your dryer vents at least once a year, but depending on your usage, you may need to clean them more frequently. Here are the steps to follow to clean your dryer vents:
Step #1: Unplug Your Dryer
Start by unplugging your dryer and moving it away from the wall so that you can access the vent.
Step #2: Remove the Cover of the Vent
Use a screwdriver to remove the cover of the vent. If you have a flexible metal vent, you can use a vent brush to reach inside and remove any lint or debris that has accumulated.
Step #3: Vacuum Lint
If you have a solid metal vent, you must use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove the lint and debris. Be sure to move the vacuum slowly and carefully to ensure that you are removing as much lint as possible. Once you have removed all of the lint and debris, use a dry cloth to clean the inside of the vent and the cover.
Step #4: Reattach Cover
Reattach the cover to the vent and plug your dryer back in.
Why Should I Clean My Dryer Vents?
It is important to clean your dryer vents because clogged vents can lead to several problems. For example, a clogged vent can cause your dryer to take longer to dry clothes, which can be frustrating and lead to higher energy costs. In addition, clogged vents can pose a fire hazard, as lint is highly flammable and can easily catch fire if it accumulates in the vent. By taking the time to clean your dryer vents, you can help prevent these issues and ensure that your dryer is running safely and efficiently.
In the case that your dryer takes too long to dry, but your lint trap and vent are clean, you may need to hire a professional dryer repair technician.