Dirty clothes piling up in the laundry room is a common sight. But, have you ever stopped to think about where that dirt and lint is coming from? More often than not, it’s coming from your dryer! That’s why it’s important to clean your dryer on a regular basis. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to clean every nook and cranny of your dryer so that it operates at its best!
Lint can build up in more than just the lint filter. Most people, however, only clean the lint filter and don’t think about the exhaust duct or any other areas of the dryer where lint can be built up in. By not properly cleaning the lint out of those areas a fire can easily be started by the lint buildup. Do a full dryer cleaning at least once a year to avoid excess buildup, and remember always to read the manual that came with your appliances. This will also prolong your dryer’s life.
Items you will need
- Appliance wax
Start by unplugging your dryer from the wall. Next, remove the lint trap and set it aside. Take a vacuum with a hose attachment and suck up any lint that’s inside the opening. Once you’ve done that, use a dryer vent brush to clean out the vent. Start at the dryer end and work your way towards the outside vent. If your dryer has a self-cleaning cycle, now is a good time to run it.
You will want to check the exhaust hood and the best way to do this is when there is already a load in the dryer or just run the dryer empty. Ensure that the hood is working properly. If the flaps are not working properly, or seem like they are getting rigid then replace them right away. If they are not working correctly, it can lead to increased drying time because it has decreased the airflow to your dryer.
- Once the exhaust hood has been checked and the dryer is done, remove the laundry and then shut the electricity off to the dryer. Pull the lint filter out and use an attachment to your vacuum to fully vacuum out the lint trap.
- You will then use the vacuum, and an attachment if necessary, to vacuum under and around the dryer. To make this easier and ensure it is properly done, move the dryer out of its location. Once you have vacuumed, mop the area to get any remaining dirt that is left and let it dry.
- Once the floor is dry, you will check the exhaust duct. Use your vacuum to clean any build-up from the duct.
- You can now move the dryer back and hook it back up. Once it is hooked back up to the exhaust, then you can turn the power back on to the dryer.
- Once you have cleaned out the lint, wipe down the dryer with some mild soapy water, and a rag. Once the dryer is dry, use an appliance wax to go over the outside of the dyer to help keep up the shine. Follow the directions on the wax and make sure it is safe for the dryer
If you don’t have a self-cleaning cycle, don’t worry! You can still clean your dryer effectively. Just mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and pour it into the drum. Let it sit for about an hour before running the dryer on its highest setting. This will help to remove any mildew or mold that may be growing inside the dryer.
Once you’ve cleaned the inside of your dryer, it’s time to focus on the outside. Start by wiping down the control panel with a damp cloth. Be careful not to press any buttons while you’re doing this! Next, clean the door seal with a vinegar solution. Just mix equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl and use a cloth to wipe down the seal.
Now that you know how to clean a dryer, there’s no excuse for putting it off any longer! Cleaning your dryer on a regular basis will help to extend its life and keep your clothes looking their best. So, what are you waiting for? Get cleaning!
Remember to always keep your dyer area clutter-free. Check the sides occasionally to make sure nothing has fallen. Do not clutter the top of the dryer either as this can add extra heat. Also, remember to clean the lint filter after every load. Take care of your dryer to ensure a long life out of your appliance.
Some other dryer cleaning tips
It doesn’t matter how much or little lint is in the trap, clean it as much as possible. An easy way to clean the lint filter is to take a dryer sheet from a fabric softener and run it over the entire length and width of the trap and it should take up most of the lint. Another way to easily clean the screening is to take an old toothbrush and run it over the entirety of the surface. Blowing air into it is really impractical and just spreads the lint through your house.
Another important consideration is what kinds of clothes you put in the dryer. Manufacturers recommend not putting clothing that has chemical residue on it that may be flammable such as oil, gasoline, or turpentine. Those items should be hung dry. Also don’t dry things in the dryer that shouldn’t be there. If it’s not clothing, don’t dry it in the clothes dryer. Follow the care instructions on your clothes. If it says to “hang dry” then you need to keep it out of the dryer.
There are still some steps you need to take to maintain your dryer’s efficiency beyond those basic steps. Every time you walk past the dryer vent outside of your house check it to see if it is free and clear of any excess lint. If it has buildup, clean the vent immediately.
Every change of the seasons remove the connecting duct between the dryer and the vent to the house and clean it by taking it outside and shake it clean. Make sure you unplug the dryer from the wall before you perform this maintenance to prevent any sudden starts. You do not need to disconnect the gas line as unplugging it will prevent any starting. The gas is just for the heating element on your dryer and not the electric starter. Look through it and see how clean it is and if need be clean it out with a rag.
When the duct is disconnected and the dryer unplug, open up any panels on the bottom of the dryer and see if there is any lint buildup against the mechanism or heating coils. Now is the time to take your vacuum tube attachment on your vacuum and suck off all the excess lint you can reach.
Open up the dryer door and clean any lint that is inside the actual drum. Move the vacuum and clean any lint on the floor as well so it doesn’t get sucked back into the vacuum. The important thing is to clean as much of the lint as possible so as to prevent any breakdowns or loss of efficiency in your dryer.