HOW TO CLEAN LINT TRAP
Cleaning your lint trap has three distinct benefits. 1) It prolongs the life of your dryer’s heating element. 2) It helps your clothes dry more quickly. 3) It keeps energy bills down. Cleaning a lint trap is simple, but there’s more to it than scraping lint from the screen.
Cleaning a Dryer Lint Trap
- Remove the lint screen, and use a vacuum to remove any small bits of leftover lint.
- Take the lint trap screen to the sink, and wash it with warm soap and water.
- While the lint trap dries, use your vacuum to clean the slot the lint trap slides into. Use a long, narrow vacuum extension to reach as far down as possible. You might be surprised by how much lint you find.
- If you’re feeling handy, some lint traps can be more fully accessed if you remove a cover on the machine. Look for a set of screws or a latch that might allow access to this area. Depending on the type of dryer you have, you may find them located in the door jamb area or on an access port on the back of the dryer. But before you start taking stuff apart, it’s a good idea to take a photo you can reference during reassembly.
How to Clean a Dryer Exhaust Hose
Do you have an inline dryer hose lint trap? This acts as a second barrier to keep lint from accumulating in your dryer exhaust hose. It’s basically a lint screen for your dryer hose that catches lint after it is exhausted from the dryer. If you have one, make sure you clean this out with a vacuum. If you don’t have an inline dryer hose lint trap, you’ll want to clean out your exhaust hose by following these steps:
- Have a friend help you move the dryer away from the wall. Be cautious of any gas, water or electric lines.
- Remove the clamp on the end of the hose that connects it to the dryer.
- Once you have access to the hose, vacuum up excess lint within the hose and the dryer. Grab a flashlight; it may be hard to see all the lint. You don’t want to miss a spot!
- If you see significant buildup, you may want to purchase a special brush that is just the right size for the hose. You can find these at your local hardware store. Work the brush back and forth in the hose.
- Trace your dryer hose all the way to the exterior vent. You may find other areas where you can remove a clamp to access the interior of the hose and remove lint.
If you’re uncomfortable with this procedure, it may be best to hire a professional to clean your dryer hose and vent about once a year. If you have a large family and do lots of laundry, ask a local appliance expert if you should be cleaning those parts more often. A significant buildup of dryer lint isn’t just bad for your dryer and utility bills; it’s a serious fire hazard.