Any homeowner knows the importance of maintaining and cleaning your household appliances. However, there are some appliances that don’t get as much attention or care as others. Stop for a second and think: when was the last time you cleaned your clothes dryer?
Just like any other household appliance, your dryer should be given routine cleanings and maintenance to keep it working in top shape, and to help prevent breakdowns or accidents. Here are some tips on how to clean a dryer and keep it running its best!
One of the biggest reasons you should regularly clean your dryer is to prevent a house fire. Dust, lint, and other fibers that come off of your clothes in the dryer build up over time.
If left to collect for too long, these can become a dangerous fire starter in your household. But this is more than just emptying your lint trap each time.
Cleaning your lint trap will also help with keeping airflow at high levels, which will improve the overall function of your dryer and decrease the likelihood of a fire.
If you want to know how to clean a dryer, you’ll need to start with some basic tools. You’ll want a vacuum cleaner with a small crevice attachment, an old toothbrush, and soap and water and a lint-free cloth.
First and foremost, clean your vent every single time you finish a load of laundry in your dryer. Beyond that, you should remove your mesh screen and vacuum that area with your crevice attachment.
We recommend doing this at least once a week to help keep up with the amount of dust and lint that gathers in that crevice.
If you use dryer sheets or other fabric softeners, the likelihood of build-up in the lint trap crevice increases. One way to help combat that is to use an old toothbrush and soap and water to give the lint trap mesh a good scrub every so often.
Make sure the lint trap is completely dry before you return it and start your machine.
Another way to keep your dryer working its best is to wipe down the dryer drum. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners add a film to the inside of your dryer drum.
It’s recommended that once a month you wipe it down with a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water. Mist and wipe down with a lint-free cloth, then air dry.
We cover this in more detail via the above link. Below we have a quick guide.
To clean your dry’s vent ducts you will need a rotary brush and a cordless drill. First, you will need to unplug the dryer and move it away from the wall so you have space to work behind it.
Take the time to learn what your machine’s vent ducts look like, referring to your owner’s manual as needed.
While your dryer is unplugged, loosen any couplings or tape you see that is connecting the vent duct piping to the machine. Disconnect the piping from the dryer and clean out the area with your vacuum crevice attachment.
Be sure to clean the entire area, including the base of the appliance and the edges of the piping.
Next, find where your dryer exhaust vent is on the outside of your house. Always check this vent for critters, bugs, lint, and dust. Clear any blockages and vacuum with your crevice tool around the area if necessary. At this point, if you can get yourself a partner to help, it will make the rest of this job easier.
You will then reach inside the vent and feel for the flapper valve. It lifts up and out of the way, but you will need to clip it up to prevent it from falling down. Lower your brush (attached to the drill) into the vent and start your drill. The brush will kick up dust and dirt from the area.
While you are doing this, have the vacuum running inside (attached to the other end of the vent) to suck up all the kicked up dirt and debris. Push your brush all the way down, then pull it back out to the outside of your home. Then you’re all done! Refasten the valve and any couplings and tape, plug your dryer back in, and replace it. You’re all done!