How to Clean Your Dryer

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Let’s take some time and deep clean the dryer.

How to Clean your Clothes Dryer | From Cosmopolitan Cornbread's Decluttering & Cleaning Series

Keeping your dryer clean and cared for will not only help your clothes dry faster, but it will elongate the life of your dryer as well. Both are a blessing to your bank account. Let’s get started.

The Dryer

  1. Unplug your dryer and slide it away from the wall.
  2. Vacuum the area where the dryer was sitting, and if need be, give it a good mopping.
  3. Remove the dryer duct from the back of the dryer and the wall. This usually requires a screwdriver to loosen the clamps that hold the duct to the back of your dryer and where it vents out through the wall. Remove any large clumps of lint with your hands. Then take your vacuum hose and clean out the rest of the inside of the duct. Inspect the duct to make sure there is no cracking or damage. Replace if necessary.
  4. Check the back of the dryer, where the duct attaches. Clean the inside of that with your vacuum as well.
  5. Inspect where the duct attaches to the wall. Clean that area as well by vacuuming any debris.
  6. Vacuum the back of your dryer off, removing any built up dust and lint.
  7. Reconnect the duct to your dryer and the wall.
  8. Slide the dryer back in place.
  9. Remove your lint trap screen and clean it. Fill up a dishpan or your sink with warm water and a bit of dish soap. Gently scrub the screen with an old tooth brush or a scrubby sponge. The lint trap screen develops a build-up from soaps and especially fabric softeners and dryer sheets. This buildup is generally invisible to the eye, but causes a blockage of air flow. Once you have cleaned this, water should be able to flow through it easily with no pooling in any areas. Set it in the sun to dry completely.
  10. Remove the lint trap cover. It is usually held in place by a couple screws (if it is on the front of your dryer.) Use your vacuum’s crevice tool to vacuum down inside the lint trap area and remove all lint and debris. Replace the cover.
  11. Clean the inside of the drum and the seal on the door. I find that using a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar or other gentle cleaner with a sponge or cleaning rag works perfectly. Wipe down the entire inside of the drum, the inside of the door, and pay particular attention to the gasket/seal on the inside of the door. That seems to gather a lot of debris and lint.
  12. Wipe down the outside if your dryer with the vinegar solution or gentle cleaner – top, front and both sides.
  13. Return the dry lint trap to its place.
  14. Plug your dryer back in. Now you are done on the inside. There’s one task left to do.
  15. Go outside and look where your dryer vents on the outside of your house. Make sure it isn’t blocked by debris – lint, animal/bird/insect nests, vegetation, etc.  If there are any blockages, clean them out. Be sure that the screen/shutters which cover the opening is in place with no holes or damage. Do any necessary repairs at this time.


You are done!

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