A dirty dryer isn’t just ineffective. It’s also a safety hazard.
The U.S. Fire Administration reports an average of 2,900 house fires each year caused by lint accumulation in dryers!
But even aside from the safety risk, if you leave lint to clog up your dryer’s exhaust, you are looking at a future with expensive repair bills and ruined clothes. While cleaning the lint trap before running each load will reduce risks, lint will still naturally build up in the dryer air duct and vent. It can even get clogged inside other parts of the machine.
Regular cleaning is the best way to ensure your dryer is effective, energy-efficient, and safe. We suggest making it a part of your Spring Cleaning and Winter Prep chores each year so you never forget!
Here are the steps to take:
Step 1. Pull out the lint trap screen and wash it thoroughly in a sink or a bucket of warm, soapy water. Rinse it well and let it air dry.
Step 2. Clean the interior fins or bumps of the dryer. Remove things like thread or clumps of hair that may be wedged in the crevices beneath the fins. Wipe the whole interior with a cloth dampened with All Purpose Natural Cleaner. If there are any sticky spots, use a wet corner of your cloth to rub it away.
Step 3. Pull your dryer forward away from the wall and UNPLUG IT. Remove the screws that secure the rear panel of your dryer. Place them somewhere safe so you don’t lose them. Use a vacuum attachment to clear away excess lint. DO NOT disturb wire connections. Wipe down the area with a clean cloth.
Step 4. Remove the dryer exhaust hose. Clean the interior using a vacuum.
Step 5. Go outside and locate your dryer vent. Clear away debris, cobwebs, or items that could be blocking it so it can vent freely. Clean the inside of the vent as well.
Step 6. Reconnect your dryer hose, plug the dryer back in, and push it back into place.
Step 7. Wipe down the exterior of the dryer.
Step 8. Dampen a rag or old towel with white vinegar and drip several drops of your favorite antifungal essential oil onto the fabric. Throw it into the dryer on high to give your dryer a quick steam clean that will help to reduce any potential mildew, mold, or bacterial growth.
Looking for More Cleaning Advice?
You may want to start here — since you’re cleaning your dryer, you should clean your washing machine as well.