Most homeowners know to clean out their dryer’s lint filter after each use, but there are other maintenance tasks you can do at home to avoid clogs and the buildup of grime.
These tips can save you money on utility bills, prevent fires in your home and extend the lifespan of your appliance. Not only that, they’re easy to do without needing special tools and won’t take too long either.
Top Tips for Better Dryer Maintenance
1. Clean the Lint Trap
Lint traps in dryers are the first line of defense against lint buildup. Usually located inside or on top of the unit, it’s essential to empty this area after each load of laundry.
In addition to lint, other items can also get caught in the lint trap. Coins, paper receipts, buttons, and other small objects may become stuck if they go through the wash cycle.
Once a month, inspect the lint trap screen to make sure it’s free from residue from fabric softener and detergents. The remainder can form a film on the screen which restricts airflow, decreasing drying time and energy efficiency.
2. Clean the Exterior
Dryer lint accumulates in the ducts, filters, and vents of your dryer over time, causing it to work harder and take longer to dry clothes.
Additionally, debris in your vent system can restrict airflow and make it inefficient, leading to higher energy bills as well as an increased fire risk.
To avoid this issue, it’s essential to clean your dryer vent every year or two. This can either be done manually by you or by hiring a professional.
To clean the exterior of a dryer, you’ll need a brush with flexible bristles that can reach inside the ducts and remove lint buildup. Additionally, you’ll need a vacuum hose and appropriate cleaning solution to thoroughly wipe away all remnants.
Begin by locating the vent you will be cleaning. Remove its cover, then use a vacuum to loosen lint from its ducts. Finally, replace the cover once finished cleaning.
3. Clean the Interior
The interior of your dryer tends to collect dirt, lint, and residue from fabrics. Additionally, it’s where liquid detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets can build up over time; hence the need for regular cleaning.
To do this, use a vacuum cleaner hose to scrape away lint and debris from the vent pipe and floor of your dryer. After that is done, add some liquid detergent or dish soap to hot water and thoroughly wash the inside of the drum with it.
Next, inspect the exterior vent to see if it’s clogged with lint or debris. You can do this by opening the cover and manually scraping away large pieces with your hand. If so, use a cleaning tool or vacuum to reach as deep into the vent as possible and then re-clamp or tape it back onto your dryer vent.
4. Clean the Vent
Your dryer vent plays an integral role in your dryer’s performance. If it becomes clogged with lint buildup, it can impede airflow and reduce efficiency.
If your clothes take longer to dry or the top of the vent feels hot, this could be a sign that it needs cleaning. Not only is this an unsafe hazard but it could increase energy bills by making the dryer work harder than expected.
To clean your vent, you’ll need a vacuum with an extended hose attachment and brush attachment to loosen any lint stuck in pipes or ductwork. Additionally, you can use a leaf blower to eliminate excess lint around the exterior of the ductwork.
You can also hire a professional a few times a year to provide residential dryer vent cleaning services.