A clean and well-maintained dryer performs well, is energy efficient, and poses little to no fire hazards. However, some misconceptions about cleaning a dryer confuse many people, so they don’t know how to care for their machines.
Let’s debunk some common dryer cleaning myths and set the record straight so your dryer stays in great condition.
Lint Tray Cleaning Is Good Enough
While you should regularly clean the lint tray, lint screen, or lint filter, there’s more to dryer maintenance than meets the eye. It’s a removable screen or filter in a clothes dryer that traps lint and debris from your laundry before it can clog the dryer vent. Lint traps are typically located near the front of the dryer drum, and they should be cleaned after every drying cycle to prevent the risk of fire.
Lint accumulates in other parts of the dryer you may not notice, such as the vents, ducts, and the interior. Failing to address these areas can restrict airflow, increase drying times, and pose a fire risk.
You Can Use Dryer Sheets To Clean the Machine
Dryer sheets reduce static and dispel a bit of fabric softener on your laundry. They do not clean your dryer’s interior or lint trap. Using a dryer sheet to clean the machine can leave behind a residue that may interfere with the dryer’s functions.
Doing Laundry Often Means Consistent Dryer Cleaning
Doing laundry regularly doesn’t translate to dryer cleaning. Scheduling routine dryer maintenance with a home appliance technician will help the dryer perform well with each cycle. They can clean the interior, vents, and ducts of the machine.
DIY Dryer Vent Cleaning Is Sufficient
Although you can use tools and kits for DIY dryer vent cleaning, you likely lack the expertise and equipment that a professional appliance technician has. A dryer vent cleaning service provider will remove all lint and debris and prevent malfunctions, energy inefficiency, and fire hazards. If you’re noticing lint overflowing from your dryer’s vents, hire a professional to clean them out.
The frequency of dryer cleaning depends on several factors, but here’s a general guide:
For the Lint Trap:
- Clean it after every drying cycle. This is the most crucial step to prevent lint buildup and fire hazards.
- Pay extra attention if you dry bulky items, pet hair-filled clothes, or heavily soiled laundry. These generate more lint, so clean the trap more often.
For the Dryer Drum:
- Generally, cleaning the drum isn’t necessary unless you notice excessive lint buildup, mold, or mildew.
- Consider cleaning it every 3-6 months if you:
- Dry pet items frequently.
- Dry heavily soiled laundry.
- Have a humid environment.
- Use a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
For the Dryer Vent:
- Ideally, clean the vent professionally once a year. This is especially important if you have long vent runs or use your dryer frequently.
- Inspect the vent periodically for signs of lint buildup, like longer drying times or reduced airflow. If you notice these, clean the vent immediately.
- You can clean the lint accessible from the dryer vent opening yourself. Use a long-handled brush or vacuum cleaner attachment.
Here are some additional factors to consider:
- Household size and laundry frequency: More laundry = more lint, so adjust cleaning accordingly.
- Type of dryer: Gas dryers tend to generate more lint than electric ones.
- Vent length and location: Longer vents and those with sharp bends need more frequent cleaning.
Remember, cleaning your dryer regularly helps prevent fires, improve drying efficiency, and extend its lifespan. If you’re unsure about any aspect of dryer cleaning, consult a qualified appliance technician.
Now that we’ve uncovered the truth within common misconceptions about cleaning a dryer, you can see the importance of regular dryer maintenance. Schedule routine dryer vent and duct cleaning, and periodically inspect the dryer’s interior for lint buildup. By prioritizing dryer maintenance, you can keep using your dryer for years!