Wondering why your clothes dryer is not drying the clothes as quickly as it usually does? Well, it may be because of a dirty dryer vent and filter. Do you remember when you cleaned your dryer last time? The dryer like any other electronic home appliance requires regular cleaning. Apart from helping your dryer perform optimally, when you clean your dryer vent and filter regularly, it minimizes the risk of clogging and thus boosts its performance. Running your dryer with a clogged vent can cause internal damage which may require repairs.
While there can be many reasons and explanations for poor performance of your dryer, one of the most common reasons is the need for cleaning. By cleaning your dryer routinely you can ensure that your clothes are getting dried in a timely manner.
If you have not cleaned your dryer for long, and you are facing performance issues, then this may be the right time to clean your dryer. While cleaning the dryer will boost its performance, it’ll also help save money on energy charges and avoid any hazards.
Things to know before cleaning your dryer
Luckily, cleaning a dryer does not require special technical skills, and anyone can do it easily. But if you are unsure and wondering about how to clean your dryer easily, then I have got you covered. But before you start the cleaning, let me share some pre cleanup tips.
Read the manual
Before cleaning the dryer, you should read the user manual and instruction booklet that you might have received with the dryer. If you can’t find the manual because you might have misplaced it, then you may check if the manual is available online. You can most likely find it on the manufacturers’ website. By reading the care and handling instructions and advice, you will get to know many things about operating and maintaining your dryer.
Know your dryer and its components
As you read the user’s manual and the instruction booklet of your cloth dryer, you get to know more about the machine. You should have the basic idea of what is a dryer vent, dryer lint screen and dryer trap. The dryer lint screen and trap are unusually at the top of your dryer, but the vent is connected backward. Ideally, you should clean the dryer lint screen after every run or at least between alternate runs. It’s easy to clean the dryer lint screen – you can lift it up, wipe and clean, discard the debris and place it back. You can use your hands and fingers to wipe or use a soft cloth to wipe it. To clean the lint trap, you may like to use a vacuum cleaner or a long and soft cleaning brush. Cleaning the lint and trap regularly can help magically in preventing clogs build ups in your dryer vent.
Clean the dryer every 6-8 months
It’s important to know how often your dryer should be cleaned. Although a dryer that is being used regularly should be cleaned every 6-8 months. If your dryer is being run heavily, you may like to clean it more often. Similarly if it’s not being used that often, you can increase the frequency of the dryer clearing routine for best performance. However, there are other signals as well that indicate its need for cleaning and maintenance. For instance, if the machine is getting too hot or if there is an unusual musty smell on the opening of the door is a good indication that your dryer requires cleaning. Similarly, accumulation of lint on the lint screen or in the trap can be the signal to clean the machine.
8 Easy Steps to Dryer Cleaning and Maintenance
Now that you know
- Why cleaning your dryer is important for best performance
- How often you should clean your dryer
- How to spot if your dryer requires cleaning and maintenance
It’s time to get started with the cleaning job.
Collect cleaning tools and supplies
Right set of cleaning tools and supplies will not just help you clean your dryer efficiently; it will also help get the best result off your cleaning efforts. So before you start the dryer cleaning process, make sure to collect these cleaning tools and supplies.
There is a high chance that you already have these cleaning essentials at your home. You need a vacuum, some soapy water, a toothbrush or a nylon brush, spray bottle, microfiber cloth and possibly a dry vent cleaning kit.
Here are the eight easy steps you need to clean and maintain your dryer.
Step 1: Unplug the dryer
Before you start cleaning your dryer vent, you should switch off the machine and unplug it from the socket. If yours is a gas dryer, then turn off the gas as well.
Step 2: Remove vent clamp
If your dryer is placed closer to the wall, then pull it off forward so that you can access the vent duct. Now unscrew the clamp which is holding the vent pipe. Now carefully, inspect the duct pipe and if it shows any sign of crack or damage, then you may have to replace the duct pipe.
Step 3: Unclog the vent
Carefully inspect the vent and look for any clogs or debris. If you find some then try removing it with your hands. However, be very careful to not rush and move your hand slowly to avoid any injury. Using special dryer vent cleaning tools are highly recommended for best cleaning results. Alternatively, you can use the alternate cleaning tool or a vacuum cleaner that you may already have at home. But just be cautious to not use anything that may damage the vent. Whatever cleaning tool you are using, just be sure to clean the dryer vent, tube and all other components thoroughly.
Step 4: Remove debris and lint
In this step, we are removing the debris. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris. Using the vacuum or whichever cleaning tool you have, remove as much debris and lint. Try reaching deeper into the opening as much as you can reach.
Step 5: Clean the exterior vent
Cleaning the exterior vent is equally important. So, carefully examine the exterior vent opening and cautiously remove any clog or debris that you can find and reach. You can use the leaning tools, or use your hands with globes on.
Step 6: Clear vent obstruction
The next important task of dryer maintenance is to clear any obstruction from the exterior vent. So inspect carefully and clear any sign of obstruction that may be interfering or obstructing the air flow around it. Sometimes birds may create a nest inside the exterior vent, or rodents and insects may infest into the vent. You can easily prevent such a situation by installing a ventilated cover which can help prevent this situation without disturbing the air flow.
Step 7: Reattach the vent
Now that the interior and exterior cleaning is done, it’s time to reattach the vent to the dryer. Fasten the clamp and make sure that the vent is reattached correctly.
Step 8: Power up and run your dryer
Now move the machine to its position. Clean the surface with a vacuum cleaner or broom. Connect the power cable to the wall socket and you are good to switch it on. Power up the dryer and run it for a few minutes. Debris may loosen inside or at the exterior side. If you find any sign of debris after running the machine for a few minutes, then you may like to clean that as well.
Finally, you are good to go.
Bonus dryer maintenance tips
While cleaning and maintaining the dryer regularly is essential for optimal performance, there are other ways you can get the best performance.
Here are a few tricks to minimize the amount of lint collection in your dryer.
- Avoid drying pet bedding or other lint prone fabrics like terry cloth and flannel.
- Regularly clean the rub of your washing machine and the dryer
- While cleaning the dryer vent, if you find any sign of deterioration or see a crack, then maybe you may like to call a professional and get it checked properly.
Proper maintenance of the dryer machine can help ensure optimal performance for long.
What else do you think one should do while cleaning the dryer? Share your favorite hacks by commenting below.