Believe it or not, something as simple as a dirty dryer lint trap can cause major problems with the performance of your dryer. The best way to prevent these problems is knowing how to clean your dryer lint trap properly.

A clogged lint trap can decrease dryer performance by restricting airflow. In turn, you may experience these common dryer repair problems:

  • Dryer takes more than one cycle
  • Clothes are damp after drying cycle
  • Dryer smells like burning

Clean Your Dryer Lint Trap to Improve Performance

What Restricts Airflow in a Dryer?

Airflow in the dryer can be restricted in a few different ways.

  • Clogged dryer vents (the hose that goes out of your dryer)
  • Wax build-up and dirty dryer lint trap
  • Built-up dryer lint and debris in the dryer itself

The first sign that you have restricted airflow will be poor dryer performance including longer dry times and no heat. You’ll obviously notice if your dryer isn’t heating (and therefore not drying your clothing), but if the restricted airflow is simply causing poor performance, you may not be as aware of the problem.

If your dryer takes more than 1 cycle to dry, it’s a good idea to check for restricted airflow. If left without care for too long, your dryer’s functional parts will begin to wear down faster, causing an unnecessary breakdown. Or, worst-case scenario, dryer vent lint build-up may result in a dryer fire.

clean your dryer lint trap
Photo Credit: Christopher Hilliker YouTube

How to Clean Your Dryer Lint Trap

If your dryer seems to have restricted airflow, the first place to check is the dryer lint trap.

Step #1: Remove Lint from Screen
This should be done after every load of laundry. Simply peel the lint of the screen and toss it in the garbage can. Make sure you get all the lint that might cling to the frame of the screen too. It can help to dampen your fingers just a tad.

Step #2: Inspect Dryer Lint Trap for Wax Build Up
There are two ways to tell if your dryer lint trap has wax build-up on it. Hold the screen up to a light. Any opaque areas are filled with wax. Likewise, you can hold the screen under running water. If the water pools, you need to clean your dryer lint trap with soap and water to remove the residue.

Step #3: Scrub the Lint Trap
Squirt a few pumps of dishwashing detergent and water on the screen. Use a soft to medium bristle cleaning brush to scrub the screen. Rinse the trap thoroughly. If water still pools on the screen, you may need to use a heavier cleaning agent, like Clorox Clean-Up spray.

In this video, Tiger Tom demonstrates how to clean the dryer lint trap.