At first, you may scratch your head as to why you would ever have to clean the inside of your dryer. After all, if the wet clothes you put in it are clean, shouldn't it remain that way?
It'd be nice if this was the way it works, but even cleaning appliances get dirty, especially the dryer which tumbles load after load of laundry on an almost constant basis if you have young kids at home.
But the next time your dryer is empty, take a look at the interior. If you haven't cleaned it in a while, you'll likely find more than a few spots that you'll want to remove.
1. Use detergent and vinegar. One of the biggest culprits dirtying up the inside of the dryer are items left in pockets, like sticks of gum, loose change or folded pieces of paper. By the time the dryer is finished, what was once in pockets can likely be found on the dryer drum in the form of markings or a caked-on mess. With a wet rag dampened with a mild detergent and vinegar, wipe down the dryer drum to remove dirt and residue, then give it a final once-over with just a paper towel and a bit of water.
2. Make sure to clean the lint trap. As it's name suggests, the lint trap captures loose fabric on shirts, socks and pants, but the lint builds up over time, which ultimately affects how quickly your clothes dry. Furthermore, a lint trap that never gets emptied dramatically increases the risk of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of home dryer fires is failure to clean them. After every load that's completed, take a look at the lint trap. You should be able to peel off the lint with your fingers or a lint brush.
3. Perform "deep-clean" lint removal annually. The trap is where you'll be able to get most of the lint that comes off clothes when they're drying. But it doesn't catch everything, as tiny fibers find their way into gaps around the edges of the dryer drum. Over time, the lint build-up can lead to a fire safety hazard. The Family Handyman has some DIY tips for how you can reach lint that's deep inside the dryer, which will likely require a screw driver to remove panels.
The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.
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