The tumble dryer is one of the most used appliances people have in their homes. This is especially true in winter when there’s less sunshine to dry your laundry outside. To make sure it works to its optimal level, and avoid creating fire risks, it’s important you give your dryer a regular clean.
In this article, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to give your dryer a deep clean. But first, let’s start by discussing how often you should clean your appliance.
How often does a dryer need to be cleaned?
When it comes to deep cleaning your dryer, aim to do it at least once a year or twice a year if you use it a lot. Between deep cleanings of your appliance, you should clean individual components within it more regularly.
Here are some good cleaning guidelines to follow for each component:
- Lint trap. It’s a good idea to give the lint trap a quick clean after every use. All you need to do is take it out and remove any lint from the trap. Every fortnight you should also give the lint trap a more thorough clean by washing it in hot soapy water and then putting it back in once dry.
- Dryer drum. It’s a good idea to clean the inside of the dryer drum once a week. This will ensure you collect up any loose debris and lint. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe it out.
- Dryer vent. Cleaning the dryer vent can be done once a year. This involves taking it apart and cleaning out the hoses and around the vent area. If you use your dryer a lot, you should consider cleaning the vent every 6 months instead.
- Dryer exterior. The exterior area of your dryer should be cleaned every fortnight. All you need to do is wipe it with a damp cloth. Pay special attention to wiping up any lint that’s on the outside of the dryer (especially around the vent area).
How to clean your dryer
Before you get started, make sure you have the following tools and products:
- A spray cleaning product
- Liquid dish soap
- A bucket
- Vacuum cleaner (optional)
- A small brush
- A screwdriver
- Microfiber cloths
Step 1 – Switch the power off
The first step is to switch the power off. If you have a gas-powered dryer, you will need to turn the gas supply off. Turning the power and gas off will make cleaning your dryer safer.
Step 2 – Remove and clean the lint trap
The next step is to remove and clean the lint trap. The purpose of the lint trap is to collect lint in your dryer. If you don’t regularly clean the trap, it can pose a fire risk. To clean the lint trap, remove it from your dryer and wash it in hot soapy water in your sink. If necessary, use a brush to remove any stubborn lint deposits. Once clean, dry the trap with a clean towel and place it back into your dryer.
Step 3 – Clean the inside of the dryer
The next step is to clean the inside of the dryer. Start by removing any obvious debris and then use a damp cloth to wipe the dryer drum out. If there are any stubborn stains inside the dryer, you can use a commercial cleaning spray to help remove them.
Step 4 – Clean the vent
The vent helps to distribute the hot air out of your dryer during the drying cycle. It’s common for lint and other debris to get past the lint filter and into the vent. To clean the vent, you need to:
- Disconnect the vent hose from both ends. You will need to loosen the clamp or screws that hold it in place.
- Once the hose is removed, use a vacuum cleaner or small brush to remove all of the lint and other debris from the hose.
- Vacuum the vent entrance on the dryer to remove any lint and other debris.
- If your vent exits outside of your home, you can vacuum or use a brush to clean the vent exit too.
- Once the vent is clean, reconnect the hose on both ends.
Step 5 – Clean the dryer exterior
Once the vent is clean, the next step is to give the exterior panels of your dryer a quick clean. This can be done with a spray bottle of cleaning detergent and a damp cloth. Make sure you wipe up any lint (especially around the vent area). If your dryer is attached to the wall, make sure you clean the roof around the dryer as this area can be a magnet for lint. If your dryer sits on the ground, move it out and clean the ground underneath the appliance.
Step 6 – Finish up
Once the dryer is clean both inside and out, plug your dryer back in, and then make sure all the parts have been put back into your dryer and reconnected properly. If you have a gas dryer, turn the gas back on. To finish up, turn your dryer on the hottest setting and let it run without any laundry in it for about 15 minutes. This will allow it to dry out. Once complete, you can start using your dryer again.