How to Clean Dryer - Step-By-Step Complete Guide


A dirty dryer can be smelly and dangerous. Learn how to clean dryer so your machine runs safely and effectively!

Oh, the dryer—that magic machine that makes your freshly washed wet clothes dry, fluffed, and ready to wear. But did you know that your dryer could also benefit from a regular wash? Cleaning your dryer may seem intimidating, but a regular quick clean will help keep your dryer running well, prevent accidents, and extend the life of your machine. Read on to learn more about how to clean dryer and keep it sparkling clean!

How to Clean Dryer

Dryer cleaning may not be on the top of your to-do list, but a clean dryer is more important than you think. Cleaning your dryer properly not only helps maintain aesthetics, but keeps your dryer in good working condition. A dirty and full lint trap not only reduces your dryer’s efficacy, but is a fire hazard. According to the US Fire Administration, dryers cause 2,900 house fires each year–with the leading cause being failure to clean them.

How to Clean Lint from Dryer

Lint build up in your dryer isn’t just an annoyance—it can be dangerous. Several thousand fires are reported each year as a result of dirty clothes dryers. If you aren’t already, get in the habit of cleaning your dryer lint screen after every load. Remove the screen, then gently pull the lint off by hand.

Every 6 months, deep clean the lint screen. After removing the lint, rinse the screen with hot water. Dissolve a laundry detergent pod in hot water and use a small brush to scrub and remove any buildup. Rinse the screen once more in hot water and let it dry!

While the lint screen is drying, use a vacuum or small brush to clean out the lint trap, which is located directly under the screen. Keeping the lint screen and lint trap clear can help prevent clogs from building up in your dryer vent.

Is your dryer not working as quickly as it once was? It may be time to clear out the dryer vent. Cleaning the dryer vent can be tricky, so you may want to hire a professional, but if you’re the DIY type, you can do it yourself with a dryer vent cleaning kit!

How to Clean Inside of a Dryer

Once your dryer is clear of lint, it’s time to give the drum a good cleaning! No matter how carefully you check your pockets, a bit of a mess inside the dryer is inevitable. Carefully remove any stuck hairs or threads using your hands or a soft tool like a rubber spatula.

Products like traditional fabric softeners and dryer sheets can leave a film on the inside of your machine. To combat this, dissolve an Oxi Booster Pod in warm water and use the solution to wipe out the inside of the dryer. This will make sure that your clean clothes stay clean by preventing odor and removing any buildup. You can also use this solution on the outside of your laundry machines, on counters, and on floors to keep your laundry room looking sparkling!

To prevent this residue in the future, consider swapping your sticky, artificial dryer sheets for our XL Wool Dryer Balls. These natural dryer balls help soften your laundry and reduce drying time, without adding any extra chemicals. Looking for some extra scent? You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the dryer balls to lightly scent your laundry during the dryer cycle!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have more questions about how to clean dryer? We have answers!

Do Dryers Need to be Cleaned Inside?

Dryers need to be cleaned inside regularly. Traditional fabric softeners and dryer sheets leave a film inside the dryer, which can build up. If something unexpected–a lipstick, crayon, or pen–makes its way into the dryer, it can cause stains on the inside of the drum that can transfer to your laundry. Commit to regular cleanings now to prevent yourself the trouble of stain-fighting your clothes later!

How Do You Clean a Dryer That Smells?

Holding your nose when you open your dryer? You may have a mildew problem on your hands. Leaving wet clothes sitting in your dryer for too long can cause mildew to develop. To eliminate mildew (and the accompanying smell), clean your dryer as instructed above. After wiping down the dryer drum with a Swedish Dish Cloth dipped in Oxi Booster solution, allow the inside of the dryer to completely dry. Then, repeat this process with a Swedish Dish Cloth dipped in white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer, and should help eliminate the smell naturally.

How Do You Disinfect a Dryer?

You can disinfect a dryer by cleaning it with a bleach solution. Add half a cup of bleach to a gallon of water, and use this to wipe out the inside of the dryer. After it fully dries, you can repeat with the Oxi Booster solution or vinegar. Be careful when handling chemicals like bleach; you may want to open a window or wear a mask or rubber gloves.

Can You Self Clean a Dryer?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to self clean a dryer! The above steps are simple and should be easy to do on your own. For tasks like cleaning the dryer vent, you may want to hire a professional, but if you’re the DIY type you can do it yourself with a dryer vent cleaning kit.