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A great way to clean the lint out of your dryer: Tear a sheet of the sticky paper off of a dog hair or lint remover roll. Wrap the sheet around your 4 fingers (less your thumb) and swipe your hand through your lint catcher and around the surrounding areas of your dryer, including the wires that lint and spider webs gather on! Even get wild and wrap a few sheets around the end of a Swiffer mop and wipe off your fan blades or hard to reach ceiling corners- lint, fuzz, hair, dust and spider webs stick to this stuff instantly.
Re-use your just used dryer sheet to remove the lint from the lint-screen. It grabs the lint easily and it will help preserve your manicured nails!
By tahloolabelle from Ventura, CA
A build up of residue especially from fabric sheets is hard to remove from the screen of you lint tray for your dryer. I found a bleach stick at the dollar store and squirted the gel on the screen. The tube of get comes with a plastic brush. Rub the gel over the whole screen to break down the grime. Use the brush to rub off the residue. Rinse well. Dry.
By Tuna from Billings, MT
Here's a tip I got from my repairman when he came to do the yearly maintenance on my clothes dryer. He said to take the lint screen out of the dryer and get all the lint off of it. Then take it to the sink and run water over it. Most likely the water will bead up on it. If it does, then do the following: squirt some dish soap on it (Dawn is best for this). Then take a scrub brush and wet it and scrub the screen all over on both sides. Rinse well, dry and put back in the dryer.
He said to do this about once a month, but I usually do it once a week. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, but it will prolong the life of your dryer by years. Plus it'll save on your electric bill because it won't take so long to dry things.
I've been doing this for 2 years now and my 12 year old dryer is running like a new one!
By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC
I have a narrow lint trap space in my dryer. I have found that the new Swiffer Duster with the extension handle works really well for going down into the lint trap, after I have removed the trap screen. It also works really well getting under the dryer too!
I received this e-mail from a friend and felt I should share it:
"I had a wonderful morning, the heating unit went out of my dryer! Why does everything seem to fall apart this time of year!? The guy that fixes things went in to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.
Many people don't know it but using dryer sheets, especially Bounce, can actually start dryer fires. To prevent this every couple weeks, remove your dryer lint trap and wash it with dish soap and warm water and then let it dry.
Be sure to clean out your dryer's lint trap, after each use. Forgetting to do so, might cause a fire. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Dryer lint traps may appear clean of lint, but still have residue on them from fabric softer. Wash them with a mild dish soap and an old toothbrush to keep the fabric softer buildup off of the trap. The buildup clogs up the screen, much like oil in your skin clogs up your pores. My dryer was throwing an error code to clean the trap. I saw little to no lint, yet after I washed the trap, the dryer started working again. I had no idea how much was built up on it until I compared the side I washed with the side I had not washed yet.
Do you use fabric softener sheets in your dryer? Every once in awhile, take your lint trap and wash it in hot water and dry. Dryer sheets can clog your lint trap.
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I just moved into an apartment with a super old dryer. I am not sure what year it is. I've checked the inside and outside of the dryer for a lint trap and I can't seem to find it anywhere. I haven't removed lint from the dryer since I moved in maybe a month ago. Also, the dryer takes forever to dry anything! Any suggestions on what to do or where to look next for a lint trap? I'm sure it's way over due for a cleaning.
You may have to take the top off to find it. If it's not there, remove the front bottom panel.
See if you can find and write down the make and model and even serial number. Contact the manufacturer (if they're still in business). You may have to hunt down re-manned (re-manufactured) parts or investigate making a substitue.
As to heating? Check everything's hooked up the way it's supposed to be (with no gaps in the ductwork / venting). The heating portion may be worn out. Talk to your landlord about replacing it with a newer, second-hand appliance?
Maybe someone could help if you could give us the make of your dryer.
I would seriously consider not drying clothes until you find the lint trap.
Have you called your landlord? I think he would be very glad to try and help so that a fire may be avoided.
Can you post a picture of the dryer? Inside and out? Look on the top, outside sides and in the wall of the dryer on the front side. What kind is it? I had one years ago where it slid out the side of the dryer, on the outside.
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Get in the habit of cleaning the lint screen in your dryer between each load. Your dryer will run more efficiently when the lint screen is cleaned.
The dryer in our house has the lint trap on the top. Sometimes these things are hard to clean. For a quick and easy way to clean the trap, I just pick up a piece of lint and use it to collect the rest. If there is lint on top of the dryer the little ball of lint will pick that up too!
Not cleaning the lint trap in your dryer can result in a household fire. I've never experienced this myself, but I've heard of it before. Why chance a fire, when all it takes is less than 2 minutes to clean it out, each time your dryer is used? (09/15/2006)
Yes dryer fires are the second leading cause of household fires, grease fires being the first. (09/15/2006)
Excess lint can cause a fire to start, too, so this more than just a frugal tip!(09/15/2006)
But, don't forget to occasionally pull out your dryer and pull the exhaust hose off of the wall to empty it of lint too! If your clothes are taking longer to dry or are carrying a "musky" odor, odds are you have a thick back up of lint back there too. This is where the real fire hazard potential is. And just to be safe, never run your dryer when you're asleep or away from home! (09/15/2006)
A quick vacuum will clean up the lint from the hoses and the top quickly also. (12/01/2008)
Does your clothes dryer take longer than it should to dry your clothes when set on auto-dry? Ours would be running when we got up in the morning. It had run all night! Remove the lint filter, and take it to the sink. Wash it gently with soap and water. Rinse well. Problem solved!
By Grandma Jo from Louisville, KY
The lint trap should be emptied after every load. A build up of lint is a fire hazard. (A lot of people use lint as a firestarter when camping!) You don't have to use soap and water each time. Once a year I actually open up the dryer where the lint trap and vent is and vacuum it out. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes! (11/05/2008)
I always make sure that our dryer isn't running when I go to bed, and if my husband is up later than I am, I always tell him to make sure that it is off before he goes to bed. (11/05/2008)
You can thank your lucky stars it did not burn your house down. When the bricklayers were bricking our house, some of guys were also firemen. They told us that, at their station, one of the firemen's wife had gone to town, leaving the dryer on. When she returned, their home had burnt down. She had not been cleaning the lint trap. They said you should never leave a dryer running when you can not check on it. Please do not go to bed and leave the dryer on. Something is wrong if a dryer runs all night. Get it checked out or buy a new one. Cheaper than losing a home or you life. (11/05/2008)
Don't check just the lint screen - check the whole thing all the way to the outside. We got our dryer and the venting new ten years ago. Recently my cats chasing one another bumped the hard pipe and knocked part of it down. I was amazed that the inside of the pipe was almost half dryer lint. We replaced all of it and now my dryer doesn't have to be on the nuclear setting to dry the clothes! (11/06/2008)