How to maintain your clothes dryer

How to maintain your clothes dryer

Key tips to remember

  • Clean the lint trap
  • Clear out the vent piping
  • Check the outside dryer vent

Just as you need to know how to keep your refrigerator running smoothly, you need to perform regular maintenance and cleaning on your dryer as well. Doing so will not only help it continue working efficiently, but it will also keep you safe from any potential hazards. Remember, when a clothes dryer is malfunctioning, it can cause serious issues, such as fires. Check out the steps below to learn how to maintain your dryer the right way.

Clean the lint trap

To begin the cleaning and maintenance process, you should start by removing the lint trap. Using a soft-bristled brush and a mild soap or detergent, begin scrubbing your lint trap clear of any lint or dust. When you finish, leave the tray on a towel until it is dry enough to place back into the dryer. Don’t forget, if the tray is still wet, it could end up causing an electrical fire. We recommend washing out your lint trap at least once a year, but you should take this step whenever you feel your dryer needs it.

Vacuum your dryer

Before you start vacuuming your dryer, it is crucial that you unplug it from the electrical socket. This is to prevent you from getting a shock or starting an electrical fire. Grab your vacuum, and using one of the small attachments that comes with it, vacuum the inside of the lint trap. In order for your clothes dryer to work properly, you have to get rid of all the clumps and stray lint hanging around. If needed, you can also use a lint brush to achieve the same effect. After you finish vacuuming up your lint tray, it is time to move onto your dryer’s surroundings.

Clear out the vent piping

The next step in maintaining your clothes dryer is vacuuming the inside of your vent piping. Before you start, you will need to remove the vent piping that links your dryer to the wall. Pick up the small attachment that comes with your vacuum and start sucking out the inside of the pipe to get rid of any old lint or debris. While the dryer is moved out from the wall, you should take advantage of this time to clean the surroundings. Wet a rag with water and scrub down both the wall and floor behind your dryer. This will get rid of any lint, dust or debris floating around the air. When you are all finished with that, place your dryer back into its original position in your laundry room. And don’t forget to reattach the vent piping to your wall and dryer — you will need this piece of equipment for your clothes dryer to work correctly.

Check the outside dryer vent

After your dryer is placed back into its rightful spot, you need to make sure that it is leveled out. If it is not balanced correctly, it could cause the rotation parts to wear out faster than normal. Seek out the exterior dryer vent located around your property. If your vent plate is connected to your outside vent, you may have to use a screwdriver to take down the plate before you are able to clean it. However, if the outside vent has some kind of hinges, you will have to first clean around them. You can buy a telescoping brush that is designed specifically to clean dryer vents, which will make certain that the vent is properly ventilated for air to flow around freely.

Consider all-metal venting

Many homes have foil venting, which extends and compresses to reach the dryer’s position. This type of venting may be convenient, but it can also get squished between the dryer and the wall, reducing air flow and making your dryer work harder. In order to maximize your appliance’s lifespan, it is recommended that you use all-metal venting because it won’t compress, and it quickly dissipates heat.

Maintaining your clothes dryer is an important part of being a homeowner. Home appliances are expensive, and maintaining them helps you to get the most out of your money. If you are concerned about the high potential cost of having to repair or replace a major appliance or home system, consider investing in a Cinch home protection plan. Your appliances will be covered, so if anything happens, all you’ll have to do is pick up the phone, and we’ll be there to fix it.


The information in this article 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.