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How to Clean the Lint Trap Screen on Your Dryer

And Why You Probably Need To Do It TODAY!

Dryer Vent Wizard is all about protecting homes and businesses from fires and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by dryer lint clogs in dryer vent lines. But there's a simple DIY maintenance tip every homeowner should know about: Cleaning the lint trap.

If you're thinking "Wait a minute, I already clean the lint off my lint trap every time I run the dryer," that’s not the kind of cleaning we’re talking about. We’re talking about actually cleaning the mesh fabric of the lint trap. All you’ll need is a little soap, a soft bristle brush, and about 5 minutes of your time.

How To Tell If You Need To Clean Your Dryer’s Lint Trap Screen

Dryer Lint Trap Screen Clogged By Film Over Mesh                    Dryer Lint Trap Screen After Cleaning
If water pools up on your lint trap screen like this, it's because chemicals on the dryer sheets you use have formed a film over the mesh screen. If water doesn't readily pass through, neither will air. After cleaning, water runs freely through the lint trap screen. You may notice an improvement in how well your dryer works, since air can move freely through the screen again.

First, pull the lint trap out of your dryer and remove any lint that may be on it from your last load of laundry. Then, take it over to your sink. Run a little water on the lint trap and see if it goes through or if it pools up.

If you use fabric softener dryer sheets, chances are the water will pool up on top of the screen. This is because the chemicals used in dryer sheets leave a thin film on the fine mesh screen.

Left uncleaned, your lint trap screen will completely block airflow through your dryer exhaust, resulting in clothes that don’t seem to ever get dry, an overheated dryer, and even a fire inside your dryer.

So, even though you remove the lint from your dryer's lint trap screen, that isn't enough to ensure your dryer is operating properly and safely. Every two or three months, run some water over your lint screen to check if it needs a cleaning.

How To Clean The Lint Trap In Your Dryer

Start by rinsing off any residual lint particles on your lint trap. Then, put a drop or two of hand soap or dish soap on the lint trap screen and use a soft bristled brush to gently clean the mesh. If you don't have a brush handy, you can clean it using just your fingers.

Clean both sides of the mesh, then test it make sure water from your faucet goes straight through the mesh. Leave the lint trap out to dry before putting it back in your dryer.

What About The Lint Underneath The Lint Trap?

Wisconsin dryer vent cleaning company

Dryer Vent Wizard recommends a long-handled brush for cleaning the lint trap cavity.

When you pulled out the lint trap on your dryer, did you notice clumps of lint in the space below? This is lint that snuck past the lint trap. Over time, it can build up to the point it actually clogs the flow of air through your lint trap. It needs to be cleaned out. But how? No one has fingers long enough to dredge up all the accumulated lint in the lint trap’s cavity.

Do a little online searching and you’ll come across attachments designed to fit on vacuum cleaners as well as hand-held lint brushes. Of the two types, we recommend the brush. These go for around $6 to $12. Besides being easily bent to fit into the nooks and crannies, a brush doesn’t require hauling out the vacuum cleaner and fitting an attachment on it, so you’re more likely to actually use it.

Is There Lint Inside Your Dryer, Too?

Oh, you bet there is. Because lint particles are so small, they'll find their way to the inside of your dryer, too. Cleaning it out requires removing the top or front cover of the dryer and vacuuming out all the accumulated lint. You’ll need to unplug your dryer first and shut off the gas if it’s a gas dryer. Once you’ve got the dryer open, just vacuum up all the lint inside.

It’s not particularly difficult to open up a dryer, but a lot of people just aren’t comfortable doing it. Dryer Vent Wizard doesn’t offer dryer cleaning as a stand-alone service, but if you hire us to clean your dryer vent line we can also do a deep cleaning of your dryer. It doesn’t add much to the cost of your service, and it’s highly recommended if your dryer is more than 10 years old.

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Now, About Your Dryer Vent Line…

Dryer Vent Wizard gets the lint out.If you can’t remember the last time you had your dryer vent line cleaned, it needs to be cleaned. Even with a properly installed dryer vent line, lint will accumulate inside the line over time. Without routine cleaning, the lint can actually clog the vent line. This lint is highly flammable, and hot air exhausting from the dryer can easily ignite a lint clog.

In most homes, dryer vents should be cleaned every year, but if you do 5 or more loads per week it’s recommended to have them cleaned every 6 months. Many large families that do a lot of laundry opt for 3 dryer vent cleanings per year.

Who Should You Hire To Clean Your Dryer Vents?

In Wisconsin, there are plenty of plumbers and handyman outfits advertising dryer vent cleaning, but there’s only one company specializing in cleaning dryer vents: Dryer Vent Wizard of Wisconsin. We’ve perfected the process of cleaning dryer vents and guarantee your complete satisfaction with our work—whether it’s cleaning a vent line, installing, rerouting, or repairing a vent line.

How Much Does It Cost For A Dryer Vent Cleaning?

The cost of having a dryer vent cleaned ranges from $80 to $150, depending on the length of the dryer vent and where it’s located. To get a better idea of what it will cost at your home, contact the Dryer Vent Wizard nearest you. Our Wizards serve northeast Wisconsin, the greater Milwaukee area and all of southeast Wisconsin.

 

Contact the Dryer Vent Wizard of Wisconsin Nearest You:

Northeast Wisconsin: Fond du lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee and the Fox Valley Counties. 920-644-3797

North Milwaukee: All locations north of Highway 94 in Dane County, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Dodge counties. 262-757-8368

Southeast Wisconsin: All locations south of Highway 94 in Dane County, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties.  262-312-1991. For property managers and condo associations, call 262-501-5240.