When we toss our wet, clean clothes in the dryer, we might not think that we’re making it dirty – after all, the clothes are clean, right? However, you might not know it but there’s actually quite a bit of ‘gunk’ that builds up in our dryers over time, causing mildew, not-quite-dry-clothing, unpleasant odors, or even a fire hazard.
Here are 7 ways to make sure your dryer is super clean and operating in tip-top shape.
The best part? These hardly require any time or effort at all.
1. Clean your lint vent
You might remove the lint from your lint filter after every use, but you might not realize that some still gets through and can cause a massive buildup. Over time, this will cause your clothes not to dry, and also create a fire hazard in your home. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to fix it.
Pull out your dryer’s lint filter, and use your vacuum’s crevice tool to suck out the lint. Insert it deep inside, turn on vacuum to remove any lint that might be accumulating deep down and in the hose. You can also purchase a crevice tool and/or lint hose on Amazon starting at around $8.
2. Remove unpleasant odors
Have you ever noticed that, even if you keep your dryer clean, there is a lingering unpleasant or funky odor? Get rid of it with some towels and dryer sheets. After you’ve cleaned your dryer, wipe down the inside with a warm towel. Then, fill the dryer with half a box of dryer sheets, and 3-4 wet towels. Run it through a heated cycle.
The steam from the towels will release the dryer sheet’s scent into your dryer’s vents, keeping it smelling fresh.
3. Deep clean the dryer vent
Remember that fire hazard we mentioned if too much lint gets trapped in the vent? Dirty clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 house fires a year in the U.S., according to ABC.
Thankfully, it’s easier to prevent than you might think. No need to hire a professional to come and clean your dryer’s vent, there are vent cleaning kits available at your local hardware store that help you unblock your vents in no time. Head to Frugally Blonde to see how she deep-cleaned hers.
4. Remove stuck-on messes
Have you ever accidentally left something in your pocket, like a piece of candy or gum, then put it through the washer and dryer? Or maybe your child had a sticker on their shirt, and now the adhesive residue is all over your dryer walls. Easily remove this gunk by rubbing it with warm olive oil, then scraping it off with a spatula or a credit card.
5. Do a monthly clean with water and vinegar
As you probably already know, vinegar is an amazing cleaning tool – your dryer is no exception. Fill a bucket or pot with hot water and a 1/2 cup to a cup of white vinegar. Use a cloth to dip in the mixture and wipe down every part of your dryer – the outside, inside, and even the lint trap. Then, use another cloth with just water to rinse. Voila! Clean as a whistle.
6. Remove ink stains
Leave a pen in your pocket? Oops! Now, there’s ink all over your dryer walls. Avoid using any flammable solvents or cleaners and use a bit of bleach instead.
“Soak an old white towel or rag with bleach and water, throw it in the dryer, and run it for 20 minutes on the “air fluff” setting (heat will set some inks). Make sure to take safety precautions (mask, gloves, open windows, eyewear). The ink should be gone after a few cycles. Leave your dryer open afterwards to let it air out,” How To Clean Things says.
7. Maintain upkeep of your moisture sensor
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By keeping your dryer’s moisture sensor clean and maintained, it will save you money and reduce carbon emissions as they make sure that you are using your dryer’s energy efficiently. In newer dryers, they are located in the front near your lint vent. In older models, they may be in the back of the drum.
To clean the sensor, just use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and give it a scrub, then polish it with a soft cloth. That’s it!
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