Did you know that cleaning your dryer and vent can help keep your drying times shorter and your clothes in good shape? Daily use can fill your appliance with dust and lint over time, which can affect your dryer’s performance and even pose a fire hazard. Our guide can help you understand what needs to be cleaned, plus how and when to do it:

Woman cleaning dryer lint screen

Every load: clean dryer lint screen

A screen blocked by lint can increase drying time. It is important to clean your lint screen after every use. Locate your dryer's lint screen, which is most likely near the dryer door. Remove the screen by pulling up, then gently remove the lint from the screen by hand and put the lint trap back. Wet lint is harder to remove, so don't scrub or use water.

Women cleaning washing machine with wipe

As needed: clean lint trap and exterior

How to Clean Dryer Lint Trap
Remove your lint screen and set it aside, then completely turn off your dryer and open the dryer door. Using a vacuum crevice tool or dryer cleaning brush, carefully clean the interior and exterior of the lint trap, as well as the moisture sensor strips on the outside of the lint trap. When you're done, make sure to replace the lint screen, close the door and plug your dryer back in.

Clean dryer exterior
Use a cleaning wipe or microfiber cloth and gentle cleaning spray to clean the outside surfaces, knobs and buttons.

Every six months: deep clean lint screen

The laundry detergent and fabric softener that builds up on your lint screen can increase drying time. If you notice lint collecting on areas of the screen or plugging the mesh, the screen may be more difficult to clean by hand. Here's how to clean your screen with water:

  1. Roll lint off, then wet both sides with hot water.

  2. Scrub with nylon brush, hot water and liquid detergent to remove buildup.

  3. Rinse with hot water and dry thoroughly.

Getting a clean dryer vent

How to Clean Dryer Drum, Vent, and Duct System

Clean your dryer drum
Clear or vacuum any debris before cleaning. Watch out for things like stuck-on tape and wedged-in threads.

  1. For an electric dryer, rub the drum with a soft cloth that has been dipped in a mild hand-wash dish soap diluted in very warm water. For a gas dryer, do the same with a liquid, nonflammable household cleaner.

  2. For both an electric and gas dryer, rinse well with a wet sponge or towel.

  3. Tumble a load of clean clothes or towels to dry the drum.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Your dryer's exhaust vent may be clogged if dry times are lagging, clothes aren't getting dry or you can't feel air moving through the outside vent. Cleaning your dryer vent is essential, so schedule a service appointment if it's difficult to find or access your dryer duct and outside exhaust vent. If you want to clean the dryer vent yourself, get a dryer vent cleaning kit then follow these steps:

How to Clean Dryer Vent

  1. Locate your dryer's exhaust vent. Typical locations include the outside of your home, your roof or your attic. Remove the plastic cover that protects the end of the vent.

  2. Unplug your dryer's power supply cord. On gas models, close the shut-off valve in the gas supply line, then disconnect and cap the supply line pipe.

  3. Remove any tape or clamps holding the exhaust vent pipe to vent on the back of your dryer.

  4. Push the brush from your dryer cleaning kit as gently and as far as possible into either end of your dryer duct. Make sure to follow any turns or corners.

  5. Clean up any lint that comes out the opposite side of the duct from where you started, then reconnect the vent pipe and power cord and/or gas supply.

  6. Slide your dryer back into place. Run an empty dryer cycle for 10 – 15 minutes to blow out residual dust and confirm that the vent is clean.

Knowing how and when to clean your dryer vent can go a long way toward keeping it in shape. But if it’s time for a new dryer, Whirlpool has the right one for your family.


Learn more about clothing care

What is involved in cleaning your washing machine?

How to keep a clean washing machine

Help keep your family’s clothes smelling fresh and looking clean.

What does it mean to tumble dry your clothes?

What does tumble dry mean?

To tumble dry or not to tumble dry: that is the question. Wait, what does tumble dry even mean? Find out here.

What do laundry symbols mean

What do those laundry symbols actually mean?

We get it; your clothes’ care tags are as indecipherable as your kids’ geometry homework. We’ll help crack the code

Appliance IQ

Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on