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Tackling Tough Cleaning Issues in the Clothes Dryer


Knowing how to clean your dryer properly will keep it running smoothly and more efficiently.  Keeping a dryer well maintained will also help your clothes to dry faster, keep your dryer in top condition longer, lower your utility bill and reduce the risk of fire.

Daily Cleaning

Lint build-up in the dryer is common and if not cleaned properly can clog the airflow and cause the dryer to work inefficiently and harder than it has to.  Before every load, be sure to clean the lint filter.  Check the back of the dryer and make sure that the vent is also free of debris and lint.

Periodic Maintenance

Periodically you need to check your vent to make sure that the air is still flowing unhindered and is lint-free.  General dryer cleaning requires little more than a clean cloth and warm, sudsy water.  Because you are working with liquids, unplug an electric dryer before washing.  Always dip your clean cloth into the sudsy water and wring in well until it is only damp.  Pouring or spraying water into the dryer drum could cause it to leak down into the dryer. Thoroughly wipe out the drum and the outside of the dryer.

Cleaning Situations Requiring Special Handling

how to remove crayon from the dryerCrayon: Crayon may require a cleaner a bit stronger than sudsy water.  Make sure that the cleaner you use in non-flammable.  Once the dryer is heated, the flammable cleaner residue could start a fire.

Read All Solutions for Removing Crayon from the Dryer.



Can polyester be dyed?Dye: If the dye from an item of clothing runs during the wash cycle, don’t put it in the dryer.  If you inadvertently dry an item with running dye, clean the dryer drum thoroughly before running another load.  Wipe the drum thoroughly with a white cloth and sudsy water until the dye no longer appears on the cloth.



How to remove ink from the clothes dryerInk: If ink does not come off with a little elbow grease and soapy water, you may need to resort to a strong chemical cleaner such as Formula 409.  Be very careful when working with more potent chemicals as many are flammable.  Use the smallest amount necessary dampening a cloth with the cleaner rather than spraying it directly into the dryer.  Once the ink is removed attempt to remove any residue with warm soapy water.  Leave the dryer door open and let the flammable vapors ventilate for at least a few hours prior to attempting to use the dryer again.

Read All Solutions for Removing Ink from the Clothes Dryer


Expert Opinion

Quote: “Garments that contain loose dyes, such as denim blue jeans, or brightly colored cotton items, may discolor the dryer interior. These stains are not harmful to your dryer and will not stain future loads of clothes. Dry these items inside out to avoid staining.”

SourceDryer Care and Maintenance Maytag Owner’s Manual



“Dryer Cleaning.” Error Encountered. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.

“Clothes Dryer Fact Sheet.” Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2010.

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