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How to Clean a Clothes Dryer Filter

Keeping the filter clean improves your dryer's performance and avoids the risk of fire from lint buildup.


  • Step 1: Manually clean filter Remove your dryer filter after each dryer load. Scrape lint from the filter with your hands.
  • Step 2: Vacuum filter and filter area Clean the area around the filter and wherever lint is visible using the hand tools on your vacuum.
  • Step 3: Wipe inside of dryer Wipe the inside of the dryer drum, the dryer door, and any other surfaces with a damp, soapy rag to remove hair, lint, and debris that can build up inside the dryer. Let air dry.
  • Step 4: Clean duct, vent, and back Lint also collects on the back of the dryer, in the exhaust duct, and in the dryer vent. Clean these periodically with a vacuum.
  • Step 5: Hire a professional Hire a professional to periodically clean the interior of your dryer every one to three years to increase safety and improve performance.
  • FACT: The first clothes dryer was invented in Europe in the 1800s. Clothes were dried in a large barrel with holes that was rotated over a fire.

You Will Need

  • A vacuum cleaner with hand tools
  • A bucket with water and dish soap
  • A rag

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