Laundry room in new apartment.

How to Clean your Dryer: The Best Dryer Cleaners of 2022

By Jon Jachura

Most people don’t think about how important it is to clean their dryer. But a clean dryer is crucial to having clean laundry and a safe home. A dryer that isn’t clean can leave your clothes smelling musty, can damage your clothes, and if it builds up too much lint, it can become a fire hazard.

Learning how to clean your clothes dryer is easy and takes less than an hour. The best way to clean your dryer is with a special dryer cleaning kit. These kits have everything you need to clean your dryer, including a brush and cleaner.

If you’re not sure how to clean your dryer or use a dryer cleaning kit, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll cover the top dryer cleaner kits of 2022. If you’re ready to learn how to clean your dryer, let’s get started.

Pre-dryer Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Before you start cleaning your clothes dryer, you can do a few things to make the job easier. 

  • Empty your dryer lint trap. This will help you avoid getting lint on your clothes while you’re cleaning. The lint trap is usually located on the side or front of the unit inside the dryer door. Simply pull it out and dump the lint into the trash to empty it. You should clean your lint screen after each load of laundry. 
  • Vacuum around your dryer. This will help you get rid of any dust or dirt that might be around your dryer. Vacuuming will also help you avoid spreading dust and dirt around when you start cleaning.
  • If your dryer is electric, unplug it from the outlet before you start cleaning. This will help you avoid getting shocked while cleaning. Don’t mess with the gas line if you have a gas dryer. It can (and should) stay connected while you clean it. 
  • Figure out where to move your dryer. You will need to move your dryer to get access to its rear to clean the vent. Envision exactly where you’ll move it to reach the back. You might need to move your washing machine too. Not all laundry rooms are spacious enough to move the dryer completely out of the way, so keep this in mind and make room beforehand.
  • Gather some dryer cleaning tools. If you don’t have a dryer cleaning kit, a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, a dryer vent brush, and some rags will do the trick. Or scroll down to check out our recommended dryer cleaning kits to make your life easier. 

Now that you’ve prepped your dryer for your DIY cleaning let’s look at how to clean it.

How to Clean Your Dryer

So you’ve prepped your dryer for cleaning and gathered your cleaning supplies. Now it’s time to spend the next hour – or longer if this is your first time – getting your dryer cleaned and like new. Here’s how to do it step-by-step. 

1. Turn Off and Safely Unplug Your Dryer

First, you need to ensure your dryer is turned off and unplugged. If your dryer is electric, this is a must to avoid getting shocked while cleaning. If you have a gas dryer, the gas line should stay connected. The gas line is flexible, so you can still move it while it’s connected. But you still want to make sure the dryer is turned off.

2. Move Away From Wall and Remove Vent Clamp

Now it’s time to move your dryer away from the wall. You need to be able to access the back of your dryer, so you might need to move it out of the laundry room altogether or move your washer. If you have a gas dryer, only move it as far as the flexible gas line will let you. 

Once you’ve moved your dryer, locate the vent clamp. This is usually a small metal clamp that holds the vent hose to the back of the dryer. Use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp and remove the vent hose from the dryer. The vent is essential ductwork that exhausts hot air and moisture from your dryer to the outdoors.

3. Remove any clogs

Now that you have access to the vent hose, it’s time to start cleaning. First, use your vacuum with the hose attachment to suck up any dryer lint or debris in the vent hose. If your vacuum has a brush attachment, you can use that to loosen any clogs and then vacuum them up. 

4. Use Dryer Cleaner Kit to Remove Lint and Debris

Once you’ve vacuumed the vent hose, look inside the dryer. Lint can build up inside, so use your dryer cleaner kit to clean it out. The kit should come with a lint brush and a lint trap cleaner. First, use the lint brush to remove any lint from the inside of the dryer. Then, use your vacuum to collect the loosened lint and debris. 

You can clean the exterior of your dryer with a microfiber cloth soaked with warm, soapy water while it is pulled away from the wall.

5. Carefully Unclog Exterior Vent

Now it’s time to take care of the exterior vent. The first step is to unclog it carefully. You can use your dryer vent brush to loosen any clogs and vacuum them up. Be careful not to push the brush too hard, as you don’t want to damage the vent. However, you do want to make sure you clean the entire length of the dryer vent, all the way to the outdoors. So, we suggest cleaning it from both the inside and the outside.  

6. Check for Obstructing Objects

Once you’ve unclogged the vent, it’s time to do a final check. Make sure no objects are obstructing the vent. This could include lint, debris, or even birds’ nests (if you have an exterior vent). If you find anything, remove it and vacuum up any loose debris. 

7. Reattach the Vent

Now that your dryer is clean, it’s time to put everything back together. First, reattach the vent hose to the back of the dryer. Then, tighten the clamp with your screwdriver. Make sure the clamp is secure by giving it a slight tug.

8. Move Back to Wall, Plugin, and Power on

Now you can move your dryer back against the wall. Once it’s in place, plug it in (if it’s an electric dryer) and turn it on. You should now have a clean dryer that is working correctly.

Dryer Maintenance

We recommend cleaning your dryer at least once a year, but more often if you have pets or live in an area with a lot of dust. If you notice it takes longer to dry clothes or the dryer is getting hotter than usual, that’s a sign it needs to be cleaned. Always clean the lint filter after every load of laundry and check the exterior vent for blockages now and then. Using fabric softener in the washer with hot water will also help reduce the amount of lint in your dryer. These maintenance tips help increase airflow and prevent dryer fires.

Dryer Coverage

A home warranty can help with clothes dryer issues by providing repair or replacement coverage. They can be a great option if your dryer is older or you’re unsure how to maintain and service it properly. A home warranty will cover the cost of repairs or replacements and any labor associated with them. 

Best Dryer Cleaning Kits

  1. Sealegend Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit: Best value
  2. Morinoli 24 Feet Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit: Easiest to use
  3. Bluesea 30 Feet Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit: Quickest assembly
  4. Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit: Most flexible
  5. Gardus RLE202 LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System: Best for tight spaces
  6. LANMU Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit: Best option for Dyson vacuums
  7. Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit: Longest reach
  8. Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit: Most affordable

Finding the Best Dryer Cleaner

When it comes to dryer cleaner kits, there are many different options to choose from. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a dryer cleaner kit: 

Ease of Use

You want a kit that is easy to use and won’t take up a lot of your time. Look for a kit with clear instructions and everything you need to do the job quickly. 

Effectiveness

Of course, you want a kit that is actually going to clean your dryer and remove all the lint and debris. So, read reviews to see what others have to say about the kit’s effectiveness. 

Cost

Don’t forget to factor in cost when choosing a dryer cleaner kit. You don’t want to spend more than you have to, but you also don’t want to skimp on quality. Look for a reasonably priced kit that will get the job done right.

FAQs

Here are some common homeowner questions that our team at House Method gets about cleaning dryers.

Can I clean my dryer vent myself?

Yes, you can clean your dryer vent yourself, and a dryer vent cleaning kit makes the process easy. However, if you’re not handy or don’t have the time, you can hire a professional to do it for you.

How can I tell if my dryer vent is clogged?

There are a few signs that your dryer vent duct is clogged. If the drying time is longer than usual, the dryer feels very hot, or your exhaust vent isn’t blowing out air when the dryer is on are all signs that your dryer vent is clogged. To prevent a house fire, don’t use your dryer until you unclog the vent pipe.

How do I keep my dryer clean?

You can keep your dryer clean by cleaning the lint trap and wiping it with a dryer sheet after every load of laundry. Also, wipe down the inside of the dryer drum with a damp cloth around once a month to collect excess lint buildup. You should also check the exterior vent for blockages periodically. We also recommend cleaning your dryer at least once a year, but more often if you have pets or live in an area with a lot of dust. 

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