Does TikTok's Test For A Clean Dryer Screen Really Work? Here's What We Found Out

With so many videos, tutorials, and tricks, including using household products like a toothbrush to clean your dryer trap, there are many methods to learn. While this trick might not be "new" per say, it might come as a surprise to some that there is a way to determine if and when your dryer screen needs more than just a swipe to remove lint. According to TikTok user @keepitsimplesparkles, by simply running the faucet over your dryer screen, how the water interacts can tell you if you need to scrub away buildup, because pooling indicates detergent and other products are blocking the holes.

Social media tricks can sometimes fall flat, but other times they surprise us with their clever tactics. The TikTok dryer screen hack is one of the latter, and it could keep your lint trap, and dryer in general, in better condition for longer. When certain parts of your dryer machine aren't working properly, it can cause damage, but now you have one less thing to wonder about when you try this trick.

Does the water pass through or pool?

In order to get the most out of TikTok's dryer screen test, first you want to remove it from the trap and wipe away all the lint. Next, use your small vacuum attachments to suck away any stuck on debris, dust, pet hair, and other refuse that didn't come off before. Make sure to focus on any divots or holes in the plastic bordering the screen, where lint can hide and accumulate. Take your screen to your kitchen or bathroom sink and turn on the tap. Hold it under the water, watching to see if the stream goes through the holes or pools. If you notice that the water is collecting on the top of the screen, this means there is build-up you can't necessarily see blocking the holes.

This can be caused by detergent, fabric softeners, and even your dryer sheets, which can add to the clogging. Chemicals and oils from these stick to the surfaces of the screen, and because it doesn't get washed regularly, they will keep collecting until washed away.

How to deep clean your dryer screen

The good news is that it's simple to clear away build-up and get your screen as good as new. You have a few ways you can do this, depending on if you prefer a more natural approach or if you want to use bleach. Vinegar is a great natural solution to clean your dryer screen. Just add baking soda over the whole screen, then use distilled white vinegar to spray it down. This will create a fizzing cleanser that eats away at buildup. Use a scrubbing brush or sponge that's not abrasive and scrub the screen after the mixture has soaked for at least two minutes. Rinse with water, then check again to see if the stream falls through the holes. If water is still pooling, you can either soak the screen in a water and vinegar mixture, or add denture tables to a sink filled with water so the fizzing action can break up the stuck on residue.

If you prefer to use a stronger solution, you can mix laundry detergent with bleach by adding ¼ cup of bleach to a spray bottle, then pouring in 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent, and fill the rest with water. Mix these by shaking the bottle before you spray it onto the screen. Using a gentle brush or a sponge, scrap the screen to create a sudsy film, then rinse it thoroughly.