Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Dryer

Unless you have the space in your backyard for a clothesline or the energy to hang dry all of your laundry, chances are you use a dryer at home. This time-saving invention can be a convenient way to dry your clothes; however, if it's not properly cleaned, it could also pose a huge threat to you and your home.

After your wet clothes are removed from the washer and tossed in your dryer, they may still have hair or lint attached to them. According to Popular Science, as the clothing tumbles around and around, hot air is blown in to dry them. These waves of hot air push all that lint, hair, and forgotten pocket tissues through a lint trap where it is stored. This lint trap then stops the bulk of the debris from traveling through your dryer vent, which could get stuck and cause a clog. This collection of seemingly harmless lint is highly flammable, and if not cleaned out, it could ignite and cause a fire. In fact, a study done by the National Fire Protection Association revealed that between 2014 and 2018, 32% of fires in household dryers were caused because of "failure to clean."

Luckily it doesn't take a great deal of time or effort to keep your dryer clean and working its best to help prevent this danger from happening.

When and how to clean your dryer

Since your lint trap and dryer vents are the two main areas where debris can accumulate, it's recommended that both are properly cleaned so no problems can occur. Because of how flammable lint can be, it is recommended that your lint trap be cleaned regularly, especially if you use your machine often, per Architectural Digest. However, an annual vacuum or brush of your dryer vent could be all it needs in order to keep your home safe and your dryer running at maximum efficiency.

Before cleaning your dryer, always check the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations and be sure to unplug the unit to ensure you are keeping yourself safe. From there, you can simply pull out your lint trap and place the contents in your garbage. Then remove any stray lint with a damp cloth to make sure the whole inside of your dryer is spotless. As for your dryer vents which are located at the back of your unit, they can be cleared with the use of a vacuum.

Afterward, make sure to check the other end of the dryer vent, which leads to the outside of your home. Any dust or debris present can also be removed using a vacuum or a brush. By taking all of these precautions, you can ensure the safety of your home and everyone in it.