How To Clean A Washer Lint Trap

Everyone knows that you need to clean the lint trap in your dryer to keep the machine working properly. What many people don't know is that you also have to clean the lint trap in your washing machine. Regularly cleaning your washing machine lint trap will keep the machine functioning at its best by allowing good water drainage and keeping lint from getting stuck on your clothing.

To avoid potential plumbing issues and expensive repairs, washing machine lint traps should be cleaned every three months at a minimum, according to Universal Appliance Repair. There are signs to look out for that will let you know if you need to clean it more frequently. One sign is noticing lint all over your clean clothes (via Appliance Care). Another sign is if your washing machine has a bad smell. Bad odors are an indicator that mold and mildew have started to grow and are clogging the filter.

How to find your washer lint trap

Finding your washer's lint trap can be tricky. It's not as easily noticeable as the lint trap in dryers, so the best way to find the lint trap is by first referencing your machine's owner's manual. If you no longer have the manual and it's not accessible online, Appliance Doctor says you can take a peek in a few different common places.

For top loading washers with agitators, the lint trap can be in one of two places. The first place to check is in the center agitator. Remove the cover and check if the mesh of a lint trap is there. If not, you can look in the top rim of the washer's drum. If you have a front load, high efficiency washer there is no lint trap, explains Mr. Appliance. Instead, look for a small door near the bottom of the machine. There you can find the water pump filter which should be washed like you would a lint trap.

Cleaning your washer lint trap

Once you've located the lint trap in your washer, you can clean it. There are three different types of traps: reusable lint traps that are removable, reusable lint traps that are secured in the machine, and disposable lint traps. A disposable lint trap can't be cleaned, instead it should be replaced with a new one.

To clean a reusable and removable lint trap you first need to take it out of your washing machine. Then fill a bucket or sink with hot water and a couple drops of a mild detergent like dish soap. Leave the lint trap in the soapy water to soak for ten minutes, suggests Mr. Appliance. To clean a reusable filter that can't be removed from the washing machine you will need a soft brush, like a toothbrush, or a paper towel. Pull out the filter as far as it will go and use the brush or paper towel to brush off the crusted layers of lint, laundry detergent, and fabric softener.