Your Dryer’s Lint Filter Should Be Washed
By Kaye Nemec | Contributor
Hopefully, you already know you need to clean the lint filter in your dryer after every couple uses. This maximizes efficiency and reduces a potential fire hazard. But, did you know that washing your lint filter every six months can further improve the performance of your dryer and also increase its lifespan?
A standard, tumble dryer has a fan that pulls fresh air into the dryer where it is heated to evaporate the moisture in your clothes. The warm air and the moisture then pass through
your lint filter where anything that was picked up with the tumbling motion is trapped. From there, the air is sent outside and the cycle starts over again with fresh air.
If you don’t clean your lint filter between uses, the flow of this moist, warm air is restricted and your dryer is much less efficient. What you probably didn’t know is that
the dryer sheets you throw in with each load of wet clothes are covered with a silicone based film that, overtime, also builds up on your lint filter and causes your dryer to work less efficiently.
Don’t believe me? Take your lint filter out and run some warm water over it. Is it pooling up on top and not draining through? Is there just a slow trickle of water passing through the screen? Odds are, the water is not rushing through as it would on a normal screen.
To wash your lint filter, try the following:
- Remove your lint filter from your dryer.
- Wash the screen with warm soapy water. You can use a soft brush (an old toothbrush works) but don’t put too much pressure on the screen.
- Hand dry the screen and leave it out until it’s completely dry.
- Reinstall the filter into your dryer.
You can clean your filter as needed or every 6 months to a year.
Some dryers also have moisture sensors (the black object in the photo) and the film can build up on those as well. To make sure your sensor continues to work efficiently, you can clean it with a little bit of detergent and a soft brush.
With the variety of dryers available today, you should confirm the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations in your owner’s manual first.
Photo: p0ps Harlow (cc)