How to clean a washing machine lint trap

Written by ehow contributor
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Most people are old pros at cleaning out their clothes dryer lint trap, but few realize the importance of doing this regularly with a washing machine. Washing machines collect lint just like dryers, although this is a little known fact. Follow this formula for keeping your washing machine free of debris.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find your lint trap. Lint traps in washing machines can be in the agitator (the large plastic piece in the center of the tub), at the top of the washer on the rim of the tub, or attached to the washing machine's drainage hose.

  2. 2

    Pull out the agitator tube to check for the lint trap. Peel any loose lint from the filter. Scrub away lint that doesn't peel off easily with a heavy-duty paper towel or a wet sponge.

  3. 3

    Feel your way around the top rim of the washing machine's basin. If you locate a trap, pull it straight out of the machine. Peel away loose lint and follow up with a wet sponge or heavy-duty paper towel.

  4. 4

    Check your machine's drainage hose for an attached lint trap. Gently remove the trap and peel the top layer of lint off. Rinse the trap in low-pressure, warm water. Reattach to the drainage hose.

  5. 5

    Check for and remove any lint or debris that may have dropped into the washing machine basin during the cleaning process.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean your lint trap every few loads or at least once a week to preserve the life of your washing machine.
  • Consider purchasing a lint trap if your washing machine doesn't already have one. They can add years to the life of your washer.
  • Make sure you have reattached the lint trap properly. Loose lint traps, especially those in the agitator, can lead to a broken washer.

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