How to Clean a Tumble Dryer

Updated February 21, 2017

Tumble dryers accumulate dust, lint and fabric softener residue from everyday use. Items such as ink pens, gum and crayons may end up in dryer and melt onto laundry or the dryer drum. When neglected, build-up and residue in a tumble dryer may cause increased drying time and chance of a fire. Thoroughly clean your tumble dryer at least once a year to maintain top safety, performance and efficiency.

Turn off the tumble dryer and remove the lint screen from the lint trap or chute.

Rinse the lint screen under warm running water. Apply 1 teaspoon dish soap to a wet scrub brush and thoroughly scrub the lint screen on both sides.

Rinse the lint screen well and dry it with a cloth. Set it aside.

Attach the vacuum nozzle or crevice tool to the hose on your vacuum.

Vacuum the lint trap or chute with the nozzle, reaching inside to remove as much lint as possible.

Place the lint screen into the chute or trap.

Dampen a cloth with warm water. Wipe the control panel, knobs, door and exterior of the dryer with the cloth to remove dust and build-up.

Rinse the cloth with warm water and wring it out. Wipe the inside of the dryer with the cloth.

Remove tough stains by sprinkling a clean, damp cloth with bleach-free powder cleanser. Rub the stains in a circular motion until they disappear.

Rinse the cloth thoroughly with warm water and wipe inside of the dryer to remove cleanser residue.

Wipe inside of the tumble dryer with a cloth to dry it.


Clean the lint screen before and after every use to maintain the dryer.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Soft cloths
  • Vacuum with nozzle or crevice attachment
  • Bleach-free powder cleanser
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About the Author

Shelley Marie has been writing professionally since 2008 for online marketing and informational websites. Her areas of expertise include home, garden and health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an associate degree in medical billing and insurance coding, both from Herzing University.