How to Fix Dryer Lint Problems

The average dryer handles about 477 loads of laundry each year, creating a lot of multi-colored fuzz in the form of dryer lint. Lint build-up affects dryer performance and can pose a fire hazard. Cleaning the lint trap after each load helps, but the trap catches only about 50 percent of the lint. Run through the checklist below to avoid an unexpected and unwelcome halt to your drying.

  1. Remove the lint trap from the dryer and peel off the accumulated fuzz.

  2. Vacuum the top of the dryer, the floor nearby and underneath for lint at least once a week. When you remove the lint trap, tiny particles fly into the air and settle nearby. Behind and underneath the dryer are favorite hiding places for dryer lint.

  3. Disconnect the vent tube from the rear of the dryer and inspect it every month. Dryer lint accumulates more easily in flexible plastic tubes than rigid aluminum ones, because curves halt the lint's path.

  4. Clean the vent tube leading to the wall annually. As for the tube leading to the exterior, a trick that sometimes works is aiming an electric leaf blower down the tube. The leaf blower can expel the lint through the exhaust on the exterior. Before using the leaf blower, check that all duct work is fastened securely.

  5. Unscrew and remove the back panel on the dryer, if you're mechanically inclined. Particles that escaped the lint trap can accumulate inside the dryer cabinet, so vacuum this area.


  • For safety, some manufacturers recommend unplugging the dryer and turning off the gas supply (if you have a gas dryer) before disconnecting the vent tube.

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