Cooktop Cove: All of this may be building up inside your dryer. Here's how to properly clean your dryer
You might not think too much about cleaning your dryer. After all, the only thing it does is dry clothes that are already clean. But the inside of your dryer can get pretty dirty, especially if you don't clean the lint out of it on a regular basis.
Keeping your dryer clean doesn't actually take too much work, though. As long as you have the tools to remove the lint stuck in the vent and you have a few old towels on hand, you can quickly clean it up without wasting too much of your day.
1. Lint Lizard (h/t The Suburban Mom)
Lint buildup in your dryer is not only a nuisance, but also a fire hazard. Too much lint plus heat from your dryer is not a combination you want to mess with. You can save your dryer from its inevitable overheating with a product like the Lint Lizard. Just attach it to your vacuum's hose and work it into the dryer vent. It will easily suck out the lint that your hose isn't long enough to reach.
2. Water & vinegar (h/t The Happier Homemaker)
Simple as it may sound, water and vinegar is actually an incredibly effective way to clean your dryer. Fill your sink or a bucket with hot water and a cup of white vinegar and then dip in a clean cloth. You can use that cloth to wipe down the inside and outside of your dryer, as well as the lint trap. You might want to use more than one cloth, just to avoid carrying dust over from one spot to another. When you're finished, run water on a different cloth and use it to wipe over everything.
3. Dryer sheets & towels (h/t Grandfolk)
Even after you've cleaned your dryer, you might notice a lingering unpleasant odor. One way to get rid of this smell is to wipe down the inside of your dryer with a warm, wet towel. Then fill the dryer with about half a box of dryer sheets and several wet towels. Run the dryer on its highest and hottest setting and let the towels strip away the odor from the walls of the dryer while the dryer sheets release a better smell in its place.
4. Bleach & towels (h/t How to Clean Things)
Have you ever opened your dryer after a cycle only to discover that someone left a pen in his or her pocket and you now have ink smeared all over the inside of your dryer? Don't freak out! There's a fairly simple, though slightly smelly, way to clean this up. Soak a white towel or rag (one you no longer really use) in bleach and water, toss it in the dryer and run the air fluff setting for 20 minutes. You might have to repeat this process two or three times, but it should take care of the ink stains.
5. Dryer vent kit (h/t Frugally Blonde)
If you're having trouble cleaning all of the lint out of your dryer vent, then you might want to consider buying a dryer vent kit. It comes with a lint trap vent brush, which allows you to get into the hard-to-reach places in your vent and loosen the lint trapped there. It also includes a vacuum hose attachment that fits easily into the vent and helps prevent your vacuum from becoming clogged with lint. The final piece in the kit is a large dryer vent duct brush to help clean out any lint and dirt caught in the ducts.
6. Moisture sensor upkeep (h/t Green Living Ideas)
A part of your dryer that you probably never think about is the moisture sensor. This sensor is what tells the dryer to shut off when your clothes are dry when you run the auto-dry setting. If this sensor isn't working properly, then you're wasting money drying clothes that aren't wet. To clean the sensor, scrub it with a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and then polish it with a dry rag. It's really that simple!
7. Stuck-on messes (h/t Housewife How-tos)
When cleaning your dryer, make sure you check the inside and outside for any greasy or sticky residue that may have been left behind from various items left in pockets. The easiest way to remove these messes is to rub over them with warmed olive oil and then use a spatula to scrape them up. If you have any scuff marks (especially if you've recently dried a pair of tennis shoes), then a Magic Eraser will quickly take care of these.
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