Person removing lint from a lint trap

How to Clean a Dryer Lint Trap

To keep laundry day moving efficiently, you want to make sure your washer and dryer are in optimal working condition. A full lint trap can increase drying time, so it is important to clean it after each load. Read our step-by-step guide for how to clean your lint trap and be back on your way to tackling another load.


During a drying cycle, lint from your laundry is loosened by the hot air and passed through the mesh lint filter as the air is blown out of the dryer vent. Lint traps help to reduce the lint and fabric particles that can build up and clog the exhaust hose.


When your laundry goes through a drying cycle, a lot of lint comes loose. Lint traps act as a barrier between your dryer drum and dryer ductwork, but some lint particles are still able to get through and may restrict airflow from your dryer vent over time.

Keeping your lint trap clear after every load and cleaning out your dryer vent at least once every two years can help keep your appliance performing at its best. You can also deep clean your lint trap every 6 months or when you notice residue build-up.

Person remove lint trap from front load dryer Person remove lint trap from front load dryer


In order to help keep your drying in top working order, clean your lint trap after each load. You can also perform deeper cleaning of the lint trap every 6 months or as needed, in which you clean it with a nylon brush, detergent and water to remove any residue from fabric softener or stuck-on lint. The slot where the lint trap is inserted should also be cleaned at least twice a year to help prevent lint build-up inside. 

If your dryer’s lint trap or filter is broken, you can purchase genuine replacement parts directly from Maytag brand.

  • Detergent

  • Water

  • Nylon laundry brush

  • Dry towel

  • Vacuum with attachment

Soiled lint screen icon

Step 1: Remove lint screen

If the lint screen is on top of the dryer, you can remove it by pulling it towards you. If your lint screen is in the front of the dryer, open the door and pull the lint screen straight up.

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Step 2: Remove lint with your fingers

Do not use water to remove the lint from the lint screen. Just pull the lint from the screen with your fingers and dispose of it.

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Step 3: Vacuum inside lint trap opening

Using a vacuum crevice tool, you can carefully clean inside the lint trap to further ensure proper airflow and efficient drying.

Soiled lint trap with exclamation point icon

Step 4: Inspect your lint screen for residue

Over time, fabric softeners and laundry detergents can cause build-up on the lint screen. Approximately every 6 months, inspect your lint screen for residue.

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Step 5: Clean residue if needed

If your lint screen does have residue on it, you can clean it by wetting a nylon brush with hot water and liquid detergent. Scrub both sides of the lint screen. Rinse both sides thoroughly with hot water, then thoroughly dry with a clean towel. Inspect the lint screen to be sure you have removed all residue. Repeat, as needed. Dry the lint screen fully.

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Step 6: Put lint screen back in dryer

Align the lint screen with the opening in the dryer and push it in until it is fully in place.

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Step 7: Clean other areas where lint may accumulate

Your dryer's exhaust vent may be clogged if you notice dry times are slower, clothes aren't getting dry or you can't feel air moving through the outside vent. If you own a Maytag® dryer, you can schedule a service appointment if it's difficult to find or access your dryer duct and outside exhaust vent. You can also clean the dryer vent yourself


You may also want to clean your dryer’s drum, as lint and other debris can accumulate in it. If you have an electric dryer, rub the drum with a soft cloth that has been dipped in a mild dish soap diluted in very warm water. For a gas dryer, do the same with a liquid, nonflammable household cleaner. Use a soft, dry towel to remove excess water after cleaning. You can also use a washing machine cleaner such as affresh® to clean your washer.1

Shop Maytag® Dryers

Maytag® dryers are built for dependable drying with every load. Browse select Maytag® dryers that offer the Pet Pro Option that lifts and captures pet hair from clothing and traps it in the XL lint trap.

Learn More About Maytag® Dryers

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1. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.