White Maytag® top load washer and front load dryer side by side in a laundry room next to shelves

How To Clean a Dryer Inside and Out in 3 Steps

Cleaning your dryer is a great way to ensure your appliance operates optimally each load. Not only can regular cleanings help  maintain proper airflow, they may also help protect your clothes and other laundered items from wear and tear as well as smells or stains caused by a dirty dryer. 

While you may be familiar with the basics of cleaning the lint screen, cleaning the inside and exterior of your dryer requires a bit more know-how. The good news is that keeping your dryer clean is an easy process. Read on to learn more about tips and tricks about how to clean a dryer. 

Stainless Maytag® top load washer and front load dryer side by side in a tidy, bright laundry room Stainless Maytag® top load washer and front load dryer side by side in a tidy, bright laundry room

How often should I clean my dryer?

You should clean your lint screen after every use — a blocked lint screen can lead to longer dry times caused by poor ventilation. Cleaning your dryer drum can be done on an as-needed basis. If your dryer smells or has visible residue on the drum, those are good cues that it’s time to clean.

White interior dryer drum of a front load dryer White interior dryer drum of a front load dryer

How do you clean the inside of a tumble dryer?

Cleaning your dryer drum is quick and requires only a few household items to get the job done. As always, be sure to clean your lint screen after every cycle. Over time, your dryer drum can get stained by ink or waxy substances like crayon, or even a little smelly. Clean your dryer when you notice a mess to keep those stains and smells from transferring to your just-cleaned clothes. Here’s what you’ll need to clean the inside of your dryer:

 

Supplies

 

  • Non-flammable cleaner or mild hand dish detergent 

  • Hot water

 

Tools

 

  • Sponge

  • Towels

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Spray bottle

Ball of lint icon

Step 1: Clean the lint trap and screen

After every load, clear the lint trap by simply rolling the lint off with your fingers. You can do a deeper clean around every 6 months. For a deep clean, use a vacuum to thoroughly clean the lint trap and holder. To remove residue buildup, you can wash the screen using hot water, a liquid detergent and a nylon brush. Dry it thoroughly before replacing.

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Step 2: Wipe down the dryer drum

Mix your non-flammable cleaner or mild hand dish detergent with hot water to create a low concentration cleaning solution. Dampen a sponge or towel with the solution and wipe the drum, focusing on any residue left behind by dryer sheets or stains like ink or crayon. Alternatively, you can put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle for application and use microfiber cloths to wipe the interior.

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Step 3: Dry the dryer drum

Add a load of dry, clean clothes or towels and let tumble until the drum is dry. You can also use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the drum dry. Leave the door to your dryer open for a bit to stave off any smells caused by lingering moisture.

Hand with towel icon

Step 4: Clean the dryer vent

Clean your dryer vents every 2 years or whenever there seems to be a blockage causing issues. Check out this step-by-step guide for tips on safely cleaning your dryer vents.

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White Maytag® front load washer and dryer side by side in laundry room with dark cabinets White Maytag® front load washer and dryer side by side in laundry room with dark cabinets

Should I clean the outside of my dryer?

You should always keep the exterior of your dryer and the surrounding areas clean and tidy. You can wipe down the exterior whenever you notice it needs a once-over. You can also clean your dryer vents to help ensure proper ventilation and air flow.

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