Giving your dryer lint trap a good cleanout is a satisfying and simple job. It will also freak you out at what you find in there.
I alluded to THIS post in my post about Changing a dryer drum/drive belt. In step 2 I said “Trust me, you should stick something in there. you think you won’t drop a screw but you could, and then you’re removing the whole back of the dryer and that’s what will turn this into an hour-long job and another post.” When I said you COULD drop one, what I really meant was I DID drop one, and it turned my little belt changing into a lint trap cleaning.
There are a few AS SEEN ON TV lint trap cleaning contraptions like the ‘Lint Lizard”. I think that’s an attachment for your vacuum. I’m sure it works decently, but I’m the type of guy that says “The puddin is delicious” no, wait, that’s LL Cool J. I’m the type of guy that gets all OCD about cleaning things. I want to see all the lint cleaned out, not hope I’m getting it all with a tiny vacuum attachment. I’ll sit there a scrap every bit off until it looks factory new because I’m anal. Why else would I spend hours cleaning copper pots?
This post doesn’t pertain to all dryers. My dryer is a Whirlpool dryer with the lint trap up in the top hood of the dryer. Like this one:
Soooo, making work for myself by stupidly dropping a screw down inside the dryer wasn’t the best move, but it did lead me to clean out the dryer lint trap and fan and it really is a simple repair/maintenance you can do in your spare time. You really just rip the back off the dryer, clean out the lint, and put it back together. But I’ll drag it out a little for you.
Step 1: UNPLUG THE DRYER
Step 2: Disconnect the back of the dryer from the venting that goes to the outside of your house and pull the dryer away from the wall for access to the back.
Step 3: Remove the 2 screws near the lint trap door up on top of the dryer (you know, I dropped one of them down inside).
Step 4: Take off the back of the dryer.
Once those screws are all out, the big metal back of the dryer will fall right off and you’ll see the wonders of the inside of your dryer.
I said ACHTUNG! in the above image because I MAY have left the dryer plugged in, and when I reached down to unscrew the dryer lint chute I touched that baby with the side of my hand and I got one helluva JOLT. Like a knock-you-on-your-ass jolt. I then unplugged the dryer so I can see my daughter grow up.
Step 5: Remove the Lint Chute
Four screws and it’s out.
Step 6: Lift chute out and be amazed at all the crude and weird stuff that worked it’s way in there.
Not only did I get TONS of lint out of the bottom of the chute and inside the fan assembly. I also got some spare change, beach glass, band-aids, and more screws than just the one I dropped down there. I took the shop-vac back there and sucked stuff out while I used a paint scraper to dislodge the caked on lint.
Step 7: Put it back together in reverse order.
Fit the chute back into place and replace the 4 screws.
Put the back of the dryer back on and use all the screws. There shouldn’t be any leftovers.
When you get to the last step of putting the 2 screws back in the top end of the dryer lint trap chute shove a cloth in it to prevent yourself from dropping one down there again.
Simple? Yes. Fun? Yes. Satisfying? Yes. Removing some kind of fire hazard? Possibly. Dragging a short post into a long post with photos and run-on sentences? DEFINITELY!