Lint traps are supposed to trap lint—and they do, but they let a ton go by that ends up deeper in the dryer. Just lift out your lint screen, take a flashlight, and look down there. It’s not a pretty sight! Not only are you throwing money out the window by having a clogged lint trap (it will take much longer for your clothes to dry and will use much more energy), but it’s also a fire hazard. So let’s clean out that lint!

Sure, there are tools you can buy to reach down and swipe out the lint, but I don’t think they work all that great. And they cost money. All you need is a pillowcase, a spray bottle, and a ruler and you’re good to go. Before you begin, unplug your dryer just to be sure you don’t come across any electrical wires. Okay, now we’re safe and are ready to work!

Follow these steps for removing lint from the lint trap:

1. Take any laundry out of the dryer (as you can see, I didn’t remember this step in my first picture—then realized it can get a little dirty).

2. Remove the outer case of the lint trap (look for any screws and loosen them so you can pull it out). You can get some lint out without removing the case, but you won’t be able to get down in there as easily.

3. Put a ruler (a paint stirring stick works great, too) inside a corner of the pillowcase.

4. Lightly spray the corner of the pillowcase with water or a gentle spray cleaner (the wetness will help the lint adhere to the pillowcase really well).

5. Slide the ruler or stick from one side to the other, then lift out any lint attached.

6. Dispose of the lint into a trash can.

7. Continue sliding, lifting and disposing until the lint is all gone.

8. Clean any dust that emerged onto the dryer drum with the spray bottle and edge of the pillowcase.

9. Rinse off any remaining dust that is on the pillowcase in the bathtub so you don’t put any of that lint back into the washer and dryer. Or, if you’re concerned about clogging your drain, just pick off the lint!

This is a guest post by Renee from Scotts Valley, CA.

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