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Get the lint out
Every year, nearly 25,000 dryer fires cause
millions of dollars in damage and hundreds of
injuries, some fatal. Dryer fires start when
built-up lint near the motor, gas burners or heating
elements catches on fire. This fire can then spread to
ignite lint in the vent pipe.
The best precautions are to empty the lint trap after
every load, vacuum behind the machine regularly,
keep flammables away from the dryer, and annually
clean lint from inside the dryer cabinet and vent duct.
We show how to “de-lint” a gas dryer with a front
access panel. Electric dryers have a heating element
instead of a gas burner. If you have an electric dryer,
or your dryer differs from the one shown, consult
your manual for instructions on accessing the
heating element or cabinet interior.
The most important step in cleaning the dryer is to
remove any lint buildup around the motor and gas
burner or heating element. Then clean out the vent
duct with a 4-in. dryer vent cleaning brush (sold
at appliance repair stores, or online).
If your dryer has a plastic vent ducting, replace it with
a metal one. The plastic ducting itself can catch on fire
and set the house ablaze.
Finding the Lint Traps
- Unplug the machine
and turn off the gas valve.
Pry the access panel loose
with a big flat-blade screwdriver.
Vacuum the inside of the
cabinet, especially around the
gas burner and motor.
If you have a brush attachment
for your vacuum, use it to
loosen built-up lint.
the vent from the
dryer and push a
vent cleaning brush
through the exterior
vent hood. Otherwise,
disassemble the vent
and clean it by hand.
Unplug the dryer and shut off
The gas valve before pulling it out to
clean. If you smell gas after turning the
gas valve back on, immediately turn it
off and call your local gas utility.