This tutorial for how to deep clean a dryer shows how to get lint out of the lint trap, vent, and hose. Can be used for all kinds of dryers (this one shows a Speed Queen).

Affiliate links used in this post. Read more about my link usage here.

Add today's Cleaning 101 post to the list of "cleaning tasks I never think to do" - deep cleaning your dryer. It's that thing you didn't know you needed to do until it was way beyond gross.

If you don't believe me, try it.

dryer vent and filter in a speed queen

I'm one of those people that's adamant about cleaning the lint trap every single time I run the dryer. I thought that was enough, as I'm sure most of you do.


lint in a dryer vent

There's a lot of nastiness you probably don't even know about lurking in your dryer. There's lots of tubing and sneaky corners that are notorious for holding onto small pieces of lint and dirt. Not only do you want to do this to remove grossness, but it's important to the efficiency of your dryer (and reducing the risk of fire even). I'd recommend doing the following at least a couple of times a year - you'll notice a difference!

Let's check out the process for how to deep clean a dryer!

Step 1: Clean the outside and blades of your dryer.

speed queen washer and dryer in a laundry room

This is something I do regularly anyway (it's built into Journey to Clean living areas week), so mine wasn't a big issue right now. About once a month, I take a microfiber cloth and wipe down the inside and outside of the dryer to reduce dust. Not a big deal - it maybe takes 5 minutes! This is a great time to wipe down the washer too.

Step 2: Clean Under Lint Filter

Guys, prepare to be shocked. Your lint trap is actually just to grab the big stuff. If you don't know much about how dryers work, there's a pipe that runs from the lint trap to the hose that vents to the outside of your home. Lots of lint can build up over time in that pipe - and it's necessary to clean it out every once in a while.

dryer vent and filter on a speed queen

On my machine (a Speed Queen), there's a single screw that had to be taken out with a socket driver. You can't see it from here for the lint (eww), but it's there.

unscrewing lint filter on a speed queen dryer

dryer vent without filter; lots of lint

This is what I found underneath. I knew it was bad, but not quite this bad.

vacuuming a dryer vent

From there, I used the thin attachment for my vacuum to get into the nooks and crannies. I wanted to get as much lint as possible before cleaning it with a rag.

lint on a towel after cleaning dryer vent

Even with vacuuming as much as possible, this is what my cloth looked like. There was so much lint! (I just used my basic multi-purpose cleaner and my microfiber rag to clean it out.)

clean dryer lint filter installed in a speed queen

But, after cleaning, it looks a thousand times better (and I'm sure works better too).

pouring dish soap on a dryer filter

I washed the lint trap with a little bit of dish soap, allowing it to dry before I put it back into place.

washing out a dryer filter

washing a dryer filter

Much better!

Step 3: Clean Out Tubing and Behind Dryer

Next, you'll need to pull the dryer out and unplug (important).

dryer connected to the vent

This is what a found - yikes!

disconnecting a dryer vent hose from the wall

First, use a flat head screwdriver to gently unscrew the hose from the wall and the dryer.

inside of a dryer vent hose

There was a lot of lint build-up in ours, but just dumping it in the trash got most out.

inside of a dryer vent hose

back of a speed queen dryer

back of a speed queen dryer

Then, I gave the back of the dryer a good wipe-down. I've read that some people take the entire back off of their dryer - I attempted this, but there were a ton of screws. I figured that if the good people at Speed Queen thought that was necessary, they would have made the process a little easier. 🙂 I didn't want to break my dryer, so I skipped it. However, it might be worth checking into - if there are just a couple of screws holding the back of your dryer on, I've read that lint can build up in the back too.

vacuuming behind a dryer

dryer vent hose disconnected from the wall

Finally, do a good vacuum of the floor and wipe the baseboards/walls before replacing the tubing, plugging the dryer back in, and sliding it back into place.

speed queen washer and dryer

Figuring out how to deep clean a dryer isn't as hard or as intimidating as it looks - promise. I've been putting it off for a while because I thought it would be it turns out, it was nothing! I'm a big believer in protecting your investments, and appliances definitely fall into that category. This is great for dryers and can extend the life of your investment - do yourself and your dryer a favor and take the simple steps to maintain it every once in a while!

Catch up on a few more of the Cleaning 101 series with the links below!

xo, Leslie; signature for end of the blog post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Oh my gosh! I did this and was grossed out by the amount of dirt and lint and dust contained in this area! It was super easy (I have the same model of Speed Queen as it!) with just one screw coming off and a microfiber cloth and vacuum. It hadn't ever been done in the 7 years we've had our machine so it was well overdue and I know my machine is doing better since. In fact, the sensor hadn't been working very well (clothes were still a little damp after being placed on the very dry setting) and now is totally drying my clothes. THANK YOU! Love your site!!!

    1. You are so welcome, Lena! Glad it helped.