The Anatomy of a Clothes Dryer Fire

Clothes Dryer Lint Explained by The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning Experts

Clothes Dryer Lint Explained by The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning Experts

Most people change their cars’ oil regularly because they want to ensure it’s reliability and efficiency. So, what do you do in the Laundry room? Did you know that most homeowners are unaware of the hidden dangers behind their walls and ceiling?

Your clothes dryer is the second most likely appliance to start a fire in your home. According to the NFPA, home fires involving clothes dryers are about 14,692 each year. To prevent the ignition of dust, fiber, or lint, with proper annual clothes dryer vent maintenance. 

Clothes Dryer Fire
Clothes Dryer Fire

clothes dryer can generate up to a 25 MPH airflow through the dryer’s airways from the internal blower fan — the hot, moist air and lint from the laundry then exits the building to the outdoors.  

What is in your Clothes Dryers Vent?
What is in your Clothes Dryers Vent?

Most lint traps filter out only 75% of the lint, hair, fur, and paper that flows through them to the appliances ductwork to the outside louvered vent. So, where did the remainder of the debris go? It gets caught in the turns and rough services in the dryer venting system. 

Why do clothes dryer fires occur?

 It’s nearly always that the lint collects in 90-degree turns and long straight runs resulting in restricted airflow. Check out the TLK blog about the appliance overheating.

I was amazed when I first set lint on fire and noticed how quickly the fire spread. Because clothes lint is so combustible, the Boy Scotts use it as a fire starter!

The perfect dryer vent system is short and straight out an outside wall, literally about two feet of ductwork. We’ve seen run lengths over 60 feet with five turns. Shorter is always more beneficial!

It’s True Location Matters!

Today’s modern home architectures have their laundry room in a convenient location. The results in harder to reach ductwork and exceeding challenging to keep clean. 

It’s essential that the venting be SOLID Metal Material, not of the flexible, foil hose or semi-ridged tubing. The Lint king sees that they crush easily, resulting in airflow restriction and leakage into the laundry room. Learn about a Better Clothes Dryer Transition Hose.

Proper Dryer Vent Cleaning, Repair, and Installation prevents clothes dryer fires.
Dryer Vent Cleaning, Repair, and Installation

Paul Meyers is the owner of The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning and Repair Experts. Our team’s mission is to educate the homeowner on dryer vent cleaning and maintenance. Regular maintenance will help prevent fires and save energy. Visit to schedule a dryer vent safety inspection.

Learn about Home Fire Safety at the NFPA.

Clothes Dryer Lint Trap Cleaning

Clothes Dryer Lint Trap Cleaning

How to Clean a Clothes Dryer Lint Trap

First, of course, is to remove the lint trap from the clothes dryer. Then, with a dry brush remove all the loose debris like; lint, hair, and pet fur.

Now that the lint trap is prepped, soak it in hot water for about fifteen minutes.  Then with a bristle brush gentle work in some dishwashing soap on both sides of the screen. Let it sit and soak for about thirty minutes.

Rinse with hot water and examine the screen for any discoloration or filmy-residue. Let air dry before putting it back in the clothes dryer.

Cleaning The Close Dryer Lint Trap

How to Clean a Clogged Clothes Dryer Lint Trap?
How to Clean a Clogged Clothes Dryer Lint Trap?

Regular cleaning will keep the appliance running efficiently. A clothes dry can use a lot of energy when the time to dry increases. The average cost to dry one load of laundry is $0.21. The cost can easily double or even triple because of the long drying time. This airflow restriction is often the result of a clogged vent. ( Lint, Hair, Pet-Fur)

Tru our Clothes Dryer Cost Calculator

What a Clean Close Dryer Lint Trap Looks Like

Clothes dryer Lint Trap Cleaning
Clothes dryer Lint Trap Cleaning.

Related Articles and Posts

Clothes Dryer Vent Safety & Installation Tips

The Lint King - Dryer Vent Cleaning Experts

Clothes Dryer Vent Safety & Installation Tips

Clothes Dryer Plastic Duct Safety Issue
Plastic Dryer Duct Safety Issue

Clothes Dryer Vent Safety begins with routine maintenance. And YOU NEED IT!

Because backpressure in the clothes dryer exhaust vent pipe will buildup over time.

Additionally, Plastic Flex Duct, a spring wire covered with plastic, should be replaced! I’ve seen this material used in older homes.

Furthermore, there’s a variety of materials that I’ve observed that present a safety hazard in your home.

Learn More About Clothes Dryer Safety

Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

5 Signs You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning

Clothes Dryer Vent Cleaning
Paul Meyers @ The Lint King Inc.

The hot, humid air exiting your clothes moves from inside your dryer through the vent pipe to the outside. Restricting the airflow causes the appliance to overheat, resulting in a fire! Clothes dryers purchased in the past 10 years or so should have a maximum drum temperature of 135 degrees. Read more about clothes dryer operating temperatures.

Inside A Clothes Dryer Fire
Inside A Clothes Dryer Fire

Over time, lint builds up in the pipe and under the lint trap. Without regular dryer vent cleaning, the moisture in your home increases with each use of the clothes dryer and your machine will be less efficient over time. A clogged dryer vent pipe lowers your indoor air quality and can cause a dryer fire. If drying time takes longer, your clothes get hot, there’s a burning smell, or you haven’t had it done in the past 2 years, you should have your dryer vent cleaned soon!

Clothes Drying Takes More Than 1 Hour

Drying a load of clothing shouldn’t take longer than 45 minutes, but a dryer with a clogged vent could take two or three times as long to dry the clothes. Dryer vents push hot, moist air out of dryers so they can pull in the more dry air and keep drying clothes effectively. If the dryer vent clogs, moist air from the drying process won’t have anywhere to go, so it wastes energy, increases your utility bills, and wears out the machine and your clothing.

Clothes Dryer Fire
Clothes Dryer Fire in Hoffman Estates IL.

If your clothes aren’t dry at the end of a normal drying cycle, about 45 minutes, you should have your dryer vent airways and vent checked for clogs. You’ll also notice a smell from mold or mildew growing on wet clothing.

Burning Smell

If you smell something odd when you run your dryer, it’s probably lint or plastics. Dryer lint is very flammable, and the burning smell comes from the motor, internal parts, and trapped lint. Lint is very flammable and can even catch fire. If your clothes dryer smells like it’s burning, turn off ASAP and have the appliance inspected by a professional.

Hot Dryer

When a dryer vent airflow is slow because of clogged ductwork, your appliance will feel hot and your laundry room and clothing may feel hot as well.

Lint Visible On the Outside Vent Opening

The outside vent interface is where the air from your dryer exits the home. The outside vent opening is 4 inches wide pipe. If you see lint or lawn debris around the opening you should have your dryer vent airways cleaned. When the outside vent flap doesn’t open when the dryer is running, then lint has blocked the airflow and you should have it cleaned out ASAP.

More Than One Year Since the Last Dryer Vent Cleaning

Have your dryer vent transitions and ductwork cleaned and inspected every year to save energy, make your dryer more efficient, and prevent a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Lint King
The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning

Hiring a professional isn’t expensive, on average only $125, and an experienced technician has the equipment for almost any home’s structure. At The Lint King Inc., we use a rotary brush with a powerful vacuum to remove debris. Be aware that with some types of home kits and you could damage your vent by accident, or get the tools stuck in the vent pipe behind walls and ceilings.

If you have a large family or your dryer is in the center of your home with a long duct or pipe to the outside, you may need to have your dryer vent cleaned

more frequently. If you attempted cleaning your dryer vent system and you’re still having slow drying times, you probably need to have your vent repaired or replaced.

The Lint King Inc. has more than 15 years of laundry room safety and energy efficiency experience. We can help with installations, maintenance, or repair.

Call us anytime at 847-874-4805 for excellent service from our trained technicians.

Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning

Clothe Dryer Safety

Reasons to Ditch Toxic Dryer Sheets

How to Clean a Clogged Clothes Dryer Lint Trap?

The Lint King’s Reasons to Ditch Toxic Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets and the 7 Toxic Reasons To Ditch Them!

The King of Lint Logo

Here are the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets and their effect on the central nervous system, and why you should be concerned.

What’s inside A Dryer Sheets?

Dryer sheets are relatively simple products. Dryer Sheets are a polyester sheet covered in a fabric softener chemical cocktail.
And, yes, fragrance chemicals are also used in dryer sheets and can significant, representing up to 10 percent of the contents of the product.

These chemicals may cause dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, red eyes, and dry skin when exposed to it from your clothing. And in our pets from their bedding, can these symptoms be observed. Inhalation of its vapors is known to cause a burning sensation in the airways and cause a sore throat and labored breathing.

1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. It can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.

2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.  

3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.

4. Chloroform is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.

5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).

6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. Narcotic. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.

7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapors causes central nervous system depression.

Do Clothes Dryer Sheets Damage A Dryer?

Your dryer’s sensors and the operating efficiency will be affected by the use of fabric softener dryer sheets. Then your appliances computer will not work correctly due to wrong input from the sensors.
The screen below is 80% clogged. This increases the cost to run a load of clothes by 80%. That’s an additional $0.68 for a total of $0.89 for one-load of clothes!
See How Clothes Dryer Sheet’s effect on a Lint Screen.
Dryer Sheets affect on the Lint Trap
Your Clothes Dryer’s Lint Trap After prolonged use of Dryer Sheets.

Visit The Lint King Dryer Vent Cleaning Website to learn more.


Clothes Dryer Sheet Alternatives

Eco-Friendly Liquid Softener, Wool Dryer Balls, Reusable Chemical-Free Dryer Sheets, or   ½ Cup of White Distilled Vinegar to the Final Rinse Water Cycle are all Healthier Alternatives!
Eco-Friendly Liquid Softener, Wool Dryer Balls, Reusable Chemical-Free Dryer Sheets, or  ½ Cup of White Distilled Vinegar to the Final Rinse Water Cycle are all Healthier Alternatives!

How to Soften Clothes

  1. Eco-Friendly Liquid Softener
    Mrs. Meyers's Laundry Alternatives

    Formulated with essential oils, plant-derived and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients for products that are powerful against dirt and grime while being a pleasure to use. Learn more about Mr’s Meyers Laundry Products.

  2. Wool Dryer Balls
    Wool Dryer Balls for Laundry

    How to Make Homemade Felted Wool Dryer Balls. Dryer balls help to soften clothes naturally and they are made from a renewable resource. Learn the benefits of Using Wool Dryer Balls.

  3. Reusable Chemical-Free Dryer Sheets
    Reusable Clothes Dryer Sheets

    llerTech® patented dryer sheet system safely solves the static problem and reduces wrinkles without any added chemicals.

  4. White Distilled Vinegar
    White Distilled Vinegar in the Laundry

    Add ½ Cup of White Distilled Vinegar to the Final Rinse Water Cycle.

  5. Aluminum Foil
    Foil Ball Controls Static

    Can Aluminum Foil Keep Clothes Static Free? It’s true, a small aluminum ball of foil removes static. And it never has to be replaced! The aluminum foil balls should be approximately two-to-three inches in diameter and tightly rolled. Be sure to round out any protruding edges that could catch a tread. One ball should do it smaller loads — as many as three aluminum balls for more substantial items like blankets.

Read the full article from LifeHacker.