Why Lint Trap Becomes Clogged?

All you need to know about lint traps and how to handle them

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on Why Lint Trap Becomes Clogged

Most of us have tumble dryers at home these days since this device is very handy when washing clothes. With its help, you don’t have to wait for hours before your clothes get properly dry so that you can wear them again.

You just need to toss the recently washed clothes into the barrel of your tumble dryer and press the STARTS BUTTON. All the rest the machine will do for you!

However, quite many of us keep on complaining that their lint traps keep on getting clogged after their tumble dryers are used. And naturally, sooner or later the question appears: why does my dryer’s lint trap become clogged all the time at all?!

In this article, we will do our best to give you the answer.

You will find out why your dryer vent lint trap gets clogged again and again even though you clean it after each use of the tumble dryer.

Also, we will explain what a lint trap is and how it works. In addition, you are going to learn what you can do in order to can clean your lint trap in your dryer.

What Makes a Dryer Vent Lint Catcher Become Clogged?

Well, the answer is basically obvious. It is lint that makes the lint trap in your tumble dryer get clogged after each use of the machine. In particular, it is an excess lint that makes the drying process a problem. But why does it appear?

There are several factors that can lead to the lint collector for your dryer getting constantly clogged. Below, you can read more about each of these factors so that you know for sure what you should be aware of.

What Makes a Dryer Vent Lint Catcher Become Clogged
EdZbarzhyvetsky via VistaCreate

You Might Have Sorting Problems

One of the most common causes of excess lint is the wrong way of sorting clothes that need to be washed.

What most of us do is that we sort pants with pants, shirts with shirts, and bedding and towels go to the wash together. However, smarter people tend to sort their clothes based on colors.

Also, there is another common mistake that comes with sorting. If you mix fabrics that produce lint with the fabrics that rather tend to catch it, it will allow lint to transfer from garment to garment.

Dryer Filter Sensor Cleaning MaintenanceDryer Filter Sensor Cleaning Maintenance

As a result, lint will not be able to get trapped by the lint filter as it should be. This produces extra lint that your dryer doesn’t need at all. And naturally, all that excess lint can easily make its way past the lint trap.

The solution is pretty simple, luckily. Before you start washing clothes, remember to separate fabrics that are producing lint (like flannel, cotton knits, and terry towels) from the fabrics that collect lint instead ( those are corduroy, acrylic blankets, children’s sleepwear, etc.).

Length Of Cycle

You might think that the longer your clothes have been washed the cleaner they will be when they come out of the washing barrel. However, if you wash them too long, you are going to have a somewhat different effect.

Washing your clothes longer than what is needed to clean them will generate lint! When you move the clothes into the dryer, they will have excessive lint attached to them. As a result, that could overwork the lint trap as well, causing it to be clogged.To solve this problem, try to shorten your wash time for small loads and lightly soiled garments. This way, you will be able to avoid washing clothes longer than you need to.

Length Of Cycle
alenaloginova via VistaCreate

Consider The Level Of Water

You shouldn’t set the water level to a higher setting on the washing machine, make it a rule of thumb! Why is that? Because doing so will often cause linting from excessive movement of the clothes in the water.

To fix this issue, just select exactly the water level that you need for washing the specific load.

Consider The Level Of Water
IgorVetushkо via VistaCreate

Mind The Load Size

There is another nuance about the washing load that should be taken into consideration if you want to find out what makes excess lint appear. Simply don’t overload your washer!
Overloading your washing machine can prevent the lint from being flushed away during the process of laundry.

It will also cause the clothes to rub against one another, which will be generating more lint. And this is definitely not what you need.

Fortunately, the solution is simple. Load your clothes loosely, no higher than the top row of holes in the washer. In other words, forget about pushing down to make the clothes fit!

Mind The Load Size
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

There Is Too Much Bleach

Bleach is great for fighting stubborn stains, but bleaching products can also cause damage to your clothes and fabric. However, not all of us know that this will also cause excessive lint to be produced.

So if you do need to use bleach, simply follow the directions on the bottle so that you don’t overuse it.


Pilling is a natural process that happens with polyester and cotton blends. The stronger fibers will collect and hold small bundles of fibers, instead of breaking off. This creates pills. Lint becomes entangled in the pills and makes the lint appear more obvious.

To solve this issue, there is not much you can do since it is a naturally occurring process. But you can at least turn the clothes inside out to provide some extra protection.

You Leave Items In Your Pockets

We all do this, let’s be honest! We often tend to leave coins, buttons, and other stuff in our pockets, and then those things go to the washing machine and then to the dryer unnoticed.

However, you need to note that, if you leave paper, receipts, tissues, or other similar items in your pockets, they can cause lint too. This is why remember to empty all pockets before washing your clothes.

You Leave Items In Your Pockets
alenaloginova via VIstaCreate

Water Pump Filter Is Clogged

Excessive lint could also be a sign that the water pump filter in your washing machine is clogged. When that happens, the wash and rinse water that contains all of the lint drains too slowly.

As a result, this water leaves lint deposits all over your clothes. All that excessive lint will have to get exhausted out of your dryer and could increase the chances of it being trapped within the vents.

To fix this, simply clean your pump filter. The cleaning instructions are pretty easy to follow. Open the outer housing of your washing. If you have a front-load washer, the lower panel will give you access to the clean-out filter.

If you have a top-loading washer, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. While you are in there, you will be able to clean out lint and you may even find coins, buttons, and other stuff that ended up there after you forgot it in your pockets.

As you can see now, there are plenty of factors that can make your lint catcher in your tumble dryer clogged with the lint badly.

Luckily, if you clean it out regularly, if you remember to check your pockets before you start washing clothes, and if you follow a few other handy recommendations that we gave you here, you will be able to easily keep your lint trap clean and your dryer properly working.

Water Pump Filter Is Clogged
VitalikRadko via VistaCreate

What to Do If Your Lint Catcher Is Clogged?

Of course, after you learned what can make your dryer’s lint trap get clogged, you might want to find out what should be done should you face this issue. First of all, you should get your dryer vent checked out by a reputable dryer vent company.

Here are also a few tips that you can use to help you when selecting the company:

  • Can the company provide references? How do the online reviews look?
  • Does the company carry a valid business insurance policy?
  • Can the company ensure and guarantee that a CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician will be on the job site?

If the company has reliable reviews and you can answer “yes” to the other two questions, then you can be fully confident in your choice. Such a company will be a great choice for you to work with.

LG Dryer Lint Removal Beyond the FilterLG Dryer Lint Removal Beyond the Filter

Once your dryer is checked and clean, all that is left to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits:

  1. Your dryer will operate more efficiently
  2. Your energy bills will drop back to normal
  3. You will get clothes that dry much faster now
  4. Longer lasting, efficient dryer

This is why we strongly recommend you both give your tumble dryer regular checks (at least once a year to be sure everything is fine), and also, consider inviting the professionals to have it cleaned.

If you attempt to do it yourself, chances are that you can accidentally damage something, thus causing even more harm and raising your expenses!

How to Clean a Clogged Dryer Vent and Remove Lint Step-by-Step?

So, you have found the core of the problem: your dryer vent is clogged with lint. But what shall you do next? We suggest you a simple yet efficient cleaning method that will help you remove lint clogs from your dryer vent with a few easy steps.

How to Clean a Clogged Dryer Vent and Remove Lint Step by Step
jordache via VistaCreate

Step 1. Cut Power

To clean your dryer vent not only efficiently but also safely, remember to cut the power to it first. You can do it by unplugging the unit, but in some cases, you might need to pull your dryer out from the current position to do that!

Step 2. Find the Vent

Luckily, this is an easy task. Dryer vents typically stand out from the unit. You should look for a thick silver or white hose about four inches in diameter coming from the back of the dryer. It can be made with flexible white vinyl. However, your dryer’s hose can be made of thin aluminum foil, semi-rigid aluminum, or rigid aluminum piping as well. When you locate the hose, follow it to the spot where it exits the home. The hose will most likely be held in place by one or several circular brackets.

Step 3. Disconnect the Hose

Now you need to pull the dryer out from the wall and, using a screwdriver, loosen and unscrew the brackets that attach the dryer vent hose to the wall. However, before you remove the vent from the wall, ensure you have a drop cloth or a garbage bag at hand to catch any debris. 

Step 4. Remove the Dryer Vent Hose and Vacuum It

Now you should detach the vent hose from your dryer by loosening the brackets. Now that the vent hose is removed, you can use different ways of removing the debris in the vent:

  • Use the hose attachment on a vacuum cleaner.
  • Remove the clog with a shop vac.
  • Blow out the lint with a leaf blower.
  • Use an auger snake to break up the clog.

Step 5. Clean Out Lint Residue and Wash the Vent Cover

To remove remaining dust, dirt, lint, or other debris, use dryer vent cleaning brushes. Also, remember to wash the vent cover! This will help you ensure that leftover debris doesn’t accumulate within the unit.

  • Remove the vent cover with a screwdriver 
  • Vacuum it 
  • Place the vent cover into the hot, soapy water and clean with a microfiber cloth 
  • Allow the cover to air dry and reattach it to the dryer.

Now you can reattach the hose back to the unit and clean around to ensure there’s no lint left on the floor.

Dryer Error Codes: Their Meaning and Tips On How to Fix

Sometimes, your dryer’s display may show strange combinations of letters and numbers. Those are error codes that indicate something is wrong with how the unit operates. However, to know exactly what’s happened, you should know the meaning of the basic error codes your dryer shows you.

Error Code

Cause How to Fix


Shorted temperature sensor or wire

Don’t start the dryer control until the detected short circuit is removed. The error code will be displayed until the programming button is pressed to return the unit to idle mode.


Opened temperature sensor

Don’t start the dryer control until the detected short circuit is removed.


Memory Corrupted

Power the dryer down and try to reset the control. Check the voltage to the control board and replace the control board if the error can’t be cleared.


Analog/Digital error

Power the dryer down and try to reset the control.

COMM ERROR1 Communication error

Check the voltage to the ground board and try to reset the control.


No dryer model selected

Check the connector marked “Jumpers” on the control board.

Dryer Error Codes Their Meaning and Tips On How to Fix
tete_escape via VistaCreate

How to Prevent the Lint Trap In Your Dryer From Clogging?

Well, having a clean lint trap and a properly working dryer is a good thing. You can enjoy plenty of benefits, but also, you should be more mindful from now on and give your tumble dryer vent the attention it deserves.

This attention also means that you will want to continue cleaning the lint trap every time you use your dryer.

And also, remember to keep an eye on how the dryer is performing. You should also make sure to do the following things:

  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow, and dirt
  • Replace any coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal ducts
  • Do regular checks in order to make sure that the outside vent is not blocked by nests
  • Make sure that the items that can burn are removed from the area around the dryer
  • If you are going to be away from home for a long period of time, make sure to unplug the dryer

In addition, there are several important don’ts that must always be followed:

  • Don’t use the tumble dryer that has no lint filter
  • Avoid using your dryer with a lint filter that is loose, damaged, or clogged
  • Don’t overload your dryer
  • Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
  • Don’t use your tumble dryer for drying the items with foam, rubber, or plastic.
  • Do not dry fibers and materials that have a care tag stating “dry away from heat.”
  • Don’t leave your dryer turned on and working if you are going to be away from home long enough or during the night.

Like this, if you keep all this in mind and you follow our recommendations precisely, you can be sure that your dryer’s lint trap will remain clean longer.

As a result, your tumble dryer will be performing much better.

How to Prevent the Lint Trap In Your Dryer From Clogging
anatolik1986 via VistaCreate


Now you know why the lint trap of your dryer may become clogged and what to do to fix this issue. We shared the most efficient lint-removing techniques and tricks, so you can easily keep your tumble dryer in a decent condition now!

Ensure you check and clean your dryer and its vent (as well as its lint trap) regularly, and your unit will serve you much longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can lint be a fire hazard?

Yes, excess lint in a dryer’s lint trap can catch a fire in some cases. This is why cleaning this lint trap is a must.

⭐Does lint come from air?

No, lint comes from clothes since it’s created from tiny particles of fibers while clothes are washed and dried.

⭐Can lint cause allergy?

There are no proved cases of lint causing allrgy. However, there is a dust allergy indeed.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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