top of page

The Home Fire Waiting To Happen: Maintaining Your Clothes Dryer

We clean for all kinds of reasons that include good hygiene, germ control, organization, aesthetic detailing of rooms, and so on. Occasionally, however, we need to clean for reasons of safety.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is estimated that there are 15,000 home fires annually in the US caused by improperly maintained clothing dryers. It’s a staggering statistic, because so many of those fires could have been prevented.


The cause of all those fires? In most cases, the culprit is lint build-up. Remember this, no matter how well-vented your dryer is, lint will build up over time. To be safe, a dryer needs to cleaned on the inside once a year. This is over and above regular cleaning of the appliance’s exterior and cleaning lint traps on a per-use basis.

There is a difference between "Safe Cleaning" and "Cleaning for Safety." Both are important.


We at Portico Inc. suggest that the cleaning of a dryer’s interior and the venting ducts be conducted by professionals. They know what they are doing and have the tools to complete the project thoroughly. If your appliance is under warranty, make sure that the service company is warranty approved. Depending on your jurisdiction, licensing requirements might be required. If they are, make sure to see proof.


If, on the other hand, you’re a DIY kind of person, who is strong, and mechanically talented, here is what you need to do:

  1. Unplug the machine and move it away from the wall so that all sides are accessible

  2. Remove the lint trap and wash it in warm, soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and let it air dry.

  3. Clean the exterior of the dryer.

  4. Find the manual for your dryer. In that manual will be instructions indicating how to safely open the dryer so that the interior is accessible. We’re betting you’ll be shocked at the amount of lint build-up inside. Begin the deep cleaning of the interior, while making sure not to dislodge any interior venting or knocking the motor.

  5. Vacuum the interior of the vent hose. Better yet, replace it altogether. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, and it’s a certain way to ensure that the interior is kept lint-free.

  6. With the vent hose removed, vacuum out the duct that leads to the exterior of your home. This is where professionals come in handy since they’ll have the tools to vacuum a long duct.

  7. Go outside and clean the exterior vent. If there is shrubbery blocking the vent, it should be trimmed back.

  8. Once that is done, reassemble the dryer’s casing, put the lint trap back into place, and reconnect the hose.

  9. Put the dryer back into place, making sure not to dislodge the hose.

  10. Plug it back in and become a reassured "laundress."


Performed on an annual basis, your dryer’s performance will be optimized, you will extend the lifespan of its motor, but most of all, your home will be a safer place for your family.

© Portico Inc., 2013

Positions We Place
  • Housekeepers

  • Cook/Housekeepers

  • Executive Housekeepers

  • Nannies

  • Laundresses

  • Elder Caregivers

  • Personal Assistants

  • Office Butlers

  • House Managers

  • Private Chefs

  • Butlers (Household & Corporate)

  • Domestic Couples

  • Estate Couples

  • Chauffeurs

  • Companions

  • Corporate Flight Attendants


© 2017 - 2022, PORTICO INC.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
bottom of page