The Washer's Lint Trap Needs Cleaning Too

The Washer's Lint Trap Needs Cleaning Too

You know about the dryer lint screen, but did you know your washing machine has a lint trap, too? If your clothes have a furry coat of lint coming out of the wash, the lint filter is probably clogged. It’s time to remedy this problem by learning more about washing machine lint traps.

What is a Washing Machine Lint Trap?

Some washers have cleanable filters while others have mesh lint traps. Regardless of the style, the purpose of a washing machine lint trap is the same: keep lint off your clothes. Of course, this only happens if you keep the filter clean.

How to Find the Laundry Drain Lint Trap

The location of the lint filter depends on the age and type of machine you have. Refer to the owner’s manual for help. If you don’t have the manual, here’s where to check:

  • Along the top rim of the washer drum: Slide your fingers around the top of the washing basin, and you may run into a screen, which you can pull out to remove lint. Be careful not to jam fingers, and be sure you have a good hold on the lid so it does not fall on your hand while investigating.

  • Inside the center agitator: If you have a top-loading washer, inspect the center agitator. The cover may be removable, revealing a lint trap inside.
  • At the end of the drainage hose: A small mesh screen may be fitted onto the end of the hose that drains water out of the machine.

High-Efficiency Washers Don’t Have a Lint Filter

If you have a newer high-efficiency (HE) washer – whether front- or top-loading – the machine doesn’t have a lint trap. Instead, it relies on a self-cleaning pump filter to remove lint from the wash. Still, it’s wise to run an empty wash cycle once a month to flush excess lint from the pump filter.

Front loaders often have a small door near the bottom of the appliance that you can open to remove buttons, coins or even a sock clogging the water pump filter and causing a slow drain. Check the pump regularly for blockages to help your washer function properly. A good prompt for this type of check is if you notice your clothes are not coming out of the wash as clean as they used to.

How to Clean the Lint Collector for the Washing Machine

Wherever the washer lint trap is located, you’ll probably find it’s filled with a sticky layer of lint, detergent and fabric softener. Here’s how to clean it:

  • If the screen is removable, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes to clear away residue.

  • If the filter is secured in place, clean lint from it with a soft brush or paper towel.

  • If the trap is disposable, replace it when it becomes clogged.

Clean or replace the washing machine filter every three months for more efficient operation, better drainage and reduced lint deposits on clothes.

Make Your Own Reusable Lint Trap for the Washer Hose

Many homeowners complain about the ineffectiveness and short life of disposable washing machine lint traps that attach to the drainage hose. If this is the style of lint trap your washing machine uses, you don’t have to stick with store-bought solutions. With this quick hack, you’ll have a reusable lint trap for the washer hose you can use again and again. Here’s what to do:

  • Cut the foot off of a nylon stocking about 4 to 5 inches from the toe.

  • Slide a 2” hose clamp over the nylon and secure it to the discharge hose.

  • Every three months, remove the nylon lint trap, turn it inside out, and rinse the debris out.

  • Continue to reuse the trap until the nylon breaks down. Then, simply replace it with a new one.

For more washing machine filter tips, or to schedule laundry room services, contact Mr. Appliance® today.

Did you know we're part of Neighborly, a community of home service experts? From painting to plumbing, we've got you covered. For example, our fellow brand Mr. Rooter, can perform a water pressure check to ensure your plumbing is delivering enough water to all your water-based appliances, as well as your faucets, showers and spigots.

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