Asked on Mar 6, 2013

Inside the dryer cleaner

Sue KieneSherrieDarlene Shelton


Does anyone know of something that will clean the inside of the dryer are? I have tried the solution of dry detergent mixed with water, but it didn't work (from the dryer manual). I have this brown stain that is appearing on my clothes and it won't come out. I have tried all the store brands and nothing is working. I really hate to have to pay an appliance person to come out, but I really hate losing wearing my clothes because of stains too. Any help is appreciated. I want my clothes back!
12 answers
  • Mary Sorrell
    on Mar 6, 2013

    My kids left crayons in their pockets once and the waxy mess was all over the interior of the dryer. I used magic eraser and it cleaned it.

  • Sherrie
    on Mar 7, 2013

    Try a Magic Eraser, then alcohol, then bleach and run the dryer to dry it afterwards. Is it a stain or rust? Dye is hard to remove that is why I would use a Magic Eraser.

  • Are you sure it is from something that has stained the inside of the drum? If the dryer is not properly venting due to build up of lint, it will over heat and can scorch the clothes. Also if the drum is not turning properly that also will cause over heating and those brown stains. I do not suggest as Sherri said to use any flammable chemicals inside the drum, fumes can collect and when started can cause an explosion. If the lint and verification that the drum is moving properly when the dryer is loaded with clothes, there must be a visible stain or melted material that you can see on the drum itself. Can you determine what that stain is? Melted plastic? Crayon? Once you have that it is much easier to determine what it is that you need to remove the offending material.

  • Darlene Shelton
    on Mar 7, 2013

    Thank you all for your answers. I will try the magic eraser first. I thought is was the vent in the back of the dryer, as it is brown and the stain on my clothes is also brown. Do I need to replace the vent inside? Is that even a possibility or can it be cleaned? If that is a rust stain, any suggestions on how to get it out of my clothes?

  • the lint hose needs to come off and the vent pipe should be cleaned. They make brushes to do this, but you really should consider hiring a chimney sweep that will do this job for you properly. Does you dryer take a long time to dry clothes? That is a sure sign that it is stopped up. you many want to look in the dryer with a flash light and look at the holes in the back of the dryer where the hot air comes out. Do you see lint build up there? If so, the back of the dryer needs to come off and cleaned out. You can also clean the pocket where the lint filter is located. They make a plastic device that is used to clean out hair from drains. You can can find this at your local HD store in the plumbing section. It is plastic about 20 inches long it has tiny barbs on each side that when used in the sink drain it is pushed in then pulled out with hair on it. You would use this in the same slot at the dryer filter that you clean each time you use your dryer. Push it in move around and pull back out. You will be amazed on how much lint falls off and collects in that opening. In any case, if your not up to the task or feel intimated a chimney sweep or even a handy person can do this job for you. Also check the vent opening outside the house. If its plugged that is a concern also. In any case if you have not checked this vent for several years, please do so. Dryer vents are one of the leading causes of house fires in the US.

  • Sherrie
    on Mar 7, 2013

    True. I should have said after the alcohol rinse it. You can pull the dryer out, unplug it, and clean the lint out from the back. So houses vent theirs directly outside. Some are now vented though the house which means someone needs to clean it out. If it is stopped up in the dryer you can get that out yourself. Also if the hose is crinkled it can cause backup with lint. So it needs to be cleaned. If it is getting to hot it is scorching your clothes. I don't know how old your dryer is or what kind it is? My Late Husband had a new and used Appliance Store with Repair and Service. I cleaned all the used appliances. And this is what I used to clean the inside of stained dryers. I also took them outside and washed them out and stuck a hose down the vents to get all the lint out. I am absolutely not suggesting anyone else do this...I have done this for 20 yrs, I knew how to get the water out and dry them, you wouldn't believe how much lint builds up. Please don't do this I absolutely will not be liable for anyone doing this. Sigh But I am wondering now if your dryer is scorching the clothes? Wet hot clothes are a sign of a crinkled hose or it is stopped up with lint. Scorching means your dryer isn't working because there should be a safety shut off that prevents this from happening. It is dangerous and you shouldn't use it. If it is rust it can happen with one little thing. And get all over your clothes. A screw can create rust everywhere on clothes. Scorching I don't think you can get out. But so many things now can be fixed so I bet someone knows something. Rust.. Lemon juice. Lemon juice and salt, cream of tarter. Commercial rust removers. Hope that helps a little.

  • Darlene Shelton
    on Mar 8, 2013

    I will definitely look at the hose issue. I do use an attachment to my vacuum for cleaning out the vent of lint buildup. I also take the vent screen off and clean it. I will check the back and the hose for buildup. I'm not sure if it's scorching or rust, but of course its always on my white clothes, and the stain is the same length on all of the clothes. I have checked my light color clothes, but do not see anything on them. Thanks to you both for your information and taking the time to respond.

  • Nest Home Improvement
    on Mar 8, 2013

    Sometimes replacing the flexible ducting that runs in between the back of the dryer and the wall is easier than cleaning. You should definitely replace if you have the older plastic/vinyl ducting with metal. Dryers are the source of many house fires each year. Her is post with further dryer maintenance tips

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 8, 2013

    @Darlene Shelton we had this happen too us a number of years ago. I don't how many of hubby's dress shirts were destroyed. We had a repair man in and the only solution was to replace the dryer because it was leaking oil. It was very frustrating, but the dryer was about 15 years old. In the long run we figured cheaper to replace than keep calling in repairmen.

  • Darlene Shelton
    on Mar 12, 2013

    Thanks Gail for the information. The dryer isn't that old, so I hope I don't have to purchase another one.

  • Sherrie
    on Mar 17, 2013

    it could also be a wallowed out drum roller. Usually these start making a louder noise when they are getting this way. One little bitty rusty screw can leave rust all over everything, Most of the dryer motors are sealed so oil are grease doesn't leak. But I am absolutely not ever saying it can't happen. A few more things I thought of could it be softner leaving a oily residue? Or could the leak have come from the washing machine? And you just didn't notice it was coming from the washer? I am really curious when you find out could you please let us know? Thanks and good luck!

  • Sue Kiene
    on May 15, 2016

    I agree with Sherrie that you definitely should take a look at the washer as well as I have had spots before that actually started in the washer. I would recommend actually doing a cleaning cycle in the washer. I noticed a great tip just the other day regarding cleaning the dryer vent. It was to actually add a paper towel tube to the end of your vacuum hose to get down in there better. And maybe use some lemon juice or vinegar on the inside of the dryer to cut any film that might be present. Good luck.

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