The Washer Lint Trap Needs Cleaning Too—So Where Is It?

Washer and laundry bin

You know about the dryer lint screen, but did you know your washing machine has a lint trap too? And you’re supposed to clean it to prevent buildup. If your clothes have a furry coat of lint when coming out of the wash, the washer lint trap is probably clogged already. Let’s talk about locating and cleaning the lint trap in a washing machine.

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, and ensure good water drainage. Of course, this only happens if you keep the filter clean.

Where Is the Lint Trap on a Washing Machine?

The location of the washer 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 you’re 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.

Does your lint trap look faulty? Find your local Mr. Appliance® to get your appliance inspected. We’re quick and happy to help.

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 a Lint Trap in Your Washing Machine

Once every three months, remove your washer lint trap’s sticky layer of lint, detergent, and fabric softener. Here’s how to empty the lint trap in a washing machine:

  • 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.

This quarterly task will help with efficient washer operation, better drainage, and reduced lint deposits on clothes.

If you notice that your washer still has trouble draining or isn’t getting enough water, you may have a plumbing pressure issue. We recommend contacting our friends at Mr. Rooter® for a plumbing inspection and diagnosis. They are our fellow brand in the Neighborly® family of trusted home service experts.

Make a DIY Lint Trap for the Washing Machine 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 washer lint trap you have, you don’t have to use store-bought replacement filters. With this quick hack, you’ll have a DIY lint trap for the washing machine that you can use again and again. Here’s what to do:

  • Cut the foot off a nylon stocking about 4 to 5 inches from the toe.
  • Slide a 2” hose clamp over the nylon, and secure it to the washing machine’s 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.

Trust Mr. Appliance for Laundry Machine Repairs

Laundry appliances work hard for you, and sometimes they break down at the worst times. If you need help repairing your washer and dryer (or any other household appliance!), Mr. Appliance has experienced technicians for the job. Find your local team, or conveniently schedule service online.

We’re looking forward to serving you and your home with respect.

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