Dryer Lint Getting Past Screen: 8 Possible Causes+Fix

The essential function of the dryer is to remove the excess water and expel the hot air steam and lint. While the dryer performs this function, there are chances of the lint accumulating on the screen. If you are tired of dealing with this issue, you are in the right place.

Excessive lint getting past your dryer screen may be due to blockage in the lint filter, or the lint particles may have clogged the dryer vent. Overloading the dryer with clothes can also be a cause. You can fix this by removing the lint screen and vent duct and cleaning the same with a vacuum.

In this article, you will understand the possible issues causing the lint to get past the screen. You will also know the step-by-step process of removing the lint from the dryer. So, keep reading.

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What are the causes of excessive lint getting past the screen?

I know how it feels dealing with the bits of fabric that separate from the fabric clothes, which add up, on the whole, to accumulate as lint particles throughout the dryer and the laundry room.

The fabric clothes, manufactured with natural cotton and threads, leave more lint on the dryer than other clothes made of rayon and artificial materials. 

When you load these fabric materials in the washer, those bits of fabric materials are detached from the cloth but remain with the fabric in wet condition.

After loading the clothes into the dryer, the lint particles release from the fabric as the water is squeezed from the cloth.

In the end, the dryer’s heating element produces a hot stream that circulates throughout the clothes, pushing the lint particles off the clothes, which are finally trapped in the lint screen. 

As the heat and the dryer’s moisture are expelled from the home through the dryer exhaust, lint accumulation is also blown out through the vent. 

If you are facing this issue of excessive lint getting past your screen, it should be because of the following causes.

A long washing cycle

If you put the clothes in the washing cycle for the longest time, they will produce more lint than they usually do.

And when they are loaded in the dryer, excessive lint will get trapped in the dryer and the lint filter.

The only solution for this issue is to avoid running the washing cycle for too long and run the washer only for the appropriate time.

If your clothes are not too dirty, they don’t need to be washed for a long time.

Overloading the clothes

If you are loading more clothes in the same cycle, this can also be the reason for more lint generation.

When you overload clothes, they scratch one another, removing the threads of the fabric clothes.

When this happens, more lint is produced than usual. 

You can avoid this by loading clothes only up to the top holes of the washer.

You can run two cycles instead of loading all the clothes in the same cycle.

Doing this will save you from the unpleasant experience of dealing with excessive lint.

Pilling of fiber clothes

Pilling is a fault that can be seen on the surface of fabrics and appears like an entangled thread, giving an unfinished look to the clothes. 

It is a natural process that happens during the washing, wear, and tear process.

It happens mostly in cotton and polyester clothes. 

Small threads of fiber will get struck in the large, strong fiber instead of detaching.

Because of this, lint is produced. 

To prevent this, you can turn the clothes inside out while loading them in the washer.

Doing this will reduce the amount of lint produced and prevent the interlocking of small fibers.

Clogged filter

If you find more lint, it may also indicate a clogged filter in your washer.

If this is the case with your washer, water that contains lint will take a long time to filter.

It will deposit all the excess lint on the clothes during that time. 

When these clothes are loaded into the dryer, the heating element will generate a hot stream of air to expel all the lint.

The excess lint will clog the vent of the dryer.

This clog will reduce the efficiency of your dryer. 

To eliminate this issue, you must remove the clog of your washer’s filter. 

Clean the filters by removing the outer panel of your washer.

If you have a front-load washer, locate the filters at the lateral or lower panel.

The location of filters will vary according to the model of the machines.

Consider referring to the user manual to see how it is structured. 

After locating the filter, clean it using the brush.

You will be surprised to find all the lost materials, like hand towels, buttons, and coins. 

Now run the wash cycle, and check if the issue is solved.

Not checking the pockets before washing.

This happens most of the time when you return home from work or shopping, change your outfit, and directly put the clothes into the washer without checking the pockets.

Sometimes you may have kept the shopping or vehicle gas bills.

Not checking the pockets before running the washing cycle will generate extra lint leading to an accumulation of lint on the dryer screen.

You can avoid this by checking your pockets before running the washing cycle.

This conscious act will save you from trouble.

Using too much bleach than required

Using too much bleach without diluting it will damage the clothes by breaking the fiber on the cloth and also causing the yellowing of the clothes. 

Due to the breakdown of fibers, excess lint is generated. 

You can avoid this by using less bleach after diluting it.

You can also take the strained cloth out and scrub it with bleach separately instead of bleaching all other clothes which are not strained.

Following this will reduce the amount of lint produced. 

High water level

Filling the washer with more water than required can lead to excess lint generation.

Next time you run the washer, ensure the water level is not exceeding the appropriate level. 

A wrong way of sorting the clothes

Recall how you load clothes.

How clothes are sorted can also cause excessive lint to come past the screen. 

Before facing the trouble of excessive lint, I used to sort clothes based on categories: a shirt with shirts and a pant with pants.

This practice caused excess lint deposits in the dryer screen. 

Doing this will mix the lint-producing fabrics with lint-attracting clothes, preventing the lint from getting trapped in the lint filter. 

The excess lint in the clothes will get trapped in the dryer, eventually depositing on the screen and trapped on the dryer’s vent. 

To avoid this, you must load the lint-producing clothes in one cycle and the lint-attracting particles in the other.

After practicing the method mentioned above, the amount of lint produced has drastically reduced.

Why is there so much lint coming out of your dryer?

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If you see lint coming out of the dryer and spreading everywhere in the laundry room, it may be due to the possible reasons mentioned below.

Check if the lint screen is fixed.

Check if you have fixed the lint screen after cleaning or emptying it.

You might have forgotten to fix the lint screen, due to which the lint may be spreading all over the laundry room.

If you haven’t fixed the screen, check where you kept it by searching throughout the laundry room. 

After finding your lint screen, put it back in the dryer.

Now you can run the dryer and see if still the lint is spreading everywhere. 

If you still find the issue unsolved, there must be some other fault causing this issue.

Loosened dryer duct

The dryer duct is a flexible silver tube behind the dryer to connect the dryer and the wall. 

Hot air and excessive lint from the dryer are expelled out of the dryer through this silver tube. 

If you notice, this tube is secured tightly with a circular ring.

Sometimes, this ring may get loose, and lint may spread everywhere around the laundry room. 

Now, check the connections at both sides of the tube.

Ensure they are secured tightly to avoid the spread of the lint. 

Tighten the ring as tight as possible close to the opening.

It must solve the issue if that is causing the spread of lint.

Damaged dryer duct

Check the dryer duct for any damage.

If you see any damage that tends to leak the hot steam air, you have to replace it. 

As it leaks the air, the lint that passes through it will also leak. 

You must not try to repair the damage with tapes, as that is not the right solution. 

Replace the entire dryer duct.

Now, it will solve your issue. 

How do I stop my dryer lint from going everywhere?

If you see your dryer lint going everywhere, check if there is a fault with the screen, damaged dryer duct, or the ring securing the duct.

After checking the fault, fix it as explained above.

In this way, you can stop the dryer lint from spreading anywhere. 

How does dryer lint get past the filter?

Dryer lint gets past the filter if the filter is not cleaned and accumulates with excessive lint. 

Prevent the lint from getting past the dryer by following the below-mentioned steps:

  • During the wash cycle, avoid using the dryer sheets. Because softeners from this sheet will accumulate inside the filter, blocking the airflow. Even if you use it, don’t use more than one sheet.
  • The next step is cleaning the lint filter. Clean the layers of lint accumulation using the brush or run the clean water through it. Use this cleaning procedure whenever you use dryer sheets.
  • Now clean the dryer vent at the back side of the dryer. Clean the lint from the tube using a vacuum. Also, clean the air tube using the vacuum to remove any lint or dirt. 
  • Unscrew the front panel of the dryer, and access the motor. Clean the dryer’s interior using a vacuum to remove all the lint accumulation. 
  • Remove the lateral panel of the dryer, and vacuum the lint. Do this cleaning process two times a year to prevent the lint from getting past the filter. 

How to remove lint from the lint screen?

If the dryer is accumulated with lint, it will affect its efficiency.

And also, it will lead to a fire. 

Follow this step-by-step process to remove the lint from the dryer:

  • Locate the lint screen using the user manual. Depending on the model, you can either pull or take it completely. 
  • Use a brush or vacuum to remove the lint blockage from the screen. It is always better to clean it with a brush instead of using your hands to clean it.
  • After cleaning the lint screen with a brush, run it under water to remove the lint completely. 
  • Now clean the dryer vent using a vacuum. Vacuum out the lint from the dryer trap. Cleaning this will prevent the clog in the trap area. 
  • Continue this process after each load to keep the screen and the trap area lint-free. 

How to remove lint from the front load dryer? 

The location of the dryer lint screen and vent duct will differ based on the model of the dryer.

Consider referring to the user manual to locate the dryer lint screen, the vent duct, and other dryer parts that need to be cleaned. 

Follow the step-by-step process given below to deep clean your front load dryer:

1. Disconnect with the electricity: Start the cleaning process by disconnecting from the electricity. Move the dryer forward.

2. Disconnect the exhaust hose:

  • Consider referring to the user manual to locate the exhaust hose.
  • Use a screw dryer to loosen the ring securing the hose.
  • Completely remove the hose from the dryer.
  • Seek the help of a professional if you find it complicated. 

3. Examine the exhaust of the host: Use a flashlight to inspect inside the hose for any lint or dirt accumulation.

If you see any lint, use a brush or vacuum out the lint and the dirt. 

4. Connect back the hose:

  • Reattach the hose to the dryer.
  • Use a screwdriver to tighten the ring and the clamps.
  • Check if the hot stream is escaping from the hose. 

5. Clean the exterior vent: Locate the exterior vent area, which will be a square area with metal plates covering it.

Flash the light to inspect the amount of lint accumulated.

Trap all the lint from the vent with a vacuum.

Now you can enjoy your lint-free and efficient dryer. 

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How often do you want to clean the dryer lint traps?

Cleaning the lint trap depends on how often you use the dryer.

Loading clothes three to four times a week is enough to clean once a year.

In contrast, cleaning it at least twice a year is important if you load it three to four times a day. 

Final thoughts

Cleaning the lint screen and trap is important. Avoiding it will even cause a fire. As discussed in the article, find the cause of why lint is getting past the screen and fix it with the solutions I mentioned.

If you cannot fix this issue by yourself, seek help from professionals. Depending upon the model of your dryer, the cleaning process will differ. Consider referring to the user manual to locate the lint screen. Dryer trap and vent duct to do deep cleaning twice a year.


Reference: APPLIANCE STANDARDS AWARENESS PROJECTLG Official GuideKenmore User manual.

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Jeniffer Smith

Hi, I am Jeniffer Smith, a housemaker and blogger, and I grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have been researching and fixing appliances and other things around the home and kitchen from a young age to help my single mother. Every time something went wrong, I couldn't rest until I fixed it. And ever since, I have enjoyed fixing things around my home, and I am always ready to help my friends and family with advice and hands-on help. Since we were always looking for affordable ways of fixing things, we rarely hired experts and tried to fix most things ourselves. That interest brought me to write for this blog, as I realized my knowledge could help many people trying to fix things around their homes on their own without spending hundreds of dollars.

2 thoughts on “Dryer Lint Getting Past Screen: 8 Possible Causes+Fix

  1. After I dry my clothes in my fairly new dryer the problem begins. I’ll open the dryer and sometimes balls of lint will fall out. There is lint balls all over my clothes. What a pain to pick all that off my clothes. There must be balls of lint inside my pajamas because balls of lint end up on my bathroom floor and bedroom floor.

    There is hardly any lint in the lint filter. I just had my lint vents cleaned inside and out. The guy said the air is blowing strong from inside to outside.

    I just cant understand why the lint in byfassing the filter b

    1. Lint on clothes after a drying cycle can be frustrating, and it’s an issue that can be caused by a few different factors. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially resolve the problem:

      Check the Lint Filter: Even though you mentioned there’s hardly any lint in the lint filter, it’s still important to ensure that the filter is clean before every load. A clogged lint filter can reduce airflow and cause lint to get stuck on clothes.

      Inspect the Lint Filter Housing: Lint can build up in the area around the lint filter or the housing that holds the filter. Make sure to clean this area thoroughly.

      Check the Dryer Ducts and Vent: You’ve mentioned that the vents have been cleaned, but it’s worth double-checking the ducts and the venting system. Any blockages can cause poor drying performance and lint accumulation on clothes.

      Dryer Drum Seals: Inspect the seals around the dryer drum. If they are worn out or damaged, small items of clothing or lint can get caught there, leading to lint balls.

      Overloading the Dryer: Make sure not to overload the dryer. Overloading can lead to clothes not tumbling properly and lint not being effectively removed.

      Type of Clothing: Some fabrics shed more lint than others. Try separating lint-producing items like towels and fleece from less linty items.

      Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener: Sometimes dryer sheets and fabric softeners can cause a waxy build-up on the lint filter, which can be invisible to the eye. This can affect the airflow and the effectiveness of the lint filter. Try washing the lint filter with warm soapy water and a soft brush to remove any residue.

      Dryer Age and Maintenance: Although you mentioned your dryer is fairly new, ensure that all parts are functioning properly and that it’s receiving regular maintenance.

      Check the Moisture Sensors: If your dryer has moisture sensors and they are dirty or faulty, they might not be sensing the moisture level correctly, which could lead to clothes not drying properly and increased lint.

      If after checking and addressing these points the problem persists, it could be a mechanical issue with the dryer itself. You have to consult the company if the dryer is in warranty or get a repair guy to fix it.

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