How To Clean Burnt Dryer Grate 

Proper maintenance is invaluable for your dryer’s proper functioning. During regular maintenance, you may notice with concern that the dryer grate at the back has a burnt look. What does this mean, and how should you clean it?

dryer grate

To clean your burnt dryer grate, disconnect the dryer from the power source and remove the dryer grate by following the owner’s manual’s directions. Brush out the grate and use a cleanser to remove the stubborn residue. Then reattach the vent and put the dryer back together. 

The rest of this article will explore important questions related to this topic, including why the dryer sometimes has a burnt look and how to clean the dryer grate. Read on!

Why The Dryer Grate Looks Burnt

The grate is just one of the components of the dryer ventilation system. During the normal functioning of a dryer, the ventilation system pushes the hot air from the drier via the inlet grille. This system allows efficient heat transfer for optimal drying. 

Identifying why your dryer grate may look burnt is essential for determining how best to clean it and prevent the recurrence of this issue. The reasons include

  • Exposure to hot air through the ventilation system.
  • Staining as a result of color run-off from dark clothes.
  • Regular wear and tear after prolonged use.
  • Lint buildup.
  • Foreign objects melted on the grate.

As evident, the burnt look or buildup or burn residue is a normal occurrence, especially after prolonged use. However, it is important to appreciate that issues in your vents, including the dryer vent grate, can increase the risk of home fires, which is why you need to clean it regularly. 

Once you’ve opened up your grate, you can determine the cause of the burning on your dryer grate and use an appropriate cleaning solution to clean it up. 

4 Easy Steps to Clean Burnt Dryer Grate 

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to properly clean the dryer grate. To do this, you will need the following.

  • Cleaning kits 
  • Gloves 
  • A dust mask 
  • A screwdriver 
cleaning kits 

1. Disconnect the Dryer From the Power Source

The first step to cleaning a burnt dryer grate is to ensure that it is disconnected from the power source to reduce the risk of electrocution

If you use a gas dryer, turn off the gas valve before cleaning. However, take keen precautions not to disturb the gas line as this may cause a gas leak. If unsure, all in a professional handyperson. 

The dryer vent connects to external ductwork to expel hot air. Therefore, to access the dryer grate, you will need to disconnect the dryer from any ductwork attaching the vent to the exhaust. Look for any clamps or screws to attach the dryer from the exhaust. 

2. Remove the Dryer Grate

Once you detach the dryer from the exhaust duct, you will have access to the vent and the grate located at the end of the vent. In most instances, the dryer grate is easily detachable, allowing simple cleanup for both the dryer grate and the vents. 

Refer to your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for more guidance on detaching the grate from the vents. 

3. Brush the Dryer Grate

Brushing out the grate helps remove any burnt signs, possibly due to color runoff, melting of foreign objects, or lint buildup over time. Use the brush in the cleaning kit to brush both surfaces of the grate to remove any stubborn debris or dirt. 

Because it is easily removable, clean the grate thoroughly with the brush the same way you would a burnt pan or pot. Consider using a cleanser to help with removing any stubborn stains. I recommend using the Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser (available on Amazon).

This 12-oz (340-gram) cleaner easily removes stubborn stains on most surfaces for versatile use. It is also unscented and contains no abrasives for safe use. Brush the grate using a brush and cleanser until the burnt residue is off.

While at it, use a brush to clean the vent’s interior to remove any lint buildup or debris. Use a vacuum to remove any leftover debris or lint from the vents.

4. Put the Dryer Back Together

The next step is to reattach the grate to the vent. In most instances, the dryer grate has a snap-on design, making it easy to reinstall. Once this is done, reconnect the vent to the ducts, taking precautions to ensure no damage.

Use your screwdriver the same way as before to make a secure connection with the external ductwork

The last step is to move the dryer back in place, plug it into the power source, or reattach it to the gas line. Test your dryer after a few minutes to make sure it is working properly.

dryer grate

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Hiring Professional Services

While DIY solutions can be fun, cheaper, and fulfilling, they are not for everyone. If you are concerned about the risk of injuring yourself or damaging the dryer, I recommend hiring professional services. 

The main advantage of hiring a professional is that they are better equipped to take the dryer apart and put everything back together after cleaning. All this work can be stressful when you try to do it on your own, and you may not be able to put everything back as it was. 

Additionally, a professional can look for other issues, such as leaks or wear and tear, that need to be addressed before it causes a problem.

Final Thoughts

The dryer grate may appear burnt because of exposure to hot air, a buildup of lint and debris, color run-off from dark clothes, or melted foreign objects. 

To clean the dryer, you have to first unplug it, remove the grate, then brush it out to clean it. Identify the cause of the burning, and use an appropriate cleaning solution if necessary to remove the stains. Then you can put the dryer back together.