Dryer Keeps Saying to Clean Filter? Here’s How To Fix It

Woman hand taking out lint filter of a dryer

Is your dryer a bigger germophobe than a hospital?

If your dryer wants your filter cleaned every day of the year, then it might need to take a bit of a chill pill. The good news is that this issue can often be the result of a simple cause. That being said, a clean filter is essential to make sure your clothes don’t end up smelling weird.

If your dryer keeps saying to clean the lint filter, make sure you remove lint from your dryer after every load. At the same time, there is a chance your sensor could also be malfunctioning. If so, you will need to address this sensor issue before your dryer will start working again.

So, what do you need to do if you want to keep your dryer filter clean? Learn more about how to clean your dryer filter, and figure out what you should do if your sensor is malfunctioning. 

Note – it’s worth stating that some dryers automatically show a ‘Clean Filter’ reminder after every cycle. This isn’t an error, it’s intended!

These are to remind you to give the filter a quick clean after every cycle. It’s a reminder, not a real issue.

You may be able to disable this in your dryer’s options. Check your manual for more information.

Lost your manual? Don’t worry – they’re a hassle to keep track of. Use this guide to find the online version of your manual instead.

Also – we are assuming that you’ve actually cleaned the filter! This is typically a super easy mesh you can pull out using a handle near the front of the dryer. If you haven’t yet done this (or didn’t know), that may solve the issue for you.

Why A Check Filter Light Comes On

Dryers deal with a lot of heat, and with it brings some hazards.

One of the most common dangers is an airflow issue. This can trap heat and moisture in your dryer, leading to all sorts of issues.

A check filter error (a real one and not a reminder message) typically comes from a lack of airflow. It’s flagging this up because the air isn’t moving as it should, and this can increase the risk of malfunctions (or even burned clothes!)

Have a check inside the dryer and make sure that any vents or exhausts aren’t blocked up by lint or other debris.

A quick way to check for airflow is using a paper towel.

Open the dryer’s door, and hold down the door switch to trick the dryer into thinking the door is closed.

Then turn on the dryer and hold the towel close to the vents. If it’s getting pulled towards the vent, then your airflow is good. If it’s just kind of sitting there, you may have a blockage in your vent.

That’s what’s impacting your airflow, and making your dryer think there’s a filter issue.

Unfortunately aside from pulling out your whole dryer and cleaning out your vents, this is a fix best left to an appliance technician.

Remove Lint from Your Lint Trap

If the issue is with a lint buildup in your lint trap (separate from the normal mesh that’s easy to access), you could consider trying to access this and clean it.

If you would like to remove lint from your lint trap more efficiently, you may want to use a magic wand to help you. That way, you can remove as much length as possible, preventing this from clogging up your filter.

If you do not remove lint from your lint trap after every load, you increase the risk of the fire developing in your dryer. A clogged lint trap is one of the leading causes of fires every year.

Cleaning the Filter in Your Dryer: Step by Step

Even though you clean your lint trap after every load, there is also a chance that you will need to clean your dryer filter from time to time.

There are several steps you should follow to clean your dryer filter.

Note – these steps are only for dryers where the lint trap is on top. Otherwise, for many models accessing the filter can be quite complex, and best handled by a professional.

These include:

#1 Remove Power to Your Dryer

Before you do anything with your dryer, you need to turn off power via the circuit breaker. That way, you do not have to worry about your dryer turning on while you are trying to clean it.

#2 Remove the Top of the Dryer

Keep in mind that the exact location of your filter can vary depending on the type of dryer you have. Therefore, you should take a look at the manual to learn more. You need to remove the top of your dryer to access the filter.

First, you will need to remove the screws from underneath the dryer lint trap. Then, you may have to shift the top forward to release it. That way, it will not catch on the corner when you try to lift it up. After you have successfully unscrewed the latches, you should be able to remove the top of the dryer. 

#3 Remove the Front Dryer Panel

Next, you will need to remove the front panel from the dryer. You should remove the two screws that are located near the top. After this, you should be able to tip the front forward. Finally, you should be able to lift it outward, releasing it from the catch at the bottom of the drum. 

Depending on the type of dryer you have, the front panel can be happy. Therefore, you should use caution when you are trying to lift it up. You do not want to drop it on your feet. 

#4 Clean the Dryer Filter

After you have removed the two panels, you should be able to see the dryer filter relatively easily. Try using a magic wand to help you remove all of the dust and debris from the filter.

Because the filter is relatively large, you may need to sweep through it multiple times in order to remove everything. The more frequently you clean your filter, the less material you will have.

Fully clogged lint filter

One of the most important reasons why you must clean the filter is to prevent fires due to overheating.

There might also be situations where you need to replace the filter entirely. If this is the case, you may want to take a look at the manual to figure out what type of filter you have. 

#5 Remove the Bottom Panel in the Front

Even though you have cleaned out the filter, you are not done yet. You also need to remove the bottom panel from the front of the dryer. Again, this might be slightly different depending on the type of dryer you own.

This panel might be a bit harder to access. You will need to slide a screwdriver into the gap of the bottom panel. There are two catches you will need to release in order to free the panel.

Once you have caught the catches, you should be able to release the panel. 

#6 Use a Vacuum To Remove the Lint

You might be a bit surprised at just how much lint you see. You will need to use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the vent, the motor, and the inside of the dryer.

Keep in mind that you should be careful when you are navigating wires and small parts. That way, you can avoid breaking them.

You need to vacuum your dryer regularly to prevent it from overheating. Even though it can be a hassle to unscrew these panels and put them back together, it is important for making sure your dryer will work properly.

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Test the Clean Filter Sensor

After you have finished cleaning out your dryer, you should be able to get rid of the sensor or beeping noise that is preventing the dryer from starting.

At the same time, there could be a chance that the sensor is still going off. If so, you need to test a sensor to make sure it is working. You may need to replace it. 

To access the sensor, you will need to use the manual to figure out where it is located. There is a chance that it could be behind one of the panels you have recently gone through. If that is the case, you will need to remove the panels again to access the sensor.

After you have figured out where the sensor is located, you will need to check the power that is flowing to it. To do so, you will need a multimeter. A multimeter has been specifically designed to test the resistance and voltage flowing to a specific electrical component. 

When you use your multimeter, typically you should look for a number significantly above zero. This is a sign that your sensor is working properly. If you are not getting a lot of resistance flowing to the sensor, this is a sign that the sensor might be broken. In this case, you might need to replace it.

It’s worth noting that there are several components that resemble the sensor, making it crucial to have the manual on hand for accurate testing.

Attempting to do this without proper training is not recommended. If it’s your first time testing the sensor, I recommend calling a qualified technician.

How Do You Replace a Filter Sensor?

If you have experienced working with washing machines and dryers, there is a chance that you may be able to do this on your own.

However, if you’re not confident, then we strongly recommend you leave this up to a professional.

Keep in mind that it can be expensive to replace a filter sensor in a dryer. Depending on how old your dryer is, you might be better off replacing the entire machine.

This is what a filter sensor normally looks like.
When your clothes are no longer wet, the sensor sends a signal to the dryer’s electronic control board indicating it’s time to turn off the appliance.

That way, you do not have to worry about repair bills developing in the future, and you can end up with a dryer that is more efficient. This could help you save money on your laundry. 

Why Should I Not Override a Filter Sensor?

Even though it can be frustrating to deal with a filter sensor that keeps coming on, this is not something you should override. You do not want to ignore this filter sensor because there is always a chance that there could be a serious clog somewhere in the dryer. 

If you force your dryer to operate even when there is a clogged filter present, your dryer is going to overheat quickly. As a result, your motor is going to burn out sooner, forcing you to replace the entire machine.

Finally, if you force your dryer to operate with a filter that is clogged, it might also catch fire. Therefore, you are better off waiting until you can either clean the sensor or get a working one installed.


You need to make sure the filter is clean. This is important for making sure your dryer is working properly and for preventing fire hazards.

There is always a chance that there could be something wrong with the sensor. If this is the case, you may want to reach out to a professional who can help you.

That way, you can figure out if the sensor needs to be fixed or if the entire dryer needs to be replaced. 

Thank you so much for reading! If you found this article helpful, please make sure to check out our other related guides below.

Good luck.

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more