Renovation & Design

Cleaning lint tray doesn't have to take all day

Katelin Kinney / Angie's List

Lint buildup will make your dryer work overtime, and increase the chance of fire.

Question: I have always cleaned my dryer screen after each load in order to promote efficiency of the drying process, long-life of the heating element, and safety. But I find there is some embedded lint that does not seem to budge, even after I have vacuumed the screen and then used a toothbrush (dry and then wet) to try to remove it. I have even tried using a toothpick, and although this method seemed to be more successful, it was far too time consuming. Is there another more effective and easier method I can use to remove the embedded lint? I would be grateful for any helpful advice. Thanks.

— Kam

Answer: Fabric softeners and other laundry products do leave a thin layer of film on dryer screens. Soak the lint dryer screen in a bath of warm, soapy water for about 15 minutes, then use a stiff scrub brush/nail brush to remove the lint. Rinse all the soap from the screen in 50/50 vinegar and water and air dry overnight prior to use.


Question: I was wondering if you had a good solution for cleaning glass shower doors. Every two weeks we clean, they come up pretty good, but it would be nice to remove all the water staining and have sparkly clear doors! Any suggestions? Thank you.

— Chris

Answer: Some people use oven cleaner on their doors and say it works better than anything else (I would test it on an inconspicuous area first). This solution is too toxic for my taste. Another popular shower door cleaner is fabric softener dryer sheets (which also contain several harsh chemicals). My solution may sound too easy, but whenever I am tackling hard water stains I use lemon oil. Just wipe it on, and the stains disappear. Always make sure the doors are completely free of water before using lemon oil or they will get smudgy. If this happens, wipe with a dry cloth until the smudges are gone.


Question: I purchased an older vehicle and when I brought it home, I noticed a wad of gum stuck onto the leather upholstery. How should I remove the gum, without damaging the leather? Thanks.

— Jim

Answer: Press an ice cube onto the gum. When the gum hardens, peel it off. Clean the leather with saddle soap.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at



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