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How to Clean a Dryer Vent

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Clean Out the Dryer Vent Hose

Be sure to include your dryer vent on your spring cleaning list. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, dryers account for 15,500 fires and more than $84.4 million in property damage each year. Most of those fires could be avoided by a simple, twice-yearly vent cleaning.

If you’ve never cleaned yours before, here are step-by-step instructions to take you through the process:

How to Clean a Dryer Vent:

What You’ll Need

A vacuum cleaner
A Dryer Lint Removal Kit
A screw driver

What You Do:

How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Unplug your dryer from its power supply.

Dryer Lint Trap

Remove the lint trap screen; and clean it by hand (just like you do after every load). Then, vacuum it, and set it aside.

Brush Out the Lint Screen Well

Insert a dryer vent cleaning brush into the screen well. Push, pull and twist the brush until it reaches the bottom.

Vacuum Out the Lint Screen Well

Remove the cleaning brush. Then, insert the special vacuum cleaner attachment (it’s basically a long, flat vacuum hose), and vacuum out the loose lint.

Repeat the brushing and vacuuming a couple times.

Disconnect the Dryer Vent Hose

Then, slide the dryer away from the wall, and remove the vent hose from both the dryer exhaust port and the wall.

Brush Out the Dryer Exhaust Port

Use your vent cleaning brush to brush out the exhaust port on the back of the dryer, twisting and turning as you go.

Vacuum Out the Dryer Exhaust Port

Then, vacuum out the port.

Repeat the brushing and vacuuming a couple times; then, continue on to the next step.

Clean Out the Dryer Vent Hose

Now, take the vent hose outside; and clean it with the brush, shaking out the loose lint as you go. This will make a mess on your lawn, but at least it’s not indoors.

Repeat this step several times, until you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten out as much lint as possible.

Clean the Dryer Vent Hood

While you’re outside, clean the exterior section of the dryer vent hood (a bit of vigorous brushing should do the trick). Then, make sure the vent is secure against birds and other critters.

Clean the Inside of the Vent Hood

Now, head back inside, and clean the interior (tube) section of the vent hood.

Reattach the Vent Hose

Reattach the vent hose, and slide your dryer back into place. Then, put the lint screen back in its place; re-connect the power supply; and the job is done!

Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips:

  • Two cleanings a year is enough for most households, but if you have a large family, you may need to do it more often
  • If you don’t notice an improvement in drying time after cleaning the vent, more lint may be trapped inside the body of the dryer. Consider hiring a professional to clean it out for you
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener builds up on the lint trap over time. Scrub yours periodically with soap and water, and your clothes will dry faster
  • Have a plastic or vinyl dryer hose? Consider replacing it with metal, which is far less likely to become pinched and pose a fire hazard

Ready to tackle your next spring cleaning task? Print a copy of my spring cleaning checklist, and use it to guide you through the process.

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  1. Have ever thought of using a dryer heat director during the winter to warm up your home. My fiance & I will be buying a home & are thinking of all the ways to make our home more energy effiecent and that’s a product that I’ve been researching and thought it would help u out as well

    1. You need to be careful with that, as it will also be blowing moisture in the air. My electric box is close to the dryer and the vent hose separated when I used the dryer, at one point and I literally had water running down the walls and inside the electric box. The laundry room was nice and toasty but, very wet.

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