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How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Jun 16th 2020

Cleaning your dryer vent regularly with a dryer vent brush will eliminate the risk of costly and potentially life threatening dryer fires.

Dryer fires are most commonly caused by lint that builds up in the dryer vent. Lint is extremely combustible and can quickly bursts into flames if there is not enough air circulation from the dryer to the outside of the home.

Tools you may need to clean your dryer vent:

  • Nut Driver
  • Screwdriver
  • Lint catcher
  • Dryer vent brush
  • Trash basket or bag
  • Plumbing Snake or dowel (optional)

To clean your dryer vent, follow these easy steps:

Step 1

Unplug your gas or electric dryer. If you have a gas dryer, turn the gas supply off.

Step 2

Pull the dryer out away fro the wall, just to the extension of your vent. This is usually about 1 1/2 to 2 feet.

Step 3

Use a screwdriver or nut driver to loosen the vent clamp on the back of the dryer.

Step 4

Slide the vent off of the dryer.

Step 5

Reach into the hole on the back of the dryer and pull out any lint and buildup that can be easily removed by hand. Reach in as far as you can. A shop or house vacuum cleaner can also help reach the inside and usually does a good job of removing lint.

Step 6

Reach into the tubing that you just removed from the back of the dryer and remove the lint from it as well. You can use a dryer vent brush or a shop or house vac to remove the lint from the dryer vent tubing.

Step 7

While you've got the tubing off of the dryer, look at both ends and remove any lint from the ends of the tubing. Most of the lint will collect at the ends. If you do find a large buildup in the middle, you can use a dryer vent brush or clog buster to push the lint to the end of the tube where it can be reached and removed.

Step 8

Once all of the dryer lint is removed from the tube and the hole in the back of the dryer, slide the clamp back over the vent, reattach the vent, tighten the clamp and slide the dryer back into place.

Step 9

Remove the vent on the outside of the house as well. This one may have caulking around the cover, as well as screws. Use a razor knife to cut away the caulk. It may have a sleeve about a foot long. If this is the case, slide it straight out.

Step 10

Reach in and clean out the lint or insert your vacuum cleaner tubing into the dryer exhaust tubing. You can reach as far as your arm will go or use the vacuum tubing or dryer vent brush.

Step 11

Look into the vent to see if you missed anything. If it's out of reach use a plumber's snake or other tool (vacuum cleaner tubing).

Step 12

Turn on the gas supply and plug the dryer back in.

Step 13

Run the dryer on air fluff for 10 minutes. Debris you just loosened may fly out, so don't stand right outside.

Step 14

Recheck the outside vent for obstructions and reattach the outside vent.

Additional Dryer Vent Cleaning Tips:

While cleaning your dryer vent, you may also want to remove the bottom front panel of the dryer to clean it. Also, pay attention to the area around the lint filter.

Clean your lint filter every time you use the dryer. This will keep excess amounts of lint from collecting in the vent and it will ensure that your dryer is operating as efficiently as possible.

There are dryer vent cleaning systems available to clean out the entire tube - from dryer to final termination. The setup is basically a brush on a flexible pole. These dryer vent cleaning systems are most appropriate for long duct runs, usually include 12 feet of flexible shaft, connect to a cordless drill and come with several brush styles.

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