Cleaning Dryer Vents

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 27, 2017)

Did you know that the most common cause of clothes-dryer fires is lint buildup? When there is not enough air circulation from the dryer vent to the outside of the building, it is because of lint buildup in the venting tube. Lint is extremely combustible, and especially the type found in dryer vents. Residue from fabric softeners combines with heat and moisture to make a volatile lint mixture.

Lint buildup also prevents clothes from drying in one cycle. If you find that your load of towels simply won't dry like they did when you first installed your dryer, it may be time to clean the lint buildup from your dryer vent to promote adequate air circulation. Follow these simple steps to clean your dryer vent:

  1. Always unplug your dryer before cleaning the dryer vent. If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas.
  2. Pull the dryer away from the wall and loosen the vent clamp and slide the vent off of the dryer vent lip.
  3. Put your hand into the vent hole on the back of the dryer and pull out all of the lint. After you use your hands to remove all of the lint, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to clean out the rest.
  4. Next, put your hand into the vent tubing and pull out all of the lint that you can reach. If there is more that you cannot reach, unbend a wire hangar and use it to pull the lint from the tube, taking care not to puncture the tubing. Use your vacuum cleaner hose to suck out the rest.
  5. Reattach the tubing to the backside of the dryer and slide the dryer back to its original position.
  6. Go to the outside of your house and remove the vent from the wall. You may need to loosen caulk or screws to remove it. The vent has a sleeve about a foot long. Remove the entire unit.
  7. Clean all of the lint from the unit, then reach into the hole on the wall as far as your arm will go and pull out all of the lint buildup.
  8. If there is more lint beyond your reach, use the same wire hangar you used before to pull it out. Use your vacuum cleaner hose to suck out the rest.
  9. Open your dryer lint screen housing and clean the lint screen. Open your dryer and look inside to see if any residual lint came into the unit while cleaning the vents.
  10. Plug the dryer into the electrical outlet and turn on the gas.
  11. Run the dryer for ten minutes on the air fluff cycle.
  12. Check the dryer vent hole on the outside of the house for any lint buildup. If everything is clear, reinstall the sleeve unit.

Cleaning your dryer vent doesn't take much time, and may save you money and energy, as well as future fires.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Cleaning Granite Countertops

While granite is a natural, tough, non-porous stone, you still need to follow specific guidelines when cleaning your granite ...

Discover More

Using a Power Tiller

Using a power tiller is the most efficient and quickest way to cultivate your soil. Not only used for gardens, power tillers ...

Discover More

Natural Rugs

Although consumers today view the use of a natural rug as a trendy, conscious effort to be eco-friendly, ancient ...

Discover More

Tough Cleaning Jobs Require Brawny! Brawny paper towels provide the versatility you need: the strength for demanding jobs and the softness to clean up your child's messy face. This 24-roll pack of pick-a-size sheets can handle just about every cleaning task in your home. Check out Brawny 24-Pack Giant Paper Towels today!

MORE CLEANING TIPS

Drying Your Clothes

Drying clothes seems like it would be simple right? So why then do so many of us have issues when it comes to keeping our ...

Discover More

Stop Static Electricity on Clothes

Static electricity is annoying and so hard to get rid of on your clothes. Lucky for you there are ways in which you can ...

Discover More

Cleaning Felt Gaskets

While the machines that we use to help with our laundry are supposed to help make life a little easier, there are still going ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share