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

Finding Load-Bearing Walls

Most people understand that all exterior walls are load bearing, but it is unsafe to assume that all interior walls are ...

Discover More

Using Aromatherapy in Home Decor

If you use candles, tart burners, infused oils, or fresh baked goods to make your home smell good, whether you realize it or ...

Discover More

Identifying Garden Pests

Not all insects are destructive to a garden. Ladybugs, Lacewings, and predatory wasps eat destructive caterpillars and ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

More Cleaning Tips

Using Your Clothes Dryer

While drying your clothes is simple and a basic step in doing your laundry, there are a few tips you should keep in mind as ...

Discover More

Removing Ink Stains from Dryers

It goes without saying that one of the more frustrating and maddening experiences of doing your laundry is finding ink stains ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Dryer Lint

Although your dryer lint screen may look lint-free, it could be completely clogged. You have to have a lint filter that works ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 - 0?

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


Newest Tips
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.