Dryer Vent Cleaning

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2009)

Did you know that keeping your dryer vent clean from lint helps prevent overheating, improves performance, and reduces the chances of costly and deadly fires starting? There is more to dryer vent cleaning than simply pulling the little grate from out of the top of your dryer and scraping the lint off. While it may be a little time consuming, it is perfectly within the capabilities of the average homeowner. Better yet, doing it yourself will save money that can be spent on other, more important things—like taking your significant other out on the town.

  1. Remove laundry. Before you can actually clean the dryer venting, you will need to remove any clothing or other laundry. If the clothes are still wet, then go ahead and run the drying cycle as normal. Once the cycle has been completed, remove the laundry. Also, take time to make sure that your lint trap is clean and free of any lint.
  2. Disconnect electricity. Disconnect the electricity by unplugging the dryer. Pulling the plug will help protect you from receiving a nasty electrical shock. This is always a possibility when working with electrical appliances, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Pull out dryer. Pull your dryer out from the wall. This provides you more room to work and an easier access to the dryer venting.
  4. Clean the vent hose. Unhook the dryer vent. Use your vacuum cleaner to clean out as much of the dryer venting as possible. Attach any vacuum extensions that you might have and carefully vacuum the venting system that leads outside. Be very careful when doing this so that nothing falls off of the vacuum or pokes through the material of the venting ducts.
  5. Poke venting. Sometimes the lint can be so thick in the vent hose that you may need a little extra help in removing it. When this happens, use a metal hanger that you have unraveled into a hook. Carefully insert this hook into the duct that leads to the dryer. Use the hook to try to pull out as much of the stubborn lint as you can. Repeat the process with the venting ducts that lead outside your home, again being careful that you do not poke through the ducts themselves.
  6. Vacuum. Once again you will need to vacuum all the ducting that leads from the dryer and outside the home. After poking the ducts, there should now be plenty of lint for you to clean up and remove.
  7. Reassemble. Simply put everything back together in reverse order that you took it apart. Be sure that everything is properly connected and plugged in.

Go ahead and use your dryer as normal. However, be aware that if your clothes are still not getting completely dry or the dryer itself is still running excessively hot then you need to stop using it, and call a professional repairman to examine it.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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