How to Clean Dryer Vent like a Pro
Updated September 17, 2021
Your laundry room will never be the same without a dryer. Dryers make washing (and drying) clothes more convenient as we cannot always air-dry clothes because of weather constraints and sometimes, lack of space.
During the rainy season, your clothes may take a lot of time to dry especially if it’s hanged on a pole or on a liner. This causes your beloved laundry to smell bad even with the use of a fabric conditioner.
With a dryer in handy, you don’t have to worry about the bad weather. Just throw the washed clothes into the dryer, press some buttons and they’d come out either partly dry or entirely dry.
However, if you haven’t tried cleaning your dryer vent, you probably noticed that your clothes are taking longer to dry than usual. This might be because your vent is clogged with lint and dust.
If you have noticed a hotter feeling in the laundry room or smell like something’s burning, that could be a fire hazard because of your dirty dryer vent. According to US Fire Administration, more than a thousand homes catch fire because of the unattended dryer vent. Lint trapped in the vent may react to the heat produced by your dryer which makes it a potential fire hazard.
For this to be prevented, you should clean your dryer vent at least twice a year. It may be hard to clean it on your own, more so if you’ve never done it before. But it’s fairly easy and we’ll show you how to do that in this article, so read on!
How to Clean Dryer Vent Easily
Cleaning your dryer can be grueling at times but here are some easy steps you can do to keep your dryers neat and clean:
Step 1: The first thing you need to do before even starting cleaning your dryer is to unplug it from any electrical source, like a wall socket.
Step 2: Pull and place your dryer to somewhere spacious for you to be able to have access and remove the vent duct.
Clamps can have different types. You may either use a screwdriver or squeeze the clamp to remove it. Once removed, check also for signs of cracks or deterioration on the vent piping.
Step 3: Wear gloves to safely check and remove any clogs and look inside the vent for any debris still present inside your dryer. You may also use some cleaning tools to reach hard-to-reach areas inside.
Step 4: Next, remove clogs and check for anything that might be obstructing the exterior vent of your dryer. Use gloves again to safely clean and eliminate any foreign objects that are outside your wall closest to where your dryer is located.
Step 5: Once everything has been cleaned and checked, reattach the vent to your dryer by fastening the clamp you have unscrewed earlier. When everything is back in place, plug and turn on your dryer and let it run for a few minutes to check, then you’re good to go!
These are just easy steps you can follow and do yourself. However, if you really are unsure how to do things, it is still best to ask the help of someone you know or an expert in cleaning dryers and removing vents so that you won’t mess up anything.
How to Clean Dryer Vent From Outside
Cleaning your dryer vent from the outside can be quite as challenging as cleaning your dryer as well. Although already stated earlier, here are some additional ways on how you can clean your dryer vent from the outside.
Step 1: Locate your dryer vent from the outside. Then, carefully disconnect the dryer from the vent by unscrewing the vent clamp using either your hands or a screwdriver.
Step 2: Once you have a clear visual of the inside of your dryer vent hose, use a vacuum to suck up and clean any lint inside, around, and outside of the hole.
If even after vacuuming, there would still be some debris, use your hands to manually scoop the lint out.
Caution: Always wear gloves for extra safety.
Step 3: Use a brush to deeply clean your hose attachment. Insert the brush in the hose to thoroughly clean the inside, and brush the outside
Try to use a brush that has a strong and ergonomic handle for better grip and faster cleaning. Clean all the sides thoroughly and ensure every spot is free of dust or lint.
Step 4: When you’re satisfied with the cleaning, you can retrace your steps and reconnect your hose attachment using the vent clamps that support it.
If unsure, you can always seek the help of an expert.
Even though it can really be challenging to remove and reattach your dryer vents, try to do it regularly so that you will not encounter any bigger problems in the future. Doing small yet effective and preventive steps is way better compared to dealing with bigger concerns later on.
How to Clean Dryer Lint Trap Filter
It is highly recommended to clean and wash your lint filter once a month before any heavy lint buildup happens. Here are some helpful ways how to clean your dryer vent lint traps:
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Step 1: Remove the screen out by taking out the screws.
Using warm water, initially remove the lint in the filter, then use a high-performing cleaning solution that has natural grout cleaning abilities that would do the best job for your cleaning needs.
Step 2: Soak the lint trap filter in a bucket of water and cleaning solution for at least thirty (30) minutes so that the cleaning solution penetrates deeply in the filter, cleaning it thoroughly.
Step 3: Remove the filter from the bucket, then use a soft cleaning scrub brush that can get into corners and cracks to further clean your lint filter.
Scrub thoroughly until all bits of fuzz and dirt loosens and are removed from the lint filter.
Step 4: Rinse your lint filter with warm water to ensure that it’s thoroughly clean.
Test this by running water on the screen–if the water collects and builds up bubbles, repeat the process of soaking the screen for a longer time than how long you have done it the first time. If the water runs smoothly through the screen, it’s clean!
Step 5: After it’s thoroughly cleaned, air dry your lint tap filter or use an all-purpose dishcloth to ensure that the screen is free of any liquid before placing it back inside the dryer.
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To prevent any future build-up, make sure to regularly clean your lint trap using the steps and tools provided earlier. You can also vacuum the lint screen every once in a while, and sweep and dust around the area where your dryer is located.
Tips on How to Keep the Dryer Vent Clean
When you’re not using your clothes dryer or not cleaning it (and its vent), keeping it clean can help prevent any damage. Aside from that, checking on and cleaning can also prolong the life of your dryer. Here are some tips to maintain and keep your dryer vent clean:
- Keep the laundry area (especially the floor) clean at all times so that no unwanted dust particles may buildup in any parts of your dryer.
- As much as possible, use your dryer vents for brief cycles only. One reason why clogging happens in your dryer vent is when you use it for longer cycles. Try not to set your machine up for long periods of drying.
- Learn to check for signs when your dryer already needs cleaning. This can be an essential preventive measure to stop your machine from breaking down or causing a fire.
- Go easy on using fabric softeners and dryer sheets as these can contribute to your dryer vent from getting clogged.
Using these few tips, you can show your dryer some love and care. If these helpful tips don’t do the trick for you, the best thing to do is to contact and seek the help of a professional expert that handles these issues so as to prevent any further damage or issues from happening to your dryers.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?
The answer is as often as possible. Once or twice a month is good especially if you do the laundry weekly. This will prevent any heavy lint buildup on your dryer vent.
How Do I Know if My Dryer Vent is Clogged?
As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of signs to look for to know if your dryer vent already needs cleaning. These signs include:
- Clothes take too long to get dry even after a long cycle.
- Excessively hot clothes after one drying cycle.
- A huge build-up of lint in the filter.
- Foul smell from clothes after drying them.
Taking Care of the Laundry Area
Check your vent pipe if your dryer used to dry wet loads in one cycle or less but now takes two or three. It’s likely that the problem isn’t with your dryer, but with the dirty vent.
Before calling a repair team for your dryer, in the suspicion that it’s faulty, you might have to check first if it only needs some cleaning. As previously mentioned, checking for signs may be of great help.
Keeping our appliances clean, and learning simple steps on how to keep them nice and tidy will not just prevent them from breaking down easily, but also keep them functioning well for a longer period.