Laundry 101: How to Clean Dryer Vents

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Though dryer vent cleaning is only recommended every 6-12 months, many of us neglect it, thinking it’s too difficult and time-consuming. But with the right equipment, this doesn’t have to be the case. Our step-by-step guide for how to clean dryer vents saves time and checks washer and dryer maintenance off your to-do list.

Improve Your Dryer’s Performance:
How to Clean Dryer Vents

Have you noticed that your dryer takes too long to dry clothes? Or maybe your dryer takes more than one cycle to get the job done? Cleaning your dryer vent not only improves drying times but it’s also an important safety precaution.

Lint that builds up in the dryer duct can block the dryer’s flow of hot air, causing a dangerous fire hazard. Here’s how to clean dryer vent with a duct cleaning kit to improve dryer function and your home’s safety.

How Do I Know if My Dryer Vent Is Clogged?

Several signs indicate a clogged dryer vent. Some common symptoms include: longer drying times for clothes, clothes that are hot to the touch but still damp after a cycle, an excessive amount of lint visible around the lint screen or outside vent, burning smells coming from the dryer, and a decrease in airflow from the vent.

If you suspect your dryer vent is clogged, it is important to have it cleaned as soon as possible to improve the performance of your dryer and reduce the risk of fire. If unsure, it is always best to contact a professional to inspect your vents and advise on the best course of action.

Can I Clean My Dryer Vent Myself?

Yes, you can clean your dryer vent yourself. To clean dryer vents, it is recommended to use a dryer vent cleaning brush to make the process easier and more effective. One good option is the Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit by Deflecto, which includes a long flexible brush with a guide wire to reach deep into the duct. This brush can help remove lint buildup and prevent potential fire hazards.

dryer vent cleaning brush
Image Source: Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit on Amazon

How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?

Dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year or more often if you use your dryer frequently. Lint buildup can cause decreased airflow, making your dryer work harder and increasing the fire risk. If you have pets or live in an area with high dust, it may be necessary to clean dryer vents more frequently. Inspecting your vents regularly to check for lint buildup and cleaning them as needed is a good idea. By keeping your dryer vents clean, you can improve the performance of your dryer and help prevent potential safety hazards.

Step #1: Prepare Your Tools

How to clean your dryer vent starts with setting up the equipment in your dryer duct kit and making sure your shop vac and cordless drill are handy:

  • Remove the duct cap of your home’s outside duct opening
  • Place one of the kit’s flexible rods through the vent adapter
  • Screw the brush attachment onto the rod in front of the adapter
  • Insert the rod into the duct opening, brush end first

Step #2: Connect Shop Vac Hose

After the rod is in place, insert the shop vac’s hose into the vent adapter. Make sure the hose is secure to prevent any leaks.

how to clean dryer vent
Photo Credit: David Trebacz

Step #3: Hook Up Cordless Drill

Once the shop vac hose is connected insert your drill bit into the end of the flexible rod. Briefly test the drill to make sure it’s attached and that it doesn’t unscrew the brush head.

dryer vent cleaning
Photo Credit: David Trebacz

Step 4: Begin Cleaning

Turn on the shop vac and, while holding the drill, slowly push the rod with the brush further into the vent opening. Depending on the length of your vent, you may need to stop drilling and attach additional rods.

When you’re sure that you’ve reached the end of the vent, reverse the drill and slowly pull the rods out, stopping as needed.

dryer takes too long to dry clothes
Photo Credit: David Trebacz

Step 5: Clean up Workspace

When all rods are removed turn off the drill and shop vac. Replace the dryer vent cover and check your shop vac to see how much lint was removed. Make sure you wipe or sweep away any lingering lint from the area.

dryer takes more than one cycle
Photo Credit: David Trebacz

Knowing how to clean dryer vent with a dryer duct kit can improve both your dryer’s function and your home’s safety. If your dryer is still not heating appropriately after performing a duct cleaning, call Appliance & A/C Parts Today. We have the biggest selection of dryer parts Tampa to help with a quick repair.

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