Cleaning A Dryer Vent From The Outside

Cleaning a dryer vent from the outside is an effective way to remove lint buildup and speed up your dryer. And since you are cleaning it from the exterior, all of the lint will get blown outside and won’t impact indoor air quality.

Probably the biggest thing to know is that there needs to be airflow inside the dryer vent for it to be cleaned properly.

The airflow can come from just having the dryer running. Or, it can even come from a leaf blower (for more power).

If you try to clean the dryer vent without positive air pressure, all of the lint won’t get blown out while cleaning it. Making it a much more (if not impossible) job.

Cleaning Dryer Vent From Outside

How to clean dryer vent from outside

Locate the outer vent

First, you need to find the vent you’ll be cleaning. If you turn your dryer on and then walk around the outside of your home or building, it will make it easier to identify the vent. You should hear and feel the hot air coming from the vent, hear the machine, and maybe even smell the scent of your detergent on the air.

Unplug your dryer

You don’t want to be dealing with air blowing into your face while you’re cleaning, and you want to mess with electrical components even less. That’s why the first step in how to clean your dryer vent from outside is to unplug your machine. If you have a gas dryer, close off the gas valve into the dryer while you’re working.

Unscrew the outer vent grille and cover

Use your screwdriver to unscrew the grille, allowing you to access the inside of the vent.

Use the brush to clean the inside

Now it’s time to feed the brush up into the vent. Which is the main part of how to clean your dryer vent from outside. If you are using a shop-vac and drill, this will be much simpler and cleaner: Your kit will come with an attachment kit to fit the mouth of the vent. These are designed to be used on the indoor side of the dryer vent. So, it may not fit your vent, but if it does you definitely want to use it.

Put the tube of the shop vac into the vent and turn it on. Attach the drill bit to the end of the brush, making sure the drill set to run clockwise. Then begin to feed the brush slowly into the vent.

If you’re not using the drill, you will want to use vigorous scrubbing hand motions to work the brush against the inside of the vent and dislodge the coating of dust and lint.

Use the vacuum to collect the lint

When you pull the brush out, it’s likely going to come with a shower of lint and dust. Especially if you haven’t used a shop-vac. This is one reason to learn how to clean dryer vents from outside. There’s less clean-up than there would be in your laundry room. Use the vacuum to clean up the dirt.

Wash the vent cover

Use the wipes, or, if the grime is stubborn, soap and water to clean the vent cover and unblock anything that’s gotten stuck in the grille.

Screw the vent cover back on

At this point, you’re almost done. Put the vent cover back on and replace the screws!

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