Dryer vent make All clothes dryers have different types of filters to catch the lint generated as clothing tumbles inside the dryer, but the filters cannot catch all the lint. Some amount of lint inevitably passes into the ductwork leading to the outdoor vent, and proper maintenance requires that you clean this ductwork regularly.

How to Clean a Dryer Vent - This Old House

1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Here are the cleaning products and supplies you’ll need to get the job done:

  1. Vacuum with hose attachment
  2. Electrical or duct tape
  3. Broom and dustpan
  4. Power drill
  5. Dryer Out From the Wall, Unplug It, and Disconnect the Duct

Pull the dryer out from the wall. Unplug it, and if it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas valve as well. Disconnect the dryer duct, which is located in the back of the dryer.

3. Vacuum the Inside of the Vent

Using a hose attachment, turn on your vacuum cleaner, and suction all around the entrance of the vent. Poke it inside the dryer exhaust duct and vacuum out what you can.

4. Connect the Flexible Rods in Your Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit to Your Power Drill

Now you’re going to go in deeper. With a dryer duct cleaning kit that you can find on Amazon, you can really extend your reach. Standard kits come with flexible rods that allow you to get up to 12 feet inside the duct. You’ll attach the rods together. They’re made to connect, but for added insurance, you can tape over each connection with electrical tape so there’s no chance they come apart. The kit comes with a rotating brush that should go in first. On the back end, you’ll attach a power drill to the rod near you.

5. Turn On the Drill and Let the Brush Work Its Magic

Once attached, turn the drill on to spin clockwise on medium power. Push and pull back and forth slowly, eventually pulling the brush all the way out. As you go, debris, lint, and dirt will start spilling out of the dryer duct in front of you, and you’ll start to notice the lint buildup disappear right before your eyes. It’s important to keep the drill running clockwise; if you start spinning it counterclockwise, you run the risk of the attachments disassembling and getting stuck inside the dryer duct.

5. Sweep Up the Mess

Before heading to the exterior vent, clean up the mess your cleaning left behind. Sweep up the debris and toss it. If the lint leaves residue behind, you may need to use soapy water to clean up.

How to clean your dryer vent in 6 easy steps

Step 1: Find your vent

Before you can clean your dryer vent, you’ll need to figure out where it actually is. Dryers are usually connected to a short, 4-inch diameter exhaust pipe that then connects to ductwork inside a wall. Hot air from your dryer is pushed through this pipe and escapes through a vent on the outside wall of your home.

Once you’ve identified your outdoor dryer exhaust vent, take a peek inside and look for any debris, including dust, lint or even dead bugs. Wash any screens and clear out any noticeable obstructions.

Step 2: Carefully disconnect your dryer

Once you’ve figured out how your ducts work, you’re ready to unplug your dryer. Once that’s done, remove any metal tape or clamps that attach your dryer vent pipe to its exhaust. Be sure to apply a gentle pressure when pulling the vent pipe from the wall duct, so as not to break the pipe.

Step 3: Vacuum the lint

By now you should be able to get a clear look inside your dryer vent from inside your laundry room (or nook). Use the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner or shop vac to suck up any lint in or around the hole.

If you’ve got a handheld vacuum, you can repeat this process on the outside duct. Otherwise, try to clear debris manually from outside.

Step 4: Get in there with a brush

Attach the dryer brush from your vent cleaning kit to your power drill and insert the brush end of the rod into your duct. Push the brush as far back as you possibly can, bearing in mind that you might need to delicately maneuver the hose attachment depending on the route your duct takes.

If you’re unable to thread the brush through the entirety of your duct, or if your brush simply doesn’t extend that long, try inserting the brush head in the outside duct as well.

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