Clean Your Dryer Vent in a Few Easy Steps

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: November 17, 2022

Are you wondering why your clothes are still wet even after a full dryer cycle? Or if the dryer’s exterior gets extremely hot while running? It may be a sign to clean out the vent ducts.

Cleaning your dryer isn’t just about being neat; it’s also essential for your safety. Everyone knows that cleaning keeps you safe from microbes, but for dryers, it’s more than that.

It’s a universal truth that simple things like a minor contaminant can have major effects. With that said, did you know that the dirt stuck in your dryer can cause a fire?

The annual cost of dryer duct fires is $35 million, not to mention the hundreds of injuries and occasionally fatalities they cause. Another sign that it’s time to tidy up the mess is a burning smell in the laundry room.

Dryer vent cleaning Del Mar recommends sanitation at least twice a year. It may seem difficult to complete this task alone, but here is a list of simple, inexpensive, and efficient ways to do it:

How Does Your Dryer Run?

It’s important to know whether your dryer is powered by gas or electricity before you try to clean it. Be sure so there will be no casualties in your task.

Electric Dryer

Dryers that use electricity require:

  • A 240-volt outlet that is grounded; and
  • A plug larger than usual, possibly four prongs instead of the usual three.

Gas Powered Dryer

On the other hand, a gas-powered dryer:

  • Connects to a gas valve;
  • It is a regular 110-volt; and
  • Has a three-prong electrical outlet.

As a precaution, you should turn off the gas supply valve before cleaning it and be mindful not to damage the line when relocating it. Call a professional like Dryer Vent Cleaning Services in Del Mar CA, if you have doubts about what you’re doing.

Ready Your Tools

For successful cleaning, you will need the following items:

  1. Vacuum with hose attachment
  2. Electrical or duct tape
  3. Broom and dustpan
  4. Dryer duct cleaning kit
  5. Power drill

Locate The Vent

Locate The Vent

Most dryers have a short 4-inch exhaust pipe that connects to wall ductwork, and this pipe transports dryer heat to an outside wall vent.

After finding your dryer’s exhaust vent, check for dust, lint, and dead bugs inside. Clear out screens and any other obstructions.

Disconnect The Dryer

After learning your duct system, you can finally disconnect the dryer.

Then, remove any metal tape or clamps holding your exhaust pipe to the dryer. When removing the vent pipe from the wall duct, use caution to avoid breaking the line.

Vacuum The Dryer’s Vent

You should be able to see what’s happening inside your dryer vent from within your laundry room.

Pull out the hose attachment from your vacuum or shop vac and use it to clean the hole and its surrounding area of any lint.

If you have a handheld vacuum, you can repeat this process on the outside duct. If that fails, you can always try clearing the area by hand.

Duct Cleaning Kit: Flexible Rods, Brush, Drill

You’re about to delve even further into it. Using a dryer duct cleaning kit, you can cover much more ground. The bendable rods included in most kits will allow you to reach 12 feet into the duct.

  • The rods – need to be joined together.
  • Electrical Tape – securing the rods.
  • Rotating brush – first to enter.
  • Power Drill – connect to the rod.

Put the dryer brush that came with your vent cleaning kit onto your power drill, and then put the end of the rod that has the brush on it into your vent.

You should retract the brush as far as possible. Still, depending on your duct’s path, you may need to manipulate the hose attachment carefully.

Clean and Reattach

You have probably already discovered a lint treasure trove at this point. To get rid of your new fluffy companions, you should use a vacuum cleaner, broom, and dustpan.

After that, reconnect your wall duct and plug your dryer into its outlet.

However, there is a catch: if your dryer has a vent similar to a soft foil and connects to the wall duct, you will need to replace it with something more sturdy. An aluminium elbow with a 90-degree bend that is resistant to fire will do, and it will also provide excellent airflow.

Solving the problem of future accumulation

To prevent lint from interfering with drying:

  1. Remove the lint trap filter from the dryer door’s outer edge.
  2. Vacuum the lint screen depending on how often you dry clothes.
  3. Sweep and dust around your dryer.
  4. Keep in touch with the repair company you trust with your appliances.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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