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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean Dryer Vents and Ducts

dryer takes forever to dry

While spring cleaning usually includes organizing closets and washing windows, adding dryer vent cleaning to the to-do list is a good idea. We’ll review how to clean dryer vent components like the lint trap, lint trap vent, and vent tubing quickly and easily. We’ll also discuss why this often neglected task is so important.

Why It’s So Important to Learn How to Clean Dryer Vents and Ducts

Knowing how to clean dryer vents effectively is an important home safety precaution. If lint and debris accumulate in the vent system, it can affect your dryer’s performance. When this happens, you’ll notice your dryer takes too long, or the dryer takes more than one cycle to dry clothes. A clogged vent system is also considered a significant fire hazard.

Clean Dryer Vents

To avoid these outcomes, we suggest cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year. The following step-by-step guide provides the simple cleaning steps you need to get the job done.

How Do I Know if My Dryer Vent Is Clogged?

There are several signs that your dryer vent may be clogged:

  1. It takes longer than usual for your clothes to dry.
  2. Your clothes are still damp after a normal drying cycle.
  3. The outside exhaust vent is not blowing out much air or is making a lot of noise.
  4. Your dryer is overheating.
  5. Your clothes have a musty or moldy smell after being washed and dried.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to check your dryer vent to see if it is clogged. You can inspect the vent and the exhaust hose for any visible blockages, such as lint or debris. You can also use a dryer vent brush to clean out the vent and hose. If you are unable to remove the blockage or if the problem persists after cleaning the vent, you may need to call a professional to inspect and repair the dryer vent.

Can I Clean My Dryer Vent Myself?

Yes, you can clean your dryer vent yourself. However, it is important to follow proper safety precautions and procedures to avoid any accidents or damage to your dryer or home. Always make sure to unplug your dryer and turn off the gas supply, if applicable. We recommend wearing gloves and eye protection.

How to Clean Your Dryer Lint Trap

Though you should remove lint from your dryer’s lint trap after each drying cycle, it can also benefit from regular deep cleanings. This is especially true if you use dryer sheets or fabric softeners. These products can leave behind a residue that clogs the lint trap’s mesh screen.

how to clean dryer vent

If the lint trap remains clogged, it will restrict airflow, and you’ll notice the dryer takes too long to dry clothes. Here’s how to clean the lint trap to remove buildup:

  1. Remove the lint trap from its compartment and dispose of any visible lint.
  2. Wet the screen under running water and add a small amount of dish soap.
  3. Gently scrub the screen with a soft-bristle brush to remove any residue.
  4. Allow the lint trap to dry completely before replacing it.

How to Clean Dryer Vents

Knowing how to clean dryer vent components also includes the lint trap vent. This area around the lint trap can collect lint and debris, especially if the lint trap is clogged. Here’s how to easily clean the lint trap vent with a dryer vent cleaning brush:

  1. Remove the lint trap.
  2. Sweep the dryer vent brush throughout the vent, collecting all visible lint and debris. Repeat as needed.
  3. Use a narrow hose vacuum attachment to remove any remaining lint.

How to Clean Your Dryer Duct

The dryer’s vent tubing, called the dryer duct, is often where the most lint accumulates. Here’s how to clean dryer ducts so your dryer functions optimally and the risk of fire is reduced:

  1. Unplug the dryer and slide it away from the wall to access the vent tubing.
  2. Disconnect the vent tubing from the dryer.
  3. Use the dryer vent cleaning brush to collect any lint within the vent.
  4. With a narrow hose vacuum attachment, gently vacuum inside the vent to remove all remaining lint. Vacuum up any lint that’s on the floor around the dryer.
  5. With the same methods, clean out the dryer vent and dryer vent exhaust on the outside of the house.
  6. Reconnect the dryer to the vent tubing and plug it back in. Slide the dryer back into place.

dryer takes too long to dry clothes

How Often Should a Dryer Vent Be Cleaned?

It is generally recommended to clean your dryer vent at least once a year or more frequently if you notice that your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry. Lint buildup in the dryer vent can reduce the efficiency of your dryer and increase the risk of a fire, so it is important to keep the vent clean to ensure the safety and proper functioning of your dryer.

Several factors can affect the frequency with which you need to clean your dryer vent, including the type of dryer you have, the type of laundry detergent you use, the type of fabric you dry, and the length and configuration of the vent. If you have a gas dryer, it is especially important to keep the vent clean, as lint buildup can be a fire hazard.

If you notice that your dryer is taking longer to dry clothes or if you see lint or debris accumulating outside the vent hood, it is probably time to clean your dryer vent. If you are unsure about how often you should clean your dryer vent, you can consult the owner’s manual for your specific model or contact a professional for guidance.

If you find your dryer not heating appropriately even after a thorough cleaning, it may be time for a dryer repair. Give us a call to help solve the problem!

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