Effective Ways To Cleaning Dryer Vents
A big part of keeping our home clean and tidy is safety; a clean home equals a safe home.
Everything from slipping on a water spill in the kitchen to tripping over misplaced shoes in the hallway can cause damage.
And one of the biggest risks and fears we have in our home is fire safety.
Regularly checking your fire alarms and having a fire extinguisher is extremely important.
One of the most important things you can do for fire safety is to clean your dryer vent.
According to the NFPA dryer and washing machines are one of the leading causes of house fires.
You’ll find many things you can do to prevent dryer fires from happening, and one of the most fundamental things you can do is keep your dryer vents clean.
Now, I am going to show you the most effective ways to clean dryer vents.
People often think it’s a tough job and one you should hire someone to do, but it’s not that hard.
By the end of this easy to follow post you will know all you need to know about cleaning dryer vents and keeping your home safe.
Before you start, do this (no matter what)
There are a few different methods to cleaning dryer vents; however, there are some precautions that you need to take that are universal.
- Before you start to clean your dryer vents, make sure that you unplug your dryer, every time, without fail.
- If you have a gas dryer, make sure you turn off the gas before you start.
- Make sure there is enough space for you to work behind your dryer when unhooking the dryer vent.
- Once the dryer is moved away from the wall; clean up any debris under your dryer with a vacuum.
- This doesn’t have to be a one-man job, if you need help, ask for it.
- Always check to see if the flexible vent is cracked or damaged as it will immediately need to be replaced.
Now you know what precautions to take, here are some effective ways to clean your dryer vents:
Toilet bowl brush, used towel, and broom
You can find many tools on the market for cleaning a dryer vent. But, if you are on a budget, or just don’t have the time, you can use common items around your house.
With a toilet brush, some string or duct tape, a broom and some warm soapy water, you can make your dryer vents clean and safe.
First, follow the tips above; unplug your dryer, move it from the wall, and carefully detach the vent from the wall.
Put the toilet brush into the flexible vent and move it around until you sufficiently remove the excess lint.
Grab an old towel and wrap it around a broomstick (or a piece of wood that will fit and is long enough). Use a piece of string or duct tape to secure the towel to the wood.
Insert the towel and stick it into the vent leading outside and move it back and forth until you are satisfied that the vent is clean.
Now, at this point, you are going to want to check for any obstructions in the exterior dryer vent.
When you unscrew the outside dryer vent (if there are no obstructions) use the towel and stick to gently clean the vent.
Before putting the vent cover back on, dust it off, and wash it with warm soapy water to ensure debris can’t get tracked back in.
Reattach the vent to the dryer and the wall, and then turn it on for a few minutes to see if you missed any obstructions or lint.
Check the outside vent again, if all is clear, the job is done. (If not repeat steps above)
You can also use a vacuum when cleaning your dryer vents.
Simply turn off your dryer, move it forward and detach the vent from the dryer and the wall.
Use your vacuum to suck out the lint from the end of the vent, a vacuum with a wand attachment on the hose works best for this part.
When cleaning the outside vent, remove the cover and insert the vacuum head into the vent.
Reach as far as you can and use a torch to see if there is any lint that you missed.
Clean the cover before replacing, and then turn your dryer on to see if there are any obstructions.
Flexible rod and chimney brush
For this method, you will need a flexible rod and a chimney brush.
To clean the flexible vent, attach the chimney brush to the flexible rod (the amount of flexible rod you use will depend on the length of your flexible vent) and clean the inside of the dryer vent.
If you have a flexible vent, be careful not to poke through the dryer vent.
When you have removed the lint from the flexible dryer vent, you can turn your attention to the outside vent.
Using the same tool, though you might have to add more flexible rods; brush the outside vent.
A great tip is to sharply twist your wrist anti-clockwise as you pull the flexible rod towards you.
Turn on your dryer briefly to see if there are any obstructions, and make sure you clean the vent cover before replacing it.
Vacuum, flexible rod and chimney brush to a drill
The “brush drill” method is one of the most effective ways to cleaning dryer vents.
You will need a (high powered) vacuum, flexible rods attached to a chimney brush and a cordless drill.
Attach a three-way elbow-bend pipe to your dryer vent. Attach the hose from your vacuum into one of the holes, sealing the edges.
In the other pipe hole, insert the flexible bend attached to the chimney brush (with enough rods to reach to your outside vent)
Attach your drill to the end of the flexible bend, turn on the vacuum, turn on the drill, and clean your vents.
Within minutes, due to the ferocity of the drill method, your dryer vents will be clean and safe.
I hope this post gave you the information and guidance you needed to comfortably and confidently clean dryer vents.
All of the methods listed above work very well and are easy to follow, just remember to never put off cleaning of dryer vents for too long.