Clean Like You Mean It
How to Clean Dryer Vents Without Calling a Pro
Spring cleaning starts now.
Photo by Mark Weinberg
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Teresa D. March 31, 2022
My dryer was giving me an error code that the vent was clogged at some high percentage, so I called in a pro to clean it out. I am very diligent about cleaning out the dryer filter, so I was surprised at the situation. Turns out that there was about 6 feet of bird nesting at the outer end of the vent! He installed what looks like a mini laundry basket outside the house to prevent birds from setting up house. So keep in mind that dryer vents may be clogged by other things besides dryer lint!
tradess2013 March 24, 2022
How do you move your dryer? Not a great idea if you don’t want to get hurt
Smaug March 24, 2022
They're really not difficult to move, but if you're not up to it you may be stuck with depending on the kindness of the neighbor kid.
[email protected] March 21, 2022
Also wash your lint screen with soap and water if you use dryer sheets to clear off any residue. Otherwise it can cause your dryer to overheat. You will know it needs to be cleaned if it holds water on the screen. Try it, very crazy but true.
edglover1958 March 17, 2022
I finally got around to cleaning the dryer that was already in my house when I bought it and it had NEVER been cleaned before since the house was built. (1999) It was an all day job, I cleaned the dryer itself, (the entire pathway inside the dryer) and the metal tube under the house. (16 ft. Long) I used a brush attached to a nylon pole that you snake down the tube using a cordless drill. When I couldn't go any further, I went outside and removed the vent from the exhaust pipe and ran the brush up the tube to clean it. Then I took my air compressor and shot a blast of air to blown out the lint. After I was all done, the dryer performed better & my clothes were drying faster than before. Was able to get another 10 years of use out of the dryer.
Jaybird March 14, 2022
I don't just clean the lint filter *after* every dry cycle. I stop the drying once or twice to remove the lint already accumulating. Towels are the worst offenders and I stop the cycle twice. This not only reduces the drying time but reduces the build up down the pipes (including in the machine itself). While not convenient for many I'm sure, in this new age of work at home, it takes all of 2 minutes (both times combined) and saves a lot more preventative maintenance later - on top of saving on the power and possible gas bill, both of which are more important now that ever.
Smaug March 15, 2022
I try to remember to do that too, especially with white loads (lots of towels)- my dryer's small filter can end up with a 1/2" thick layer of fuzz.
HalfPint March 14, 2022
I have a $10 long-bristle brush with a 3 ft handle, that was designed to clean out the lint from the dryer vent (where the lint collector is housed).
Smaug March 12, 2022
I generally blow it out with a leaf blower (battery powered, please- those gas powered monstrosities are possibly mankind's worst invention)
Liz S. March 14, 2022
Yes to battery stuff, although I never thought of using my leaf blower on the dryer duct :)
edglover1958 March 17, 2022
Thanks for the tip, never thought of using my leaf blower although mine is corded. Last time I cleaned my vents it was a 6hr. job. Way too long.
Angi W. March 24, 2022
Me too! The leaf blower is works like a charm! I make sure I’m on the inside tho and my husband stays outside on the ladder with a garbage bag…about half of the lint goes in the garbage and he wears the other half lol!
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