When is the last time that you cleaned out your dryer vent? If it hasn’t been in the past year or two, it’s a chore that needs to be completed! Many people don’t even realize that this needs to be done, and that clearing off the lint trap is all that’s needed, however a clogged dryer vent leads to clothes drying very slowly and it can also cause a fire. One reason to never leave the dryer running when you leave the house! See below for steps on cleaning your dryer vents.
- Vacuum or shop vac
- Vent Cleaning Brush (These, or even better, Dryer Vent Kits, can be found on Amazon or at local home improvement stores such as Canadian Tire)
- First things first – unplug your dryer and if you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas.
- Start with simply cleaning off the lint trap. Do it more thoroughly than you normally do, vacuuming around the lint trap and vent to get out everything you can.
- Using a vent brush, run it inside the lint trap, twisting the brush while slowly removing it to trap the lint. You may want to do this a couple of times to catch as much lint as you can.
- Follow up by using your vacuum crevice attachment tool to suck up any loose lint and dirt that was dislodged by the brush. Repeat as necessary. You can do steps 2-4 every couple of months to prevent lint buildup.
- Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the exhaust duct tube from both the wall and the dryer. Note, there are 2 different kinds of hose clamps – one that has two prongs that simply need to be squeezed together to loosen, and the other which requires a screwdriver to loosen the bolt attached to the clamp. Once disconnected, you can slide the tube off the dryer and from the port in the wall.
- Use your vacuum to clean out the dryer, wall port and then the exhaust tube.
- If your exhaust tube is an older foil or vinyl tube or you cannot get the tube clean, it is highly recommended that you replace it with a metal one. Metal dryer ducts have typically have much less buildup since they don’t sag, and can contain a fire better if one were to start.
- Vacuum the back of your dryer, washer and wall while the dryer is pulled out, Get rid of as much lint as you can!
- Reattach the dryer tube to the wall and the dryer, and push the dryer back to the wall, being careful not to crush the tube. Plug the unit back in!
- You can also head outside and locate your exterior dryer vent and clean it out as well.
All done! Now your home is safer and you’ll surely see a big difference in the amount of time it takes for your clothes to dry. Good job on being a great homeowner!