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How to Clean Your Dryer Vent to Prevent Repair



Did you know it’s recommended that you perform a dryer vent cleaning every 6-12 months? With a new year beginning it can be a good time to check this appliance maintenance task off the list. We’ve come up with a guide for how to clean your dryer vent, lint vent and lint trap so you avoid the problems that can occur when they’re clogged.

Sidestep the Risks from Lint Buildup: How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Though no one wants to add another chore to the to-do list the risks of a clogged dryer vent can be serious. A buildup of lint in your dryer vent can lead to a dryer not heating properly.

This could mean your dryer takes too long to dry clothes or your dryer takes more than one cycle to dry clothing. In severe cases of buildup a dryer can overheat, creating a significant fire hazard.

Our guide illustrates some easy-to-follow steps for how to clean your dryer vent. With regular maintenance, you can avoid these problems and help your dryer function optimally (and safely)!

How to Clean Your Dryer Lint Trap

The first step in how to clean your dryer vent starts with the lint trap. We suggest cleaning your dryer lint trap after every drying cycle by simply pulling it out and removing the lint by hand.

However, there are times your lint trap may need a more thorough cleaning. This is because waxy buildup from dryer sheets or fabric softener can clog the mesh screen of the trap and allow lint to collect. Follow these steps to give your lint trap a deeper clean:

  • Use a vacuum hose attachment to remove smaller lint particles.
  • Rinse the trap with warm water, gently scrubbing with soap and a soft toothbrush to get rid of waxy buildup.
  • Rinse and allow to dry completely.
how to clean your dryer vent
Photo Credit: Frugally Blonde

How to Clean Your Lint Trap Vent

While your lint trap is drying you can clean the lint trap vent. We recommend using a dryer duct cleaning kit that includes a flexible brush and narrow vacuum attachment to more easily do this job:

  • Use the flexible brush to gather any visible lint buildup in the trap. Circle the brush repeatedly to collect as much as possible.
  • Use the narrow vacuum attachment to remove hard-to-reach lint that the brush didn’t collect.
  • Replace the dry lint trap.
dryer vent cleaning
Image from Amazon

How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Though this step involves a little more muscle, it’s the most important since the dryer vent often collects the most lint. Begin by moving the dryer away from the wall and disconnecting the power before following these steps:

  • Gently circle the flexible brush from the cleaning kit inside the dryer vent to remove lint, dust and debris.
  • If you have a metal duct, use the vacuum attachment to remove any lingering lint. Do not use a vacuum for a plastic or foil vent as it can create rips or tears.
  • Vacuum up the lint and debris from your workspace.
  • Reconnect your dryer and put it back in its place.
  • Remove the lint from the lint exhaust and trap on the outside of your house.

Now that you know how to clean your dryer vent you can do so regularly to avoid problems from lint buildup. However, there are times even regular maintenance won’t prevent a dryer repair. In that case, call RD Appliance Service to schedule a repair as soon as possible.

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