While appliance maintenance may not be first on your to-do list, a little prevention goes a long way to avoid bigger problems. This is particularly true in the case of dryer maintenance and dryer vent cleaning, where a clogged vent can have serious consequences. We’ll discuss how to clean your dryer vent, starting with your lint trap and ending with the vent itself.

Dryer Maintenance 101: How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Ideally, you should clean your dryer vent once or twice a year. Our guide illustrates each step so you can check this annual task off your list along with regular washer maintenance. But first, we’ll review why cleaning your dryer vent can be so important.

Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vent

Have you noticed that your dryer takes too long to dry clothes? Or maybe the dryer takes more than one cycle to get the job done? More often than not, a clogged dryer vent is to blame for a dryer not heating appropriately. When the dryer vent is filled with lint and any other debris, hot air can’t properly circulate to dry your clothes.

But damp clothes and a higher utility bill aren’t the only consequences of a clogged dryer vent. When a buildup of lint is combined with heat from the dryer, you can be at risk for a dangerous dryer fire.

Step 1. Clean the Dryer Lint Trap

How to clean your dryer vent starts with the simple step of cleaning the dryer lint trap. The lint trap is the first line of defense in preventing a buildup of lint in the dryer vent. We recommend cleaning it after every drying cycle by simply peeling off the lint with your hands or a paper towel.

If you typically use dryer sheets or fabric softener they can leave a waxy film on the lint trap that may clog its mesh. In this case we also recommend rinsing the lint trap under running water and brushing it with a soft, soapy brush. After rinsing, let the lint trap completely dry before replacing it.

how to clean your dryer vent

Image Credit: Frugally Blonde

Step 2. Clean the Lint Trap Vent

It’s a good idea to clean your lint trap vent while your lint trap is drying. We also recommend using the appliance brush in this dryer vent cleaning kit to make this job easier. Simply bend the appliance brush throughout the lint trap vent to gather any lint.

After using the appliance brush you can reach more stubborn buildup with the narrow hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner.

dryer vent cleaning

Step 3. Clean the Dryer Vent

Our last step in how to clean your dryer vent finally addresses the vent itself, where the largest amounts of lint can collect. We recommend these simple steps to clean your vent:

  1. Move the dryer out from the wall
  2. Disconnect the dryer from its power source
  3. Separate the vent duct from the dryer and, using the appliance brush, brush out any lint from the vent and duct
  4. Use the narrow hose attachment of your vacuum to carefully vacuum out any remaining lint
  5. Vacuum up any dust and lint on the floor of your work area
  6. Brush out the vent exhaust on the outside of your house, reaching up with the brush into the duct that connects to the exhaust
  7. Reattach the vent duct to your dryer
  8. Reconnect the dryer’s power source and position it back in place
dryer takes too long to dry clothes

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These quick and easy steps for how to clean your dryer vent should go a long way in preserving the life and function of your dryer. Not to mention preventing dangerous dryer fires. If regular maintenance still leaves your dryer performance suffering, give Caesar’s Appliance Service a call for a fast and expert dryer repair.