Have you checked your dryer vent lately? No, I don’t mean the lint trap that you should clean each time you do laundry. I mean the vent that leads from the back of the dryer to the outside. Did you know that many house fires each year are blamed on these dryer vents being clogged or dirty from lint? This can put you and your family at a serious safety risk. Most web sites I’ve checked say you should clean them out once a year.

A couple of years ago, I had called a service repair company to check on my dryer, as it was taking a really long time to dry clothing and I feared something was wrong with it. The man who checked on it said it was working fine, but he cleaned the lint out of the venting, which may have been making it run less effectively. I noticed a difference right away. He didn’t show me how much lint he removed and I hadn’t really thought about it since then.

Recently I’d become worried that my dryer wasn’t working as well again. But instead of paying someone to come out and check on it again, I decided to buy a lint brush so I could do it myself. I found a few different options at Home Depot, but ultimately decided to the get Everbilt Dryer Lint Removal Kit. I liked that it had multiple sizes of brushes and a vacuum attachment. It was about $25.

I finally got around to it today and am so glad I did! I was seriously shocked to see how much lint had built up in my dryer and dryer vents over the last couple of years. I’ll share some of my tips here and some pictures in case you want to give it a shot.

Here are the things I needed to do this task –

  1. Lint brushes
  2. Vacuum
  3. Duct tape
  4. Scissors
  5. Step stool

This is some of the lint I pulled out of my dryer vent. Some of it was also sucked up in my vacuum.

It was fairly simple to do, but a bit time consuming. There were instructions that came with the kit that were helpful. You definitely want to unplug the dryer from electricity and shut off the gas to the unit.

Then I started with cleaning out the lint trap – the one I normally clean off each time I use the dryer. After taking it out, I used one of the lint brushes (the long skinny one) to dig down there for any other lint that may have built up. I pulled out some big chunks of lint that were hiding down there. It was hard to remove the lint from the brush, so I used my vacuum to suck some of it up. Then I used the long vacuum attachment to slide it deep down into the lint trap and try to suck up any other lint that might be down there.

Then I went for the vent in the back of the dryer. I disconnected it from the dryer and used my hands and a lint brush to reach up into the dryer to remove any lint. Then I used the round brush into the long circular dryer vent tubing. I have about 10 feet of tubing, so it took some time to do. Some of the lint came out with the brush, while some of it came out from shaking the tube and reaching inside with my hands.

I also disconnected the tube from where it connects to the outside vent. For me this was over my head and I needed to step on a stool to reach. There was more lint inside this part of the vent and again I used both of the brushes and my hands to pull any lint out. I also used the vacuum extender tube inside the various entry points to suck up any dust and lint.

Here is the lint I pulled out, with my hand in the picture for comparison.

You may be wondering where the duct tape and scissors came in… there were a couple of spots on the vent tubing that had small tears in it. I may have also accidentally caused a tear using the brush at one point. I used the duct tape to cover those tears and also to reinforce various sections of the tubing.

After I reattached everything, I used the vacuum to clean up dust or dirt on the back of the dryer and on the floor surrounding it. I’m very glad I got all of that lint out of my dryer and the venting. I noticed a difference in my dryer performance immediately when I used it after cleaning all the lint out.

For a more formal, step-by-step tutorial, you can check out this web site. I thought the amount I pulled out was insane, but they took out way more lint than I did! I hope I’ve inspired you to clean out your dryer vents. It’s not just about getting your dryer to work better, it’s about keeping your family and your house safe.



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4 Responses to “when’s the last time you cleaned your dryer vents?”

  1. Amy says:

    That’s only 2 years worth?!? I’m not sure we’ve cleaned out our machine since we moved into the house – YIKES!

  2. Michelle says:

    You’ve convinced me. I’m adding “clean out dryer vents” to my to-do list with a deadline of ASAP.



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