How to Clean a Dryer Vent

According to the NFPA, one out of every 22 house fires in 2006-2010 involved a washer and dryer. Fire can be caused by a dryer when lint builds up in the dryer or the dryer vent. Since dryer lint is very flammable, it is important to regularly clean your dryer vent.

If your clothing is still damp at the end of a drying cycle, or if the drying cycle time is much longer than usual, there is a chance that your dryer vent might be clogged with lint.

Although Martin Appliance recommends that one of our service technicians perform this cleaning for you, here is a summary of how to clean your dryer vent if you have a dryer vent cleaning brush like this one:

Steps to Clean your Dryer Vent

  1. Start by making sure you clean the dryer’s lint filter before each use. It is also recommended to wash the lint filter with warm soapy water once a month to remove any residue that would attract dryer lint.
  2. To clean your dryer vent, begin by carefully pulling the dryer away from the wall.
  3. The vent duct should be visible behind the dryer – unfasten the vent from the dryer and use a long bristly dryer vent brush to reach into the vent and remove the lint build-up. Use the brush several times while rotating it to be sure that all the lint build-up is removed.
  4. If the other end of the vent on the outside of your house is further than the length of your vent brush, repeat the cleaning process from the outside to clean the remaining lint.
  5. If while cleaning you notice that you have plastic or foil-type dryer vent material, it should be replaced with semi-rigid or rigid metal duct – plastic and foil ducts easily trap excess lint and are more subject to kinks or crushing.
  6. Be sure to carefully reconnect all of the dryer venting before using your dryer again.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission