You’ll need the following items for cleaning up your dryer’s vent:
- Clean toilet brush
- Old towel
- Broom handle / similar long wooden piece
- Duct tape
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- First of all, if you find any of this overwhelming and don’t want to deal with it, consider hiring a dryer repair specialist to take a look.
- Unplug the dryer (be it electric or gas).
- Turn off the gas supply if you’ve got a gas dryer. If you aren’t able to do so, or you aren’t sure about how to do it, contact a specialist to get the job done for you. In any case, never try to clean your dryer vent without disconnecting it from the gas and electric supply.
- Pull your dryer away from the wall so you are able to easily get behind it and unhook the vent (roughly 2 feet).
- Once you’re behind it, unscrew the clamp which holds the vent and dryer together, and take the vent off.
- Take the vent off the wall and put it on the floor next to the dryer.
- Insert the toilet brush inside the flexible vent and move it around gently to remove any build-up of lint. You may also use a vacuum cleaner with its wand attachment, but this may require another person to keep the vent in place as you vacuum its insides. Using a coat hanger isn’t recommended, as is any other sharp object that can lead to an inadvertent hole inside the flexible vent.
- Wrap the wooden piece with the old towel and secure it with duct tape.
- Slide this makeshift device inside the vent, from the laundry room to the outside, and move it back, forth and around until the towel comes out clean from the other side.
- Go to the house’s exterior and locate the external dryer vent.
- Remove the outer vent’s louver covering (normally fastened with screws) and give the interior a visual inspection for any obstructions. If you see an insect nest e.g. wasps etc., proceed with caution to avoid getting stung. Hornets and wasps can be tough to deal with, so it may be a good idea to call the experts instead of trying to get rid of them on your own.
- If you can reach the obstacle with your arm, and it is safe (i.e. not an insect nest), remove it using a gloved hand.
- If you aren’t able to see / identify the obstruction, put the broom / towel contraption inside and move it up/down/around gently until it comes out more or less clean.
- Wash the louver cover using warm, soapy water, then rinse and replace.
- Go back inside and reaffix the flexible vent to your dryer using its clamp.
- Now reattach the vent to the wall.
- Reconnect the dryer and run a fluff cycle on it for a few minutes, then switch it off.
- Once again, go outside and check the outlet vent for any other obstructions which may have gotten pushed forward. If so, reach out and remove it with a gloved hand, or with the broom cleaning technique described above.
- Fix the louver cover to the external vent.
- Push the dryer back to the wall and turn the gas back on.
If you need a little more info, take a look at this page for more help.