Fortunately, there are easy steps to help prevent this:
1. Clean the lint trap or screen after every load you put in the dryer.
2. Clean the dryer vent and dryer a few times a year.Cleaning a dryer duct is so easy! You don’t even need to take it apart!
Not to mention, your dryer will run more efficiently, use less energy, and lower your electric bill if it is lint free.
How to Clean an Electric Dryer Vent Without Taking it Apart
Tip: If you do need to remove the hose from your dryer to say, sweep lint from under it, I suggest you you add a Dryer Dock coupling (learn more about it here) on the dryer hose. With it, the dryer hose attaches to the vent with a twist and a snap. No screaming and crying over trying to get the dryer hose clamp to stay put on the wall or dryer necessary! (Or that might just be me.)
You will need:
Dryer vent brush
Electric drill (optional)
Dryer lint trap brush
Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.
Step by Step How to Do It:
1. Unplug the dryer.
2. Remove the dryer cap cover from the outside of your dryer vent (if needed.) Use your hands to remove any link caught around the dryer cap cover the and guard as needed.
My dryer vent has a little cage that attaches to the vent opening to keep animals out.
3. Screw several of the dryer vent brush sections together as needed and insert the end in an electric drill if desired. I didn’t bother with using a drill since I only needed one extra brush length.
4 Feed the dryer brush through the dryer vent flap opening on the outside of your house, rotate the brush to catch the lint on the sides of the dryer vent and duct and remove the brush.
Stand back! You will probably get messy. Wear a dust mask like this one if you are sensitive to lint and dust.
Repeat as many time as needed until the dryer vent is free of lint.
6. Remove the dryer lint trap screen from the inside of the dryer and clean the lint from it if needed.
7. Insert a dryer lint trap brush inside the lint trap opening in the dryer, Use the same twisting and brush method as you did in Step 4 to remove any lint buildup from side the lint trap opening of the dryer. Replace the lint trap screen when you have finished cleaning this area.
8. Plug the dryer back into the outlet. Time to do laundry!
On a personal note, I noticed I don’t have much lint buildup in my dryer duct (the first photo is the majority of the lint I cleaned from the dryer) because I stopped using dryer sheets and fabric softener when I bought this dryer.
My old dry had black (burnt?) gunk on the inside of the drum and the only thing I can think of that would do that is the coating from dryer sheets. Instead I use dryer balls like these along with several fabric squares with big safety pins attached to combat static cling. They work great and haven’t ruined my dryer unlike the coating from dryer sheets.
Looking for more dryer vent cleaning tools? Check out the following options - and more! - below!
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Thank you for these detailed instructions. My dryer belt broke last week and I think it is because of a clogged vent :/
Blessings to you!
Where do I get a vent brush and what if I don't have a drill?
I have links in the post to where you can buy a dryer vent brush. There are several styles that do not need a drill
How do you extend the brush, we have a 15 foot long hose to clean.
Ugh, after seeing this I'm kind of happy I don't have a dryer. Thank you for sharing this at The really Crafty Link Party. This is something everyone should know!
Great project, thanks for sharing. Pinned
Shop vac works well blow it out
I am a little ashamed to say I did not know there was such a thing as a dryer vent brush! I need one!! I can always tell when my dryer is getting clogged; I have to turn it on twice!! This will make my life so much easier...and it's proof you can teach an old dog new tricks!! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday!
Excellent info that everyone needs to be reminded of to prevent house fires!
Great idea thank you. I have dryer balls but forget to use them, bad me. You have inspired me to pull them out. Thanks for bringing this tip to FF.
Thanks for the tips and sharing with us on the Wednesday Homestead Blog Hop.
Very helpful information! I know I don't do this often enough.
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