How to Clean Dryer Vent from Inside? (Quick Guide)
If your dryer vent is dirty, you’ll notice that it will not dry your clothes as perfectly as you’d wish. This is the first sign that your dryer needs cleaning from the inside. But there are other signs that show that your dryer needs cleaning such as becoming hot while running or you’re getting damp clothes even after a full drying cycle.
To clean your dryer vent from inside, you’ll first need to get access to the vent and the duct hole. You’ll then need to clean the lint from the hole using a vacuum cleaner. You can perfectly clean the dryer vent from inside all by yourself. But you must ensure you understand the process well.
In this article, we give you an easy-to-understand guide on how to clean your dryer vent from inside. Let’s get started!
You’ll need the following items to clean your dryer vent.
- A broom, a long-handled brush, or a vacuum cleaner
- Power drill
- A dryer vent cleaning kit, which you can get from your local hardware store if you don’t have one alread
Step 1: Locate the Vent
You can’t begin cleaning a dryer vent that you don’t even know where it’s located. First, you must figure out where it is. There’s usually a short exhaust pipe on the dryer connecting it to the ductwork done inside the wall. When you run your dryer, the hot air inside comes out through this exhaust pipe, escaping through the dryer vent on the outside walls.
Therefore, you need to identify the outdoor exhaust vent and then look inside to see if anything could cause obstructions. These are debris such as lint, dust, and dead bugs. Wash them all out before you can proceed to the next cleaning steps.
Step 2: Unplug Your Dryer Carefully from the Power Socket
For safety, disconnecting your dryer from the wall socket is the most important thing to do before you start cleaning the dryer vent. If your dryer is gas-powered, you need first to turn off the gas supply valve.
Step 3: Get the Dryer Away from the Wall
You have to do this to create an ample working space since working in a confined space can make your cleaning task a little more complicated. Getting it away from the wall also ensures that you can easily access the exhaust vent behind the dryer.
Next, using a screwdriver, you can loosen or remove the clamps behind your dryer. The 4-inch clamp, for instance, is what holds the flex duct in place. The other usually connect the vent pipe to the exhaust.
Remember, the vent pipe can easily break down if you don’t handle it with care. You, therefore, need to be gentle and careful when pulling it from the wall duct.
Step 4: You Also Need to Disconnect Its Flex Duct
Loosening or removing the 4-inch clamp will enable you to slip off the dryer duct. With this, you’ll be making your work easier. Remove and put it aside to be easily accessible later when reassembling the dryer to reconnect later.
Step 5: Remove Lint from the Hole
At this point, you can see the inside of the vent duct from your laundry room. A lot of lint has built up already, and you can’t wait to get rid of it all. You’ll require a shop vac or a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris inside and anywhere around the hole.
However, it’s good first to remove as much as you can using your hands. Then, use either the vacuum cleaner or the shop vac to remove the remaining tiny lint.
If you can still spot nasty debris after this exercise, it would be a great idea to get inside the duct with a brush. Remember, the vent cleaning kit has a dryer brush. You need to attach it to the power drill and then wipe off all the problematic clogs from the duct. You can push the brush inside as far as you can reach to remove all the remaining out.
Step 6: Switch Your Attention to Flex Duct
You may also use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac here to clean the flex duct. But, while at it, be careful not to poke it. With any of these tools, you want to ensure that you remove any little obstruction found on the flex duct.
However, if you think that the flex duct tool is in bad shape, it would be better to purchase a new one for effective functionality.
Step 7: Clean Up the Area Then Reconnect
You’ve probably removed a whole lot of lint from the dryer vent. Use a broom or a vacuum cleaner and a dustpan to sweep it away. Afterward, you can re-attach the dryer back to the wall. Using clamps and screwdriver, return the flex duct to its position.
Celebrating at this point is very much in order. Imagine listening to the smooth air flowing out of the dryer vent as an indication that there are no more clogs inside. This shows that your days of having damp clothes are over. What a relief!
Preventing New Lint Build Up
Cleaning your dryer vent doesn’t end there, though. You’d want to ensure you prevent lint from building up in the future. This is to ensure that you don’t go through the same hectic process over and over again. Doing this will also ensure that cleaning in the dryer becomes easier in the future, and the dryer itself works better and more efficiently.
Here is how you can prevent future lint build-up
1. Clean the Lint Trap Regularly
There’s a lint filter trap located right at the outer edge of your dryer door. It’s a removable screen for obvious reasons. Ensure you remove it regularly or after every load to remove the lint that accumulated there.
The mesh can also harbor some cleaning residue, so you can put some water on it to ensure it flows. If it doesn’t, you can then use a brush and warm soapy water it cleans it then later use a towel to dry it off.
2. Sweep Around the Dryer Regularly
Don’t allow your dryer to suck in the dust from its environment. In this case, it will continue to work as it should.
3. Consider Hanging Heavy Clothes Outside Instead
Do you know that it becomes hard for your dryer machine to work efficiently when you load it with heavy items? For this reason, you may consider airing your bulky items, such as a duvet cover or a blanket outside if possible.
4. You May Also Replace the Flex Duct
Flex ducts are more fire-prone and more likely to clog than solid metal ducts. You also need to check on the building codes in your area to see if it is okay to use one. For these reasons surrounding the flexible ducts, consider getting the straight ones since they’re even easier to clean.
Cleaning a dryer vent may not be a glamorous task, but it is undoubtedly worth it. In the long run, you not only get to save money on a new dryer or repairs, but you also increase its longevity.
With the above procedure, you can perfectly clean the dryer yourself. However, if you can’t do it for one reason or the other, you can always hire a pro to do it for you.