How to Clean the Vents Behind a Dryer Safely and Effectively

When it comes to keeping your dryer in good condition, cleaning the vents behind it is an essential part of the process. Not only does this help to prevent fires, but it also ensures that your dryer runs efficiently. To clean the vents behind a dryer safely and effectively, you'll need to take a few steps. First, make sure you're wearing safety gloves before you start.

Then, remove any lint from the hole in the back of the dryer. To get rid of the lint from the dryer duct, you'll need to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose connector. If you want to go deeper, you can purchase a dryer grille cleaning kit online. These kits come with flexible rods that allow you to reach up to 12 feet into the duct. To ensure that the connections don't break, cover each one with electrical tape.

The kit also includes a rotating brush that must be inserted first. To power the brush, attach an electric drill to the rod near you. It's recommended that you pull out the vent brush every 12 months to make sure everything is in good shape. However, if you have pets that shed or a large family that uses your dryer often, you may need to clean it more frequently. Next, use a screwdriver to remove the vent cover and vacuum up any remaining debris. Place the vent cap in hot soapy water and use a microfiber cloth to clean it.

Dry it off with an additional microfiber cloth or let it air dry before putting it back in the dryer. Now it's time to insert the cleaning brush into the dryer vent and add brush extensions as needed to reach the end of the ventilation grille. If applicable, place the brush in a drill and use its rotation to clean inside the ventilation grill. As you pull out the brush, make sure you're slowly doing so. Once you've removed the vent hose, plug in your workshop vacuum and use its long hose attachment to reach into the dryer vent. If your clothes aren't completely dry when the cycle ends or they take longer than usual to dry, this is another sign that it's time for a cleaning. To reconnect the vent hose to the outside vent pipe, repeat this process and then return your dryer to its position against the wall.

On average, you should clean your dryer vent once or twice a year depending on how often you use it. If you're not sure if you've cleaned every inch of your dryer's ventilation grille, place the grille cleaning brush outside and loosen and unscrew its clamps with a screwdriver so they can move freely along your dryer's flexible ventilation hose without damaging anything. Clogged dryer vents are a major cause of fires, so it's important to know how to clean them properly. Make sure that no excess debris accumulates inside your dryer as this can create an obstruction that increases your risk of fire. If you have an electric dryer in your garage, keep in mind that unless it's always open to the outside, moisture-related problems such as mold and mildew can occur. To avoid this, make sure there's a lint collector in place that collects all debris before venting air outside. When you're finished going out, sweep or vacuum any hair, lint or other debris that has fallen through your dryer's ventilation grille inside. Most electric dryers aren't designed for ventilation in apartments or condominiums.