Girl my dryer takes FOREVER and I have never cleaned it or the duct out, just the trap. You have inspired me to pick up my own kit – thank you!!!!
Where can I purchase the dryer cleaning kit that you showed on your blog?
I can’t find the exact kit anymore, but the link below is for one that is almost identical.
We pulled my dryer out and cleaned it, then realized that the vent goes OUTSIDE. So we went out, and the cover was off, and inside it was a rat nest! nice and cozy and warm in the winter! EWWWWWWWW.. so with fishing pole in hand and a long vaccuum hose, we cleaned it all the way to the inside dryer wall. (about 6 feet. SOLID clog. no wonder it took 3 hours to dry my clothes.
Eww! I am so glad you got it all cleaned out. Great thinking with the fishing pole!
Don’t forget to also WASH the lint trap screen. Especially if you use softeners. Put it in the sink and slowly run a little water on it. If the water beads up and doesn’t run straight through it but beads up on it it means you have a buildup of softener on it. If the water cannot get through it makes sense the airflow isn’t getting through very well either. Put a little dish soap on the screen and gently scrub (both sides) with a soft brush or sponge. , then rinse the soap off. After the water will not bead up anymore and the dryer will have better airflow and not overheat.
I haven’t done this before. Thank you so much for the tip!
You can also just put the lint trap screen in your dishwasher. It does a fantastic job!
Ohh! That sounds so easy! I will have to try that. Thanks!
Just a note to be aware. The lint trap screen in some dryers is plastic mesh and could potentially melt from the dryer in the dishwasher. You may want to put it in the top rack to be safe. I know someone who had theirs melt and had to replace it.
Yes, people have had their heating elements burn out due to the lint filter’s being all filmed over from softener sheets.
I have found that dryer sheets are the cause of my screen getting so much of that waxy buildup. Once I went back to liquid softeners the screen stays clean and porous.
If you take the back off the dryer lint also gets stuck in the part were the air goes to vent hose I was amazed at how much was stuck in there
Yes! I so need to do this again! Thank you for the reminder, Julie!
Moved and the dryer didn’t work so got a new one. To my surprise the new one didn’t work either, and you know why.
I cleaned out the vent as far as I could then used a powerful weed blower to blow out the rest, which was a lot.
I never thought of using a weed blower. I may have to try that. Thanks for the suggestion!
Our igniter went out and when my husband took the front of the dryer off to replace it the amount of lint in there terrified me! The lint was right by the flames too! I clean it out 1-2 times a year now by taking the front panel off (we have a front load washer and matching dryer) and vacuuming everything out really well.
It is very concerning how much lint can gather in there. I am amazed at how much I find after only 6 months.
Please know that by cleaning this out, you are potentially saving lives from a massive fire in your home. As a fireman’s daughter, this was drilled into me over and over again. Dryer fires happen more often than you may think.
Your right, you could be stopping a potential fire. I have heard that dryers start even more fires than ovens! It’s kind of scary, because while I would never leave the house with the oven on I used to leave the house with the dryer running. Ever since I started cleaning our dryer out I have been more intentional about only running it when I am home.
My dryer is having the same problems, so I’m totally giving this a shot tomorrow. I have the feeling you just saved me a huge headache and hefty bill. Thanks for the wonderful tip!
I hope it works. Let me know how it turns out.
Wow. I consistently clean out my lint trap, but have been meaning to buy a kit and really have a go at my machine. Going to have to put that on the “to purchase” list for Amazon this month. Thanks for giving such a thorough run-down of the process!
Here is a step that I always take after the cleaning process you have so well described. When you have dryer vent off of where it connects to the wall, take an electric or battery operated blower and place it inside the vent going out. Get a small towel and stuff it around the gaps between the blower and the exhast pipe in the wall. Then during your blower on high for about 30 seconds. Then go on your roof or outside where your vent exits your house and prepare to clean up A LOT of lint that has been accumulating in the vent pipe.
If your dryer isn’t right next to the exterior wall where the vent exits the home, you may have a long vent duct run (could be as much as 20 feet). To clean this duct, take your yard blower and wrap a rag around the end. Remove the dryer vent from the wall vent, stuff the rag wrapped end of the blower into the wall vent and let if run for 2 to 3 minutes. This should clear out the vent for another year of care free clothes drying.
Great tip! Thank you for sharing.
I recently had a repair man come to fix my dryer because it was making an awful noise. Come to find out it was because the blower was packed full of lint. I couldn’t believe it! I told him I use my lint brush and vacuum regularly in the lint trap to clean it. He said that by doing that it was actually pushing lint into the blower. He said not to do that anymore. He said just take the front of the dryer off and vacuum the whole inside really well every once in awhile.
Life hack… use a paper towel cardboard roll as an attachment on the vacuum hose you can bend it kind of flat to reach the areas you want. Also works for car detailing, vacuuming under fridge and stove…and extention…
I will have to try that sometime. Thanks!
So smart!! Thank you!
My wife sent me this pin regarding cleaning our dryer trap. I had to chuckle because this is something I regularly do and she had no idea! Lol. Being a good sport, I read the pin anyways and would like to recommend one other area to clean that is often overlooked. The duct eventually vents to the outside of your home, either through a side wall or the roof. Be aware that this too can get clogged and can cause problems later on. Ours is on the roof, so once a year I have to climb a ladder and reach my hand (or more appropriately fingers) into a somewhat sharp metal vent. I will say if it is on the roof to be extra careful when heading to clean it out (or you can always send your husband, brother, dad if roof climbing isn’t your thing. Lol). Most of the lint will accumulate at the lowest point (nearest to your dryer) but ensuring everything is clean is the best way to prevent fires. Cheers!
Great tip! Yes, we have a vent that is on the side of our house, thank goodness. We do get a decent amount of lint in the outside vent. Thanks for the reminder!
One thing to remember is that “lint” is actually fibers coming off your clothing, sheets, towels and blankets. What this means, is that the process of drying actually shortens the useful life of clothing.
As much as I can, I hang laundry to dry either outdoors or in my basement first. Then, I toss them in the dryer for a short, 5 or 10 minutes on low to soften and reduce wrinkles. This works especially well with jeans, which normally take a long time in the dryer.
By doing this method, you save money several ways, the cost of gas and electricity using your dryer 100% of the time, and also the cost of replacing your clothing and linens so often.
In the winter time, an added bonus is, hanging damp laundry in the house can add some much needed humidity to the air that tends to become uncomfortably dry from central heating!
I love the idea of putting them in the dryer after line drying them! Jeans can be so stiff after line drying. Thanks for the tip!
Why not just buy a new dryer vent hose?
So much of lint gets trapped in the dryer too. You could choose to clean the dryer and buy a new dryer vent hose, but I prefer to clean it all out and save myself the money of buying a new dryer vent hose.
after cleaning out the lint trap , I disconnect the vent line, move the dryer over then take my leaf blower and run it in the outside vent and turn it on. You’ll be surprised how much accumulation of lint you’ll have.
Great idea! I will have to try that next time. Thanks!
This is a great weekend task!
You’re right Drew, it is a perfect weekend task
Take the vent pipe outside and turn the garden hose on and wash the pipe out.
Great tip! Thanks
Do any of you have a front loading washer? Anyone have tips on cleaning it? After a while it gets musty smelling my mother told me. I saw washer cleaning fluids at the grocery store, but seems there is more to it. Thanks y’all!
I don’t have any tips, sorry. I have heard they are very hard to keep clean.
You need to dry inside the rubber gasket where the door opens.
Dry the inside of the washer door.
I also have a small door on the bottom, that holds a hose. Empty that hose every week. Once a month, run an empty load with a scoop of front loading washer cleaner.
Make sure to leave the door and soap drawer open after every load to allow the washer to air out. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener on some loads of clothes which also helps keep the washer clean. I have used my front load washer for over five years and have never had it smell musty or gross. The most important thing to remember is since the door is water tight if you close the door after a load of wash it will never dry out. If your washer smells now one of the washer cleaner packs would not be a bad idea.
I use white vinegar and run it empty. I don’t know how much is needed so I use maybe a quart or 2 (probably overkill). Leaving it open helps too.
Where did you get the kit
I bought mine on Amazon. You can see it in the link below.
I can’t even get behind my dryer. Not enough room to move it forward .
I spent years not knowing that you needed to clean out your dry vent. I would clean the lint off of the lint trap when I put clothes in the dryer, but that was as far as I ever got. It never occurred to me that you would need to go any deeper into the dryer to clean it. It helped that we moved every 2-3 years therefore, I guess my dryers never got clogged with lint. It wasn’t until we had lived in the same house with the same dryer for about 6 years when I started having problems.
I first noticed that my clothes were slower and slower to dry. I would have to run the same load twice just to get it to dry. Then, I noticed that the dryer was getting extremely hot to the touch. I even burned one of my son’s sweatshirts in the dryer. I really didn’t want to buy a new dryer, so I tried to look up what was causing this problem. I was surprised to find out the problem was very simple. The dry vent was clogged with so much lint from over the years. This not only leads to clothes drying very slowly, but it can also cause a fire. Since I often start the dryer and leave the house this scared me. I figured I need to get the dryer vent cleaned right away.
Since I wasn’t about to pay someone (it’s around $150 where I live) to come and clean it out, I picked up a do it yourself kit. It makes it so much easier to do on your own. All you need it the kit and a vacuum. Check out how to clean your dryer like a pro.
I started by cleaning off the lint trap. Then I vacuumed around the lint trap and vent to get out what I could. After you have vacuumed that area take the lint trap vent brush and insert the brush into the lint trap vent as far as you can. It is very flexible and takes a bit of maneuvering to make sure it goes in all of the way. Once you get it in, twist the handle of the brush while slowly removing it to trap the lint. If you have much lint on the brush I recommend repeating this step once more.
Once you have removed some of the lint with the brush you can use the vacuum hose attachment to really get in there and clean. This is where the magic happens! I am always amazed at the amount of lint that the attachment removes. It is very slow going, you need lots of patience to use the attachment. The attachment it very flat so it fits in the vent trap.
Unfortunately, if you have as much lint as I usually do in my trap you will need to repeat this step about 10-12 times. Carefully feed the vacuum hose attachment into the trap. Attach to your vacuum and turn on the vacuum. Most likely you will quickly hear it clog and need to remove it. Remove it and pull the clog out and then repeat. It takes a while, but you will be amazed by how much lint it removes. Check out all of the lint it removed.
Once you feel like the vent trap is clean you can move on to the dryer vent duct behind your dryer. Use the large dryer vent duct brush to clean out the duct. Move it carefully spinning while you push it in. Pull it out and remove the lint from the brush. If you find much lint on it repeat the step again. I never find too much lint in the duct. I think the majority of it was stuck in the dryer.
The first time I cleaned my dryer vent this way I was amazed at the difference it made in drying time. My drying time of most of my clothes was cut in half. This not only saves me time but money too. I don’t have to spend as much on gas to dry my clothes. I have found that by using the cleaning kit once a year I get a good amount of lint from it and don’t have the same dryer problems that I did before. I have had the same kit for a few years now and it still works great. Plus, it’s so much cheaper than paying someone to clean my dryer vents.
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Original article and pictures take http://www.frugallyblonde.com/2016/04/how-to-clean-your-dryer-vent/ site