Ever wondered about how to clean out your dryer vent? Think about it – it’s a major household appliance that is used on a regular basis. But when it comes to making sure it is clean, you may not realize that there is a whole process to it.
Cleaning out your dryer vent will not only extend the life of your dryer, but it will dry your clothes better and potentially help you save energy costs in the future.
Also, if you don’t properly clean out your dryer vent, this could even potentially cause a fire hazard that you could easily avoid with proper maintenance. If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to looking at dryer vent cleaning kits, don’t worry, we have you covered! Keep reading for all the information you need to know about dryer vent cleaning kits and how to properly clean and maintain your dryer.
How Often Should You Clean a Dryer Vent?
To be safe, you should get your dryer vents cleaned professionally 1-2 times a year. If you use your dryer often because you are a large family, then you might want to consider getting your dryer professionally cleaned at least once every six months.
With a dryer vent cleaning kit, you can easily do this more frequently, at least every three months, to potentially avoid the cost of having to pay a professional to come in as often. This routine maintenance could end up extending the life of your dryer and you will notice that your clothes will also dry faster.
Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
The most common danger of not cleaning your dryer vent, and the scariest, is the risk of a house fire. If you allow too much lint to collect in your dryer vents, it will restrict the airflow which will cause exhaust gasses to get backed up.
This creates the perfect environment for a fire to form, mostly because lint is so flammable and the heat and gas from the vent will create a fire over time. The more lint you have stuck in your vents, the more likely it will be that a fire could form. To avoid this risk, make sure that you are cleaning out your vents on a regular basis.
Another danger is just having your clothes dryer break down altogether, albeit not as dangerous as a house fire. To protect your home and your machine, regular cleaning will help on all fronts.
How to Clean Dryer Vent
Once you learn how to clean your dryer vent, you will see just how easy it is and this will prompt you to start doing it regularly. Here is an easy breakdown of steps to ensure that you are doing it properly.
Step 1: Find the Vent
Finding your dryer vent may seem like a daunting task, but once you locate it, the process gets so easy! Your dryer vent should be connected to a short, 4-inch diameter exhaust pipe that connects to your home’s wall.
These exhaust pipes will extend to an area outside of your home, so judging by where the pipe is located, your vent will be on the outside of that pipe. Once you find it, remove any screens, and remove any debris that you can by hand at the front of the opening.
Step 2: Disconnect the Dryer
After you find out where your vent is, disconnect your dryer by unplugging it from the wall. Remove any metal tape or clamps that attach your vent pipe to the exhaust. Make sure you are gentle while pulling out the vent pipe from the wall duct, so you don’t rip or break anything in the process.
Step 3: Vacuuming
After everything is disconnected, you are ready to vacuum out any stuck debris or lint. Using a shop vac or a vacuum attachment hose, insert your vacuum into the hole and start to clear out as much debris as you can. Remember to be gentle to not rip or break anything in the process.
Step 4: Deeper Clean
To clean your dryer vent even deeper, use a brush to insert into the pipe and clear out the vent to get it fully clean. You can also use a power drill to scrape out the sides with a vacuum brush attachment but remember to use extreme caution when doing this, so you don’t break anything in the process. You are going to need a long brush if you decide to do this manually.
Step 5: Reconnect
Once your vent and exhaust pipe are free from lint debris, you are ready to reconnect it. Simply follow the same steps you took unhooking it, and do it in reverse, replacing the screen, reconnecting the pipe, and plugging your machine back into the wall. Your dryer should work even better now that it is clean and ready to be used to its fullest potential.
How to Clean Dryer Vents from Outside
To clean your dryer vent from the outside, you are simply going to want to remove the screen or hardware that is protecting your vent from the outside world. And using a brush or your hands, remove any lint or debris that has formed.
This is a way to just clean the surface, so in order to do a deep clean, you are going to want to use the above steps for help. Along the wall outside, there could also be a collection of dust or debris. Using a wire brush, gently brush the outside of your wall to remove the dust and debris to make the exit of the pipe as clean as possible.
The Best Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits You Can Buy
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best dryer vent cleaning kits you can buy online today. All of these products are top-of-the-line products that have extremely positive reviews and great customer feedback. Any one of these kits will surely help you get your dryer vent as clean as possible and free from any household danger.
- x4 3ft Flexible Screw-Connect Rods
- Removal Tool for Blockages
- Vacuum Adapter.
- 4” Auger Brush (Self-Feeding)
- 2 ½” D Lint Trap Brush
- Dryer Adapter
- Operator’s Manual
A complete dryer vent cleaning system to keep your dryer working its best, the Gardus system features the full lineup of dryer cleaning products. This kit will help you save costs on energy bills and reduce the drying time of your clothes with ease.
You can use this system with a cordless drill to get everything extra clean. And an electric blower or vacuum to totally remove any lint from your vents. The auger brush and flexible rods scrapes the whole interior vent wall while getting into the harder-to-reach areas.
- Valuable tool
- Works with drills
- Works with shop vacs
- Exceptional reach
- A bit complicated to learn at first
- 1 brush
- 23 pcs bendable rods
- 1 drill bit
So easy to connect, the Smart House Inc dryer vent cleaner kit is easy to use and easy to set up. You simply connect the brush to a drill and connect this to a rod clockwise and you are ready to clean out your vent pipes. You can easily remove lint, dust, and debris with this efficient kit, as these rods extend to up to 30 feet for the ultimate vent cleaning system.
- Easy to use
- Reaches up to 30 feet
- Prevents dryer breakdowns
- Prevents fire risks
- A bit too flimsy
- Dryer vent vacuum cleaner
- Three universal adapters
- Dryer lint brush
This nifty kit from Mountain Trades includes all you need to clean out your dryer vents quickly and efficiently. This kit will enable you to clean out your dryer and get rid of any trapped lint so you can reduce the risk of any housefires. You can easily save yourself a service fee with this kit, as you can learn to clean out your dryer vent on your own and a more regular basis. Three universal adapters come with this kit that will fit most vacuums.
- Comes with universal adapters for vacuums
- Easy to use
- Good dryer vent brush
- Helps reduce house fires
- Does not fit Dyson vacuums
- 2 brushes in different sizes
General Electric has made a brush set that is ideal for cleaning out your dryer vents. With two different-sized brushes to choose from, you can easily clean out your dryer vent by manually scraping the edges of your dryer vents as these brushes are thin enough to fit inside most dryer vents with ease. You can clean all those hard-to-reach places with these brushes and even use them for other things around the house such as refrigerator coils, HVAC coils, and other types of vents.
- Easy to use
- Two different sizes
- Can be used for numerous things
- Will help you clean more efficiently
- A little short
- 1 X synthetic brush head diameter 4″
- 9 X durable rods, extend up to 12 feet
ITidy Home has made a great cleaning kit for dryer vents that do not have to be used with a power drill, but you can certainly use it with a drill if you prefer. Make sure to keep your drill at a clockwise rotation when working the ducts if you do decide to use a drill with this.
This system easily connects between the brush head and the rod for easy rotation. It is an efficient dryer lint brush cleaning kit that is suitable for multiple pipelines. Prevent any costly repairs in your future by regular maintenance on your dryer using this easy-to-use system.
- Efficient dryer lint brushes included
- Suitable for multiple pipelines
- Easy to use
- Can be used with a drill or manually
- Learning curve
- 10-Foot duct brush
- 36-Inch vent brush for the lint trap
- hose attachment for vacuum
Dundas Jafine has created a wonderful dryer lint removal kit that is easy to use and will efficiently clean out your dryer vents. This kit will help keep your dryer running efficiently as well as safely. It’ll also help you cut the time of drying your clothes all while increasing the dryer’s performance and reduce the chance of fire.
The duct brush easily removes any lint and nasty debris that builds up over time while the handy vent brush and the hose attachment for the vacuum help to clean out the lint that is trapped inside the dryer as well as the hose.
- Easy to use
- Comes with a lint trap vent brush
- Comes with a vacuum hose attachment
- Not great for small laundry rooms
- One coil brush and lint remover
What’s better than finding a dryer vent brush that works well? Finding a dryer lint brush that can be used on other household appliances, too! Vanitek has created a long, flexible vent cleaner brush that can also double as a refrigerator condenser coil brush and auger lint remover.
This all-in-one brush is an excellent tool to keep around the house as you can use it for so many different things and it will help you out in so many different areas.
- Easy to use
- Can be used for many things
- Flexible bristles
- Handle is flimsy plastic
Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost
In case you aren’t comfortable cleaning out your dryer vents yourself, or you are just curious as to how much an actual professional dryer vent cleaning service is, here is a breakdown. The overall cost of this professional service will run you anywhere from $140 to $225.
This is so much more than you’d spend on a do-it-yourself-at-home cleaning kit, but if you don’t trust your beginner skills, that is the basic range of how much it would be to get your dryer vents cleaned out professionally. You are paying for the service cost, materials used, and labor charges, compared to your at-home kit which will run you anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on the type of kit you get.
Dryer Vent Installation Tips
In case your dryer vent is beyond repair and cleaning, you can also install a new dryer vent all on your own. Here is a nifty step-by-step process so you can tackle the job on your own.
Step 1: Locate your Ventilation Duct
Typically, your ventilation duct will sit immediately behind your dryer. But, in case you have your dryer set up in a difficult spot, such as a basement there could be a network of pipes that you’d need to maneuver. Your hose should not exceed 25 feet, so keep that in mind while working with more complex hoses.
Step 2: Creating a hole
Once you’ve located your ventilation duct, you will need to cut a hole into the exterior wall if it does not already exist. The hole should be about 4 inches or 4 ¼ inches wide. IF you need to create a new hole, you will need a hole saw attachment for your drill to help you go through the wood and potential sheetrock.
Step 3: Install the dryer cap
Once you’ve run the pipe and it all fits into your hole well, you will have to install your vent cap on the exterior of your home. You can fit this over the hole and make sure it is secured with screws. Don’t forget to caulk your vent cap so nothing will get inside, including insects and the elements outdoors.
Step 4: Joining duct sections
Make sure all your duct sections are joined by using tin snips and plenty of foil tape to secure the flow. You need to make sure you are accounting for the entire length of the hose, including any weird turns or sharper angles. This can be tedious work, but it is absolutely necessary for the completed installation process.
Step 5: Test it Out
Once everything is connecting the way it should be, and you’ve secured your hose to your dryer with a hose clamp, turn on the dyer and go outside to see the vent cap. It should be warm due to the warm air passing through it. If it’s cold, odds are you did not secure a piece of the duct correctly and you have to go back and retrace your steps.
Final Words on Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits
There you have it! All you ever needed to know about dryer vents and how to clean them. Did you find this article useful? Hopefully, you’ve found the information that you have been looking for. Do you have any experience working with dryer vents? We’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to share your comments and experiences in the section below so we can all learn a little bit more about how to efficiently clean a dryer vent. And check out our guide to making the most of your stack washer and dryer combo!