When working on your upcoming spring cleaning checklist, you should definitely include dryer vent cleaning. While this task is often overlooked, it’s important for a couple of reasons. If the lint build-up gets too severe, it can increase the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes (costing you money) and creates a fire hazard. In fact, fires caused by dryer lint build-up is one of the leading causes of fires in homes. To help eliminate these risks and learn how to clean your dryer vent, follow these instructions:

How To Clean Dryer Vents

#1. Start by cleaning out the lint trap. This is something you should to do every time you use your dryer, but if haven’t been, this is a good time to start. Pull it out and remove what you can by hand, and then use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove any remnants from the trap.

It’s a good idea to wash the lint trap with a soft brush and soapy water as well, especially if you regularly use softeners (this can build-up wax on the trap). To help with this in the future, consider using organic wool dryer balls, which will decrease any build-up on your trap.

#2. Clean the lint trap vent. Some small fibers will get through this trap and get caught in your lint trap vent. So for this next step, you’ll use a slim appliance brush (we highly recommend this LintEater kit) to reach down and remove the lint.

It can take some maneuvering, but the brush is flexible so it should be able to help remove a good amount.After repeating this process several times and you feel like you’ve removed all that you can with the brush, use a vacuum hose attachment to remove any remaining lint. If your vents haven’t been cleaned in a while, it may take some patience to get it all out of there.

#3. Clean the dryer vent. There may also be lint build-up in the dryer vent duct located in the back of the unit. To be able to clean this out, you’ll need to disconnect the dryer from its power source (home electrical panel) and move the dryer into a position where you can access the vent duct. You’ll then use the large brush in the LintEater kit to clean out the lint out of the duct.

If you have a flexible dryer duct made of plastic or foil, use a gentle spinning with the brush in order to do this. Otherwise, your vent could get damaged. If you have a metal dryer duct, you can actually attach a drill to the end of the brush to accelerate the cleaning process.

We recommend repeating this cleaning process once every six months to ensure your dryer’s performance and safety. Happy Spring Cleaning!