How to Clean Dryer Duct

man peeking into dryer vent

Cleaning a dryer vent is a crucial task to do on a regular basis. A clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard, and a clean vent will allow your dryer to operate more effectively. This article teaches you how to clean dryer ducts from outside and from the inside. Cleaning flex duct on a dryer installation is a straightforward process once you have accessed it.

How to Clean Dryer Vent from Inside

  1. Unplug Dryer - This step is essential for obvious safety reasons.
  2. Pull Dryer Out Away From the Wall - Working in tight quarters can make the task a little more difficult. Get your dryer out away from the wall so you can easily work on the vent behind it. Locate the hose and take note of where it connects to both the dryer and the wall.
  3. Loosen 4-inch Clamp-on the Back of the Dryer and Wall - On the back of your dryer, you will find a 4-inch clamp (or circular bracket) that holds the flex duct in place. This clamp can be loosened with a simple screwdriver.
  4. Disconnect Flex Duct from Dryer and Wall - Once you get the clamp loosened, you should be able to slip the dryer duct off and begin working easily. Set it to the side where you can easily access it. You will need it later on in the cleaning process.
  5. Clean Duct/Hole in Wall - It’s not a bad idea to start with your hands. Grab as much lint as you can in big clumps and remove them. To get smaller stuff and the hard-to-reach areas, you can use a shop-vac and suction out any remaining buildup. Some people use an auger/snake tool with a brush on the end to clean out really bad debris clogs. You can also take a leaf blower and push debris through the vent and out of the house.
  6. inside look at a dryer vent
  7. Clean Out Flex Duct – Use a shop-vac or wire hanger (be careful not to poke a hole in the duct) and try to get out as much debris as possible. A leaf blower can do some work here, too. If it’s bad enough, it might be easier to get a new 4-inch flex duct.
  8. Re-attach Dryer to the Wall – using the screwdriver and clamps, put the flex duct back the way it was.

How to Clean Dryer Vent from Outside

As you read through these steps, keep in mind that some dryers vent out through exterior walls while others vent up through the ceiling and roof.

  • Remove Vent Cap - Before removing the dryer vent cap, you will need to locate it. If it is fastened with screws, then removal is easy. Sometimes you may find caulking, which you can remove with a razor knife.
  • Clean What You Can from the Vent - Once you have removed the vent cap from the outside wall or roof, you can easily clean out the hole that is behind/beneath it.
  • Replace Vent Cap - This can easily be done by tightening the screws and adding any extra caulk which you may need.

How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?

It’s usually recommended that you clean the dryer duct at least once a year. If your dryer is working too hard because it’s not venting properly, components on the dryer will break.

Save on Flex Duct at PlumbersStock

If you don't want to clean the old dryer duct, then you gotta buy a new one to connect the dryer to the wall vent. You can save here at PlumbersStock on all kinds of duct and vent solutions. Did you know that you can find member pricing here on certain items (typically name brand, MAP priced items) if you log in? For industry professionals buying in bulk, please consider contacting us directly for extra special pricing and extra savings.

Related resources:
How to Connect Duct
How to Reduce Ductwork
How to Install a Diffuser
How to Use Duct Seal
What Do Diffusers Do?
What Is a Fire Damper?

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