Did you know you’re supposed to clean out your dryer vent regularly? I spent years not knowing that, and I would simply clean off the lint from the lint trap and go about my day. It never occurred to me that I would need to go beyond that to keep my dryer clean. If you’re starting to notice that your clothes are slower and slower to dry, it could be your dryer vent.
The dryer vent gets clogged with tons of lint over the years, which not only leads to slow drying of your clothes, but it’s also one of the top causes of house fires. Scary stuff, and so easy to prevent once you know how; if you aren’t sure you’ve ever cleaned your dryer vent, you need to do it as soon as possible!
Paying someone to come clean it out for you could cost $150 or more depending on where you live, but you can do it for far less yourself. All you need is a re-usable dryer cleaning kit and a vacuum.
Here’s how to clean your dryer vent:
Start by cleaning the lint off the trap. Next, vacuum around the lint trap and the vent to get out what you can. After you’ve vacuumed the area well, take your lint trap vent brush, and insert the brush into your lint trap as far as you can get it. It will be flexible, but it will still take some maneuvering to get it in there all the way.
Once it’s in, twist the handle of the brush as you’re slowly removing it from the lint trap. Repeat this step multiple times if you have a lot of lint on the brush. Once you have removed the lint with the brush, use the vacuum hose attachment to get in there and really clean. While the brush will get a lot of your lint, the vacuum is where the magic really happens. It is a very slow process to use this attachment, but it works so well!
If you don’t clean your lint trap often, you will likely need to repeat this step up to 10 or 12 times. Feed the vacuum hose attachment into the trap, and turn on the vacuum. You will hear it clog quickly and need to remove it. But you will be amazed by just how much lint it can remove.
Once you feel satisfied that your vent trap is thoroughly cleaned, you can move on to the dryer vent duct behind the dryer. Use the large dryer vent duct brush and clean out the duct. Move it through, carefully spinning while you push it in. Then, pull it out and remove the lint from the brush. If you find a lot of lint, repeat this process again.
You’ll find that this goes pretty quickly, especially if you schedule a dryer vent cleaning on the same day quarterly that you change the batteries in your smoke alarms. You’ll also sleep easier knowing that those alarms aren’t nearly as likely to go off now!
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