Cleaning dryer vent

Any advice on cleaning a clogged dryer vent. The run is about 15 feet, and is accessible from the garage, exiting from an interior wall, then along the garage wall, and then outside.

I am looking for any special tricks that may make the job easier.


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Posted 2 replies to this one-----didn’t happen

Ex appliance repairman here.


Is what they make shop vacs with suction and exhaust for.

Make sure the problem is really in the ductwork. Usually the problem is lint plug up within the dryer itself.

To tell ------disconnect the dryer vent, turn on dryer and check your suction thru the dryer (at lint filter with a piece of paper). If suction strong problem is in duct work. If suction weak problem is within the dryer.

An appliance repair shop may have cleaning brushes which fit the round vent pipe. Hopefully it’s smooth-walled pipe, and not the vinyl coated wire stuff which attracts lots of crud. After you’ve cleaned things, recycle old pantyhose by cutting off a knee-high length piece with footy intact. Disassemble the pipe as close to the dryer as possible, and slip the panty hose over the open end, stuff footy inside and reassemble. The stocking will act as a secondary lint filter and keep the rest of the pipe relatively clean. Check it regularly and clean/replace as needed.

I shelled out for one of those dryer duct cleaning kits - it’s basically a big stiff brush on the end of a bunch of plastic poles that screw together. You can keep adding poles and using it to scrub out the duct.

I have a relatively short run from dryer to outside vent so I turned the dryer on and went outside with the brush kit, began roto-rooting and getting the brush farther and farther down the duct. As I brushed it dislodged lots of builtup lint which then got blown out the vent.

It wasn’t a hefty bag full of the stuff but there was enough to keep many birds in nesting material for a while.

After that I disassembled the lint trap on the dryer itself and worked on it with my shopvac and another brush that came with my de-linting kit (long narrow bristle brush), that got a bunch more junk out.

As someone else said, be very careful if your dryer vent is made of that thin white vinyl hose rather than sheet metal or some other substantial material, it might tear.

The kit cost less than $50, I’m sure you can find them for less if you shop around. It’s also very good from cleaning refrigerator coils (I had more dust on those than in my dryer vent).

In addition to other suggestions.
If it is the ‘slinky’ type material condsider replacing it, if torn, holes, etc.
If round metal tubing clean with brushes or take down and clean individual sections, lots of work, but saves buying brush set.
Clean the built in filter.
While you are at it remove back of unit and use the shop vac to clean the motor, belt drive, or drive wheel, and heater area.
Remove and clean the internal pull out filter daily, oftener if washing a lot of clothes.

I found a dryer-vent-cleaning brush for less than $20 in a major “gadgets and things that can improve your life” catalog.

So, first you’re missing a cat. Now your dryer vent is clogged. You don’t suppose there’s a connection, do you? :smiley:

Someone on another message board I read claims he did a wonderful job of cleaning the dryer vent by blasting out the lint with a leaf blower. Sounds like fun!

There could well be! One of our cats is a rescue from the wild, after mom-cat moved her litter into a friend’s dryer vent. Our friend got the kittens easily enough and found homes for them, but the mother had yet another litter before she was captured and fixed.

The dryer itself needs to be inspected/cleaned, as long as you’re doing a job why not do it right? Not just the lint filter, but the entire housing. There is a large expansion chamber and air impeller fan associated with the motor that will be packed with large amounts of impacted lint. Usually (on a Maytag) there are two phillips head screws that secure the front panel on a dryer. A dozen more will allow access to most of the internals. Just about everything is accessible from the front of the dryer. Be sure to unplug before doing anything. Your dryer will thank you by running at top efficiency… is where I got mine. The tool has a round brush at the end of a 10 ft. flexy pusher. My vent is 15 ft. long, so I bought an “electrician’s fish tape,” something they use to fish a new wire through a wall. I duct-tape the fish to the end of the cleaning tool, and I run it through the duct and back a coupla times. The dryer works a lot better after that.

Using just a leaf blower won’t get it all. Lint sticks to the walls, especially if you use fabric softener.

As spingears says, don’t keep a slinky type dryer hose. Those are now regarded as hazardous, not just inadequate.