How to Clean Dryer Vents

What You'll Need
A straightened wire hanger
A replacement vent clamp
A replacement vent cover
A screwdriver

Regularly cleaning your dryer vents is a necessary part of protecting your home from dryer fires. While this task may seem a bit cumbersome, it can actually be completed in a simple and timely fashion--particularly if you have a good set of instructions and a couple of basic tools at your disposal. So if you're looking to prevent dryer fires in your home, read on to learn everything you'll need to know about keeping your dryer vents nice and clean.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Dryer for the Cleaning

Before you can begin cleaning your dryer vents, you must first unplug your dryer. Also, if you own a gas dryer, make sure the gas has been shut off before proceeding any further. Next, carefully move your dryer roughly 2 feet from the wall; or as far away as you can without stretching the vent. Having unplugged your dryer, shut off your gas and moved the dryer a safe distance from the wall, you're ready to begin the cleaning process.

Step 2 - Remove Your Vent

Now that your dryer has been moved away from the wall, use your screwdriver to carefully loosen your dryer's vent clamp, then gently remove your vent hose from the back end of your dryer. Remove all the lint you find in the vent in addition to all the lint found in the newly vacant vent hole. Use your straightened wire hanger to pull out any lint build-ups found in the middle portion of your vent hose. Once you've expelled all traces of lint, reconnect your vent hose to the back end of your dryer with the aid of your screwdriver and a replacement vent clamp, carefully move your drier back to its usual spot and proceed on to the next step.

Step 3 - Clean Your Vent Tube

Make sure that your dryer is still safely unplugged and that your gas is still turned off, then go outside and remove your home's vent cover. Depending on how the cover is connected to your house, you may require the aid of a screwdriver. Once the cover has been properly removed, gently slide out your vent tube and remove any lint or assorted debris found therein. Once again, you may have to incorporate the aid of your straightened wire hanger to expel any hand-to-reach lint deposits. After the vent tube has been sufficiently cleaned, carefully slide it back into place and connect your replacement vent cover.

Step 4 - Apply Your Finishing Touches

Now that your vent tube has been given a vigorous cleaning and your vent cover has been replaced, you may now plug your dryer in and turn your gas on. In order to confirm that everything was reconnected properly, run your dryer for several minutes. If the air flowing through your vents is unobstructed, you're all finished. Enjoy your freshly cleaned dryer vents and make sure to repeat this process at least several times a year.