It is very important to keep your dryer vent clean of lint and debris.  Packed dryer venting can cause long dryer times, dryer part failure, or even worse, cause a fire.  There are over 15,000 dryer fires caused each year due to clogged dryer venting and/or lint filled dryers.

Lint isn’t the only thing that can clog your dryer vent.  Sometimes birds like to try to make their homes in your dryer’s venting, but no worries, it can be cleaned out.

Check out this video of a person cleaning out a birds nest from a dryer vent:

A Little Venting Info

Some venting is more susceptible to getting clogged. The best kind of dryer vent to use is either rigid venting (best) or semi-rigid venting. The white plastic type venting is the absolute worst venting (still sold and used in many homes). The second worst is the venting that looks like aluminum foil. This type of venting is only good for making Halloween costumes (Great spaceship or robot material. 🙂

Dryer Venting

Dryer Venting

For the most efficiency, you want minimal bends in your dryer vent.  You also want the vent to be the shortest distance possible from the back of your dryer to the outside of your house, long  venting and bends = longer dry times.

How to clean your dryer vent

Now that we covered all that stuff, lets actually talk about how to clean your dryer vent.  To get your vent cleaned out, you have a couple of options:

  1. Pay a professional
  2. Do it yourself

Unless my venting is up 2 or 3 stories (I don’t do heights), I’m too cheap to pay someone else to do something so simple.  So, lets go the DIYer route.

The best way to thoroughly clean out your vent is to use a kit specifically made to clean dryer vents. If your dryer venting is on the shorter side, you may be able to get away with just a lint brush, but for longer venting, there are kits available, like the Linteater®,  that hook to any drill.  You can purchase a kit for the length that you need.

  1. Start from the outside of your home.  
  2. Connect the shortest Linteater® attachment to your drill.
  3. Enter in through the dryer flap on the outside of your home.
  4. Keep adding extensions until your Linteater® reaches your dryer.
  5. Remove the Linteater®.
  6. Repeat this process until no more lint stops coming out of your dryer vent.
  7. Clean out the inside of your dryer

Now you’re dryer will run safer and more efficiently.  You also saved $50+ times how many years that you clean your dryer vent yourself.

Here’s a video of someone using the Linteater®.

If I were the guy above, I would probably wear a face mask, start out with the shorter attachment and maybe have a step ladder.  Lastly, I would go back inside my house and disconnect the dryer from the vent to be sure there wasn’t any left over lint that fell down back towards my dryer.  If your dryer is in the basement and your venting goes outside on your first floor, gravity can cause a little lint that you just cleaned out to slide back down towards your dryer.

At my home, I use a semi-rigid venting.  It’s about 6 feet in length.  I connect and disconnect my dryer a lot so I don’t get much lint build up.

Here’s a place where you can buy the Linteater Kit and here’s a 10 ft extension brush.