Did you know that you should clean your dryer vent annually to prevent malfunctions? When your dryer takes too long to dry clothes, cleaning the vent can not only fix the problem but prevent more serious issues. We’ll illustrate how to clean a clogged dryer vent from the lint trap to the vent itself in three easy steps. 

Home Safety 101: How to Clean a Clogged Dryer Vent

Knowing how to clean a clogged dryer vent can actually lessen the risk of dangerous dryer fires as well as preserve your dryer’s function. We’ll detail how to get this important task done to avoid the following problems.

Clogged Dryer Vent Problems

Though some chores can be postponed, cleaning dryer vents is not one of those tasks, especially if certain issues are already evident. Here are some common problems that are actually caused by clogged dryer vents:

  • Dryer Vent Hood Flap is Blocked: When the flap is clogged with lint to the point where it can’t open properly, a clogged dryer vent is often the reason. The vent hood flap must open to allow lint and dust to escape, otherwise vent clogs can worsen.
  • Dryer Has a Burning Smell: A dryer that smells like smoke or burning is a dangerous problem that could indicate the likelihood of a dryer fire. Accumulated dust and lint can quickly catch fire in a hot dryer vent, making regular cleanings essential to your home’s safety.

dryer takes more than one cycle

Step #1: Clean the Dryer Lint Trap

The first step in how to clean a clogged dryer vent addresses the dryer lint trap. As good practice, you should remove any visible lint from the trap after every drying cycle. However, residue from dryer sheets and fabric softener can also clog the trap over time. To remove this residue, simply take out the trap and scrub it with a soft toothbrush and soapy water. Allow it to dry completely before replacing it. 

how to clean a clogged dryer vent

Step #2. Clean the Trap Vent

The lint trap vent can also collect dust and debris, especially if the lint trap wasn’t cleaned regularly. Use a flexible appliance brush to scoop up any lint and dust in the vent, bending the brush to reach every corner and crevice. Vacuum up any dust that the brush may have loosened.

dryer takes too long to dry clothes

Step #3. Clean the Dryer Vent

The final step in how to clean a clogged dryer vent addresses the vent itself. Here’s how to clean the vent to effectively remove clogs:

  1. Move the dryer away from the wall and unplug it. 
  2. Disconnect the dryer vent from the wall
  3. Circulate the appliance brush repeatedly within the vent to pull out all dust and debris.
  4. If you have metal dryer vents you can use a vacuum hose attachment or attach a drill to the end of the appliance brush for faster removal.
  5. Make sure to remove any blockages from the vent hood trap outside.
  6. Plug the dryer back in and reposition it in place.

If a dryer vent cleaning still leaves you with performance problems, a dryer repair Lexington technician can help. Call Sloane Appliance Service for assistance.