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Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit: Your Do-It-Yourself Guide

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Purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit can save you from hiring a professional, and ultimately reduce the cost of a simple task you can do yourself. If you notice your laundry takes longer than it should to dry, then it may be time to clean your dryer vent.

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But your dryers performance isn't the only concern when it comes to a dirty or clogged vent. When lint and dust accumulates within the dryer ductwork it can create a fire hazard. It might surprise you to learn that clogged dryer vent causes thousands of house fires every year! 


Dryer vent air hose

Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning

Each year there's thousands of structural fires caused by clothes dryers. The most common cause is a clogged dryer air vent. Fortunately, with regular cleaning, this problem can easily be prevented.

A clothes dryer's role is to dry your clothes, but to do this it tends to collect lint as it expels the hot air outside through a vent.

Even though dryers are equipped with a lint trap designed to collect lint, there's still lint that passes and enters the venting hose that runs from the appliance to outside your home.

Cleaning your dryer vent removes the lint which collects within the air vent duct. Failure to clean the vent eventually restricts air flow and can cause a fire.

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Why Clean Your Dryer Vent?

There are 3 main reasons why cleaning your dryer vent is important:

  1.  Fire Hazard - The dryer air vent removes hot air from the appliance. If the air vent fills with lint, the air no longer flows freely and the temperature rises within the venting. Since lint is highly flammable, and the vent becomes hot, the probability of a fire increases.
  2. Dryer Maintenance - When the dryer vent becomes clogged with lint, your dryer is going to need to work harder to get the job done. This puts extra strain on the mechanical parts and the internal electrical components, causing them to out faster than expected.
  3.  Dryer Efficiency - Since your dryer will need to work harder and longer, it'll require more electricity to dry your clothes. This is because the moist, hot air that the dryer needs to push outside becomes trapped within the vent. The loss in efficiency means an increase in utility costs.

Recommended Frequency of Cleaning

How often you clean your dryer vent really depends on how often you use your dryer. At minimum, it should be checked and cleaned at least once a year.

However, if you have a large family and your dryer is heavily used, then it's a good idea to inspect and clean it every 3-months. Checking it regularly will give you an idea of how long you can go between cleaning.

It's important to note that vents made from foil, vinyl, or plastic have a greater tendency of clogging and catching fire. If you have these types of vents, you should inspect and clean your dryer vent more frequently.

Dryer Lint Trap

Dryers are designed with a lint trap, which is simply a screen that collects lint before it reaches your dryer vent. You should NEVER operate your dryer with a damaged lint trap or without it altogether, and ALWAYS clean your lint trap each time you use your dryer.

Even when the lint trap is cleaned regularly it isn't able to catch all of the lint.

The lint that sneaks past the lint trap travels into your dryer's air duct, and some of it collects on the duct walls as it travels outside.

Clean Dryer Vent Warning Signs

There are a few indictors that it's time for your dryer vent to be cleaned. These are the most common, and you should take action as soon as possible if you notice any of these warning signs:

  • Over a Year Since Last Cleaning - Dryer vents should be inspected and cleaned at minimum once a year, more frequently if your dryer is heavily used.
  • Dryer Top is Hot to the Touch - If you notice that after each load your dryer top is unusually warm, there may be a lint build-up within your vent.
  • Clothes are Hot to the Touch - If at the end of the drying cycle your clothes are so hot that they're unpleasant to handle, there's a good chance that the air vent is clogged and hot air is trapped or restricted within the vent.
  • Laundry Takes Longer to Dry -  If your clothes are simply not drying as fast as they used to there may be lint build-up in the vent. Since the moist, hot air is unable to escape the dryer, it takes longer to get your clothes dry. In fact, it may take several cycles to get your wet clothes dry.
  • Visible Signs of Lint - If you see lint build-up within the dryer hose or collecting around the outside dryer vent flap, then you have a problem and need to get your dryer vent cleaned as soon as possible.
  • Noticeable Burning Smell - When the hot air is unable to travel outside through your air vent because of lint and fabric debris build-up, you have the perfect setting for a fire.  Lint is extremely flammable, and with a a little heat, it won't take much for a fire to ignite.

Although, we recommend always being on the lookout for the above indicators, you can purchase an alarm, such as the Lint Alert Dryer Safety Alarm that will sound if there's a blockage in the dryer duct.

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How to Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean of Lint

Although, you can't prevent lint altogether, you can slow down the amount of lint that accumulates within your dryer vents. Here are a few tips to help keep your dryer vent clean:

  1. If your clothes dryer uses flexible vent pipe, then replacing it with a solid metal pipe will definitely help reduce build-up. Flexible venting has ridges that's easy for lint to catch on, where solid metal venting is smooth inside and difficult for lint accumulate.
  2.  Shorten the amount of venting required by moving the dryer as close as possible to an external wall. Less venting means less surface for lint to catch. It also makes it easier to clean.
  3.  Throw your dryer sheets away and switch to a liquid fabric softener. Dryer sheets create lint.
  4.  Don't run back-to-back dryer loads. Give your dryer a chance to cool down before starting another load. 15 to 20 minutes between loads should be enough time for your dryer to cool.
Stacking coins

Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost

If you're on the fence about cleaning your own dryer vent or having a professional do it for you, then you're probably wondering how much does it costs to clean a dryer vent?

The national average runs between $100 and $170 for dryer vent cleaning. The amount you pay will be determined by the amount of time it takes someone to complete the project and the going rate in your market.

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Dryer Vent Cleaning Service Near You

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Who Do You Call to Clean Dryer Vents?

Dryer vent cleaning can easily be done as a DIY project, however there are advantages to hiring a professional.

There are quite a few options when it comes to hiring a professional to clean your dryer ductwork. Many companies that specialize in vent cleaning, however, many plumbers and HVAC technicians also offer the service.

Homeowners often choose to schedule dryer vent cleaning at the same time they have someone out to do preventative maintenance on their furnace or AC unit. Or if you have a plumbing project, that works too.

Regardless of who you choose to do the work, make sure they have the experience and equipment to do the job right. 

Dryer lint trap

Best Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits

Many homeowners choose to hire a professional to clean their dryer vent, but it's actually something that you can do relatively easily and inexpensively. 

The task itself will take about 2 hours, but it doesn't require a lot of skill. You'll need to purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit and have a few other supplies such as a drill.

A dryer vent cleaning kit will include include a brush and multiple extension rods to help you reach deep inside your vent. There are quite a few different kits available, here are four of our favorites:

Deflecto Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Deflecto Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit includes 6 extension rods which allow you to reach 12-feet into your dryer air vent. The rods and brush can be attached to a drill, or used by hand for a quick, less intense clean-up.

Deflecto DVBRUSH12K/6 Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit, Lint Remover, Extends Up to 12 Feet, Synthetic Brush Head, Use with or Without a Power Drill, accessory

Each of the six flexible rods are 2-feet long. They have easy-to-use aluminum connectors which allows for a 12-foot maximum reach. For shorter dryer vents, simply connect few rods

The head brush is made of high quality synthetic material and is easy to clean. It's designed to fit nearly all dryer vents, and will even fit the majority of top loading lint traps.

Deflecto DVBRUSH12K/6 Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit, Lint Remover, Extends Up to 12 Feet, Synthetic Brush Head, Use with or Without a Power Drill, accessory

Deflecto Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Deflecto Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit works well with a drill for deep vent cleaning, or can be used manually for less intense cleaning jobs.


Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit can be extended up to 30-feet. It's easy to use and can be used with or without a power drill to help you achieve professional results.

Holikme 30 Feet Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush, Lint Remover,Fireplace Chimney Brushes, Extends Up to 30 Feet, Synthetic Brush Head, Use with or Without a Power Drill

The kit includes a drill bit which attaches to the flexible rod connector, a 4-inch high quality synthetic brush head, and eighteen 19.2-inch flexible rods with screw connectors.

Holikme 30 Feet Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush, Lint Remover,Fireplace Chimney Brushes, Extends Up to 30 Feet, Synthetic Brush Head, Use with or Without a Power Drill

Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit is an easy to use, inexpensive way to keep your dryer vents clean.


Azdele Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Azdele Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit comes with everything you need to keep your dryer running safely and efficiently. It even has a one-year warranty!

Azdele 30 FT Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush,Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit,Chimney Cleaning Brush Kit,Fireplace Chimney Brushes Kit,Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit,Use with or Without a Power Drill 1 Year Warranty

What sets the Azdele Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit apart from the majority of kits on the market is the variety of brushes included. Most kits only come with a 4-inch brush, but the kit from Azdele also includes a 1.5-inch brush which is great for breaking up heavily clogged vents, before inserting the larger 4-inch brush for a more thorough clean.

There's also a 15-inch hand brush to help you remove the lint in and around the lint trap.

The rods can bend 90° without cracking or breaking, which allows the Azdele kit to clean hard-to-reach vents with plenty of bends. The kit includes drill bits to attach to your drill, and a roll of electrical tape to prevent the rods from separating.

Azdele 30 FT Dryer Vent Cleaning Brush,Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit,Chimney Cleaning Brush Kit,Fireplace Chimney Brushes Kit,Dryer Duct Cleaning Kit,Use with or Without a Power Drill 1 Year Warranty

Azdele Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Azdele Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit comes with everything you need to keep your dryer vents clean.


Gardus LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Gardus RLE202 LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System has four 3-foot flexible screw connector rods to allow for a full 12-foot reach. If you have a longer dryer vent, you can purchase the 12-foot rod extension kit

Gardus RLE202 LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System, Removes Lint & Extends Up to 12’ with 4 Flexible 3' Rods, Includes Bonus Lint Trap Brush, Blockage Removal Tool, Vacuum & Dryer Adapters

This kit includes a 4-inch auger brush, and a 2-1/2-inch lint trap brush. Attach the smaller brush to a single rod and it can reach to the bottom of the lint trap! And the blockage removal tool is designed to clear bird and animal nests from the exhaust vent before using the rotary brush.

One of the things we really like about this kit is that it comes with a dryer adaptor cap. The dryer adaptor cap allows you to connect a vacuum hose and auger brush rod in a hassle-free manner.

Gardus RLE202 LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System, Removes Lint & Extends Up to 12’ with 4 Flexible 3' Rods, Includes Bonus Lint Trap Brush, Blockage Removal Tool, Vacuum & Dryer Adapters

Gardus LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

The Gardus LintEater even comes with a dryer adaptor cap to make using your vacuum hassle-free.


How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Besides your cleaning kit, you'll need a few other supplies to clean your dryer vent. Most of the things you most likely have around the house, but if not, they are things that'll come in handy for other projects should you need to purchase them.

Here's what you'll need:

Drill Settings

  1.  Set the drill in forward, so it turns clockwise. This will prevent the rods from separating inside the dryer duct.
  2.  Set the clutch to the middle setting.

Before Starting

  • Unplug your dryer from the electrical outlet; or if you have a gas dryer, turn the gas supply valve to the off position.
  • Push the dryer away from the wall about one-foot.
  • Locate and disconnect the vent on the back of the dryer. Many dryer vents are held in place with a band clamp. Loosen the screw on the band clamp and you should be able to remove the vent.
  • Remove the lint from the back of the dryer. Be sure to wear safety gloves as there may be sharp edges.
  • Decide if you'll be cleaning from the inside or outside of your house. If you require a ladder to reach the exterior dryer vent, it's generally safer to do the cleaning from inside your house.
  • If possible, remove the exterior vent cover.

Clean Dryer Vent

  • Attach the 4-inch auger brush to the end of one of the flexible rods. Then insert the brush into the dryer vent duct. 
  • If you are using a dryer adaptor cap insert the brush into the vent and push the end of the rod through the small hole. Then place the adaptor cap in the vent and insert the vacuum hose into the larger hole.
  • Attach the other end of the flexible rod to your drill.
  • Turn on your vacuum first, then turn on your drill using the above settings.
  • Move the drill and rod forwards and backwards so that the brush is moving in and out of the vent. Do Not Fully Remove the Brush from the Vent.
  • After several forward and backward cycles, and with the rod fully inserted within the dryer duct, turn off the drill and vacuum.
  • Remove the drill from the rod and connect another rod. Wrap the connection point with electrical tape to ensure the rods will not separate from each other.
  • Attach the drill and repeat the cleaning process. Adding rods until you fully clean your dryer vent.

Finish Up

  • Once you have fully cleaned the dryer duct with the 4-inch auger brush, connect the dryer vent to the back of the clothes dryer and secure in place with the band clamp.
  • Turn the dryer on. This will help push dust and link out of the duct.
  • After a few minutes, run the brush through the dryer duct at least one more time with the dryer running.

Watch the Video

Frequent Questions

As you can see, cleaning your dryer vent isn't difficult, but it is an important maintenance task that needs to be completed in order to keep your home safe. Although, we've answered many of these questions within the article, for your convenience, here are some frequently asked questions:

How Often Should a Dryer Vent be Cleaned?

It depends on how frequently your dryer is used. At minimum, your dryer vent should be cleaned at least once a year, or more frequently if you run one or more loads of laundry a day.

The U.S. Fire Administration actually recommends that the dryer vent should be cleaned every 3-months.

It's a good idea to check your dryer vent every couple of months to see how much lint has built up and adjust your schedule accordingly. But even when you find the right cleaning frequency for your individual laundry requirements, you'll want to always be on the look out for the signs of a clogged dryer vent.

Can I Clean Dryer Vent Myself?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, there's a good chance you already have the supplies you need to clean your own vent! This is an easy task that you can absolutely do yourself, especially if the dryer vent is short. 

However, it is important to note that if your dryer vent ductwork is long and has significant bends, you may be better off hiring a professional.

Is Dryer Vent Cleaning Worth it?

If your dryer vent is only a few feet to the outside, then hiring a professional is probably not worth the money spent since you should be able to do it yourself without too much trouble. 

However, for more complicated and longer dryer ductwork, it's money well spent. Some dryer vents extend dozens of feet, vent through the roof, or a second story wall. These installations can be difficult and even dangerous to clean yourself.

Hiring a professional will save you time, plus if you have long dryer vents they'll be able to do a better job of getting them cleaned.

In some cases you may even make the a blockage worse if you're not able to fully extend your brush through the vent. In this case, as you extend your brush, the lint will collect to a concentrated area inside the vent, actually creating a new blockage!

Another challenge for long and complicated dryer vents is the possibility of puncturing the dryer hose. Or even losing the brush or rod within the vent should it separate. If this happens, you'll need to contact a professional. 

How Do Professionals Clean Dryer Vents?

As you might expect, when you hire a professional to clean your dryer vent they'll have better suited tools for the job. 

They may use a compressed air system designed to travel through the vent and push (or pull) the lint blockage out of the ductwork.

They may also use a brush and rod system and clean the vent the same way you do. It really just depends on the company you hire.

Upon completion, many company's check the dryer duct for leaks, airflow, and other issues that may cause a problem and/or reduce efficiency after cleaning. They'll not only have the tools to do this, but they'll also be able to make any necessary repairs on the spot.

Can You Use a Leaf Blower to Clean a Dryer Vent?

Yes, a leaf blower can be used, and many people recommend this method. However, in most cases this is not the most efficient way to clean your vent, and it rarely does as good of a job as using a dryer vent cleaning kit.

Plus, there's a good chance some lint will get hung up around bends or on the ridges if you have flexible venting. Using a brush, rod and drill is the best way to get your dryer vent cleaned.

How Do You Tell if Your Dryer Vent is Clogged?

The most common sign that your dryer vent is either clogged, or is in need of a cleaning, is when your clothes take longer than normal to dry. If you notice you need to run another dryer cycle or even two to get your laundry dry it's definitely time to clean your dryer vent.

However, there are other indictors as well. If you suspect your dryer vent needs to be cleaned, it's important to take action as soon as possible as lint is highly flammable and could cause a fire.

Find a

Dryer Vent Cleaning Service Near You

Call Today to Schedule Cleaning!

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