Cleaning Your Dryer Duct: A Step-By-Step Guide

5 February 2015
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


If you have a clothes dryer in your home, then you'll want to take the time to have its exhaust duct cleaned (or clean it yourself) each year. By doing so, you can remove potentially dangerous lint and debris buildup within the duct itself, which can become a fire or carbon monoxide hazard otherwise. The cost of having your ducts cleaned can vary greatly depending on the location of your dryer within the home and how long your dryer duct is, the good news is that you can save money by cleaning your dryer duct out yourself.

Locating the Dryer Duct

If you'd like to clean your dryer ducts as a DIY project, you'll need to start by locating the duct and its exterior vent, which acts as an exhaust for heat and carbon monoxide outside of your home. If you follow the hose running from the back of your clothes dryer to the wall, you'll likely find the exhaust. Depending on where your dryer is located (in the basement, on a ground floor, or on a second floor), this exhaust vent could be easily reachable, or you may need a ladder.

Removing the Piping

Once you've located the exhaust hose, it's time to remove it from the back of the dryer and its attachment at the exterior exhaust vent. Before you do this, unplug your dryer (if it's an electrical unit). Usually, a clamp holds each of the hose down, and you'll typically need a screwdriver to loosen the clamp enough so that the hose can be removed. Once the clamps are loosened, set them aside in a safe place where the screws won't be lost.

Vacuuming Lint and Debris

Now, you get to enjoy the fun part. Using a vacuum cleaner with its hose attachment, suck out lint and debris from inside the hose. The majority of it tends to collect at the ends, so don't be too concerned if your vacuum hose doesn't reach the center. You can always tip the hose on either end to dislodge any debris from the middle. Once the hose itself is clear of debris, you'll also want to run the vacuum hose over the exterior exhaust vent (using a ladder to access it, if needed). This is also a good time to inspect the duct for problems. If you find any rips, or if any of the clamps seems broken, it might be a good idea to contact a company like Wildman Dryer Vent Pro for a replacement.

If everything looks good, however, all that's left to do is to re-attach your dryer hose using the existing clamps and plug your dryer back in. From there, you're good to go until the next cleaning.