How to clean a dryer vent?

Loren House
by Loren House

The time has come to clean out my dryer vent. Please advise.

  15 answers
  • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on Aug 17, 2017

    You can vacuum it out or Lowe's/Home Depot sell dryer vent brushes to simplify the task.

  • Jean Jean on Aug 19, 2017

    the screen shouldn't need more than clearing after every load - they make special brushes for cleaning inside the dryer -I keep the vacuum right there and just suck it up as I pull dust bunnies out, I try and clean from the outside in every few months, because old house.

  • William William on Apr 01, 2021

    You should be able to find a brush at Home Depot, Lowes, or Menards. My dryer lint trap is similar. What I do is go in through the back. Move the dryer away from the wall, disconnect the vent pipe and use a vacuum to get any lint out. Make sure you pop out the lint screen and clean it after every load of clothes.

  • Dee Dee on Apr 06, 2021

    I purchased a tube that goes on the end of my vacuum, It is very thin and fits down into the dryer vent. I have the same set up. A friend of mine tapes a paper towel tube to her vacuum hose and cleans it that way.

  • Suzette Suzette on Aug 11, 2017

    Hi Loren, Here's a video how to, to clean the dryer duct:

    Good luck!

  • Brenda Brenda on Jan 11, 2018

    I just scoop out the filter with my hand or dryer sheet. One a month or so depending on usage I unscrew filter screen and stick vacuum with crevice tool to get it good. If vent is plugged check your tubing incase its stopped up. If it is and it is flexible, you can either replace tube or stick your vacuum hose down both ends after you create an opening.

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Jan 11, 2018

    Dryer lint screens and vents should be cleaned regularly to avoid fire. The lint screen should be done after every drying session and the actual vent can be loosened at the dryer end and vacuumed out or put a cloth on with a heavy object and let it go to the other end and it will loosen any lint that may be caught in the pipe. Be sure there are no kinks in your pipe so that you have an easy flow through. If you see an excessive amount of lint near the back of your machine then you should also remove the back and clean that out too. For safety, put a smoke alarm above your dryer just in case.

  • Jill Nunes Madden Jill Nunes Madden on Jun 04, 2017

    Pull the dryer away from the wall, tape open the damper from the outside, and use your leaf blower to blow it all out of the vent.

    or you could get a vent cleaner brush from Lowe's for 25 bucks

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jun 09, 2017

      Good idea with the leaf blower! I guess you could also use a shop vac on reverse. Some $ stores have long brushes with stiffer bristles or microfibre-type ends too.

  • Karen Ardillo Karen Ardillo on Jul 31, 2018

    Invest in a dryer brush. It's a long, thin brush. Take out the filter and wipe clean, then outside use it to clean the exterior vent. You can also use it under the washer, dryer, refrigerator and range.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Nov 12, 2018

    They make a long handle flexible brush for that. Looks like a very long bottle brush. I think I ordered mine from Fingerhut. I'm sure Amazon would have one.

  • Bar22835134 Bar22835134 on Sep 15, 2017

    Go to Dollar store - buy a mesh bag with a drawstring top. Place over outside vent and pull tight to secure. Easy to take off to clean and replace

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Feb 24, 2019

    Pull the unit away from the wall and disconnect the dryer hose/duct and use a shop vac with a dryer duct cleaning brush attached.

    An entire kit of brushes & vac attachments is about $40, which is 1/3 of what you’d pay a pro to do this.

  • Unexpected Elegance Unexpected Elegance on Nov 28, 2018

    You can either use a brush (from the hardware store) or disconnect it and vacuum it out.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Nov 13, 2019

    The vent on the back of the dryer should be attached to an exhaust hose. That then usually vents through a wall or ceiling. If it wasn't vented, you would see the hot air and lint blowing out the back of the dryer. Start with the vent in your dryer that is usually accessible from the front, inside of the dryer door or on the top of the dryer, depending on model. That vent needs to be cleaned of lint every load, or you risk a fire from lint building up. If it has built up, you need to clean as much as you can from that clean out. Then, pull the dryer away from the wall, and unclamp the dryer vent hose from the back of the dryer. Usually all you need is a screwdriver. Vacuum and unclog the hose. If possible, remove the hose and take it outside to thoroughly clean it out. Vacuum and brush out all the hose. Vacuum the opening on the back of the dryer and the opening of the wall, or ceiling before reattaching the hose. The thorough cleaning should be done a couple of times a year. The dryer vent with the mesh screen that is on your machine should be cleaned of lint after every load. For your safety, this needs to be done.

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 11, 2023

    Hi Loren, hope this helps you out.