Dryer ducts or vents are used to exhaust air from your clothes dryer.
The duct can be long if it needs to travel a long distance to the outside, or it can be short if your dryer backs to an exterior wall.
Since clothing lint often gets trapped inside your dryer duct or vent, it must be cleaned regularly to avoid a fire.
You should clean your dryer ducts at least twice a year - during spring and fall when the weather is pleasant is suggested.
Clean dryer ducts will dry clothes faster, thus saving you money on electricity or gas.
Here are the steps for how to clean a dryer duct or dryer vent.
First you must unplug your dryer to make sure you don't get shocked.
If you have a gas dryer, turn off the gas also.
Remove the lint trap and clean it, as you should after every load of laundry.
Clean the lint screen using a special dryer vent cleaning brush kit.
Use the special brushes to clean inside the cavity of the lint trap.
Vacuum the brush as you pull out lint and keep cleaning until it comes out clean.
Slide your dryer out from the wall so you can access the wall where your dryer duct attaches.
Most dryers can be somewhat easily moved by dragging if they are located on a slick surface, such as tile.
If your dryer is on a floor that will scratch, take extra precaution to not damage your floors.
Use a screwdriver to disconnect your duct from the wall. Also disconnect your duct from the clothes dryer.
Remember how the duct was attached since you will have to attach it back once cleaning is complete.
Using your dryer vent cleaning brush kit, clean all of the lint out of the dryer duct.
Most of the lint will be on the ends, so make sure to clean both ends.
Go outside where the dryer vent exhausts. If possible, remove the vent cover.
Clean this portion of the dryer vent also to ensure everything is clean.
Reattach and Plug In
Reattach everything back where it was when you started, excluding the outside exhaust cover.
Ensure that there are no kinks in the dryer vent that will cause a blockage.
Plug your dryer back in and turn the gas back on.
Start the dryer and let it run for about 10 minutes to flush out any loose lint.
After 10 minutes reattach the outside cover of the dryer vent.
Professional Dryer Duct Cleaning
If you are unable to clean your dryer ducts regularly, enlist the help of a professional dryer duct cleaner.