Built-up dust and lint in dryer vents, coupled with heat from dryer cycles, can be a major fire hazard. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home dryer fires are reported each year, causing an estimated $35 million in property loss/damage. This weekend, spend an afternoon safeguarding your home by removing this fire hazard from your laundry room.

What to Do

Clear out accumulated dust and lint inside your dryer vent pipe and duct.

The Basics

  •  Eye protection
  •  Dust mask
  •  Dryer vent cleaning kit (flexible rods, vent brush, lint remover)
  •  Screwdriver

The Works

  •  Power drill

How to Do It

First, find out how to access your dryer’s venting system, then determine whether to clean it from inside the house or via the home’s exterior. Once the cleaning method is decided, purchase and/or put together the flexible rods and brushes on your dryer cleaning kit ($15-$20 at most home improvement and hardware stores). Unplug the dryer, then detach the dryer duct connection.

Cleaning Your Dryer Vent from Inside the House

Using your flexible rods and brushes, reach into the dryer vent and brush out dirt and debris. Repeat until dust and lint are removed and the vent is clear.

For additional cleaning capabilities, attach your flexible rods to your power drill. Set your drill to run clockwise, at medium speed, then reach into the vent, turn the drill on slowly, and brush out dirt and debris.

Once the vent is clear, sweep up and dispose of all lint and dust. Reattach the vent pipe to the dryer and plug the dryer back in.

Cleaning Your Dryer Vent from Outside the House

Prop open or remove the dryer hood. Use your dryer cleaning kit (with or without a drill) to clear all ducts. Dispose of all debris. Replace the hood and plug the dryer back in.

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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.