Clothes dryers are a great and necessary appliance for many. When well maintained and cleaned they serve us well. However, they are also known cause of many house fires. Filters that don’t get cleaned often enough allow lint to build up within the dryer. Eventually, the dryer catches fire.
It is a common misconception that the filter traps all the lint. It is not always the case, especially if the filter is not regularly cleaned. Lint can get past the filter into the mechanism of the dryer. This causes longer drying times (big bill) and if left for too long the danger of catching fire. For this reason, it is not enough to clean the extractor. You also need to clean the dryer duct, vent hose and the entire area where they are located.
Signs that tell you it’s time to clean
Pay close attention to these signs, they indicate that it is time to perform a thorough cleaning of the dryer’s ventilation system.
- The time it takes to dry the clothes increases considerably.
- At the end of the drying cycle, the clothes are warmer than usual.
- From outside the dryer feels very hot.
- On the outside of the ventilation, the flap does not open sufficiently, so there is not an adequate escape rate.
- The inside of the dryer feels wetter than usual.
- The inside of the dryer starts to smell of burning
How to clean a dryer vent.
Materials and tools to use
- Vacuum cleaner with long hose
- Brushes (small brush and long handled brush)
- Insulating metal tape
- Dry rags
- Neoprene Gloves (tough handyman gloves)
Use in conjunction with your Dryer’s User Manual
- First disconnect the power cord from the dryer, and put on the Gloves. (There are many sharp edges within the dryer)
- Remove the lint trap filter, and clean it properly. Removing all the lint.
- Using the vacuum cleaner, vacuum the inside of the housing where the lint is deposited. Then with a small brush, brush the area to loosen any dust and lint that is stuck to the walls.
- Then vacuum again to remove all the lint that you have removed with the brush.
- With a long handle brush, carefully sweep the bottom of the cavity to remove the piles of lint that are deposited there. Vacuum the the bristles of the brush and gently brush the area again.
Disconnect Dryer from Wall
- With the screwdriver, disconnect the duct and remove the dryer from the wall. Disconnect all the parts of the duct. With the small brush and long handled brush, clean inside each part of the duct. Make rotary movements to remove all the lint that exists inside the duct. Repeat until the brush does not leave traces of lint.
- Check the vent cover, clean it with the brush and then vacuum. Check that the flap door is not stuck with lint.
- Put the lint trap filter in place.
- With the screwdriver, reconnect the duct and seal the sections of the duct with the Insulating Metal Tape. Always take care not to deform the duct, as this would create spaces for lint to accumulate. It may also change the shape of the dryer duct causing potential damage to your dryer.
Reattach Dryer to Wall
- Carefully reattach the dryer to the wall.
- Once all this is finished, check to make sure that everything is correctly in place.
- Connect the power cord and turn on the dryer to make sure it is properly ventilated.
To make life easier, have everything at hand and ready when you want to to clean the dryer. Have a set of brushes exclusively for cleaning the dryer. Do not use them for other jobs, this way they are always clean and in good condition. Cleaning your dryer this way, will ensure your dryer, runs efficienctly and safely. Use your Dryer’s User’s Manual to ensure you know how to safely disconect your dryer, remove the vent and reconect it.