How To Clean Your Dryer Vent (Without Hiring An Expert)

Sometimes when my husband buys “tools,” I laugh at him. Sometimes I am right, they are silly like the avocado slicer (seriously, a knife and spoon do the same thing!). Other times I eat my words, like with the Lint Lizard.

When a package arrived containing the Lint Lizard, I thought it was a total waste of money (even though he paid less than $10 for it). There is already a hose on our vacuum, who needs this thing?

Umm we do. 

How To Clean Your Dryer Vent (Without Hiring An Expert)

Let me tell you why women – or men who regularly do laundry – should be the ones to actually design a laundry room. Our laundry vent was apparently designed by someone who never did a load of laundry, and also apparently misunderstood the laws of gravity. In order for the lint to leave my house, it must first travel at a 90 degree angle out of my dryer to the whole in the wall (via tube). Next it must make an immediate 90 degree turn STRAIGHT UP into the attic, where it is forced to do another 90 degree turn before leaving my house. 

Lint is not that smart. It gets stuck, regularly. And when lint gets stuck, the dryer stops drying as well, not to mention it is a fire hazard. 

This weekend, my husband discovered a growing puddle under the dryer (not the washer) after several loads of laundry. When he inspected things, he found the lint tube so jammed up with lint that it was actually pooling moister from the dryer. 

He found this lovely ball of lint jamming up the duct work after the first 90 degree angle. (And yes, I am the blogger that saved the lint ball until I could take a picture of it in the daylight.)

Lint Ball

This is not the first time it happened, but last time — we hired someone to unclog the ducts. This time, hubby was ready to do it himself.

After manually removing the giant blockage. He got out his Lint Lizard, hooked it up to the Dyson and went to town. 

He filled our Dyson with more yucky lint. 

And guess what, now my dryer works better again. Imagine that! 

During this large-scale lint incident, my husband was working directly in the vent – not the dryer. So he actually had the Lint Lizard up in the wall as far as he could. But once he was done, he showed me how I could use the Lint Lizard to suck the lint out of the dryer itself. And there was a lot of lint there too.

Lint Lizard

In order to avoid the big clean (brought on by a puddle), I am going to add the Lint Lizard to my monthly washer dryer maintenance. 

It has been two years since our last major vent cleaning, maybe with the Lint Lizard we won’t have to do it again for even longer.

The Lint Lizard is an As Seen On TV product that retails for $19.99. But after seeing it on TV, hubby picked up ours for less than $10 on Amazon

When was the last time you cleaned our your dryer vent? Do you think this ball of yuck could be looming inside your walls (ewwww!)?

Note: The Lint Lizard is advertised as 43 inches long, but that includes the green part that goes over the hose on your vacuum. So it isn’t an extra 43 inches of reach, but it is a good two feet longer than my vacuum could reach.

Comments

  1. Christina says:

    Thankfully when my dad remodeled our laundry room, he also completely re-did the dryer vent… it really doesn’t have to travel very far and its completely straight outside. Hubby cleans the vent 2-3 times a year but he doesn’t get nearly as much out as before. Last time he did it was August when he replaced the belt and pulleys.

  2. If your dryer vent goes straight up and out the roof, don’t forget to clean the roof vent, too. I’ve seen a huge wad of lint come out that end of the vent path, too…and once we hired someone to clean our vent and found out that during the house construction, the dry wallers forced the dry wall on so tight that it kinked the dryer vent and caused a really bad clog. We found this about 5 years after construction, doing laundry every couple days. Our house and pets and maybe we could have died in a house fire! I do laundry at night all the time! …just some things to think about…

  3. Patricia says:

    This only looks to be about two maybe three feet long. How can it go up a wall make a turn up into the attic then out to the outside. From my dryer to the outside vent is about 30 to 40 feet. This would not work for me.

  4. You may also benefit from a dryer exhaust booster fan. Ours was cheaper than I thought it would be and it cut our drying time in half (we also have the extended dryer vent/several 90 degree angles, etc. for about 30 feet of venting).

  5. Kim Davenport says:

    I purchased this a long time ago and it didn’t work at all for me. It wouldn’t fit down into the dryer and the tube clogged up and wouldn’t pull out the link. Tow thumbs down for me.

  6. We lived in a rental and the vent was clogged. They sent someone over to fit it. He brings in a shop vac and a picec of cardboard. He had the cardboard cut to fit over the shop vac tube sung. This allowed it to create a vacuum in the vent by blocking the extra space in the vent with the cardboard. He said it works most of the time. Ours had a cover on the vent on the roof that was clogged, so cleaning the lower didn’t fix the problem. But might for some of you.

  7. We just went through the same thing. I was on the roof cleaning the gutters and noticed that the dryer vent was almost completely plugged. When I took the vent cover off, the 6″ pipe was nearly completely clogged also. So, I went downstairs and pulled the hose off the dryer and it was exactly the same. Oops….I obviously delayed that much too long. I didn’t mess around with a little green pipe and 2 feet of hose…..I went straight for my wet & dry shop vacuum! It’s strong enough to suck paint off the walls, so knew it would be up to the job. It also has 16 feet of hose. From the roof, I fed it down into the vent, inch by inch, until the full length was in the pipe. When I finished that, I looked in the vacuum canister and it had what looked like about ten pounds of lint! Next I went to the laundry room and did the same thing from below, again getting the hose all the way into the pipe. I also managed to put a huge slice in my thumb on the sheet metal of the vent pipe, but that’s another story. Wear gloves! Anyway, it’s all hooked back up and the dryer dries at least twice as fast as before. Wet & dry vacuums are a must for every homeowner or renter. They’re actually quite cheap, they’ll suck up water just as good as they do dirt (or dead leaves, or spider webs, or grass the lawnmower threw on the sidewalk), and super handy.

  8. Melissa says:

    at Walmart they have Long Brissle brushes that collect all the lint In the Box is a Round cleaner, a narrower brush & an attachment for the Vaccum as well I want to say it was under $20.00 as well Works great for My Household

  9. That thing works well vaccuuming cars too, especially the part next to the door

  10. Margaret says:

    I have never had a dryer vent through the roof…maybe it’s the area you live. We vent out through the floor or an outside wall. Perhaps think about doing this for yours.

    • I wish I could. But the other side of the wall is my mater bathroom! It was clearly not thought out well. Sigh.

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