You may know to clean out the lint trap after every load. But did you know that lint can build up in the giant dryer vent tube as well? Excess lint is flammable and creates blockages in the ventilation system, making your dryer work inefficiently. Fires relating to dryer vents are very real. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2006-2010.” The leading cause of these fires was the failure to clean the dryer.

Annually cleaning out your dryer vent is recommended, but if you do a lot of laundry, you may want to do this twice a year. It’s easy to clean this yourself with just a vacuum cleaner and a screwdriver. If you also have your washer and dryer regularly inspected, ask your appliance professional to clean the vent as well. Follow these tips for a successful cleaning.

  1. Always clean the lint trap after each load
  2. Pull out the dryer away from the wall
  3. Unplug the dryer
  4. Detach the vent hose
  5. Vacuum the lint out of the dryer
  6. Vacuum both ends of the vent tube
  7. Reattach vent
  8. Plug it back in and move everything back
  9. Do this annually