Image showing a dryer duct with more than half of the interior clogged with dryer lint.

A dryer exhaust duct that is clogged with lint not only affects the performance of the dryer, it also creates the perfect environment for a dryer fire. Ducts that are bent, crimped, crushed or twisted in any fashion tend to collect more lint than straight ducts. The lint builds up over time and other factors, such as sticky residue from dryer sheets, condensation, critters living inside the ductwork, and how often the lint trap is cleaned, all contribute to restricting the airflow in the dryer exhaust duct.

How to clean the dryer exhaust duct:

The majority of the lint usually collects in the duct inlet and outlet areas. The duct is easy to remove and clean, following the below steps:

1. Pull the dryer away from wall and fully disconnect the exhaust duct from the back of the dryer. Remove the clamp by loosening a screw, using a screwdriver. Pull out any lint that has collected in the exhaust duct opening as well as in the back of the dryer. Leave the exhaust duct disconnected from the back of the dryer.

2. Go outside and unscrew and remove the cover from the wall vent outlet. Pull all the lint you can reach out of the ductwork.

3. Vacuum the lint from the opening. Push the vacuum hose into the opening and as far into the exhaust duct as it will go and rotate while pushing. Once you have used the vacuum, blow any remaining lint out of the exhaust duct using a leaf blower. Go in the house and blow from that end of the exhaust duct in the direction of the outside vent. If lint builds up near the outlet, vacuum it out.

4. Screw the dryer vent cap back onto the vent outlet and reconnect the exhaust duct to the back of the dryer once cleaned.

Things You Will Need

1. Screwdriver
2. Vacuum cleaner with attachment
3. Leaf blower

Tips

Instead of replacing your existing dryer exhaust duct after cleaning it, why not purchase a new, code-compliant product that will provide some peace of mind?

DryerFlex® is the safer UL-Listed, building code and manufacturer-approved choice. It's designed with a smooth interior that promotes superior performance through maximum airflow, minimizing the lint build up. DryerFlex resists crushing and won’t kink and bend like other exhaust ducts. DryerFlex protects against flamespread and is the safer choice for your home. Order DryerFlex for your home.

Keeping the dryer’s lint trap clear is the first step in dryer duct maintenance. Clean it each time you use the dryer.

If you have a vent cover over the wall vent on the outside your house to keep small animals out of the vents, clean it at least once a month. Make sure that you’re using the Defender Access+ Premium Vent Guard. It prevents small animals from entering your dryer exhaust system and has a special front gate opening that’s held in the closed position by a drop-notch connection. The gate opens to provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance.

Pay special attention to sections of the ductwork that run through cool spaces such as a crawlspace or basement. The temperature difference causes moist lint to settle on the pipe walls in those areas.

The use of dryer sheets amplifies the lint collection problem as it leaves a sticky residue behind, attracting and collecting lint to create a dangerous environment.

Warning

Check the dryer exhaust system whenever you notice your dryer is overheating or functioning poorly. Failure to do so can ultimately result in a fire.

Clogged ventDryer fire preventionDryerflexDuct cleaning