Damp clothes after a full cycle indicate lint buildup.

How to Snake Dryer Vents Clean

by Alec Preble

All dryers are equipped with a vent designed to carry hot air through a duct system that vents outside. You must clean the lint trap after nearly every load of laundry to dispose of most of the lint collected from clothes during the drying cycle. Built-up lint trapped in the venting system must be cleaned periodically to avoid overheating and possible fire. If your clothes are taking longer to dry than normal or your laundry room becomes steamy after a drying cycle, it's time to snake your vents.

1 Unplug the dryer and slide it away from the wall until you can reach the exhaust vent. Clean the lint trap. Fit a vacuum cleaner with a narrow hose attachment and vacuum the inside of the lint trap housing.

2 Loosen the vent clamp screws, using a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the duct away from the back of the dryer. Vacuum any lint buildup inside the vent hole in the dryer.

3 Go outside and remove the screws from the exterior vent and remove the vent cover. Vacuum the lint from the vent opening.

4 Fit the dryer vent snake with a brush attachment. Insert the brush into the vent opening. Crank the snake into the duct until it comes out the other end.

5 Remove and dispose of the lint that has emptied from the duct. Go back outside and crank the snake back through the duct. Clean the brush and repeat as necessary until it no longer comes out full of lint.

6 Replace the vent cover and screws. Reattach the duct to the back of the dryer and tighten the clamp screws. Reposition the dryer against the wall.

7 Plug in the dryer and turn it on for 30 seconds to clear any loose lint from the duct.

Items you will need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Narrow vacuum cleaner hose attachment
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Dryer vent snake

Tip

  • If the snake won't extend through the duct or there are any sharp turns in the duct, detach it from the vent hole in the wall or ceiling and lay it out straight before snaking.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images