Did you know that the number one source of fire in your home is your clothes dryer? Did you also know that 15,000 house fires a year are caused by dryer lint? These fires originate most frequently from the two places that lint builds up the most: the dryer venting and the lint trap.
Although you may clean your lint trap after every load of clothes, lint still builds up over time in places that you can’t see. The best way to prevent house fires due to dryer lint is to periodically clean your dryer – not just the lint trap.
Here are a few tips to thoroughly clean lint from your dryer venting and the lint trap.
What you’ll need
You’ll need a vacuum cleaner with attachments. You will also need a dryer duct cleaning brush. There are many different kinds on the market to choose from. The LintEater Jr. is a popular one.
Now for the messy part…
How to do the actual cleaning
Remove the lint trap filter by pulling it straight out. Clean the lint screen by gentling brushing it with the dryer duct cleaning brush.
Use the brush to clean the lint trap housing cavity. This is the cavity from which you pulled the lint screen out. Use the long flexible handle of the brush to get into this area. Extend the brush all the way to the bottom of the lint trap housing cavity. Use a gentle twisting motion to pull out clumps of lint. Use your vacuum cleaner to clean the brush off. Keep doing this until no more lint can be removed from the cavity.
Clean your dryer venting. To do this, start by unplugging the dryer and turn off the gas valve at the dryer (if it’s a gas dryer). Begin disconnecting the sections of dryer venting. When the venting is all disconnected, use the duct brush and as many flexible shaft sections as you need to thoroughly clean the lint from each section of venting. Use the same gentle twisting motion you used to clean the lint trap housing cavity. Use your vacuum to clean the brush. Continue until all the sections of the venting are clean and lint-free.
The dirty part is over! Now you are ready to reassemble and reattach the dryer venting. Turn on the gas valve (if it’s a gas dryer) and plug the dryer back in. You’re all done!