How to Clean Dryer Vent From Inside Using a Vacuum

Published on: March 24, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

In our busy modern life, almost every household has a washer and dryer for the clothes. It saves a lot of energy and time. But with the convenience, comes the possibility of probable hazards. One of them is a fire caused by the dryer.

how to clean dryer vent from inside using a vacuum

Accumulated uncleaned lint inside the dryer is the major cause behind this. Small particles or fibers extracted from the cloths build up the lint in the vent. The lint causes the airflow to be reduced. Which results in heating up and igniting the dryer.  Experts say the dryer vent should be cleaned at least twice a year to avoid any kind of risks. 

But it is not easy. It is not possible to call a technician every time you need to clean the vent. So, it is better to handle this problem by own just with a vacuum cleaner. Apart from being the probable cause for the fire hazard, it is also responsible to make the dryer work slower than usual. 

how to clean dryer vent from inside using a vacuum

The Process of Cleaning Dryer Vent From Inside Using a Vacuum  

Every dryer has some removable filters to catch the generated lint. But they don’t always work. A good amount of lint goes up to the outdoor vent passing the ductwork in between. If they are not cleaned regularly, clothes won’t be completely dried. It will come out hot at the end of the drying cycle. The exhausting valve won’t work properly causing the hot air to be trapped inside.

So, it is really important to remove the lint regularly. This is not that tough a job and if someone follows some simple steps, the lint can be easily removed from the vent with regular tools. All you need is a vacuum cleaner. Here is a guide on how to clean the dryer vent from the inside with a vacuum cleaner.

Finding the Path of the Vent

Sometimes the vent is incorporated into the house’s architecture so it is hard to find. You’ll be able to clean your dryer vent only when you have figured out where it is. Dryers are typically associated with a brief, 4-inch distance across a debilitate pipe that at that point interfaces to the ductwork interior of a divider.

Hot air from your dryer is pushed through this pipe and gets away through a vent on the exterior divider of your home. Once you’ve identified your dryer debilitate vent, take a look inside and search for any flotsam and jetsam, including dust, lint, or dead bugs. Wash any screens and clear out any recognizable obstacles. Read more: How to Install a Dryer Vent Through a Brick Wall

Unplugging the Vent

Electricity-driven dryers draw almost 400V which is fatal for health. It is a must that you carefully unplug the appliance before starting any work. After you have unplugged the dryer, Detach the conduit joint closest to the dryer, and delicately drag the dryer out from the divider.

Disengage the remaining uncovered segments of the dryer channel. On the off chance that the segments are taped, remove and dispose of the tape. Make sure to apply a delicate weight when pulling the vent pipe from the divider channel, so as not to break the pipe.

Vacuuming the Hose

Once you have unplugged the dryer and the hose, the next step is to vacuum the hose and remove the lint or other obstacles. You can use a brush too. Initially, perform the vacuuming with a long, flexible hose attachment and push it inside the vent hose as far as you can.

It will clean out almost all the visible lint at the first attempt. Following this, you can use the flexible brush from your brush kit. Again, push the brush inside the hose and pull out the remaining lint that is well attached to the hose. Then clean the brush tip with the vacuum. Repeat this process until all the lint is cleared and the clean internal hose surface is visible.

When you are using the brush, there is another option to attach it with a drill. If you choose this option, you have to run the drill at a very high speed to ensure there is not any damage to the hose. With the drill, you have to push the brush gently down the hose and then pull out the lint.

Cleaning the Outside of the Vent

After you are done with the lint, you have to focus on the outside of the hose too. You can either gently stroke the brush to remove the dust and debris. You can also use the vacuum if needed. Check the exhaust flap if it is working properly.

Reattaching the Duct

If the hose is damaged enough, you cannot change the hose. The dryer’s exhaust will work best with a flexible, solid, and 90-degree elbow.  After you push the dryer back, flexible channels will crimp. And this might welcome major inconveniences to deplete flow.

Between the unbending channel and dryer elbow, there’s an area of metal move channel.  Use a 4-inch worm-drive steel-made channel band clamp on the off chance that you would like to connect the ductwork segment with inflexible metal. Read more: 10 Best Hose Clamps

Particularly when the ductworks segment could be a semi-rigid tape. be sure to utilize a fitting screwdriver for fixing the clamp well. Round and inflexible metal channels are the leading choices for any concealed ductwork. No matter if it is covered up inside floors or walls. The adaptable ones that are not uncovered require substitution with said type. Don’t utilize any sort of normal plastic channel tape here.

These are more awful with falling flat over time and drying as well rapidly. Instead, utilize the UL-listed metal thwart conduit tape. For a lasting conduit area fixing, this works fantastic.

As soon as you’re done with the ductwork reattachment or substitution plug the dryer in. Another, you need to thrust the dryer into its unique spot. Do a test run to make sure everything is working fine.

Steps to Prepare the Dryer Vent for Cleaning

1. Turn off the power to the dryer. Unplug the dryer or turn off the circuit breaker.

2. Move the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the dryer vent from the wall.

3. Vacuum the dryer vent with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment.

4. Use a long brush or vacuum attachment to reach inside the dryer vent and remove any lint or debris.

5. Inspect the dryer vent for any blockages or damage. If any are present, repair or replace the vent.

6. Reattach the dryer vent to the wall and move the dryer back in place.

Safety Precautions to Take When Cleaning a Dryer Vent From the Inside

1. Wear protective clothing such as gloves and safety glasses.

2. Ensure the dryer is unplugged and the gas shuts off before beginning work.

3. Vacuum the vent duct and lint trap before attempting to clean the vent with a brush.

4. Use a rotary brush with a long handle to reach deep into the vent.

5. Check the venting system for any blockages or disconnected sections and repair as necessary.

6. Clean out any lint build-up within the dryer vent.

7. Inspect the venting system for any signs of damage and repair it as needed.

8. Check the venting system for any signs of pests such as birds or rodents.

9. Reattach the dryer vent duct and reconnect the vent to the dryer.

10. Test the dryer to ensure it is functioning correctly.


It is a must to clean your vent regularly to avoid the surprise cost of buying a new unit in case of dryer failure or any kind of unpleasant accident. Also, you have to be sure not to break any rules or overstep any legal boundaries while doing so.

This might not be a major job but it certainly isn’t a negligible one. Give yourself some credit if you have successfully done cleaning your vent. To make sure that much lint is not building up, you should take out the removable filter before every cleaning cycle and clean it.

This may not stop the lint altogether but will surely help the dryer to run smoothly. Keep in mind to dry the bigger sheets or bedspreads to dry outside. That will reduce the generation of lint. Limiting the number of dryer sheets or the use of fabric softeners will also help to reduce the amount of lint.

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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