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How often you need to clean dryer vent

Updated: May 28

Is your dryer vent taking longer to dry your clothes? Is the vent getting overheated during use? If so, it’s likely time for maintenance. Regular dryer vent cleaning is essential to keep your appliance running efficiently and safely. Here's a comprehensive guide on how often you need to clean your dryer vent and why it's crucial.

Why Regular Dryer Vent Cleaning is Important

When your dryer blows out moisture-laden air, it also expels dirt, debris, and lint. Over time, these materials can accumulate inside the vent, reducing its efficiency and posing potential hazards. Here are some signs that your dryer vent needs cleaning:

  • The hood flap doesn’t open properly.

  • Clothes have a mild burnt smell after drying.

  • The laundry room feels excessively hot when the dryer is running.

  • Clothes remain damp even after a full cycle.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?

The frequency of cleaning your dryer vent depends on several factors, including:

Pets: If you have pets that shed, you’ll need to clean your dryer vent more frequently. Pet hair can find its way into the vent and cause blockages.

Family Size: Larger families generate more laundry, leading to more lint buildup. A family of four, for instance, will require more frequent cleaning than a family of two.

Type of Laundry: Fluffy items like blankets and towels shed more lint, which can clog your dryer vent. If you often dry these items, plan for more frequent cleaning.

Age of Textiles: New clothes shed more lint. If you frequently purchase new clothing, your dryer vent will need more regular maintenance.

DIY Dryer Vent Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you decide to clean your dryer vent yourself, gather these tools:

  • Screwdriver

  • Vacuum cleaner with a long crevice attachment

  • Dryer vent cleaning brush (or a straightened wire hanger)

  • Duct tape (for flexible hoses)

Steps to Clean Your Dryer Vent:

1. Unplug the dryer.

2. Remove the cover of the dryer vent, exposing the hose and vent.

3. Disconnect the hose from both the vent and the dryer. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the hose.

4. Use the vacuum cleaner to clean the vent, inserting the crevice tool into the vent and vacuuming thoroughly.

5. Vacuum the hose inside-out from both ends.

6. If any lint remains, use the straightened wire hanger or vent cleaning brush to remove it carefully.

7. Vacuum the dryer cover.

8. Reattach the hose. If using a foil hose, seal it properly with duct tape.

9. Turn the dryer on for a few minutes to check for any leaks.

Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

If the DIY approach seems daunting, consider hiring a professional dryer vent cleaning service. Professionals can clean the vent more thoroughly and efficiently, ensuring optimal performance and safety.

Benefits of Keeping Your Dryer Vent Clean

Energy Savings: A clean dryer vent allows your dryer to operate more efficiently, reducing drying time and saving energy. Regular cleaning can cut energy costs by up to 25%.

Reduced Maintenance Costs: Regular cleaning minimizes wear and tear on your dryer, reducing the need for costly repairs.

Fire Safety: Lint is highly flammable. Accumulated lint in the dryer vent increases the risk of fire. Regular cleaning prevents lint buildup and reduces fire hazards.

Extended Dryer Lifespan: A clean dryer doesn’t have to work as hard, which helps extend its lifespan and maintain its performance.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Dryer Vent

  • Replace flexible vent pipes with solid ones to reduce fire hazards.

  • Allow the dryer to cool down before reloading.

  • Use fabric softeners instead of dryer sheets.

  • Position the dryer near an external wall for easier venting.


Regular maintenance of your dryer vent is crucial for efficiency, safety, and cost savings. Whether you choose to clean it yourself or hire a professional, ensuring your dryer vent is clear of lint and debris will keep your dryer running smoothly and safely. If your dryer vent hasn't been cleaned in a long time or if you have a long or damaged vent, professional cleaning is the best option to ensure thorough maintenance.

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