How to Clean and Blow Out a Dryer Vent

This project shows how to clean and blow out a dryer vent with the LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System and an electric leaf blower. It worked amazing well!

Laundry Room Maintenance

My laundry room had linoleum floors with a laundry sink that was too wide and rubbed against the clothes washer and dryer. I kept putting off cleaning the dryer vent because the dryer metal feet dug into the soft linoleum and would tear it when moved. Dryer vents should be cleaned at least once a year for drying efficiency (unobstructed airflow) and fire prevention. When the dryer motor bearings began to wear out and make a loud grinding noise I decided it was time for laundry room makeover and opportunity to clean the dryer vent and duct.

This is the old linoleum floor, too-wide laundry sink, lint and items that have fallen behind the clothes dryer when I pulled it out from the wall. Yuck!

Lint and Debris under Clothes Dryer

Lint and Debris under Clothes Dryer

I took out the washer, dryer, old laundry sink and linoleum flooring, then put down HardieBacker cement board over the plywood subfloor and laid tile:

HardieBacker Board and Tile

HardieBacker Board and Tile

After the tile job was finished I bought a new LG clothes dryer and LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System.

How to Clean and Blow Out a Dryer Vent

Dryer Vent Cleaning - Blow Out Lint with Electric Leaf Blower

Dryer Vent Cleaning – Blow Out Lint with Electric Leaf Blower

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System

I bought the LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System and an extra set of 12 ft Extension Rods to clean the dryer vent. The basic kit includes four (4) 36 inch rods for a total of 12 feet but my dryer duct is quite long and I needed the optional 12 ft Extension Rod kit:

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System with 12 Foot Extension Rods

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System with 12 Foot Extension Rods

The LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System box contains a 10-piece kit including flexible rods that screw together, 4 inch auger brush, 2-1/2 inch lint trap brush, vacuum adapter, dryer adapter, blockage removal tool and instruction book:

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System - Box Contents

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning System – Box Contents

I strongly recommend reading the well illustrated LintEater Instruction Book which covers the various accessories and cleaning methods, e.g. “Cleaning from Inside toward the Outside” and “Cleaning from Outside toward the Inside”. I cleaned my vent in both directions.

The LintEater rods and brush are easy to assemble. The self-feeding auger brush screws onto a flexible extension rod and is secured with a small set screw:

LintEater 4 inch Auger Brush

LintEater 4 inch Auger Brush

The vacuum adapter fits inside the 4 inch dryer duct and designed for 2-1/2 inch shop vac hose (recommended) and includes a reducer ring for a 1-1/2 inch vacuum hose, however a 1-1/2 inch vacuum is not recommended as it may clog the hose with lint:

LintEater Vacuum Adapter and Reducer

LintEater Vacuum Adapter and Reducer

I didn’t use vacuum adapter and shop vac preferring a leaf blower.

Remove the Dryer Vent Cover and Louvers

The dryer vent cover simply snaps off the base by squeezing the sides:

Dryer Exhaust Vent Cover

Dryer Exhaust Vent Cover

Then carefully bend and remove the vent louvers. Clean the louvers in warm soapy water before reinstalling:

Remove Dryer Vent Louvers

Remove Dryer Vent Louvers

The dryer vent just might need cleaning:

Lint Buildup in Dryer Vent

Lint Buildup in Dryer Vent

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning

I attached the flexible extension rods to a cordless drill and ran the auger brush through the dryer duct. Per the instruction manual the drill is set to low speed and slowly fed into the vent. Each additional section of 3 foot extension rod is tightened with two pairs of pliers and the union secured with orange electrical tape. The extension rods are flexible and I had no problem making it through a 90 degree bend.

The leaf blower isn’t used at this time because I’m only dislodging the lint in the dryer vent duct. A big clump of lint came out when I withdrew the auger brush:

LintEater Auger Brush Dryer Vent Cleaning - Clumps of Lint

LintEater Auger Brush Dryer Vent Cleaning – Clumps of Lint

I needed a lot of extension rods to reach the laundry room dryer vent:

LintEater Auger Brush with Extension Rod on Cordless Drill

LintEater Auger Brush with Extension Rod on Cordless Drill

This extra long semi-rigid aluminum dryer duct is why I needed the 12 foot extension rod set:

Semi-Rigid Metal Aluminum Dryer Duct under Floor Joists

Semi-Rigid Metal Aluminum Dryer Duct under Floor Joists

Blow Out Dryer Vent Lint with a Leaf Blower

Having run the auger brush through the dryer vent to loosen up the lint, I’ll blow it out with a leaf blower.

I skipped the shop vac option in favor of blowing the lint out with an electric leaf blower because a leaf blower is way more powerful than a shop vac. My leaf blower has a rectangular nozzle so I set it inside the sheet metal dryer duct and sealed it with low-tack blue painter’s tape:

Blow Out Vent - Electric Leaf Blower Taped to Dryer Duct

Blow Out Vent – Electric Leaf Blower Taped to Dryer Duct

A gas powered leaf blower should not be used indoors due to the toxic exhaust fumes.

I called my son who is manning the leaf blower and said “Go!”. I didn’t know what to expect and was shocked by the rocket exhaust lint plume blasting out of the dryer vent!! Wished I’d made a video. (No smoking because the lint cloud is flammable.)

Dryer Vent Cleaning - Blow Out Lint with Electric Leaf Blower

Dryer Vent Cleaning – Blow Out Lint with Electric Leaf Blower

I ran the auger brush through the dryer duct again for another blowing out. Only fine dust blew out this time:

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning - Blowing Out Lint after 2nd Cleaning

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning – Blowing Out Lint after 2nd Cleaning

Back inside the laundry room I ran the LintEater brush the other way about 3 feet in to clean the 90 degree bend under the floor:

Interior Dryer Duct Cleaning with LintEater Auger Brush

Interior Dryer Duct Cleaning with LintEater Auger Brush

The flexible rod easily navigated the 90 degree bend as I worked it back and forth:

Interior Dryer Vent Cleaning - LintEater Extension Rod on Cordless Drill

Interior Dryer Vent Cleaning – LintEater Extension Rod on Cordless Drill

This is the 90 degree bend in the semi-rigid dryer duct. I had concerns about how the semi-rigid duct is fastened to the sheet metal duct with what only appears to be HVAC metal foil tape but it held fast while blowing out the lint:

Semi-Rigid Metal Dryer Duct to Metal Duct

Semi-Rigid Metal Dryer Duct to Metal Duct

The 3rd blowing out only made a faint plume of very fine dust/lint:

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning - Fine Dust Blowing Out

LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning – Fine Dust Blowing Out

LintEater and Leaf Blower Dryer Duct Cleaning Results

Remember that lint clogged outdoor dryer vent? It’s clean as a whistle now!!

Dryer Duct after Cleaning with LintEater Duct Cleaning Systems

Dryer Duct after Cleaning with LintEater Duct Cleaning Systems

The laundry room dryer duct and 90 degree bend is also clean:

Laundry Room Dryer Duct after Cleaning with LintEater

Laundry Room Dryer Duct after Cleaning with LintEater

Laundry Room Makeover

This is the original linoleum floor and too-wide laundry room sink. When clothes washer shook it rattled the sink and cabinet and caused it to pull away from the wall:

Old Laundry Room Sink

Old Laundry Room Sink

I laid a mosaic tile backsplash and bought a narrower sink from Home Depot. Now there’s plenty of room between the sink, washer and new LG dryer:

Laundry Room Remodel - Utility Sink and Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Laundry Room Remodel – Utility Sink and Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads

I installed the SILENT FEET Anti-Vibration Pads under the washer and dryer to prevent the metal feet from scratching the tile and minimize vibration/noise transmitted through the floor and walls.

Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads

Silent Feet Anti-Vibration Pads

The Silent Feet pads work really well. A glass of water is mirror smooth when sitting on the floor beside the washer during a shaky spin cycle. The Silent Feet pads feature:

  • Sorbothane® polymer to absorb vibration.
  • The front pads grip the floor to prevent walking.
  • The rear pads have a felt bottom to slide washer / dryer over the floor.
    Lift the front of the washer up, remove the front feet and pull it out from the wall sliding it on the rear felt bottom feet.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

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2 Responses to How to Clean and Blow Out a Dryer Vent

  1. GlenaRose Jorgensen November 28, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    is it okay to vent a drier just into the crawl space?

    • Bob Jackson November 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm #

      It is not OK because it is a fire hazard and also fills the crawlspace with warm moist air that can cause mold and rot.

      The Building Code states (bold emphasis added):

      “SECTION M1502 CLOTHES DRYER EXHAUST
      M1502.1 General.
      Dryer exhaust systems shall be independent of all other systems and shall convey the moisture to the outdoors.”

      Also see Dryer Vent Safety for a detailed explanation.

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