How to Clean a Dryer Vent

Danny Lipford explaining the importance of cleaning clothes dryer vent pipes.

The vent on a clothes dryer can become clogged with lint over time, causing the dryer to dry less efficiently and resulting in dangerous house fires. To clean your dryer vent, remove the outside cover on the vent, and use a special lint brush with an extendable handle to clean the inside of the pipe.

Watch this video to find out more.


  1. This video is good for the short space from the dryer to the vent outside. My dryer vent is at least eight feet high and twenty plus feet to the outside vent cover. Is there a special tool to use to clean this?

  2. Where can I get the type of brush you show on your video. I used to have one and I need another. I would like the brush without the handle if possible.

  3. My dryer vent goes up into the attic the makes a turn and goes at least 15 feet to the outside. The lint has been building up for 35 years. How do I clean this out?

  4. While you’re at it, remove the plastic hose and replace it with a flex
    metal hose, which will not catch fire and melt as a plastic one can.

  5. I like the Chin Lee method. Leaf blower, battery powered. Works Great! Don’t be afraid to take things apart to clean it thoroughly. Just make sure you note how it comes apart to put it back together properly. Fast isn’t always the best method but it can make it fun.

  6. I open the window about 2 inches and close the door to the room the dryer is in when operating my dryer. This way the dryer make up air comes from outside the house. Then the dryer is not using the air you have heated or air conditioned from inside the house. This saves on the cost of heating oil and electricity to run the furnace in the cold weather and electricity to run the air conditioner in hot weather. This method is a money saver for me.

  7. My dryer vent line is 20′ of flexible cheap stuff. I made a clean-out attachment for my shop vac out of a 1 lb coffee can, a plumber’s snake, and a 1 liter soda bottle. The bottom of the coffee can has 2 holes, a big one for the shop vac hose and a small one for the snake. I modified the top 3 inches of the soda bottle with 6 vertical slits and then used a hairdryer to permanently bend them out. This was secured to the end of the snake after I fed it through the small hole on the bottom of the coffee can. Next the coffee can was fit snugly inside the vent line where attaches to the dryer so that my “brush” was inside. Tape open the flapper outside before turning on the vacuum or else the vacuum will ruin your duct work! The shop vac can be set up to either suck out the lint or blow it out as you loosen it up by pushing/twisting the snake/brush through the duct.

    Another warning … not only does the lint pose a fire hazard, but it can also work like a sponge and soak up a lot of water. Water can condense out of the warm moist dryer air inside flexible vent lines with long horizontal runs. The lint will soak it up, and get heavy enough to make cheap flexible lines sag. If enough water collects in those sags it, the line will fail and can ruin a lot of drywall! Long runs MUST be rigid, water tight and slope downward to the outside vent.

  8. The Video is excellent. And the tips or the small elements that we need to consider when working to maintain the dryer vent is relatable. But, I had a question regarding the various methods of dryer vent cleaning. I have a problem cleaning the dryer vent with the available material at my home, if you don’t mind can you suggest me some techniques and tools that are readily available in the market and easily useable! It would be a great help.

  9. This is not a proper way to clean the dryer vent and many dryer vent systems don’t go straight through the wall. Many run up to 20′. They dryer and connector should be disconnected and a rotary vent cleaning system should be run the entire length of the vent system. Once this is done you then blow the system out with a leaf blower or vacuum.
    Some systems run vertical through an attic. In this case the humid dryer exhaust will condense inside the vent where it passes through the cold attic during the winter. This causes the lint to cake up on the inside like a clogging artery…that cobweb cleaning brush will not remove this caked on build-up.
    The proper way to clean the vent system would be to hire a professional CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician or experienced chimney sweep.
    In this video he basically jammed the lint into a clog by the dryer connector.

  10. The example shown is old construction dryer venting through the exterior wall when the washer and dryer were located in the basement. Current construction with laundry rooms on the first or second floors anywhere within the home, builders are going into a wall with a 90 degree turn and straight up. My previous home built in 2006 had the vent cleaned when it was sold in 2014 as part of the buyer’s to do list and there was negligible buildup. The cleaning service recommended cleaning once every three years. This time I am going to try my big shop vac to pull out anything on the bottom and follow up with a leaf blower.

  11. I appreciate your efforts to make people aware of dryer vent cleaning. But the cleaning method you used didn’t remove the lint completely. In fact I think the brush pushed the lint deeper. Sucking out the lint with a vacuum first would have cleaned the vent better.

  12. I appreciate your efforts to make aware of how to clean dryer vent but we should vacuum first to clean the lint from inside the vent. Many people use flexible vent which usually crushed and blocked airflow and cause the dryer to overheat.

  13. If your run is longer or different you use the same concept but may have to break a run in the middle if it runs into the attic or such and tape back together once complete. I tied a rope to the end of the brush, pushed it down and pulled it back up. All the lent goes to the bottom. Look up and vacuum all the way to the roof if you can with attachments.

  14. I prefer the Leaf Blower with a wet towel to act as a seal gasket. Only downside was I set the smoke alarms off. This I have a easy cure for that.

  15. I bought a 20 foot chimney brush, flexible, and after pulling dryer out from wall, and disconnecting all, and throwing out old aluminum tube from dryer to wall. Vacuuming initially, I then run the brush through the vent pipe from INSIDE to OUTSIDE, handle end into the pipe first and grabbed from outside, then from outside the house, I pull gently until the brush end comes through….. lint is pulled out! I brush it off, re-enter house, and run it through from inside to outside, again, until vent is clean. About 3 passes. Simple, and do this once a year….also, change the inside aluminum tube from wall to dryer every 6 months.
    Method used by Danny only pushed the stuff in IMHO. The stuff has to come out to the outside, not be pushed in further!


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