Friday, March 31, 2017

Cleaning Your Dryer Vents and Filter

The smoke alarms are screeching and you panic. Where's it coming from? Where's the fire extinguisher? It's coming from the laundry room...

Did you know that almost 3,000 home clothes dryer fires occur each year? And the leading cause of those fires is not properly cleaning them? (source)

 I don't know about you, but with 4 little kids running around my house, it feels like the laundry is always going. My dyer is a working all the time, so making sure it is well cleaned out is super important to me! As you're going about your spring cleaning, be sure not to forget this important place to clean. Here's how to give your dryer filter, vents, and ducts a good cleaning!

I started on the outside of the house. Find where my dryer vents to the outside and carefully remove the cover. Clearly, a good cleaning was much needed!


 I used THIS brush to brush out the ducts as far as it could reach. Another option would be to use a shop vac and blow it out from the inside.


Some bird got some super fluffy nest padding from this duct...


Then I went inside to clean the dryer. Now, I clean the filter after EVERY load. All of this is further down. I took out the filter and then removed the screws that held the filter 'guard' onto the machine. Ok, so obviously I have no idea the technical name, but once you get this off you can reach further down in the machine and get more out. I got everything out with my hand, then used my vacuum to get the small debris. 


You could also use a brush like THIS



or a flexible vacuum attachment hose like THIS to get further into the machine.


Lastly, I pulled the dryer out from the wall and removed the duct I used the brush to sweep all the lint out. And also did this for the duct in the wall.


Another very important thing to do before returning the dryer is to make sure there isn't a lot of extra ducting. This is how it was from the previous owner, but the kinks and turns in the ducting can catch and trap lint, potentially causing a blockage.


Cut down and reattach the ducting so it is as short and direct as possible for your space.
Oh, and I forgot to take pictures but run your dryer filter screen under some water. Some fabric softeners and dryer sheets can leave a residue on the screen. Give it a good scrubbing with a natural cleaner to make sure it is clear and clean. 


There you go. Now your dryer filter, vents, and ducting should be nice and clean. You may even notice your dryer working more efficiently and doing a better job.
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