Home Improvement Tips

How To Clean Dryer Vent With a Leaf Blower: A Guide for Newbies

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If you’ve been using your dryer for a long time without maintaining it properly and regularly, many problems start to appear.

One of these is the burning smell that comes from the dryer.

It is very alarming indeed, but wait until you realize that your clothes take too long to dry.

There are a lot of reasons behind this issue, and the most common explanation is a dirty dryer vent.

You must learn when it’s time to clean your dryer vent, plus how to clean dryer vent with a leaf blower.

This is one of the easiest ways to solve most of your machine’s problems.

Can You Use Leaf Blower To Clean Dryer Vent?

Before you start cleaning dryer vent with leaf blowers, the first thing that you need to know is if it’s possible to use it for this kind of task.

Aptly named, leaf blowers are designed to clean leaves from the yard, but along the way, people have learned that they’re extremely versatile!

They often use these machines to clear snow and thread pipes. Now, some homeowners are using them to blast the lint and dirt from dryer vents.

Instead of using a brush, they just use their leaf blowers to blast through the vent because it makes the task easier and quicker to do.

How Do You Know if Your Dryer Vent Is Clogged?

Now you know that cleaning out dryer vent with leaf blowers is possible, you must also have an idea of the signs indicating that your dryer vent already needs cleaning.

It’s not a bad idea to clean the dryer vent even if it is not yet dirty or clogged, but knowing the signs will ensure you clean the vent before it’s too late.

Drying Time Takes Longer Than Expected

Dryers can easily dry your clothes right after a normal drying cycle.

If the dryer vent needs cleaning, you will notice that the clothes are still wet after drying it.

That’s because the lint and dirt block some of the hot, moist air responsible for drying your clothes.

Burning Smell From the Dryer

If you smell something burning when you open your dryer, it is probably the dryer lint, which is flammable and can cause permanent damage to your dryer.

If you noticed any burning smell, you need to stop using your dryer and unplug it.

At this point, never use the dryer unless a professional technician checks it and until the dryer vent is cleaned completely.

Hot To Touch

You have to remember that a dryer without any problems won’t overheat, even if it is very old already.

If the vent is clogged, the dryer will be hot to touch since the hot air is having a hard time passing through it.

Lint From the Vent Opening’s Exterior

The exterior vent opening is the part of the system where the air from the dryer goes out.

If you see lint from the opening, it only means that it needs immediate cleaning.

Been a Year Since You Cleaned Your Dryer Vent

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the dryer vent, it means you need to clean it as soon as possible.

You need to clean your dryer vent at least once or twice a year, depending on your usage frequency.

tips on how to clean dryer vent with a leaf blower

How To Clean Dryer Vent With a Leaf Blower

Most people would buy a dryer vent brush kit to clean the dryer vent, which is very effective but time-consuming.

You have to clean the dryer vent manually, and there is no assurance that you can fully clean the inside.

If you’re ready to use your leaf blower to clean the dryer vent, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively.

1. Prepare the Vent

The first thing you need to do is prepare the vent and make sure that it is perfectly safe to clean.

You should turn off the dryer and unplug it.

Remove the dryer and move it away from the wall so you can see the vent located behind it.

There is a three- to four-inch clamp that you need to loosen on the vent hose; unscrew it with a screwdriver.

Instead of taking the vent hose out, you can just disconnect the vent from the dryer itself.

Start removing the lint and debris that are already visible.

2. Clean the Cover

After preparing the vent from the inside, the next step is to move outside to remove the vent outlet’s cover.

Using your screwdriver, unscrew the cover. Ensure you keep the screws and the cover since you have to attach them after the cleaning process.

Then, check the cover vent for debris and lint.

Clean all the lint from the cover, pipe exterior, and outlet.

You can use the leaf blower to clean the exterior. It is easier and safe to use this instead of using a brush.

3. Clean the Dryer Vent Pipe

This is the final and most important stage of the cleaning process.

But before starting, ensure that you removed the metal screen covering or filters from the pipe.

If you forget to remove it, all of the lint and debris will start building up, which is a fire hazard.

On the first two steps, we only cleaned the outside of the vent pipes to make sure the leaf blower can easily blow away the lint from one end to another.

You should use a dryer-vent auger to loosen the debris stuck on the pipe.

A 15-foot auger would do the trick since most of the vent pipes won’t exceed 25 feet. 

You should insert the auger from the inside and outside.

If the nozzle of the leaf blower doesn’t fit into the pipe, you can use an attachment to make sure the blower’s air doesn’t escape. You can use duct tape for this.

Turn your leaf blower on and let it blow on the pipe for a few minutes.

You need to make sure no one is standing near the outlet, or they will be filled with dust and lint.

The leaf blower’s goal is to push all the debris and lint to the other end of the vent.

After a few minutes of using the leaf blower, turn it off and go to the other end of the vent.

Remove the lint and debris that were pushed there by the blower.

Repeat this process multiple times until no debris or lint is pushed out from the vent.

How Do I Clean My Second Story Dryer Vent?

A second story dryer vent is more complicated than a normal one, so cleaning it manually would be a bit tricky.

However, you can use the same cleaning process.

A leaf blower is more effective since it would push all of the vent’s lint and debris.

Since the air is coming from the second floor, it would be easier for the leaf blower to remove the debris.

When Can You Not Use a Leaf Blower in Cleaning Your Dryer Vent?

Although leaf blowers are very effective for dryer vent cleaning, you need to know a few things about this to ensure it would do its job.

There are instances where a leaf blower may not resolve the issue, so you need to assess the situation before cleaning dryer vent with leaf blowers.

Longer Vent Pipe

If the vent pipe is longer than normal, the leaf blower would have difficulty pushing the debris outside.

You can try to blow through the pipe multiple times, but there would still be leftover debris and lint inside the pipe if the air is not too strong.

Twisted or Bent Pipes

A leaf blower may not work on twisted or bent pipes because the air from a leaf blower may start to weaken when it hits the pipes.

It can remove the lint and debris from the bent or twisted pipe, but it would have a hard time pushing it to the other end.

how to clean dryer vent with a leaf blower tips

How Do Professionals Clean Dryer Vents

Professional dry vent cleaners have all the advanced tools and knowledge to do it effectively.

You can always clean the dry vents on your own, but professionals have their own cleaning process.

They use a tube-like vacuum and a snake brush to clean the vent.

They use it to remove the blockages stuck on the walls of your vents.

They will also focus the cleaning on the elbows and bends of the vents.

It is a bit different from cleaning out dryer vent with leaf blower.

They are using more sophisticated technology to guarantee that they remove the lint and dirt completely.

How To Take Care of Your Dryer

You can lessen lint buildup by taking care of your dryer.

There are a few simple ways to keep your dryer in tiptop condition for a longer time.

Only Put Clothes From the Washing Machine To Your Dryer

The main job of a dryer is to help dry your clothes, but it doesn’t mean that you can just put any wet clothing inside.

The dirt and dust from these items will surely buildup on the dryer.

You should not place clothes from the beach or wet rags directly in the dryer.

You can clean them first or throw them in the washing machine.

Clean Your Dryer at Least Once a Week

You don’t have to do the leaf blower cleaning every week.

You can just clean the lint screen regularly so you won’t have to deal with a more troublesome dryer vent cleaning.

You will eventually clean the dryer vent, but you can delay it if you clean the lint screen regularly.

Check the Pockets of Your Clothes

It is one of the most important things to do before using the washing machine or dryer.

There are instances when you won’t even notice that you left the tickets or used tissues on your pants.

If they don’t come off in the washing machine, they will stay in your dryer for a long time.

So, make sure that you check the pockets before you throw them on your dryer.

Don’t Overload your Dryer

You should never overload your dryer even if you are in a rush.

Putting a lot of clothes beyond its capacity will only make things difficult for you.

You have to remember that your dryer can only work efficiently if you follow the manual’s instructions.

If you put in too many clothes, it will not dry properly.

Some clothes might still be wet, and you will need to return them inside the dryer for another spin.

It is a waste of time and energy, and it might even damage your dryer.

Clean the Drum

The clothes you put inside the dryer are already clean, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to clean the drum.

Although the water from the clothes will drain all the dirt inside the drum, there will still be dryer sheet residue inside.

The best thing to do is to get a microfiber cloth and clean the inside.

You can also put a bit of rubbing alcohol to remove the dryer sheet residue completely.

Replace Vinyl or Plastic Exhaust With Metal

Using vinyl or plastic exhaust is not a good idea for your dryer.

Although some dryers come with plastic exhaust vents, it doesn’t mean you should use them.

These exhaust vents are at risk of catching fire, so you should play it safe and use a metal exhaust.

It is more expensive, but your safety is more important.

Conclusion

Don’t wait for an accident to happen inside your house just because you did not clean the dryer vent.

Although fire because of lint buildup is uncommon, it is possible.

The chances of your dryer blowing up are higher as well if you leave the lint and dust on the vent.

Cleaning your dryer’s vent also ensures you save energy since the dryer won’t work harder than usual.

It is better to learn how to clean dryer vent with a leaf blower if you don’t want to hire a professional to do it for you.

About the author

William

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