How to Get Clogged Lint Out of Dryer Venting

Removing lint from a dryer's lint trap isn't always enough to keep your dryer functioning properly. Lint builds up in the dryer's vent over time, and can present a serious fire hazard if left unchecked. A clogged vent can also increase electricity costs and cause the dryer to turn off prematurely, while clothes are still damp. To prevent fires and keep your dryer in good condition, it is best to clean the dryer vent at least once a year.

Clean dryer vents once a year to improve energy efficiency.

Step 1

Unplug the dryer or disconnect its power source from the circuit breaker.  Attempt to run the dryer to verify that the power source is disconnected.

Step 2

Pull out the dryer about 2 feet so you can access the vent.  Use a screwdriver to remove the vent clamp behind the dryer and slide off the vent to expose the built-up lint.

Step 3

Remove as much of the lint as you can with your hands and a wet-dry vacuum cleaner. 

Step 4

Clean out any lint lodged deeper into the tubing with a plumber's auger and a 4-inch auger brush. 

Step 5

Remove the outside dryer vent cover, using a screwdriver.  Use caution, as there may be a bee, rodent or bird's nest inside.

Carefully remove the animal nest and relocate it to a safe place to prevent harming wildlife during the vent cleaning process. 

Step 6

Clear as much lint as possible with your hands and a wet-dry vacuum cleaner.  Dislodge remaining lint with a plumber's auger and 4-inch auger brush.

Step 7

Reattach the vent clamp and replace the dryer in its original position.  Reconnect the power to the dryer.

Step 8

Run the dryer without any clothes inside to blow out any loose debris.  Check the outside vent to verify that there is a clear path in the tubing.

Step 9

Reattach the outside vent cover. 

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wet-dry vacuum cleaner
  • Plumber's auger
  • 4-inch auger brush


  • Commercial home dryer cleaning kits have vacuum cleaner attachments and brushes designed to clear out vents.

About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.

Photo Credits

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