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Clothes Dryer Exhaust Vent Cleaning Guide
Pictures illustrated instructions for how to remove lint from a home clothing dryer's hot air exhaust hose and vent.

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Maytag Clothes Dryer
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Lint Trap Screen
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Lint Trap Removed

A recent article I read about home fire safety inspired me to thoroughly clean the lint trap and hot air exhaust vent of our clothes dryer.

We're pretty good about cleaning out the lint trap screen after every (or every other) load of clothing, but I've never checked the flexible hose that leads from the back of the dyer to the outside vent.

My first step was to remove the lint trap screen and use a Swiffer duster to remove some of the lint in the recesses of the trap.

Then I unplugged the dryer and pulled it away from the wall to reveal a mess of pet hair and debris from years of neglect by us and the previous owners.

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Swiffer Duster
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Cleaning Lint Trap Recess
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Lint Removed
To clean the flexible exhaust pipe, I pulled it off the wall vent and unscrewed it from the rear of the dryer. Detaching it from the dryer required a flathead screwdriver to loosen the metal hose clamp. It was attached to the wall vent loosely with just a plastic zip tie.
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Pet Hair & Debris
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Remove Hose From Wall
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Unscrew Hose From Dryer
Then I used a Rigid 5 HP Wet/Dry shop vacuum to remove all the pet hair, debris, and lint from around the rear of the dryer. I also used the vacuum to remove lint from inside the flex hose, the wall vent, and the hot air exhaust on the back of the dryer.
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Flex Hose Detached
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Dryer Exhaust Vent
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Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum


 
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Vacuuming Dryer Vent
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Vacuuming Exhaust Tube
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Vacuuming Wall Vent
After thoroughly vacuuming everything, I used my hand to pull out any stubborn pieces of lint sticking inside the vents and the flexible exhaust tube.
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Removing Lint By Hand
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Big Clump Of Lint
Once I was satisfied that the vast majority of the lint had been removed, I reattached the pipe to the back of the dryer and tightened the metal hose clamp with the flat head screwdriver. Then I used a new plastic zip tie to secure the hose to the outside air vent. There were some small holes in the hose, so I used metal foil duct tape to create a better seal around the hose.

The article on fire safety recommended cleaning out the dryer exhaust vents and pipe at least once a year. It also encouraged everyone to treat a running dryer like a small child - never leave it unattended. So that if a lint fire starts, you'll be there to put it out with an extinguisher and call the fire department.

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Scissors, Zip Ties, Metal Tape
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Secure With Zip Ties
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Wrap With Foil Duct Tape
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