How to Clean Dryer Vent with a Leaf Blower: Your Ultimate Guide

If your once effective dryer is currently taking longer to dry your clothes or emitting a burning odor, the chances are that it’s clogged. You can unclog a dryer vent via several methods, the most common of which is a dryer cleaning kit. But why spend extra money on a dryer brush kit when you can clean a dryer vent with a leaf blower?

You may be wondering how this method works. In this article, we’ll walk you through each step of how to clean a dryer vent out easily using a leaf blower.

What Causes a Clog in a Dryer Vent?

Before you find out the secret to unclogging a dryer vent with a leaf blower, you must know what clogs it in the first place.

A dryer essentially blasts damp clothes with hot air, removing all moisture. As the air exits the dryers, the vent pulls the fibers or lint from the garments.

Your lint trap does exactly what it says: it collects lint that separates from your clothes during the drying process and prevents it from flying into your exhaust vent. But what happens if the lint trap clogs with dirt? Lint starts to block the vents and exhaust pipes, reducing its effectiveness.

Your lint trap isn’t just catching lint, as it also grabs other objects. Unfortunately, if these materials accumulate in the lint trap, lint won’t be captured and will run into the exhaust system, where it will get trapped. Cleaning the dryer vent after use will help keep these areas clean.

Things You’ll Need

  • Leaf blower
  • Screwdriver
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Dryer brush kit (as backup)
  • Duct tape

How to Clean Dryer Vent with a Leaf Blower

How to Clean Dryer Vent with a Leaf Blower

 

Here are six steps to follow when cleaning a dryer vent with leaf blower:

Remove the Hose from the Dryer Vent

First, you must gain access to the dryer vent. Find your interior and exterior vents and ensure they’re accessible. This will most likely involve pulling the dryer away from the wall to allow you to operate from behind it.

Next, take the hose out of the vent. You should be able to do it without using any tools.

Remove the Vent Cover

Remove the cap of the exterior vent. Since the cover will mostly be bolted on, you can readily remove it with a screwdriver. This will allow air to escape through the dryer vent. Otherwise, the air moving through the pipes would put a lot of pressure on the tubes, causing your leaf blower or dryer to break.

Clean the Outside

Unscrew the cover from the outside and clean the vent. Clean the lint piled up around the lid with a vacuum cleaner or a brush.

Set the Leaf Blower

Once the exterior is all shiny, it’s time to clean the inside of the dryer vent. You can use either a cordless or an electric blower — take it and point its end at the dryer vent.

A gas leaf blower can be helpful, but be careful not to use it in its highest setting. A backpack leaf blower is not a good idea because it eats up a lot of space. All in all, we recommend using a cordless electric leaf blower.

After installing the leaf blower, seal the sides — air can’t escape and may build pressure. Feel free to use either a towel, duct tape, or any other type of cloth.

If none of these are available, tightly wrap your hand around the vent. The purpose of this is to prevent air from escaping backward.

Start the Leaf Blower

Switch on the leaf blower after sealing the vents. Please do this on the lowest setting. Put a few brief blasts at the beginning and then leave it running for 30 to 60 seconds.

Also, check that the external vent allows the lint to escape. Repeat until all of the lint has been removed.

Reassemble the Parts

After cleaning the dryer vent, return everything to its original position. Make sure there are no lint particles left in the dryer. Remove the leaf blower, replace the cover, reconnect the dryer vent, and tighten the clump. Lastly, clean the area thoroughly!

Things to Consider

Here are a few things to consider when cleaning a dryer vent:

Turn Off the Gas and Electricity Before Cleaning

When attempting to keep your dryer working at its finest, make sure to cut off both gas and electricity sources. If you have a gas dryer, ensure the knobs and valves are in good working order before turning it off. Replace them immediately if they’re broken or damaged in any way.

The Vent Size

A leaf blower will only work if your dryer meets certain criteria. Before attempting to clean your dryer vent with a leaf blower, determine the pipe style and keep the following information in mind:

  • Short pipe: A leaf blower won’t be efficient enough if the vent is too lengthy.
  • Straight pipe: Again, if your vent isn’t straight, the leaf blower won’t be able to clear it.
  • Non-concertina-style pipe: In concertina-style ducting, the lint will attach to the folds of the pipe. You might also end up damaging the ducting.

Avoid Excessive Duct Bending

If you’ve handled ducts, you know how they easily flex, which should be avoided. When reattaching the duct to the dryer, make sure there aren’t any steep turns or twists in the tube, as these will allow lint to collect in crevices and may cause the duct tube to break.

Stop Using a Clogged Dryer

If you notice a blockage in your dryer, stop using it right away. Since lint buildup can spark fires, using a clogged dryer could have severe consequences for you and those around you.

What if you discover a clog after cleaning? The only option here is to contact a professional.

Seek Assistance from an Expert

If you can’t clean the dryer yourself, contact a professional. Professional assistance guarantees that your vents are appropriately cleaned, avoiding future accumulation and damage to your venting system.

Using Duct Tape to Reattach the Duct

This is perhaps the only thing duct tape can’t do, despite what its name suggests. This is because the heat from the dryer can cause it to rust. Opt for aluminum tape since it can withstand heat from the dryer.

Clean the Dryer Vent with a Leaf Blower Frequently

We urge you not to overlook this step. You should clean your dryer vent at least once a year or more frequently if you use your machine often. Cleaning and examining the dryer vent will help avoid lint buildup, which could otherwise cause a fire!

Wrap Up

We hope you now have a comprehensive overview, and most importantly, the correct information regarding how to clean a dryer vent with a leaf blower. It’s cost-effective, but you must know the nitty-gritty of the situation and which vent duct type to use. If you’re still confused, consult a professional and try not to proceed with half knowledge.

Related:

9 Different Leaf Blower Uses

Here is What You Do if Your Leaf Blower Breaks

Does a Leaf Blower Work on Wet Leaves?

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