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Cleaning Lint in the Clothes Dryer Vent Pipe


We have a home that is about five years old and the clothes dryer vent goes through the floor, then travels about 10 feet between the finished floor and ceiling to an outside vent. We have noticed lint collecting near the vent outside. We clean the lint filter with each load of laundry but are concerned lint may collect inside the pipe and be a fire hazard. It is working properly now. Is there some way the vent pipe can be blown clean?


Great Question! Clothes dryer manufacturers normally recommend a smooth metal vent pipe with minimal bends that can be checked and cleaned periodically. Vent pipes that pose the greatest risk are the flexible plastic vent pipes because lint can build up on the rough surface and the bends may not be smooth and uniform. The plastic pipe is also flammable.

If you know the existing vent is make of smooth metal with smooth metal elbows and fittings, you have limited risk. I still think you should try to vacuum out the vent every year through the inlet and discharge. You can use extensions on a shop vacuum. You could also try to blow it out with a shop vacuum. If you don’t have the equipment, contact a furnace duct cleaning company.

If you have a flexible, plastic vent pipe, it should be removed and replaced with a metal vent with smooth metal elbows and fittings.