How to Clean Dryer Vents in an Apartment

How often should you clean your dryer vent? The best answer is to consult the manufacturer’s instructions, but many people don’t do that. 

That seems like a lot of work. And it doesn’t seem to matter very much if they clean their dryer vent or not.

This blog post will show you how to clean your dryer vent in an apartment. That will help you avoid costly repairs or safety hazards associated with dirty dryer vents.

Steps to Follow When Cleaning a Dryer Vent in Your Apartment

With the right skills and tools, cleaning your dryer vent could be as simple as ABCD. Here are the steps to follow:

Find the Dryer Vent

That is the first step in cleaning dryer vents. Typically, your dryer vent will be located either on the dryer’s back/side or in your wall.

If your dryer is located in a closet or an outside wall, there’ll be two vents. One of them comes out of the dryer directly into the air; another one runs up through your walls/ceiling.

If that’s the case, then both vents need cleaning. But, again, it’s wise to deal with one first before moving to the next.

Disconnect the Unit

Disconnecting the dryer is an important step. That will prevent any dryer lint from getting into your dryer’s vent during cleaning.

If that happens, it may cause clogging in the area where the dryer vents out of a hose. To disconnect your dryer, turn off the power to the appliance before unplugging it.

Next, find the screws holding the back panel or side panels in place. They’ll probably be facing either right or left.

Unscrew these pieces carefully to avoid breaking them if you need to use them again later on. If there are no visible screws, then gently pull open one end of each half.

Once you have it open, disconnect the dryer vent using a screwdriver if there are any screws.

If none, turn the dryer until it’s disconnected from where it was connected to before (dryer hose, etc.).

Then, remove any other connecting pieces, such as belts and pulleys that might be attached. That makes it possible to reach all the dirty areas inside your dryer.

You can make your work even easier by removing the inside panels. Move to the next step once you’re done.

Vacuum the Lint

Once you have disconnected your dryer, the next thing would be to vacuum the lint. Start with all the crevices.

Use a dry/wet vac or dryer hose when vacuuming lint. Then use a duster with the softest bristles to sweep up any remaining dust.

If you can’t get to all surfaces, simply use an appliance paintbrush. The brush can reach all corners and behind the panels.

You might even need to completely dismantle your dryer to clean every surface. Just ensure you remember everything, so you don’t struggle when assembling the unit.

A good tip is to take photos of the parts before disassembling them. You will refer to these photos as you assemble the equipment.

Get Inside with a Brush

Once you have vacuumed the lint, it would be time to use a brush. Get inside the dryer vent pipe and scrub all around to remove any lint that has built up over time.

When using the brush, be sure to push it through the pipe as you go. Moving back and forth will only make it more difficult for the brush to get in there.

You may also want to use a wet piece of cloth to help scrub down the pipe for better results. 

A sponge can also work well when it comes to removing stubborn dirt or stains from ductwork surfaces.

Assemble and Reconnect the Dryer

The last step in this process is getting your dryer back up and running with everything well replaced. Ensure that every part is taken back to where it came from.

All screws should be fastened so they don’t fall off in the future. Any broken or worn-out parts should also be replaced at this point.

Also read: Why is My Apartment so Dusty

Safety Precautions to Observe When Cleaning Your Apartment Dryer Vent

Observing safety precautions when cleaning your apartment dryer vent can help you avoid safety hazards. Here are a few of those precautions.

  • When using a vacuum cleaner, turn off the power at its breaker before plugging it in. That will eliminate any chance of electrical shock or fire while cleaning.
  • Always wear protective clothing and safety glasses so that no debris falls into your eyes or mouth. That could cause serious injury if swallowed.
  • Avoid using any kind of wire brush or abrasive pad on the dryer vent. This may scratch the surfaces, resulting in damage.
  • When using a safety vacuum, be sure to cover up all openings in your work area with plastic sheeting. That will prevent the release of loose particles that could cause respiratory problems into the air.
  • It is advisable to use a water-based cleaner rather than a chemical one as water will not leave a residue on your dryer’s metal and plastic parts. On the other hand, chemical cleaners can react to produce hazardous fumes.
  • Finally, when you finish cleaning, take apart your vacuum so that no one else can accidentally start it. Any accident of this nature could release debris back into your face as these vacuums tend to kick back if they are not fully assembled before being started.

Things You Will Need to Clean Your Apartment Dryer Vent

To clean your apartment dryer vent, you will need the following items:

  • A vacuum cleaner for removing loose dirt from around your dryer vent using vacuum cleaner attachment tools.
  • A soft brush for brushing down the lint that has built up on top of the vent. It also proves helpful when getting inside the dyer.
  • Clean water and soap. It’s recommended you use specially designated soapy scrubbing pads for this purpose.
  • Water-based cleaner. Use this rather than a chemical-based cleaner.
  • Paper towel for wiping off excess residues after cleaning. You could also use a piece of cloth soaked in clean water.
  • You may also need a ladder and some safety equipment such as goggles or gloves.

How to Prevent Your Apartment’s Dryer Vent from Future Buildup After Cleaning

While it is almost impossible to prevent your dryer vent from future buildup, you can slow down the buildup process. That can be done by cleaning your dryer vent regularly.

Replacing the lint trap filter regularly may also help to prevent future buildup.

Another important tip is to sweep dust and debris from the area around your dryer vent to minimize future buildup.

How to Clean Dryer Vents at a Glance

In conclusion, cleaning your apartment dryer is one of the most important tasks you can do to prevent future buildup. 

In addition, you need to know how to clean the vent in your apartment and replace air filters regularly.

Consider cleaning out the lint trap filter at least once every six months. Also, sweep dust from around dryer vents on a regular basis to slow down buildup.

If there are any damaged parts in your dryer vent, replace them during cleaning. That will ensure your equipment functionally effectively.

Other articles you may also like: