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Cleaning out a dryer vent is really something that should only be done by professionals with the knowledge and equipment necessary to do it correctly without any threat of damaging the machine or anyone who plans on using the machine afterward, for that matter.

However, in some cases, homeowners are left with no choice but to handle things themselves. If you end up in a situation where you have to clean your own dryer vent, it’s very important to think of your safety first and follow each of these instructions closely:

1. First, unplug your dryer from the electric outlet, and then shut off its gas supply.

2. Clean the lint trap as your normally would, and then vacuum it out.

3. Pull the dryer away from the wall so that you can see the silver vent.

4. Use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp connecting the vent to the back of the dryer.

5. Slide the vent off of the back of the dryer.

6. Reach in with your hand and take out any big clumps of dust, dirt, or lint that may have gotten stuck. After that, feel free to gently vacuum inside the dryer and the vent itself.

7. Reattach the vent to the back of the dryer once you’re sure it has been cleared of all obstructions.

8. Plug the dryer back into the electrical outlet, turn the gas back on, and run it on “air fluff” for about ten minutes.

9. Check your vent outside to see if any additional debris came out, and clean if necessary.

10. Run a new load of laundry to see if the dryer is running more efficiently.

Again, we don’t recommend that homeowners clean their own dryer vents without first reaching out to an insured, bonded, and licensed cleaner. This way, you won’t run the risk of accidentally damaging the appliance further and costing yourself more money in the long run.