All of us have seen the lint that comes off the dryer screen. Well I assume that you have. This simple build up of the fibers off of your clothes has to be constantly removed so that your dryer can work. Actually, dryer manufacturers suggest that you do this after every load. We all know that doesn't happen, at least not all the time. And in some cases I have seen people who did the entire family's weekly laundry without clearing it and while pulling out the screen some of that lint falls back into the dryer. Even if you clean your screen out every time, there is lint that makes it past the screen. So where does this rogue lint go? Most of the time it just attaches itself to the walls of your dryer vent line that runs out of your home.
I want to take a second and talk about the lint screen a little more, then I will get back to the lint in your vent pipe, I promise. Sometimes keeping your lint screen free of lint isn't enough, especially if you use dryer sheets. I know a lot of you out there love dryer sheets, but they cause a build up in your dryer. This buildup is near invisible, but can cause a lint screen to block up and not let air through. The way that you can test this is to take your lint screen to the kitchen sink and run some water on the screen. Holding the lint screen flat, does it hold water? Yes, I am asking if screen can hold water. If you have a build up from the dryer sheets your lint screen can hold water like a bowl. Obviously this is bad, but don't worry because it is easily fixed. Just use a little dish detergent and wash the screen. Then shake off the excess water and return to your dryer. If you had a problem then doing this on a regular basis will be required to help make sure that your dryer is working to it's full potential. If this is not taken care of it can cause your dryer to burn out and create expensive repairs.
OK, now back to the dryer vent like I promised. This is something else in your home that needs to be maintained. I know that a lot of you are thinking that no one ever told you that. Well I am telling you that now. This buildup can damage your dryer and will add to the possibility of a lint fire. You can buy dryer vent cleaning kits and take care of this yourself, or you can hire a local handyman to do it. I just did my personal home last weekend and realized that it should have been done a while back. It's hard to say how often you should have this done. It boils down to how much laundry that you do, how well you keep the lint screen cleaned, ect. I also found out that because my neighbor is a hairdresser that the loose hair stuck to their clothes doubled this issue. So having your vents cleaned every 5 years is probably an ok number, plus or minus depending on your own laundry habits. Here is a video of me cleaning out my vent pipes. Take a moment and watch so that you can see how much lint really is in there.
Author - Nathan Cox
I'm just a guy in his late 30's, well 40's now, living in the Mid-West. Just an average family guy hoping to share my knowledge and entertain a little along the way.