A Dirty Rag and a Dryer Vent Story

Dear FlyLady,

Cleaning my dryer vent has always been routine for me, pretty mundane-up until this last time.

A cleaning was due-so I cleaned the lint screen and spot it slides into; removed the exhaust hose from the back of the dryer & cleaned that; shortened my hose because when the new dryer was installed the whole hose was used and just crammed behind the dryer.  I reattached the hose to the dryer.  Next, I figured let me disconnect it from the wall so I wouldn’t have to go outside behind the central air unit for that part.

When I disconnected it I found mouse droppings and the beginnings of a nest.  Oh, the poor mouse was trying to keep warm & dry.  WHAT? Poor mouse?? I live in So Calif where it is warm/hot all year & the climate is super dry, (we really only get rain in Feb). That was no poor mouse-more like a Dirty Rat!

Once I finished cleaning it I placed a piece of metal screen over the vent where it meets the wall to block future “squatters”. Just one more reason to clean that dryer vent.

CT from Bakersfield, California

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FlyLady here: I am so proud of you for taking the time to keep your family safe. Since you have put the screen over the outside; you will need to check it weekly to make sure the excess lint does not clog it up.

The other thing that is wise to do, is to clean the lint from the dryer cabinet. You can usually access this from the bottom front. You will be surprised at how much lint is under there. Use a vacuum to clean out the lint.

1) Remove the lint trap from the dryer and remove excess lint
2) holding the vent brush by the handle. insert the brush down the lint. trap vent until it reaches the bottom, Using a side to side and up and down motion. gently twirl the brush to remove any lint in the vent. Repeat this step as necessary until vent is clean.
3) Dispose of lint and debris immediately.
Using the Vacuum 11 hose attachment
1) The vacuum hose is used to deep clean the lint trap vent.
2) Attach the vacuum hose attachment to your vacuum cleaner as you would any attachment.
3) Insert into lint trap vent and turn on vacuum running the hose up and down to remove any additional lint and debris that the vent brush could not pick up.
Using the Duct Brush:
1) Please see dryer instruction guide to remove the dryer vent duct from the dryer.
2) Insert the vent duet brush into the duet. With a side to side and up and down motion, move the brush along the duct to remove any lint and debris trapped in the duct. Repeat this step as necessary until duct is clean.
3) Dispose of Lint and debris immediately.
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