The Fire-Preventing Product You Probably Aren’t Keeping in Your Laundry Room—But Should

This dryer vent cleaner is one cleaning tool you didn't know you needed.

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Maintaining our house appliances is (or should be) part of our regular cleaning routine, whether that’s cleaning the filters on a vacuum-mop combo, repairing the fridge or picking the lint out of the dryer vent. When it comes to the latter, however, did you know that not cleaning the dryer could be a serious home safety hazard? That’s why you should add a dryer vent cleaner to your laundry room must-haves.  

Even with dryer sheets and dryer balls, lint accumulates in the dryer vent pretty quickly. Home experts suggest cleaning the trap with every dry cycle, but most people don’t realize there’s an entire lint-covered world in the depths of the dryer vent. Not cleaning thoroughly could lead to a malfunctioning machine, clothes that don’t dry properly and even a house fire. Thankfully, a dryer vent cleaner makes the chore so much easier.

What is a dryer vent cleaner?

dryer lint brush cleaner before and aftervia merchant

If it doesn’t seem like your dryer is working properly, it probably isn’t. When lint buildup blocks the dryer’s vent and exhaust duct, the machine overheats, doesn’t dry clothes and can potentially catch fire. Even if you think the lint trap is clean, hidden chunks of lint, dirt and hair like to hide deep inside the dryer vent.

This dryer vent cleaner kit comes with two long-handled brushes that work on just about any dryer model. A wooden handle connects to a piece of stainless steel, while a bristle brush takes up the end. The brush fits into openings as little as one inch in diameter. 

The tool measures 28 inches in length with the bristle brush measuring about 13 inches. Its thin shape lets you squeeze into those hard-to-reach spaces with ease. It also pairs well with vacuums that have a nozzle attachment as the brush loosens dirt that the vacuum can then suck up. 

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How to use a dryer vent cleaner 

Don’t wait until clothes aren’t drying properly to give your dryer a deep clean. Every dryer is built differently, but they should all have a vent and lint trap that needs to be cleaned regularly. Not doing so is a common mistake that shortens the life of the dryer. Although the lint trap is what people clean most, there’s still a possibility that some lint is stuck inside. 

Remove the lint trap from the dryer vent and give it a good brush. Then insert the bristle end of the dryer vent cleaner into the vent and dig through, removing lint with each swipe. You may need to clean the brush between passes. Scrape the edges, bottom and sides of the vent until there’s no more stuck lint. For a better view, try shining a flashlight or your phone’s flash to make sure the job is thorough.  

Although it’s designed for the dryer, the tool also works in other spaces, too. Try it on fridge coils, pipes, underneath furniture, vacuum hoses and more to get grime and dirt out. The bristles clean easily with hot water and soap, and the stainless steel and wood ensure the handle won’t break after a few uses. 

Want to make sure your dryer stays gunk-free? Read up on things that should never go in the dryer.

The best Amazon reviews 

The dryer vent cleaning tool is a helpful addition to appliance maintenance. Read these reviews from real-life users. 

I honestly didn’t know I needed one of these and had never had one before, but now that I have purchased one it’s a must-have!” writes five-star reviewer Shanterria Nance. “I cannot tell you how convenient this is to get the excess lint out of that tiny space when the lint trap is! So easy to maneuver since the product is long and flexible to adapt to those small weirdly shaped corners in the dryer. Easy to remove the lint from the bristles. All homes should contain these for convenience!” 

Verified purchaser Maryam had issues with her dryer even with her busy household cleaning the lint trap after every use. “I absolutely love the deep clean results I got from this brush set! I should’ve worn a mask because so much lint came out I had to clean out my nostrils afterwards! In addition to that, the dryer is heating up like new. The brush is flexible enough to bend it to reach deeper into the dryer and it’s very sturdy.” 

Five-star reviewer Marisol Smith has found the brush has lots of uses. “These things are great. Not only do they work in the dryer vent, under the washer, dryer, and fridge but our vacuum got clogged and we were able to use one to unclog the hose,” she raves. “I wish it was a tiny bit longer but then it wouldn’t be sturdy. You want it to be flexible but at the same time you want to be able to control where it goes. This product was well worth the price.” 

Where to buy a dryer vent cleaner 

dryer lint brush cleanervia merchant

You can buy the two-pack dryer vent cleaner kit on Amazon for less than $15—in fact, it’s often discounted to under $10. Peace of mind has never been cheaper.

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Andrea Carrillo
As an associate shopping editor at Reader's Digest, Andrea is a lifestyle writer covering all things e-commerce. She has covered streetwear, sustainability and culture for a variety of publications. When she's not on deadline, you can find her reading, collecting vintage fashion and furthering her goal of visiting every country in South America.