White Maytag® top load washer

How to Clean a Dryer Vent in 8 Steps

A clean dryer vent ensures optimal airflow and dry clothes. If your clothes are not getting dry, your appliance’s exhaust vent may be clogged. Follow this eight-step guide to learn how to clean a dryer duct yourself. If you prefer professional maintenance, learn more about the appliance service options from Maytag brand.

For more cleaning tips, learn how to clean your washer with this guide.

Person activating a cycle on a Maytag® dryer Person activating a cycle on a Maytag® dryer

Cleaning a dryer duct: What you’ll need to get started

Maintaining a clean dryer, dryer vent and duct system can help maximize the performance of your dryer and also help prevent the risks of fire in your home. This guide and dryer cleaning kits from Maytag brand can help you clean your interior and exterior dryer vent in under two hours. If you have any questions or concerns with the maintenance of your gas or electric dryer, consider consulting a professional for assistance.


  • Dryer cleaning kit or cleaning brush

  • Vacuum with a hose


  • Screwdriver

Refer to the video below for more tips and best practices on cleaning your dryer vent and how to resolve a “check vent” error code on your Maytag® dryer.

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Step 1: Locate the vents

On the back of your dryer, you will find the ventilation ductwork or hose. Next, locate the exhaust vent, which is typically found on the exterior of your home.

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Step 2: Unplug your dryer

Before beginning the cleaning process or adjusting the dryer vents, make sure to unplug your dryer from the wall. For gas dryers, be mindful to shut off the gas valve, cap the gas line and unplug the appliance.

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Step 3: Move your dryer

It is strongly recommended to enlist the help of another person to help move the dryer about one foot away from the wall. This will provide ample room for you to clear any debris in the ventilation system.

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Step 4: Detach clamps or tape

After you have moved the appliance together, detach any clamps that secure the ventilation hose from the wall to the back of the dryer. For some configurations, you may need a screwdriver for this step.

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Step 5: Clean the interior vent

Using the brush from your dryer cleaning kit or any cleaning brush, gently clean the debris from the back of your dryer. Next, clear the inside of the vent and follow any turns to capture all of the lint and dust. Using a vacuum with a hose may also be an effective method to get hard-to-reach debris inside the vent.


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Step 6: Clean the exterior vent

Remove the exterior vent cover. Then, clear the ductwork with your dryer cleaning brush and vacuum hose until it is free of debris. Replace the cover once complete.

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Step 7: Reconnect the dryer

After you have taken care of the vents, clean up any remaining lint around your appliance and secure the vent pipe from the wall to the back of the dryer. Next, connect the power cord and turn on the gas valve, if applicable.

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Step 8: Run an empty dryer cycle

With another person, gently slide the appliance into place. Then, run a test dryer cycle for roughly 15 minutes to clear any residual debris throughout the vents.


Now that you know how to clean a dryer vent to help prevent clogs, stay informed on what to look for with a few FAQs below.

White side-by-side Maytag® washer and dryer set White side-by-side Maytag® washer and dryer set

How often should I clean my dryer vent?

As a rule of thumb, your dryer’s entire ventilation system should be thoroughly cleaned at least once every two years. However, this cadence may vary depending on how often you use your dryer and if the ventilation becomes clogged. Additionally, remember to clean your dryer’s lint trap after each load.

How can I tell if a dryer vent is clogged?

If your clothes are taking longer to dry or not drying at all, there may be lint build up in your dryer vent. Clogged vents may also cause moisture and lint to collect indoors. Additionally, if your clothes feel extra hot out of the dryer or if a burning scent is present, consider clearing the vents. Many Maytag® dryers will also display an error code to alert you if there is an issue with the vent.

What’s the average cost of dryer vent cleaning if I hire a professional? 

Maytag offers dependable service options for your appliances. Typically, dryer repairs and service appointments can range from $200 to $350, depending on the status of your warranty. While routine maintenance and cleaning can extend the life of your appliance, Maytag brand offers a wide variety of dryers if it’s time for an upgrade.

Stacked Maytag® washer and dryer set Stacked Maytag® washer and dryer set

Does every dryer have a vent?

Some dryers are configured as ventless and do not need to circulate air through an exterior vent. These appliances, also known as condensing dryers, recirculate air through the drum itself and are typically installed in smaller homes or apartments. Learn more about the different types of dryers to find the model that best suits your needs.

Find the right Maytag® dryer for your home

While all Maytag® dryers are engineered for dependable performance and durability, there are a variety of options to choose from to help you handle laundry day, including top load and front load dryers.

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