You probably clean out your lint trap after every load to prevent the chance of a dryer fire, but there may be another source of danger that you’ve overlooked. Dryer ducts, the part of the dryer that siphons off the hot air, can also be the cause of a fire. Knowing how to clean your clothes dryer will help prevent a fire.

This quick fix should only take about 15 minutes to complete. First, pull out the dryer so you can access the back. Unplug the dryer and turn off the gas as necessary. Then, remove the duct work from where it attaches to the dryer and where it attaches from the wall.

Using a wet/dry vac or other vacuum with hose attachment, clean out any lint or dust from the hose. Look through the hose to make sure it is clear and address any obstructions. Also clean out the portal on the back of the clothes dryer, as well as the portal that is in the wall.

Clean Dryer Ducts

Outside, detach the louver that covers the dryer vent on the side of the house. Clean the louver with the vacuum and a brush as necessary. Vacuum the portal from the outside as well. Get down at eye level and remove any blockages you may find. Keep in mind that sometimes the dryer vent is on the roof or hidden in the eaves. No matter what it’s location, it’s worth locating and cleaning it off. Insects can nest in these areas over time, creating obstructions.

Reattach the duct work to the wall and dryer, then move the dryer into place. Turn on the gas and plug in the dryer as necessary. Remove the lint trap and make sure that it is completely empty. Vacuum out the area in the dryer where the lint trap once was.Turn the dryer on and run it on air fluff for 10 minutes. Once the clothes dryer has stopped, go outside. Look at the portal that leads to the outside of the house and remove any debris. Replace the louver to finish the cleaning process.