Are you cleaning out your dryer vent periodically?

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I’ll tell you, I wasn’t as first. We now do it every 6 months! We had been living full-time in the RV for just about a year when I noticed that it seemed to take longer and longer for clothes to dry. One day it just stopped and started blinking, like it was morse code. I immediately called Tech Support and he asked me which lights were blinking and was told that there was a blockage in the duct. Now that I know what was wrong, I was off to fix it.

Let me stop here for a second and tell you to click here if you want to know about our washer/dryer combo.

Step 1 – Materials

Note: These steps are directly related for a combo washer/dryer, the Splendide WD2100XC.

First gather your supplies:

  • Flashlight – a headlamp would be even better to keep your hands free, like this one!
  • Screwdriver – We have a set like this one that has come in handy all over the RV!
  • Vacuum – We recently did a test and found that our on board vacuum did not perform as great as a stand up. So we picked this one up last Christmas.
  • Grabber Tool – This will come in handy especially with a combo, in case anything falls back behind the machine.
  • A good ‘ol trusty metal hanger! Pull the bottom of the hanger to make it straight and create yourself a tiny 1/4-1/3″ tip, either a hook or a L shape. You’ll need this to stick into the dryer vent in the machine to pull at the link clogs.

Step 2 – Prep

  • Remove everything you have on the top shelf and remove the shelf itself. There’s no other way to do what you need to do otherwise.
  • Unplug the machine from it’s power source.
  • If you bolted down your machine to the floor, you need to remove these.
  • You may need to remove the plastic front at the bottom of the machine, if yours came with one.

Step 3 – Clean the External Vent

With all the prep out of the way, let’s get to cleaning!

First start at your duct. Disconnect it from the wall and the machine and go to town cleaning that out. I used my vacuum with a brush tip, it helped to get in between the rings of the duct.

Step 4 – Clean the Internal Vent

This is the tricky part! You will stand in front of the machine, and bring the top towards you. You will balance the machine on you while you lean over the back. At this time you can grab your grabber tool in case something fell back there. Sometimes there may be a hand towel or a random sock.

Then grab your screwdriver and remove the collar that the vent was attached to. This will allow you more space to get down into the tube. You CAN try to proceed with the piece in place. You may have better luck than I did.

At this time, put on your headlamp and start to remove as much lint as possible. I would use an attachment for the vacuum and stick it into the vent and any loose lint would get sucked up immediately.

Note: the first time I cleaned out my machine, it had been off and not used for a while. The clog was hard as a rock and had to be chipped away. The second time I cleaned it out in the middle of a drying sequence so the clog was damp and MUCH more easier to remove.

Next, grab your homemade hanger tool or whatever you choose to use to grab at the lint and go crazy! More than likely you’ll end up pulling it out in pieces and not in one large clump. You also may end up pushing a clog farther into the vent, but that’s ok, we will get that.

I like to switch from my tool to the vacuum every few minutes. It takes me about 10 minutes now to get it all cleaned out.

Step 5 – Test

  • Put the machine back down in place.
  • Plug the machine back on turn it on a dryer cycle.
  • Immediately out the back of the vent you should see any big clumps. Just a quick 30 seconds should do. You can also place your hand in front of the opening and feel a very good amount of air coming out. If so, then you are good to go!

Step 6 – Put it all back!!

  • If you removed the white collar, replace that first.
  • Then connect the dryer vent to the white collar.
  • Put the machine back down in place, be sure not to pinch any cords or hoses
  • Connect the dryer vent to the wall
  • Bolt the machine back to the floor
  • Replace the front plastic piece.
  • Put the shelf back and whatever lived there.
  • Stand back and look what you accomplished and then gripe about the pet hair or kids’ dirt that may clog up your dryer vent! Both are true in my case.
  • This was just the clog itself and not any of the extra lint in the vent.

This is just one way you could go about cleaning your vent. I feel it’s the least invasive as another option is to remove the top of the machine. Maybe I’ll try that next time. If you followed these instructions or have removed the lint from your combo, how did it go for you?

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