A dryer vent snake is commonly called a rotary vent auger. A brush is mounted onto flexible rods, and just like a motorized plumbing snake, it is attached to a drill and sent into the dryer vent duct. The turning action of the brush works just like a plumbing snake to remove any clogs in a dryer vent, like lint and other clothes debris, and they will even remove blockages from birds or other animal nests, squirrel caches and any other types of animal infestation. Plugged dryer vents can ignite under the right circumstances, so keeping a vent clear is a must.
1. Remove the dryer vent cover outside your home with a screwdriver, if applicable. Some vent covers just slide on and off the dryer duct and some are screwed on. Look for screws on the direct front of the vent at the corners. If you do not find any screws, pull the dryer vent cover off the duct by turning it side to side as you pull.
2. Measure the length of your duct with a tape measure. This will give you a general idea of how long the snake needs to be to reach from end to end.
3. Assemble the auger snake. Screw a flexible rod onto the auger brush and hand-tighten it. Screw the next rod onto the back of the attached rod, and continue doing this until all of the rods are attached or you have determined how long the snake must be to reach from end to end.
4. Attach the rod end into the drill chuck. Tighten the rod into the chuck securely.
5. Insert the brush end of the snake into the dryer duct and turn the drill on. Begin rotating the brush on the lowest speed possible and slowly feed the brush into the dryer vent. The rotating action will clean and break through any debris that may be clogging the dryer duct, and the flexible rods will bend at sharp angles and follow the duct work all the way to the dryer. Push the brush all the way in, then slowly pull it out, rotating the entire time.
6. Flush the duct by either turning on the dryer and allowing the air to blow it out or place a wet/dry vacuum at the vent mouth and suck the lint and other debris out. Replace the vent cover when finished and break down the snake back into its original state until next time.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Dryer vent snake auger
- Variable speed drill
- Wet/dry vacuum, if applicable
- Snake your dryer vent yearly as a maintenance task. If your dryer suddenly begins to take a longer drying time than normal, or if there is suddenly a buildup of humidity inside the room where the dryer resides, snake the vent and clean it out.
- Always unplug the dryer before beginning to snake the vent.
- A variable speed drill is a must for this application. A drill with only one speed will rotate the snake too fast and may cause irreparable damage to the dryer duct system.