Can you use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent?

Person using a leaf blower on autumnal leaves.
(Image credit: Getty)

Dryer vents are notorious for filling up with the lint fuzz from clothing. Sitting on the outside of a building, you might be tempted to use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent, using the powerful airflow to expel the lint from the dryer tubing. 

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to use a leaf blower to clean your dryer vent, then you’re in luck - it is! It’s easy to use the best leaf blowers to clean a dryer vent. However, it’s important to do it the right way, or you can risk damaging even the best dryer or causing a dangerous blockage in your tubing. 

Make sure your dryer vent set-up is compatible 

The most important thing to know is that this method only works with certain types of dryer vent types. These are the features to look out for:

• Does your dryer vent have a removable grill on the outside? The vent grill on the outside must be able to be fully removed. Otherwise, the lint being expelled will become trapped and compactable at the front of the grill, causing a blockage. This can be especially dangerous, as dryers are a leading cause of house fires in the US.

• Is your dryer vent tubing fixed into a bent angle permanently? Only use the leaf blower on tubing that can be straightened out into a line, creating a clear path for the lint to escape. Otherwise, in angled or concertina-style piping, the lint will stick along the inside of the line and must be flushed by a professional dryer vent cleaning service.

How to use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent

What the expert says...

Professional Gardener Adam Whale has experience using a variety of garden power tools, so he has advised us on how to use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent without causing damage to the tubing: “If you are trying it for that use, keep the flow weak to mid at first until you get a feel for the job. It's a powerful tool.”

1. Remove the grill cover

The grill cover for the dryer vent will be located on the exterior of the house. Take this off using a screwdriver if necessary. 

2. Unplug the dryer 

Disconnect the dryer and drag it away to expose the dryer vent tubing. Then, remove the tubing from the dryer and ensure it is straight, with no kinks or bends in the line. 

You should now have a straight line with no obstructions from inside the house at the start of the air duct tubing to the open vent outside.

3. Attach the leaf blower nozzle 

Fasten the nozzle to the opening of the air duct tubing - you may need to use air duct tape to create a seal if there is a significant size difference between the leaf blower nozzle and the air duct tubing.

4. Start cleaning 

As garden care expert Adam suggests, use the lowest power setting first, working upwards in strength in 30-second to one-minute bursts until all lint has been expelled - you’ll when this is the case because lint will stop emerging from the dryer vent. 

5. Clean up

Clean away any lint from the outside of the vent with a brush. Next, reattach the dryer vent cover and fasten the now-clear tubing to the dryer.

Tanisha Fletcher

Tanisha started her career in commercial retail buying for one of Amazon UK’s Top 10 revenue grossing online homeware retailers. Years spent obsessing over homeware products made it an easy career switch to writing about them. Her freelance career has seen her craft customer-focused web content for brands big and small, as well as writing articles in the health, lifestyle, home and retail sectors.

With contributions from