Clean Your Dryer Ducts – Prevent Fires

Quoted from

Once the weather turns cold and the heat kicks on, your home starts to get dry and static electricity arrives once again. This minor nuisance that causes siblings to shock each other for fun can actually be dangerous if it ignites lint that has built up in or around your dryer.

Why you should clean out your dryer ductwork:

According toThe Consumer Product Safety Commission, ( CPSC ), annually there are 15,500 Dryer Fires, Up To 30 Deaths and over 310 injuries, due to dryer exhaust duct fires. You should clean your dryer hose and around it once a year, and inspect the vent and hose for any blockages at least every 6 months.

You could pay a professional to clean your dryer ductwork, but the price could be anywhere from$65.00 to $150.00! Ummm — no thanks — I’ll keep my money and do this myself. It only takes about 15 – 20 minutes to do and it is easy! As long as your ductwork is fairly accessible, you can handle this!

If your dryer exhaust hose tube is longer than 10′ this may be a bit more difficult. And if it is longer than 10′, did you know that your dryer may be working extra hard to dry your clothes? Worse yet is if you have a long tube that goes up into the attic (or the eaves) and then out the roof. The warm moist air from the dryer enters the cold attic, and condensation forms in the exhaust tube. Do you know where this little story is going? Well, at first your dryer can’t dry as quickly because the tube is blocked by water. Eventually it will fill with enough water to cause the exhaust tube to split and guess where all that water goes? Through your ceiling, that is where! Trust me on this one, it happened to us in our old house.

So, why don’t you sit back down and let me give you a little tutorial on cleaning out your dryer exhaust ductwork.


Start by unplugging your dryer and turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer.

Remove your lint trap and remove any lint from the screen.

Using a brush (designed for cleaning out the coils under your fridge) bend the brush and run it inside the lint trap. Then follow up by using a shop vac or vacuum to suck up any lint and dirt loosened by the brush.

Pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the exhaust duct tube from the wall and the dryer. There are normally two kinds of hose clamps holding the tube to the dryer and wall port. The first is a ring with two prongs. Simply squeeze the prongs toward one another to loosen the clamp.

The second type of hose clamp requires a screwdriver to loosen the bolt attached to the clamp.

Slide the exhaust tube off the dryer and the port (hole in the wall.)

Use your vacuum to clean out both the dryer and wall ports.

Then use the vacuum to clean out the dryer exhaust tube.

If you have an older style vinyl tube, it is important that you replace it with a foil style one. The vinyl ones are fire hazards. Also, if you can’t get your tube clean, go ahead and replace it. They are inexpensive, normally it costs just under $10 for a new foil flexible duct tube.

If your tube is long or difficult to clean out, you may want to purchase a hose brush like this one:

Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush src=””
width=”300″ height=”300″> Brushtech B68C 10-Feet Long Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush: Home & Garden.

While you have the dryer pulled out, vacuum off the back of the dryer, the washer, and the wall behind both. Eliminate as much lint as possible. A clean laundry room is safer than a lint covered one.

Re-attach the dryer tube to the wall and the dryer.

Gently push the dryer back towards the wall being careful not to crush the tube.

Locate your exterior dryer vent.

If you can reach the exterior vent, go ahead and clean it out also. Make sure the vent closes properly when the dryer isn’t running.Otherwise you may get birds, rodents or bugs in your vent. I don’t think I need to tell you that they won’t be helping your dryer’s efficiency!

And that is it?! That was easy wasn’t it. Be sure to keep your home and family safe by cleaning your dryer exhaust ductwork yearly.

Timberwolf Quilting Studio

Bargello Quilt

Tutorial by Big Horn Quilts
40″ x 60″ before borders

This quilt will use two 2-1/2 inch strips of 20 different fabrics from your stash. So, cut pairs of strips, selvedge to selvedge.
To make a bigger quilt, decide how tall and wide you want it to be without borders. Each 2 ½ inch strip in your strata will give you 2″ in length, each 4 ½ inch strip in your strata will give you 4 inches additional in length. Each strata set will give you about 30 inches in width but again, the strata must be identical! Make two identical strata by sewing the strips together so that you get value runs from dark to light and back. Set your stitch length to about half your normal length, because you will be cross cutting small pieces and you don’t want them coming apart at the seams. The strata are most interesting when there are at least two light areas and two dark areas, and at least two color families. The top and bottom of your strata will be joined together, so consider that in planning your color runs. When fabrics next to each other have a sharp contrast, it is dramatic. You want a little drama, but not chaos. If you try to blend too much, you’ll end up with mush. Since this is an exercise in using up scraps, have fun with it.


Don’t be dismayed by how the strata look, they are always pretty yuk. See how awful mine was:

The fabrics don’t have to all play well together, they just have to play well with the ones on either side of them. Iron all the seam allowances toward the bottom strip. Ironing well at this point will save you grief later. Check both the right side and the wrong side for pleats and goofy seam allowances. Then sew the bottom strip to the top strip, right sides together. This will make a big tube with all the seam allowances on the outside. Cross cut this tube into the following widths: 1″, 1-1/2″, 2″, 2-1/2″, 3″, and 3-1/2″. You should be able to get about 3 of each width out of each of your strata tubes. These widths are not real important, you can do any widths, but what is important is that your cuts are at a good 90 degrees to your seam lines, and that the strips you cut are the same width at both ends. You may have to discard some ‘check slivers’ to keep everything perpendicular to the seam lines, and to flatten out places where the tube wants to twist. Set your sewing machine back to normal length stitches, and turn the tubes right sides out. Now comes the fun. On your design wall if you have one, or on any surface, start designing your bargello. Pick up a strip, decide which fabric you want on the top right hand corner of your quilt, and lay the tube out with that fabric at the top. Pick up a strip that is similar but not exactly the same size and lay it beside the first, with that top fabric offset up or down ½ drop (one inch). This will mean folding a fabric at the top, midway between the seams. It is fun to go from about 2 inch strips up to the 3 ½ inch size, and then back down to the smallest, and then back up. If you do this, you get curves. If you put all your 2 inch strips beside each other, you will get a straight line. Go up for a while, then down for a while. Play with different arrangements. Don’t worry about the backs of the strips, which you cant see if the top looks good, the bottom will too.

When you like the design, cut the top of each tube. Every other one will be cut right on the seam line, and the alternate tubes will be cut exactly between two seam lines. Sew them back together, and you have a bargello quilt! By having all the seam allowances pointing the same direction, it is easy to sew without having to fuss with them, they should always point towards your belly when you are sewing.