You’ve almost certainly cleaned your dryer’s lint trap. But have you ever cleaned the vent hose? It’s a harder task, but it’s vital to perform — lint buildup in a dryer vent can lead to a fire in your laundry room that can quickly spread out of control.
Many people hire a professional cleaner, but DIY dryer vent cleaning is becoming a popular alternative. We should know — we own LintEater, the first retail dryer vent cleaning kit designed specifically for homeowners. And though we were the first, we’re not the only ones on the market anymore; plenty of other impressive dryer vent cleaning kits have hit the shelves since LintEater. But, with so many options available, which kit is right for you?
Let’s take a look at three rotary dryer vent cleaning kits: LintEater, Lint Wizard, and — far and away the most popular manufacturer on the market — Holikme. We’ll compare them along five different attributes:
- Rod length
- Rod material
- Rod attachment style
By the time you’re done, you’ll understand the ins and outs of what makes a rotary dryer vent cleaning kit work. You’ll also have a sense of the similarities and differences between three of the top kits on the market so you can find the right kit for your cleaning needs.
What Is a Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit?
Residential dryers have a vent hose attached that runs from the back of the dryer to the exterior of the home. Think of the dryer vent hose as the “exhaust pipe” of a dryer. Clothes can’t dry unless the moisture has some place to escape through, and that place is the dryer vent hose.
Over time, clothing lint inevitably gets sucked into the dryer vent hose and accumulates. The lint trap is supposed to help prevent this buildup, but lint traps can’t catch everything. Lint buildup in a dryer vent hose is very dangerous. Dryers get hot, and if lint gets near the dryer’s heating elements, that’s a house fire waiting to happen. In fact, there are nearly 16,000 dryer-related fires per year in the United States that result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
A rotary dryer vent cleaning kit is designed to help you clean the lint out of your dryer’s vent hose. These function primarily by way of three components:
- Extension rods
- A brush head
- A drill (not sold with the kits)
To operate the kit, just attach as many extension rods as necessary to your drill (enough to reach through the entire length of your vent hose), connect the brush head to the extension rods, insert the rods and brush into your dryer vent, and power on your drill. The rotating brush head will scrape lint out of the dryer vent as you push it in and out.
Comparing the Top 3 Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits
So, it’s clear that you should clean your dryer vent. Hiring a professional is always a viable option, but it also tends to be more expensive than if you were to do it yourself. And if you want to do it yourself, you need a dryer vent cleaning kit.
But which kit should you buy? One of the three top dryer vent cleaning kits on the market — LintEater, Lint Wizard, and Holikme — is a good place to start.
Let’s compare and contrast these three kits, taking a look at the length of their connector rods, the material of those rods, the method by which the rods attach to each other, the accessories included in each kit, and, finally, the price of each kit.
In the world of rotary dryer vent cleaning kits, a good rule of thumb is, “The longer the rod length, the better.” Shorter rods mean more connection points, and more connection points make the column of rods less stable as they spin. Longer rods are gentler on dryer vents, easier to operate, and offer superior cleaning results.
The Lint Wizard and Holikme kits offer 24” rods, while LintEater is the only dryer vent cleaning kit that offers 36” rods. And while the “Longer is better” rule of thumb is true, shorter extension rods are viable options for cleaning short, straight dryer vent hoses. So be sure to choose a kit with rods appropriate to the length of your dryer vent hose.
There are two materials that dryer vent cleaning kit rods are made from: plastic or nylon. Nylon is very flexible, which is advantageous — dryer vent hoses tend to twist and bend at all angles to extend from the dryer to the dryer exhaust vent. Flexible nylon rods have no trouble bending to follow the path of the dryer vent hose.
Plastic rods, while somewhat flexible, are a bit more rigid, and can break off and become stuck deep in the vent hose as a result. This could damage the vent hose, and the process of retrieving a broken extension rod can be frustrating.
Holikme kits and Lint Wizard kits come with plastic extension rods, while LintEater kits feature nylon rods. Despite their versatility, nylon rods do come with a glaring downside: they’re more expensive than their plastic counterparts (sometimes twice as expensive as kits with comparable lengths).
Rod Attachment Style
Dryer vent cleaning rods attach to each other in one of two ways: they can screw into each other, or they feature a spring-loaded, button-style locking mechanism. The button-style attachment (pictured above) is much more secure. It ensures the rods stay solidly locked in place during the cleaning process.
The threaded, screw-style method, on the other hand, is a bit more limiting. Because of the way the screw rods are threaded, you can only set your drill to spin clockwise. Counter-clockwise cleaning may cause the rods to become unscrewed from each other, resulting in wobbly rotation or even causing the rods to become disconnected from each other entirely, getting stuck in the dryer vent.
Holikme dryer vent cleaning kits are made only with screw-style extension rods. The Lint Wizard kits use only button-style extension rods. LintEater uses a mix of button and screw-style rods — the original LintEater and the LintEater extension kit use screw-style connections, and the LintEater Pro uses button-based connections.
Dryer vent cleaning kits can come with a slew of accessories, some of which you may want, and some of which may just pad the price of the kit. Aside from the extension rods and the brush head, common accessories include:
- A narrow lint brush attachment for cleaning lint traps
- A vacuum adapter to vacuum out your dryer vent
- A claw-like blockage removal attachment to help extract large clumps of lint
- A lint-catching bag to attach to your home’s exterior vent to collect extracted lint
Holikme makes 14 different dryer vent cleaning kits, some of which come with just the bare-bones essentials while others come loaded with additional accessories.
LintEater and Lint Wizard kits come with vacuum adapters, lint trap brushes, and blockage removal tools. If you’re looking for a single, all-encompassing option, LintEater and Lint Wizard have you covered. Holikme, on the other hand, offers a great balance of accessory-heavy kits and cost-effective choices with just the essentials.
The four features above (rod length, rod material, rod attachment style, and accessories) are the factors that determine the price of a dryer vent cleaning kit. Kits can cost as little as $17 to as much as $45, and their prices vary between the big three manufacturers.
Holikme is both the most cost-effective and most expensive manufacturer of dryer vent cleaning kits. They make their kits in 15-feet, 25-feet, 30-feet, 40-feet, and 50-feet options. You can buy their rod-and-brush-only kits from $17 to $36 (depending on the length you need), or you can buy a 30-feet, 40-feet, or 50-feet kit with additional accessories for $30 to $44 (again, depending on length).
|15 feet||30 feet||30 feet (12-pc.)||40 feet||40 feet (12-pc.)||50 feet||50 feet (12-pc.)|
Lint Wizard’s options are a bit more straightforward: they sell a small duct cleaning kit for $15 and a large duct cleaning kit for $27. These kits are a great middle-of-the-road option from a price perspective, and they both come with the same number of accessories.
|Small Duct||Large Duct|
LintEater offers both the original LintEater and the LintEater pro for $33 and $41, respectively. Both kits come with identical accessories. We also offer a smaller, more streamlined LintEater Junior with just two, 18-inch extension rods for $19, and the LintEater Pro Jr. (with button-style connection points) for around $21.
|LintEater Jr.||LintEater Pro Jr.||LintEater||LintEater Pro|
Which Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit Is Best for You?
So much of the answer depends on how your dryer is situated, how long its vent hose is, and how often you use the dryer. Your conditions may require a high-end, heavy-duty kit, or you may just need a bare-bones kit with few to little accessories.
The good news is that by now, you should have a great idea of which kit you need and what kind of features it should come with. After you decide, you’ll be ready to keep your dryer vent hose clean, lint-free, and safe from catching fire.