A bird somehow managed to thwart the spring-loaded damper at the end of our dryer’s 15-ft.-long vent line. Then it built a nest and the duct started to collect lint—lots of it. Before buying a dryer-vent brush to clean out the lint, I decided to look around my toolshed to see if I could cobble one together with available materials. The brush had to be strong enough to dislodge the lint, yet flexible enough not to break, tear, or puncture the corrugated vent line.
I came across a bag of nylon cable ties and clipped a bunch of them into individual loops. Then, using another tie, I clipped them all together to make a sort of textured plastic ball, as shown in the drawing above. For handles, I tied two 20-ft. lengths of sturdy twine to each side of the ball. I was able to run my electrician’s snake through the clogged vent line, and I tied one end of the twine to it. I pulled the ball back and forth through the vent several times, dislodging all the blockages without any damage to the vent. I put a new flapper cap on its end, and we were back in business.
—Bob Miller, Titusville, NJ
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #213