Hair dryers tend to collect hair and dust in their vents – that’s the back end with grill. Cleaning that junk out can prolong the life of your hair dryer, but not cleaning it out can, in my experience, cause it to shoot small flames out the back end. It was when that happened that I first realized I needed to learn how to clean a hair dryer.
What you need
This is really easy to do, and there’s not much you need to get the job done.
To clean the vent, you just need:
- A dirty hair dryer. Pictured is my trusty Conair that’s lasted so long I don’t think they make this exact model anymore.
- A toothbrush you don’t plan on putting in your mouth again
- A paper towel to catch the cruddies
How to clean a hair dryer
The first thing you need to do is locate your dryer’s vent. On every model I’ve ever seen, it’s on the back end.
You may not be able to see the filth clearly (I tried taking the photo several ways, including with a flash, but it just didn’t show up well), but there’s a lot of crud in there. Don’t worry, it’s very clear in the next picture.
You’ll need to remove the grill. Usually it just twists off, or there will be clearly labeled buttons or locks that tell you how to jiggle it to get it off. It should be self-explanatory.
And there’s the filth, see? GROSS. But in about 30-60 seconds, it’s going to be so much prettier and all that crud is going to be on the paper towel, ready to be trashed. Just take your toothbrush and gently start scrubbing in the areas where you see dirt. The bristles do a great job of latching onto these things – which look like dust bunnies – and pulling them out. You may have to experiment – sometimes rubbing it back and forth is best, other times just gently dipping it in and working it from side to side does the trick.
See the bunnies that have gathered over on the left side? Ugh.
Every now and again, wipe the crud off of your toothbrush and onto the paper towel. You may have to grab the paper towel and squeeze it off the bristles if any of it sticks. That way, your brush is clean when you go back into to pull out more filth.
And now it’s clean! Easy-peasy – just pop the vent back on and you’re done.
How often you should do this depends on how much hair you have and how often you (and/or others) use the dryer and so on, but about once a month is a good starting point for most home users. Next, learn how to clean a flat iron.
- Paper towel to use as a work surface
- Locate your dryer’s vent (usually on the back end).
- Remove the grill. It probably twists off, or there might be a button or latch.
- Take your toothbrush and gently scrub out the dirt and dust bunnies.
- Pop the vent back on.
- You're all set!