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Internet Horrified by 25 Years' Worth of 'Build Up' Inside Dryer Vent

Newsweek 3/17/2023 Soo Kim
A stock image of a pile of lint emptied from a laundry dryer vent. A video showing 25 years' worth of "build up" in a dryer vent has gone viral on TikTok. © iStock / Getty Images Plus A stock image of a pile of lint emptied from a laundry dryer vent. A video showing 25 years' worth of "build up" in a dryer vent has gone viral on TikTok.

A video revealing what appeared to be a shocking amount of lint buildup inside a laundry dryer vent has gone viral on TikTok, where it had received 21 million views as of 1 p.m. ET Friday.

A caption with the clip shared by TikToker AceVents, who provides dryer vent cleaning and repair services, according to an Instagram profile, read: "Customer said it took several times to dry small amounts of clothes. I believe we found the reason.#dryervent #dryerventcleaning #fyp #lint #dryerlint #ventcleaning."

The clip showed piles and piles of lint being scooped out of the hole of a vent using what appeared to be a drilling device. A message overlaid on the clip read: "Customer says her clothes won't dry. 25 years of build up."

It's important to prevent lint buildup and clean your dryer as it can be dangerous for your health.

A study published in May 2019 in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment, which analyzed 70 samples of laundry dryer lint from 19 households, found that various trace elements, including lead and antimony, were detected in several households.

Lead is a toxic metal that can affect multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.

"There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects," the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that antimony, "a silver-white brittle solid or a dark-gray, lustrous powder," can be harmful to your eyes, skin, lungs, heart and stomach.

The U.K. government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says fires are the main danger from laundry dryers.

The HSE warns that several factors can lead to tumble dryer fires, including reduced airflow in the dryer, which is mainly caused by the build-up of lint in filters/traps as well as from poor venting arrangements.

"Ensure that lint filters in tumble dryers are cleaned before use and that lint is not allowed to accumulate in and around the appliance," the HSE advises.

Whirlpool, the major American home appliances manufacturer, says the lint trap of your dryer should be cleaned after every load, while a "deeper clean" should be done around every six months.

"Aside from the lint trap and slot, lint can also build up in the dryer's drum, vent and duct system. You can clean these areas of your dryer yourself, as needed, to remove lint and help keep your dryer in optimal working condition," it said.

The video has stunned users on TikTok, with several pointing out the fire hazard.

In a comment that got 38,800 likes, user engineers-hero wrote: "never cleaning your dryer vent is a good way to end up burning your house down."

In a comment that got 67,300 likes, user Hom tolland said: "How is the house not on fire [skullhead emoji]," and user David agreed, asking "How has a fire not happened yet."

Kyle Morales wrote: "Wowzies! [wide-eyed surprised face emoji] That a lot of build up! [crying laughing emojis]."

MykoMushroom simply said: "Omg [oh my god] woah," while user s4mur4i5240 said: "I be wouldn't be able to breathe."

Newsweek has reached out to the original poster via TikTok and email for comment. This video has not been independently verified.

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