Lint Lizard: Does it work?

Consumer Reports checks out dryer lint trap cleaning tool

Highly flammable dryer lint is blamed for fueling thousands of house fires every year.

So can an $11 infomercial product called the Lint Lizard help clean out dryer exhaust systems?

Consumer Reports checked it out.

The Lint Lizard easily attaches to your vacuum cleaner hose. You thread the 40-inch tube down into the lint trap and vacuum out lint that may be trapped inside the dryer.

"The Lint Lizard worked really well," said Consumer Reports' Bernie Dietrick. "It removed more lint that any other technique that we tried."

One drawback is that the tube may not easily fit into very narrow openings.

And, it's tip could damage flexible foil or plastic ductwork.

Consumer Reports doesn't recommend that type of ductwork anyway.

Extremely flexible vents sag and trap more lint.

Metal ducts are recommended, either rigid or semi rigid.

The Lint Lizard can also be used to vacuum the vent outside the house.

However, it may not reach far enough into  very long vent pipes.  Many newer, two-story homes have laundry room in the interior, and have lengthy vent pipes that run straight up.

Alisa LeSueur, a certified dryer exhaust technician with a business called The Dryer Vent Lady,  spend uses a system of long rods and brushes to clean out homeowner's dryer vents and ducts.

"Over time, with buildup, that lint is so flammable, all you need is the tiniest spark from the dryer, and you've got a chain reaction, and it burns down houses," she said.

One sign that you may have lint accumulation is clothing taking too long to dry.

The Lint Lizard is sold online and at stores, including Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target and Walmart.

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