How to Clean Dust out of Air Vents


Air vents often seem as if they’re magnets for dirt and dust. It seems as if the vents can go from clean to filthy in no time at all. Obviously, unclean vents can also spread dust throughout the rest of the house whenever the heating or air conditioning is engaged. You can help prevent this from happening to your home by keeping the vents clear of furniture, drapes and other obstacles that hinder the flow of air. Regularly cleaning the vents is also necessary in order to maintain the spotless condition of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum with brush and/or crevice attachment
  • Stepladder or chair
  • Screwdriver
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sponge or soft scrub brush
  • Turn off your heating and/or air conditioning unit before attempting to clean the air vents. If the unit turns on while you’re cleaning the vents, it may cause more dust to spread throughout the house.

  • Vacuum the air vent using a brush and/or crevice attachment on the end of the vacuum hose. If necessary, use a stepladder or chair in order to reach the air vent.

  • Examine the air vent. Most vents will be held in place by at least two screws. The types of screws will vary, but the majority can be removed with either a Phillips or flathead screwdriver. Use the necessary screwdriver to remove the screws from your air vent. This will permit you slide the vent off of the air duct.

  • Fill your kitchen sink with warm water and add enough liquid dish soap or detergent to make the water sudsy. Immerse the air vent into the soapy water and scrub it from top to bottom with a soft brush or sponge. Be sure to get between the slats of the air vent. If necessary, use cotton swabs to clean the slats.

  • Rinse the air vent and allow it to air dry. As the air vent is drying, take your vacuum back to the air duct and vacuum it out with the brush or crevice attachment, reaching as far into the duct as you can.

  • Replace the air vent once it has dried. Tighten the screws that hold the air vent in place using the necessary screwdriver.

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