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How Do You Fix a Dryer That Is Not Drying?

Nothing is quite as frustrating as tossing a load of wet laundry into the dryer only to find that it’s still damp after a full cycle. A dryer that isn’t drying clothes properly can be a hassle, causing significant delays in your daily routine.

Fortunately, you can try several troubleshooting tips before scheduling a costly repair or replacement. In this article, we’ll explore some common issues that can cause a dryer to function poorly and offer helpful tips and advice to help you fix the problem and get your laundry routine back on track.

You will also learn more about why your dryer isn’t drying by understanding the following:

  • Tips on how to fix a dryer not drying
  • Knowing when you should clean your clothes dryer
  • Other concerns that cause why your dryer isn’t drying like increased temperature, overloading, blocked air vent, and more!

So, grab a cup of coffee and dive into the dryer troubleshooting world!

Troubleshooting Tips for a Dryer Not Drying Clothes

Troubleshooting Tips for a Dryer Not Drying

If your dryer is not properly drying clothes, you can try several troubleshooting tips before calling a professional.

Check your lint screen

A dirty lint screen is one of the major reasons restricting your clothes dryer’s drying process. To prevent this, regularly cleaning your dryer and lint screen can be helpful. Remove the lint buildup by simply rolling it off with your fingers, then use soap and water to clean the screen and dryer drum to remove any residue.

Here are the steps to clean your screen effectively:

  1. Wet both sides of the screen with hot water.
  2. Wet a nylon brush with hot water and liquid detergent, then use it to scrub the screen gently.
  3. Rinse the screen with hot water.
  4. Dry the screen thoroughly with a clean towel.

Check your vent hose material

Ensure that the vent hose behind the two dryer vents is constructed of a sturdy and inflexible material by evaluating it. Other materials, such as plastic or heat-resistant aluminum tape, can easily become crimped or compressed, resulting in block airflow.

Check dryer vent hose installation

To ensure that your dryer’s airflow is at its best, it is recommended that your dryer vent hose be no less than 4 inches in diameter. As for the length of the hose, keep it as short as possible, with no more than four 90° bends. Better yet, opt for 45° bends to promote even better airflow. Check your product manual for guidance on properly installing your vent hose.

Clean clogged air vents

Your dryer needs good airflow to ensure it is working properly. A properly functioning venting system can significantly reduce drying time and improve efficiency. Nevertheless, the lint and debris buildup in the vent hose and duct over time can cause blockages that prevent air movement.

You can either clean the dryer vent system or book a licensed technician for a professional dryer cleaning kit and maintenance service.

Check heating element

If your dryer is not drying clothes effectively, there may be an issue with the heating element. You can check the heating element using a multimeter to confirm whether or not it is working. If the heating element is faulty, it should be replaced by a professional technician.

Check the timer setting

To make sure that your clothes are drying properly, it’s important to double-check the timer setting. Ensure that the timer is set for the appropriate amount of time depending on the load size and type of fabric.

How often should you clean a dryer vent?

dryer vent

It is generally recommended to clean your dryer vent at least once a year to prevent any buildup of lint or debris. However, the frequency of cleaning may vary depending on factors such as:

  • the number of loads you dry per week
  • the length of your vent hose

If you notice that your dryer is taking longer than usual to dry clothes or if it feels hotter, it may be a sign that the vent needs to be cleaned.

How to tell if your dryer heating element is damaged?

If you suspect that your dryer heating element may be damaged, here are some signs to look out for:

Clothes are not drying properly

The primary function of the heating element is to generate heat from moist air which dries your clothes. If your clothes are still wet after a cycle, it may mean that the heating element is not working adequately.

Visible damage

You can visually inspect the heating element to check for any visible damage. Look for signs of cracks or breaks in the coils of the element.

Burning smell

Detecting a burning smell from your dryer could indicate gas dryers have a faulty heating element. This may also be accompanied by visible smoke.

Why is your dryer not drying in one drying cycle?

If your dryer is not drying clothes completely in one drying cycle, there could be several reasons for this, including the following:

Clogged lint filter

A clogged lint trap or filter can prevent proper airflow and cause the dryer to overheat, which may result in the clothes not drying completely.

Restrictive vent

A restricted or clogged vent can prevent proper airflow of too many clothes and cause the dryer to overheat, leading to clothes not drying completely.

Incorrect temperature setting

If the temperature setting is not appropriate for the type of clothes being dried, it may not generate enough heat to dry the clothes completely.


Overloading the dryer can prevent clothes from tumbling freely, which is necessary to an electric dryer thoroughly.

Malfunctioning heating element

A damaged heating element can prevent hot air from the dryer from generating enough heat to dry clothes properly.

Why is your dryer not drying all the way?

Many modern dryers have an automatic feature that halts the cycle once clothes have reached a safe moisture level. This is intended to prevent any unnecessary damage caused by excessive drying. It’s worth looking at your dryer settings to determine whether you can customize the dryness level to your liking.

When to call an Expert’s Help?

dryer technician fixing a dryer not drying

While you can take some troubleshooting steps to resolve common issues with your dryer, sometimes calling an expert is necessary.

Calling an expert technician is likely the best course of action. They have the necessary knowledge and tools to identify and resolve any problems with your dryer with maximum energy efficiency and safety.

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