How to Troubleshoot an Electric Clothes Dryer That Takes Too Long


When drying a small load of clothing, it should not take more than a few minutes to completely dry the clothing. Even when drying a larger load, the clothes should dry well within an hour. In some cases--such as when large, thick blankets are in the dryer--the process can take longer. If there are other situations during which the clothing in the dryer is not drying quickly enough, you can do a few things to troubleshoot why this is happening.

  • Check to make sure you have not selected the "Fluff Air" option on the dryer. This dryer option produces no heat during the cycle, and instead is used for drying heat-sensitive items such as plastics, stuffed toys or foam-rubber pillows.

  • Check the lint screen. Clean the lint screen by pulling it from the dryer, removing the lint with you hand and placing the screen back into place. A lint screen that is covered with lint reduces the airflow and causes drying time to increase.

  • Change how long you wait between loads. Quickly change loads one after the other. A warm dryer requires less heat-up time than a dryer that is turned on after being cold. As soon as one load finishes, remove it and place the second load in its place.

  • Check the room temperature. Keep the temperature in the laundry room at a temperature above 45 degrees F (7 degrees C).

  • Change the way you sort clothing. Sort loads by fabric type and weight. Cotton shirts should dry faster if they are not in a load with wool blankets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid overloading the dryer and opening the door unnecessarily.

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  • Photo Credit laundry dial image by Sirena Designs from
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