What Does It Mean When Your Clothes Dryer Doesn't Dry?


Your clothes dryer isn't doing you any good if the clothes are still damp at the end of the cycle. The question you are left with is why the dryer isn't getting the load dry like it used to. The answer isn't always obvious, but the good news is that the cause is usually one of a few common problems that you can diagnose pretty easily. Assuming your dryer is running and it isn't a power problem, you can make a closer inspection to determine the reason your clothes aren't getting dry.

Lint Trap Dirty

  • A dirty lint trap is not only a potential fire hazard that causes overheating in dryers, but it is also a possible reason clothes are not getting dry in a normal amount of time in the dryer. The lint trap can get clogged up with lint from clothing over time, and the moisture from inside the dryer may not be able to escape properly. It is best to clean out the lint trap on the dryer every time you use it to prevent drying problems and to reduce the chances of overheating and a resulting fire.

Small Load

  • The air and heat are a major part of the equation when it comes to drying clothing, but the tumbling action is also an important part of the process. When an extremely small load is put into the dryer, such as one or two pieces of clothing, it may not create the tumbling action needed to dry the clothing in the normal amount of time. Sometimes adding a few extra garments, even if they are already dry, will help keep the load tumbling and decrease drying times.

Heat Problem

  • Your dryer must have heat to dry clothes in a reasonable amount of time, and if the heating element is burned out or partially burned out, then the clothes may take a long time to get dry. You can tell if the heating element is working properly in your dryer by running the load for several minutes and then opening the door and feeling the clothes inside. If they are not very warm to the touch, then there is obviously a heating problem. You'll have to replace the heating element. If you use a gas dryer, the gas supply may be turned off.

Blocked Ventilation

  • Blocked ventilation ducts can cause moisture to be trapped inside the dryer and make drying difficult and lengthy. Unhook the vents from the back of your dryer and check to see if they are clogged with lint or other debris. They should be checked and cleaned out regularly, as this can also be a fire hazard. Using straight, rigid vents will make blockages less likely.

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