Dryer Takes a Long Time to Dry



If your patience is running low because your dryer takes too long to dry a load of laundry, there are a few easy things you can do to help your dryer—and yourself—operate more efficiently.

For step-by-step instructions for repairing your dryer, check out our dryer repair help or our laundry center repair help for laundry center dryers.

Check for Lint Clogs, Clean Vent Hose

Your dryer vents moist, warm exhaust air outdoors through a vent pipe. A lint clog anywhere in the venting path makes your dryer work harder and takes longer to dry a load. It can even make your dryer overheat and shut down. Lint is also a fire hazard. To keep your dryer operating at peak efficiency, make sure it can vent moist air easily following these steps.

  • Clean the lint filter after every load. Also, check the filter housing for lint buildup.
  • Check your dryer’s vent hose for any pinches, crimps or other restrictions. Refer to your owner’s manual for proper venting instructions.
  • Check the vent hood or damper outside to make sure it’s not blocked, and that the flapper door opens all the way when the dryer is running.
  • At least once a year, use a soft, nylon brush to clean the inside of the vent hose. Accumulated lint is a fire hazard and makes drying take longer.

  • Most newer dryers have moisture sensor bars behind the lint filter housing. Dryer sheets can leave a film on the sensor bars that decrease the bars' accuracy, so if you use dryer sheets, wipe the bars with a clean rag dampened with rubbing alcohol to remove the residue.

Don't Overload the Dryer

Only dry one washer load of clothes at a time. Don’t combine wash loads to make one large load for the dryer. Overloading your dryer wastes energy because it takes longer to dry the load. Overloading causes laundry to wrinkle, too.

As strange as it might sound, not putting enough laundry in the dryer also can lead to longer drying times because there’s not enough weight to ensure the proper tumbling. Make sure you have enough items in the dryer so the load tumbles.

Check Wash Cycles and Settings

Clothes wetter than normal from the washer increase the drying time. Check that the washing machine cycle is set correctly. Some fabrics will feel wetter when rinsed with cold water. Your owner’s manual lists what cycle to use with different types of clothes. Reduce the load size in the washer, especially for towels or heavier items.

Improper sorting of laundry can lead to laundry taking too long to dry, so you should separate heavy items from lightweight items in the dryer. Generally, a well-sorted washer load is a well-sorted dryer load.

Also, make sure the dryer’s heat setting matches the load you’re drying. If you try to dry heavy towels on the same low-heat setting you use for delicates, it’s going to take a lot longer for the towels to dry completely.

Make Cleaning Easier  

This universal brush is ideal for hard-to-reach places like dryer vent hoses. At least once a year, use the brush to clean dust, dirt, hair and dander from the vent hose. The brush also works on refrigerator coils.