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Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

clothes dryer
There are a few reasons that your dryer isn't drying the clothes. This is a guide about dryer isn't drying clothes.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

June 22, 20090 found this helpful

The dryer is taking two or three cycles to completely dry a load.

Brian from Hamilton, MI


Thermostat or Heating Element

It could be either the thermostat or the heating element. You can replace them yourself.

By deebomb

Dryer Vent

I had the same problem about a year ago. Make sure that you clean out the dryer vent which runs from your dryer to the outside of your house. My husband had to take the long dryer vent apart in sections and I really gave it a good cleaning. If it is really clogged with lint it will take forever for your clothes to dry. It should be cleaned out every year.


Two Fuses

I don't know if you have fuses or breakers for your home electric box. My dryer had 2 fuses and one went bad and it was the heating fuse, if you have breakers, check to see if one of the breakers switched off for some reason.

Snags in Your Vent Hose

Look to see if there is somewhere along your hose to the outside dryer vent that has a sag in it. Condensation will build up in there and cause water to sit there and not allow the damp air to get through easily, so it takes hours to dry a load. I had this problem one time and got about 1/2 gallon of water out when we disconnected the hose from the dryer and lifted up the part that had sagged.

By nana_katie

Call for Repair

I would look at my heating element. Better yet call a service repair man and get "the real deal" rather then guessing.

By Paula

Lint Catcher

I received an email recently that said it was important to wash your dryer lint catcher if you use dryer sheets as it leaves a film on them that prevents the air flow and slows down the drying process. If you run water over your lint screen and it does not go through it needs to be scrubbed with a brush, rinsed and dried and put back in your dryer.

By Kim


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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 27, 2010

I have been using my dryer to heat the house. Now it seems it takes longer to dry the clothes and the house gets humid. Is my dryer bad?

By Joy

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 27, 20100 found this helpful

My dryer started taking longer to dry clothes, but it was still getting hot (I could reach in and I'd have damp, hot clothes). I had my husband get a brush-thing to use on the dryer, then he got a brush/auger to use on the vent that goes out the house. Here is a link to what we got, but I think he got ours from Home Depot or Lowe's.


http://www.amaz  22478&sr=8-1

My machine was fine. But I had a massive, damp clog of lint in my vent. He said it was so damp, he couldn't imagine it ever catching on fire, but I know that clogged vents can be big fire hazards. After he removed the lint clog, the dryer performance went back to normal.

I don't know how you'd heat your house with the clothes dryer. Maybe instead of venting it out, you just have it blowing into the house? But you'd get lint everywhere, and that can't be good. I don't know how it would adversely affect your machine. If the machine still seems to heat up, maybe head to the hardware store and pick up one of the brushes to clean out your dryer. Other than that, I don't know.

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September 27, 20100 found this helpful

Clean the vents first; if you want your clothes to dry faster simply put in a large thick dry cotton towel with them; it absorbs the water faster! (And cuts down on utility bills!)

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September 27, 20100 found this helpful

Usually if the clothes are taking longer to dry it usually is lint clogging the exhaust piping somewhere. Also, you should never vent the dyer into the house or attic. You are pumping warm humid air into the house.

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful

Where do you think the moisture goes? It goes into the air. Venting your dryer into the house is downright dangerous if it is a gas dryer. If it is electric, it will make the air very damp and can cause mold to grow on the walls.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 8, 2017

My Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum dryer, model number WED8500BW0 is not drying. It won't heat up period. I can't afford to pay a repair man so I will be doing it myself. I've flipped the breaker, cleaned the lint trap, and that never helped. Can someone help me? I don't believe it's the heating element either. Any advice would be helpful.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 8, 20170 found this helpful

It could be the thermal fuse. Have you tested the heating element yet?

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June 9, 20170 found this helpful

It ended up being the plug from the house it was only putting out 110 so it was running but wouldn't turn the heating element on be u need 220 I check everything out everything ohm out so I knew it was something very simple from there

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June 10, 20170 found this helpful

It is nice that you found your own answer but my question would be - do you have correct voltage available? This must be a new house/apartment or a "new" dryer if you are just finding out about this problem.

Here is information from Whirlpool site:

If your dryer is not heating, then you may have an incoming power problem. Electric dryers need two legs of 120 volts AC equaling 240 volts. It is not uncommon for only one fuse or breaker to trip resulting in the dryer able to run, but not heat. The fuse box or circuit breaker should be checked or voltage measured at the outlet using a multi-meter.

You are probably going to need an electrician to look at this problem.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 21, 2012

I have a Whirlpool Cabrio dryer that is a couple years old. It gets good and hot, but does not seem to be removing the moisture from clothes as it should. It takes several cycles to get the clothes dry. Any ideas what is wrong? Thanks for any information.

By Brenda

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 23, 20120 found this helpful

Your lint filter/dryer vent is probably clogged. You need to clean it out.

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November 23, 20120 found this helpful

Sounds like nobody has been cleaning out the vent line - this could also cause a fire under the right conditions. Go to the back of the dryer unbolt the vent line. Vacuum out the inside of the vent line and then inside of the back of the dryer. Go outside and vacuum out the vent line there too. After you put it back together try drying something in it.

If all is now well then pull out the lint trap that you should be cleaning after each load of clothes. It's found inside the drum where you put your clothes to dry them. If you use fabric softeners there will be an invisible film of softener on the screen of the lint trap which can be seen when you run the lint trap under water. Take an old tooth brush and scrub the screen clean. I had a girlfriend who had a fire because of the buildup in the lint screen.

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November 23, 20120 found this helpful

The first thing I would check would be for lint build-up in your venting. If the air can't circulate properly it will not work as efficiently.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 28, 2009

I have a propane (natural gas) dryer. I have cleaned inside the "box" and got a lot of lint out, cleaned the vent hose, and cleaned the vent. It isn't heating to dry the clothes.

I did call them and they said to do all of the things that I did. It was working fine before I put the hose back in the wall to the vent outside. Now it isn't working, I have just this morning taken it back out and it still doesn't heat up to dry the clothes. Help, any ideas?

By Dahart from SW CO

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 29, 20090 found this helpful

All gas dryers have an ignition element that ignites the gas, and it's probably worn out and needs to be replaced.

Check out these two websites.

http://www.acme  dryer/gdryer.php

http://www.ehow  r-that-does.html

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

Yep, your heating element is dead. You need a new one, even if one heats clothes to WARM, it's supposed to be HOT, so sounds like yours needs to be replaced. The ideas they gave you were quick fixes if your element isn't dead.

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December 31, 20090 found this helpful

Is it possible you are out of propane?

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December 30, 20140 found this helpful

I have a Maytag 3000 dryer and it is not drying the clothes. We never used the dryer till today and it gave us a f 23 warning. Can anyone help out?

By Frank

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December 31, 20140 found this helpful

You can check your product manual that came with the machine for the error code, contact the store where purchased or contact the manufacturer for help.

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December 31, 20140 found this helpful

This is the code for exhaust thermometer failure. The part will have to be replaced before the code goes away.

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

I am asking this question for my mom. She has an Admiral gas dryer model number LNC8750A71 and the clothes are warm, but they are not getting dry. She cleaned out all of the lint catchers and the lint under the dryer was all wet.

It runs thru a cycle and turns off when it is done. The drum is turning around. The buttons on top to select the setting no longer work. She was told by someone that the heating element was bad and then someone else told her that she needed to check the thermal fuse. Can someone help us figure out what is wrong and if so how to fix it and can we fix it ourselves? Thank you for your time.

By Kim L.

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January 10, 20150 found this helpful

Difficult to provide a definitive answer from afar. You may find that it will cost more to fix than replace with a good used or new dryer.

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September 11, 20130 found this helpful

My Cabrio dryer is not drying. I have brand new solid ducting about 20 ft long to the outside.

By BC from Virginia Beach, VA

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 28, 20090 found this helpful

My dryer is taking three times as long to dry my clothes as it used to. It still gets very warm (though not hot), so I don't see how it can be the heating element. My husband has cleaned out the vent, from the outside to the inside, to no avail. I have cleaned the lint trap. Any suggestions? Thank you.

By donandvi from Cincinnati, OH


Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

I'm glad that you mentioned that you've cleaned out the vent from the outside to the inside and also the vent in your dryer, because that was the first thing that I was going to suggest.

If you own a gas dryer, it might be the electrical ignitor that actually lights the natural gas. And if that is malfunctioning the gas won't stay on long enough to dry your clothes. Or it might be the heating coils that are shot.

If you can't fix it yourself, call in a repairman. (06/22/2009)


Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

Assuming it is an electric dryer, it could be your element is burning out and is not producing the full heat it used to. Elements work by resistance and do burn out slowly sometimes. The could be a bad thermal limiter that is turning the element off and on. The other thing it could be, is you might only be getting half the voltage you need, your breaker might be bad and one side is not sending the current through so instead of 240 volts your dryer is only getting 120 volts and producing half the heat. (06/22/2009)

By zoodad

Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

Some dryers have more than one heating element and one may have gone bad while the other still works. (06/22/2009)

By Lorelei

Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

One time we had a repair person out for the same thing. When he took the front off there was lint all over the inside between the drum and the outside walls. This could also be a fire hazard. Check it out. (06/24/2009)

By batmenj_5

Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

You may have cleaned off the lint in the vent and the lint trap/screen. However, if you are a regular user of dryer sheets (as opposed to liquid fabric softener), your problem may stem from their use.

What happens is that there is a waxy substance on the dryer sheets. This gets on your clothes to make them soft. It can also get on the lint trap/screen. To check for that build up which you can not see. Remove all lint from the lint trap/screen. Then, run water on the screen. If the water puddles and does not go through the holes in the screen, you know you have build up. Take a scrubby and scrub the screen until water will run through. This should help your dryer. My sister-in-law had a heating element completely burn out due to this problem. It is the sole reason why I now only use liquid fabric softener. Good luck. (06/24/2009)

By tnsink

Dryer Isn't Drying Clothes

Dryers have thermostats inside.
There are usually 2 on the heating element holder.
They should just be able to be popped off and
then the new one popped back in.
They have a light metal tops, kind of a circular
shape that look as if 2 sides got pulled out of
shape with prongs on the bottom.
There is also usually another one, that is not on
the heater holder, but near it, that is oblong and is
plastic with little prongs. I think it is called a thermal
I would try replacing that one first. (06/25/2009)

By carnation037

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