Common Reasons Your Dryer Isn’t Drying

Even a well-maintained dryer can have issues at times. Understanding the common causes behind this all-too-familiar scenario is the first step to turning things around. Frontdoor is here to help guide you to a solution.

1. Overloading Your Dryer

Packing your dryer to the brim may seem like a time-saver, but it's counterproductive. It’s a common reason why your dryer isn’t drying effectively. Overloaded dryers can't circulate air properly which means clothes take longer to dry and energy is wasted.

Quick Tip: Dry smaller batches. Your clothes will dry quicker and more evenly. Plus, you'll extend the life of your dryer by reducing its workload.

2. Clogged Lint Filter

The lint filter is your dryer's unsung hero, trapping lint and ensuring air flows freely. But if it's clogged, your dryer’s efficiency plummets. Before or after each load, take a moment to clean the lint filter. Here’s how:

  • Pull out the filter.
  • Peel away the lint.
  • Every few weeks, wash the filter with warm, soapy water and a soft brush to remove any residue that isn’t visible to the naked eye.

This simple habit can significantly improve your dryer’s performance and even prevent potential fire hazards.

3. Inefficient Washer Spin Cycle

Your dryer may not be at fault. It could be your washing machine. Clothes that come out excessively wet strain your dryer unnecessarily. If your clothes are heavier than usual after the wash, check your washer's spin cycle. It might be time for an adjustment or a repair.
Remember, the drier your clothes after the spin, the less work for your dryer — and the quicker you can get back to your day.

A washing machine in a home.

Troubleshooting Tips for a Non-Drying Dryer

Here are some expert-approved steps to troubleshoot a non-drying dryer, helping you tackle this fix efficiently and effectively.

1. Inspect Your Dryer Vent

When was the last time your dryer vent was cleaned? If you can’t remember, or it’s been more than 9 months, you’re overdue. But before you do anything, ensure your dryer is unplugged and safely disconnected from any power sources.
Then, check for blockages. Lint will often build right at the exit of the exhaust vent outside of your home, due to the moisture. Carefully examine the venting system leading outside. Lint isn’t just a filter issue; it can build up in the hoses, too. If they’re clogged, your dryer’s efficiency will decrease.
Use a vacuum cleaner or shop vacuum to clear any lint and other debris out of the vent hole at the back of the dryer and inside the vent. If it’s too long to remove debris with a vacuum, you can use a special brush – available at your local home improvement store – that offers a more thorough cleaning. 
If you’re unsure of what to look for, consider booking a session with a Frontdoor Expert for a thorough vent cleaning. Not only is this good for your dryer, but it’s also a crucial step for fire safety.

Good news: Frontdoor knows the critical importance keeping your dryer vent clean. We now offer member bookings for in-person vent cleaning services in many areas. Find out if you’re eligible today!

2. Check the Dryer Settings

Familiarize yourself with your dryer’s settings. The wrong choice can lead to clothes that are still damp after the dryer. Ensure you’re using the correct cycle for the type of fabric and load size.
If you usually stick to one setting, try another that’s more suited to the load you’re drying. Different materials require different levels of heat and time.

3. Examine the Heating Element

A dryer not heating up properly just doesn’t do the job. If your clothes are still damp after the dryer, the heating element could be to blame.
One quick way to do this is to run the dryer empty for 30 seconds, open the door, and check for warmth. If there is none, it’s time to contact an Expert.

When to Contact a Professional

If your dryer still isn’t drying after you’ve checked the vent and settings, it might be time for a professional look. This could indicate a more complex issue, like a failing heating element or a problem with the drum seal.
With the Frontdoor app, help is at your fingertips. Start a video chat with an Expert to troubleshoot together. If the problem is beyond DIY, we’ll connect you with a trusted Pro from our national network.
By following these steps, you not only safeguard your home and appliances but also ensure that your laundry routine goes quickly and efficiently—as it should. Remember, regular checks and maintenance can prevent most issues before they start, and when in doubt, a Frontdoor Pro is here to guide you through.

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Understand your dryer better by downloading the app and video chat with an Expert today