Close up image of a Maytag® dryer control panel

DRYER NOT DRYING? STEP BY STEP TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

There are several reasons why your dryer may not be drying, including a clogged lint screen, issues with the vent hose or a clogged vent system. Properly installing and maintaining your dryer can help avoid some issues that can interfere with performance.

Identifying the cause of a dryer not drying can help you determine the proper course of action to resolve the issue.

TROUBLESHOOTING WHY A DRYER ISN’T DRYING

If your dryer is not getting clothes as dry as you want, run through these quick steps to find out why.

Person cleaning a lint trap

STEP 1: CHECK THE LINT SCREEN

A blocked lint screen could be the reason your dryer is not drying. Remove lint by rolling it off with your fingers. Then clean the screen with soap and water to remove residue buildup:

  1. Wet both sides of the screen with hot water.

     

  2. Wet a nylon brush with hot water and liquid detergent. Gently scrub the screen.

     

  3. Rinse with hot water.

     

  4. Dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

Proper dryer vent hose length

STEP 2: CHECK THE DRYER VENT HOSE MATERIAL

Look behind the dryer to make sure the vent hose is made of a heavy, rigid material. Other materials like aluminum foil and plastic can get kinked or crushed, restricting airflow.

Graphic of a dryer vent hose

STEP 3: CHECK THE DRYER VENT HOSE INSTALLATION

Your dryer vent hose should be at least 4 inches in diameter for maximum air flow. Make sure the vent hose is as short as possible with no more than four 90° bends, though 45° bends will provide even better airflow. Consult your product manual for more details on proper vent hose installation.

STEP 4: CLEAN THE DRYER VENT SYSTEM

A clogged dryer vent could also be why your dryer is not drying. Along with heat, dryers need good airflow to get the job done. The dryer venting system plays a big role in keeping air moving, reducing dry times and may help improve efficiency. The vent hose and vent duct can become clogged with lint and debris over years of use without proper cleaning and maintenance. You can either clean the dryer vent system yourself or schedule a service with a licensed technician.

DISCOVER MAYTAG® DRYERS

Maytag® dryers provide powerful drying action to get your laundry done when it comes to your laundry. Explore dryer options with cycles like Wrinkle Control and Steam Refresh that use a fine mist in the dryer to relax wrinkles and revive your laundry. Compare Maytag® dryer options to find the right choice for your home.

Stainless steel Maytag® washer and dryer in a modern laundry room

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CLEAN A DRYER VENT?

As a general rule, you should clean your dryer vent system once every two years. You may need to clean the system more frequently depending on how often you use your dryer and if the vent becomes clogged. Additionally, you should always clean out your dryer’s lint screen with every load of laundry.

Clothes tumbling in a dryer

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DRYER HEATING ELEMENT IS BAD AND NEEDS TO BE REPLACED:

If your dryer heating element isn’t working properly, the dryer will spin and complete a cycle without getting hot enough to dry your clothing. Over time, heating elements wear out and need to be repaired or replaced with the help of a licensed professional.

WHY IS MY DRYER NOT DRYING CLOTHES IN ONE CYCLE?

Your dryer may not completely dry loads in one cycle due to problems with the dryer vent system or heating element, but it can also be due to clothes that are leaving the washer too wet or overloading the dryer and preventing proper air flow.

WHY IS MY DRYER NOT DRYING ALL THE WAY? 

Many of today’s dryers are designed to automatically stop the cycle when clothes reach a safe moisture level. This is meant to help prevent extra wear and tear caused by overdrying. Check your dryer settings to see if you can adjust the dryness level to your preference.

Woman unloading from a clothes dryer

WHY ARE PARTS OF MY CLOTHES STILL DAMP?

If your dryer is set to auto sensing, it may stop when your load reaches a designated level of dryness. However, thicker fabrics, pockets and seams may come out slightly damp.

Maytag tip icon

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS TO TRY IF YOUR DRYER IS NOT DRYING

  • Clear away items in front of the dryer.

  • Check that fabric softener sheets aren’t blocking any air outlets.

  • Make sure the dryer is level.

  • Don’t tightly pack the dryer.

  • Get to know your dryer’s cycles in the owner’s manual.

If you have followed all other troubleshooting steps and your dryer still is not drying, call the dryer manufacturer for help. For service on a Maytag® dryer, call the customer care center at 800-344-1274.

MORE APPLIANCE MAINTENANCE TIPS

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