Dryer Takes Forever to Dry? The Common Causes, Solutions, and How to Clean Dryer Vent & Ducts

Are you tired of standing around waiting for your clothes dryer to finish its cycle? If your dryer takes forever to dry your clothes, you’re not alone. This is a common complaint for many dryer owners. There are a number of common reasons why a dryer might take a long time to do its job, but fortunately, many of these issues have simple solutions. 

Common Causes and Solutions When a Dryer Takes Forever to Dry

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of slow-drying dryers and provide tips on how to get your appliance back up to speed. Whether you’re dealing with a full load of wet towels or just a dryer leaving clothes damp, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s get started on understanding and fixing the problem of a dryer that takes forever to dry.

clean dryer vent

How Do You Fix a Dryer That Takes Too Long to Dry?

If your dryer is taking too long to dry your clothes, or your dryer takes two cycles to dry, there could be a number of reasons for this. In some cases, cleaning the lint filter or venting system can improve the efficiency of your dryer. However, it is always best to consult the owner’s manual or a professional appliance repair service to diagnose and fix the issue properly. Let’s review some common troubleshooting steps for when your dryer takes forever to dry.

Problem with Dryer Power Source

Does your dryer take too long to dry? One potential issue that can cause a dryer to take too long is a power source problem. Your dryer needs to be on a 240-volt circuit to operate at full capacity. If it is only receiving 120 volts of power, it will take three times as long to dry your clothes. 

Additionally, it is not recommended to use an extension cord with your dryer, as this can also reduce the amount of power it receives and cause it to take longer to dry. 

If you suspect that a problem with the power source may be causing your dryer to take too long to dry, you should check the outlet and circuit breaker to ensure that they are functioning properly. If necessary, you may need to have an electrician check the wiring to make sure that it is up to code and capable of providing the necessary power to your dryer.

dryer not drying

Overloading Dryer with Too Much Laundry

Another potential cause of a dryer taking too long to dry is an overloaded drum. When the dryer is overloaded, it means that there is too much laundry in the drum for it to circulate and dry properly. This can cause the dryer to take longer to dry or even cause it to stop working altogether. 

To avoid overloading your dryer, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum load size. This information can typically be found in the owner’s manual for your dryer. 

As a general rule of thumb, aim for a load size that is around three-quarters full, as this allows for proper circulation and ensures that your clothes will dry efficiently. If you are unsure about the maximum load size for your dryer, it is always a good idea to consult the owner’s manual or a professional appliance repair service for guidance.

Washer is Leaving Clothes Too Wet

If your washer is leaving your clothes too wet before they go into the dryer, it can definitely contribute to the dryer taking a long time to dry. There are a few different reasons why your washer may leave clothes too wet, including using the wrong wash settings or a malfunction in the washer itself. 

For example, if you are using the wrong wash cycle or load size, it can cause the washer to leave your clothes too wet. Similarly, if your washer is not functioning properly or is not draining correctly, it can also result in clothes that are too wet after the wash cycle. 

To prevent this issue, it is important to make sure that you are using the correct wash settings and that your washer is functioning properly. If you are unsure about the correct settings or if you suspect that your washer is experiencing a malfunction, it is always a good idea to consult the owner’s manual or a professional appliance repair service for guidance.

Dryer Lint Screen Needs Cleaning

A dryer lint screen that needs cleaning can definitely cause your dryer to take a longer time to dry. Lint is a byproduct of the drying process, and it can accumulate on the lint screen over time. 

If the lint screen is not cleaned regularly, it can become clogged and restrict the flow of air through the dryer. This can cause the dryer to take longer to dry your clothes or even cause it to stop working altogether. 

dryer takes forever to dry

To prevent this issue, it is important to clean the lint screen regularly. You should aim to clean the lint screen before every load of laundry or at least every few loads. 

To clean the lint screen:

  1. Remove it from the dryer
  2. Use a soft brush or a vacuum to remove any visible lint.
  3. Rinse the screen with warm water and a mild detergent, if necessary
  4. Dry it thoroughly before replacing it back in the dryer. 

By following these steps, you can help to keep your lint screen clean and ensure that your dryer is operating at its full capacity.

Clogged Dryer Vent or Duct – Most Common

A clogged dryer vent or duct is the most common cause of a dryer taking a long time to dry. The dryer vent and duct carry the hot air and moisture from the dryer to the outside of your home, and if they are clogged, it can impede the flow of air and cause your dryer to take longer to dry.

Lint is the most common cause of a clogged dryer vent or duct, but other debris can also contribute to this issue. Over time, lint and other debris can build up in the vent and duct, creating a blockage that can restrict the flow of air. If you suspect that your dryer vent or duct may be clogged, it is important to address this issue as soon as possible to prevent further problems.

How Do You Unclog a Dryer Vent?

If your dryer takes forever to dry, it is important to unclog a dryer vent to ensure the dryer is operating safely and efficiently. When a dryer vent is clogged, it can cause the dryer to overheat, leading to a potential fire hazard. A clogged dryer vent can also lead to longer drying times and increased energy usage.

Image Source: Lint Brush on Amazon

Items needed to unclog a dryer vent:

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Vacuum with a hose attachment
  • Lint brush

Steps to unclog a dryer vent:

  1. First, locate the outside dryer vent cover. This is typically found on the side of the house.
  2. Remove the dryer vent cover by loosening the screws or pressing the clips that hold it in place.
  3. Use the vacuum with the hose attachment to remove any visible lint or debris from the vent opening.
  4. If you are unable to reach the obstruction with the vacuum, use the needle-nose pliers to carefully remove any lint or debris that is stuck inside the vent.
  5. Once the obstruction has been removed, use the lint brush to thoroughly clean the inside of the vent.
  6. Reattach the dryer vent cover and secure it in place with the screws or clips.
  7. Test the dryer to ensure it is operating properly and efficiently. If the dryer doesn’t dry clothes continually or is not heating up properly, there may be additional blockages or issues that need to be addressed. Contact a professional dryer repair technician for diagnosis and repair.

How Do I Clean My Dryer Ducts Myself?

If your dryer takes forever to dry, it may be due to clogged dryer ducts. It is important to clean your dryer ducts regularly to ensure that your dryer is operating safely and efficiently. A clogged dryer duct can lead to longer drying times, increased energy usage, and a potential fire hazard. Cleaning your dryer ducts yourself can save you time and money, and it is a task that most homeowners can do on their own with the right tools and knowledge.

Items needed to clean dryer ducts:

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Vacuum with a hose attachment
  • Lint brush
  • Flashlight
  • Duct tape

Steps to clean dryer ducts:

  1. First, locate the dryer duct that runs from the back of the dryer to the outside vent.
  2. Disconnect the dryer from the power source and move it away from the wall to access the dryer duct.
  3. Use the screwdriver to loosen and remove the clamps or screws that secure the dryer duct to the dryer and the vent.
  4. Carefully pull the dryer duct away from the dryer and the vent.
  5. Use the vacuum with the hose attachment to remove any visible lint or debris from the dryer duct.
  6. If you are unable to reach the obstruction with the vacuum, use the needle-nose pliers to carefully remove any lint or debris that is stuck inside the dryer duct.
  7. Use the flashlight to inspect the inside of the dryer duct for any remaining blockages or debris.
  8. If the dryer duct is severely clogged or damaged, you may need to hire a professional to clean and repair the duct.
  9. Once the dryer duct is clean and clear, reattach it to the dryer and the vent using the clamps or screws. Use duct tape to seal any gaps or holes in the duct.
  10. Test the dryer to ensure it is operating properly and efficiently. If the dryer is still taking a long time to dry clothes or is not heating up properly, there may be additional blockages or issues that need to be addressed.

Why Does My Dryer Take Too Long to Dry?

If you have followed the troubleshooting tips in this guide and your dryer is still taking a long time to dry, or if your dryer is loud, it is possible that there is a malfunction with one of the dryer’s parts. Depending on the type of dryer you have, there are a few different parts that may be causing the issue.

For electric dryers, the heating element is a common point of failure. If the heating element is not working properly, it can cause the dryer to take longer to dry, or even stop working altogether. For gas dryers, the gas valve solenoids may be the culprit. These solenoids control the flow of gas to the burner, and if they are not functioning properly, it can cause the dryer to take longer to dry or stop working altogether. 

If you suspect that there is a malfunction with one of these parts, it is important to have a professional appliance repair service diagnose and fix the issue. Attempting to repair these parts on your own can be dangerous and may cause further damage to your dryer.

At Capital City Appliance Service, our team of experienced technicians is equipped to diagnose and repair a wide range of issues with your dryer. Whether you are experiencing problems with the power source, the ventilation system, or any other part of your dryer, we have the knowledge and expertise to get it running smoothly again. We offer fast, reliable service at competitive prices, and we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best possible service.

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