How Long Does A Dryer Take To Dry Clothes? SOLVED

When your clothes come out damp after a cycle in the dryer, you may be wondering why your clothes are still not dry…I mean, how long does a dryer take!

If your clothes don’t dry out completely after washing, you may be left with must and mildew. It’s important to ensure everything is totally dry before putting it away.

There are a wide variety of reasons your dryer might not be finishing loads in a timely manner. Here, I’m going to discuss how long it should take your dryer to work and the reasons why your clothes might not be coming out dry.

How Long Does a Dryer Take To Dry Clothes

The time it takes a dryer to dry clothes depends on the load. There are a couple of things that can factor into cycle length, from the size of the load to your current dryer settings. In most cases, a standard load of clothes will take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete. If it contains a lot of heavy fabrics, though, you may have to dry clothes for an hour or longer to see results. On the other hand, loads with particularly thin fabrics should only take 20 minutes, or so to dry. 

What Are You Drying

The clothes that make up a load of laundry can have a significant impact on drying time. Thick, heavy materials such as towels or blankets will usually take longer than thin, delicate materials such as shirts or intimates.

If your dryer is taking too long, consider the type of clothes you’re drying. You may have to split bulky items into multiple loads if you want shorter drying times. Or try pairing thick items into a single spin and your lighter garments into a separate short spin.

Load Size

As most people probably know, a large load of clothes takes longer to dry than a small load. You may have to wait two to three times as long for an oversized load to finish compared to an undersized load.

When your clothing takes too long to dry consistently, you should consider reducing your load size. Not only can this cut back on drying time, but it may improve the efficiency of your wash cycle too. 

Incorrect Dryer Settings

Almost all dryers come with multiple settings to accommodate different types of loads. You can choose between different heat levels, tumble speeds, and cycle lengths. If you’re unsure which settings to use, most clothing tags contain laundry symbols telling you how to best wash and dry the garment. 

If your laundry takes too long to dry, you can try adjusting your dryer settings to see if it reduces cycle time. The best way to speed up drying is by increasing heat settings. However, keep in mind that delicate fabrics such as silk. 

Dryer Efficiency

Sometimes, there’s not much you can do to speed up a drying cycle. Some dryers are simply less efficient than others and will take longer to complete a dry cycle, regardless of load size or contents.

You must do your research before purchasing a new dryer. Some dryer models are more efficient than others, leading to faster drying times. An efficient dryer can also help you to save on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Machines with an Energy Star certification are guaranteed to be at least 20% more efficient than other models. 

Reasons Your Dryer Taking Too Long

There are several reasons your dryer might be taking longer than expected to dry clothes. Pinpointing the root cause can help you have your dryer working back at peak efficiency again in no time. 

A malfunctioning dryer can also increase drying times for even average loads. You may find that clothes are getting hot without getting dry, or that it’s taking multiple cycles to complete a load. Whatever the reason, finding the root cause of long drying times can help you to save time, money, and frustration.

Problem With Input Power

Dryers require plenty of gas or electricity to operate. Without enough voltage flowing through its circuits, your dryer might struggle to run optimally and utilize the amps available to generate the performance to dry clothes efficiently. It may not be able to reach top tumbling speeds, or it may not be able to get hot enough inside the drum. 

If you plug your dryer into the wrong outlet, it will restrict the energy flow. Most electric dryers need a 240-volt outlet to operate. A dryer plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet can take three times longer to dry your clothes. Fortunately, most homes nowadays come with a dedicated 240-volt outlet in the utility room meaning you get the best 

You should never use an extension cord when plugging in your dryer since standard extension cords can’t handle the huge power loads required by drying machines. You may end up damaging your dryer. The power cord can also overheat, causing a fire safety concern.

Gas dryers will also be less efficient without sufficient power. If your gas line is blocked or malfunctioning, your clothes may not come out dry after a complete cycle. 

Dryer Drum Is Not Sealed

Around the dryer drum is a felt lining that keeps heat from escaping, helping dry clothes more efficiently. This lining gets sealed to the drum but can come loose with time and regular use. When this seal gets damaged or broken, you’ll likely see longer drying times. 

If you notice your dryer drum is not sealed properly, you can call a professional to fix it or try a DIY fix. Once you open up the dryer’s body, you can reseal the drum or replace the felt lining if necessary. 

Washer Leaving Clothes Too Wet

Your clothes should feel damp after a cycle in the washing machine, but it can be a problem if they’re dripping wet. Dryers aren’t designed to handle clothing holding too much water. Clothes that are too wet will take longer than average to dry, even with a hot cycle.

If your clothes are too wet coming out of the washing machine, it may be because you’re using the wrong setting. You could have filled the washer too high for your load size, or you may not have a long enough spin cycle to remove excess moisture. Your washing machine could also be malfunctioning and leaving clothes too wet. 

Adjusting your load size and washer settings are two of the best ways to prevent wet clothes from leaving the wash cycle. You may also want to consider adding an extra spin cycle at the end of your load to wring out as much water as possible. 

Heating Element Is Burnt-Out or Dirty

Both electric and gas dryers use a heating element to warm the inside of the drum, which speeds up drying cycles. If this heating element gets damaged, it can make it impossible for your dryer to heat. Loads will take longer than usual and won’t come out feeling warm.

Heating elements can burn out with time and use, meaning you’ll need to troubleshoot your machine and install a replacement. In some cases, a malfunctioning heating element may simply be dirty. Grime and lint can build up on the panel connections, disrupting the flow of electricity.

If your heating element is causing problems, try cleaning it before purchasing a new one. Once you open up your dryer’s body, you can remove the heating element or coil and brush off any dirt or debris you find.

Dryer Taking Multiple Cycles To Dry

If your dryer isn’t drying clothes properly, you may have to use multiple cycles to get everything completely dry. There are a couple of reasons your dryer may be taking more than one cycle to dry a load of clothes. 

Dryer Is Overloaded

When clothes are drying, they need plenty of room for air to circulate between the fabric. Clothing that is too compacted won’t dry well because there isn’t enough airflow making its way around the dryer drum.

Heat also has a tough time circulating in an overloaded dryer. It tends to get trapped around the outer edges of the drum, leaving the clothes inside wet and cold. If you put too many clothes in a load, you’ll often have to run two or three cycles to get everything dry.  

It’s best to avoid loading your dryer all the way to the top when loading clothes. Instead, aim to fill the drum around two-thirds of the way at the most. In some cases, you may have to split your wash load in half to avoid overloading your dryer. 

Not all laundry machines are built the same, and some may be able to handle more or less than average. It’s a good idea to refer to your dryer’s user manual and check the manufacturer-recommended load sizes. Some dryers may even have different settings for small, medium, and large laundry loads. 

Dryer Lint Screen Needs Cleaning

When you wash clothes, fabric sheds small amounts of fiber that most of us know as lint. A mesh lint trap removes these loose fibers from your clothes as they tumble, keeping them looking clean. Dryers may have a lint screen located inside the door, or it may be a separate trap on the top of the machine. 

If your lint trap gets filled with fabric fibers, it can affect circulation throughout the dryer drum. Hot air won’t be able to get to clothing, which can increase drying times. You may also find unsightly chunks of lint on dry, clean clothes.

Cleaning out the lint trap between each cycle can help your dryer circulate air as efficiently as possible. Not only will your clothes dry faster, but you’ll also reduce your risk of accidental fires. A full lint trap poses a fire risk at high heat. The fibers inside can easily catch on fire, causing your entire dryer to go up in flames. 

Fortunately, the lint filter is easy to clean, and it only takes a few minutes of your time. Using your hand, a tissue, or a piece of cloth, scrape the lint away from the mesh screen. You can throw it out or repurpose it as packing material, stuffing, pet nests, and more.

Dryer Getting Hot but Not Drying

In some cases, your clothes may feel warm without drying out in the dryer. When this happens, it can either be due to vent blockage or machine error. 

Clogged Dryer Vents

Your dryer vent is the metal duct that protrudes from the back of your dryer and connects to the wall. It allows excess heat and air to vent during a dry cycle, improving circulation and reducing the risk of accidental fires.

Dryer vents can easily get clogged with dirt and debris such as stray lint, especially with infrequent cleanings. As air builds up, circulation around the drum decreases. Clothing will take longer to dry than usual, and you may notice a musty or burning smell coming from your dryer unit. Eventually, a clogged dryer vent may lead to a fire.

Most experts recommend you clean out your dryer vent at least once every year to keep your machine operating at maximum efficiency. You should remove the metal tubing and vacuum the inside from both ends. Make sure it’s completely clear before reattaching it to your dryer.

If you notice that your dryer vent is damaged, you should repair or replace it immediately. Pinching, crushing, and holes can all restrict proper airflow. These issues will both lengthen drying times and increase your fire risk. 

Faulty Thermostat

Most modern dryers contain an internal thermostat that detects and regulates temperature. It allows you to choose between different settings and ensures that your dryer is able to maintain a constant temperature. 

A malfunctioning thermostat means your dryer can’t accurately gauge its own internal temperature. Without heat detection, it can’t maintain a constant and even temperature throughout your drying cycle.

A faulty thermostat may lead your dryer to indicate it uses heat when drying when the air inside is actually cold. Cycles will take longer than intended, or they may leave your clothes feeling damp afterward. It may also heat clothes inconsistently, leading to a warm but damp load.

Thermostats can go bad with age or can malfunction with excessive wear and tear. Some units are simply more delicate and prone to damage than others. While it may be possible to fix a faulty thermostat, most cases will require a replacement to restore your dryer’s efficiency.

How Long Does a Dryer Take FAQs

Here, are some of the most common questions people ask about dryer cycle length.

Verdict: How Long Does A Dryer Take

After finding damp clothes after a drying cycle, many people ask themselves: how long does a dryer take?

A load of clothes should take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete when your dryer is working at full capacity. However, some laundry loads can take more time depending on the size, contents, and dryer settings.

Website | + posts

Having renovated two homes and completed countless repairs, it was time to share this experience with the world. From repairing kitchen appliances to remodeling entire homes, my 30 years of experience will hopefully help you on your journey to a beautiful and functional home