Washer dryer takes 4 hours to dry. Why?

On average, a dryer should take around one hour to dry a normal load of clothes. However, it can be worrying to note your washer dryer takes 4 hours to dry (or multiple cycles).

Fortunately, most of the fixes for this problem are easy and don’t require replacement parts as we’re about to see.

Washer dryer takes 4 hours to dry – possible causes and fixes

The fixes below will help you fix the following problems:

  • Stackable washer dryer takes multiple cycles to dry.
  • 2-in-1 washer dryer combo taking too long to dry.
  • Gas dryer takes too long to dry.
  • Electric dryer taking too long to dry.
  • Condenser tumble dryer taking too long to dry.

With that in mind, here are the possible causes (and their solutions) as to why your washer dryer might be taking 4 hours to dry:

You might be overloading it

Overloading is one of the most common reasons for your washer dryer taking multiple cycles to dry.

Here’s the thing: Too many items will not tumble freely inside the dryer.

As a result, this will prevent good airflow within the drum making your dryer take multiple cycles to dry.

What you can do

Confirm from the machine’s user manual that you are not loading your dryer past the manufacturer’s recommended maximum capacity.

If you don’t have the manual, you can rely on the general rule of thumb – load the dryer utmost 2/3 of its capacity.

This way, you can be sure your clothes have enough room to tumble without impeding the flow of hot air.

Pro tip: If your brand-new dryer takes forever to dry, start by making sure you are not overloading it.

You might be using the wrong drying cycle

Other times, the issue is usually using incorrect settings.

For instance, trying to dry heavy items (such as duvets) on the normal cycle will result in your dryer taking too long to dry.

So, be sure to double-check your settings and make sure you have chosen the right cycle.

If you are not sure which cycle to use, refer to the machine’s user manual… It will tell you which cycle to use for your laundry depending on the fabric.

The lint filter might be dirty

The lint filter traps lint and dirt (from the air) which might otherwise end up clogging the dryer’s exhaust system.

And once the filter becomes full, it will slow down the flow of air from the dryer to the vent.

And, this is what might be causing your washer dryer to take 4 hours (multiple cycles) to dry.

In this case, your best bet will be to clean the lint filter.

How to clean the lint filter [steps]

  1. Remove the lint filter from its housing.
  2. Clean the trapped lint – you can use your hand, lint screen brush, or vacuum.
  3. Wash the lint filter under running water to remove any residue.
  4. Clean the filter housing using the necessary vacuum attachment.
  5. Reinsert the lint filter.

Pro tip: You should clean the lint filter frequently. If possible, after every laundry cycle.

The moisture sensors might be dirty

This is usually the case if your dryer takes long to dry when on sensor dry but dries normally on other cycles.

This is because dirty sensors cannot properly sense the current moisture content in the laundry.

As a result, the dryer might continue tumbling your clothes for longer even if they are already dry.

So, if you note that it’s only the sensor dry cycle that is taking long to dry, gently wipe off any lint that might be trapped on the moisture sensor bars.

The washer is not fully wringing water from the clothes

For the most part, this is the case with 2-in-1 washer dryer combos.

If the washer is not wringing out all the water, it will be overworking the dryer – remember dryers are meant for drying moist clothes… Not wet ones.

To be sure, you can check your laundry immediately after the wash cycle ends.

If the clothes are still wet, do the following:

  • Confirm you are using the right wash cycle.
  • Confirm that you are using the right amount of the correct detergent.
  • Remove any clogs that might be in the drainage system.
  • Remove any foreign objects that might be trapped inside the unit, especially between the drum and wash tub.

The blower wheel might be dirty

The blower wheel is responsible for circulating heated air around the drum as well as ferrying moist air out of the dryer.

From my experience (as an appliance technician), dirty blower wheels are another common cause for dryers taking long to dry.

This is because the lint prevents the wheel from turning at full speed.

What you can do

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean any lint that might have accumulated around the blower wheel assembly.

The venting system might be dirty or crushed

And, this is preventing the smooth flow of air from the dryer to the outside.

Recommended solutions

Start by inspecting the hose behind the dryer – if it is crushed, be sure to straighten it out.

If the hose is good, proceed to clean the venting system behind the wall.

But before you proceed, make sure you have the following vent-cleaning tools:

How to clean a dryer vent [Steps]

  1. Wear your facemask and protective glasses.
  2. Disconnect the dryer hose from the wall.
  3. Insert the vacuum hose into the vent and suction as much lint as possible.
  4. Connect the vent cleaning brush to the drill.
  5. Insert the brush into the vent and run the drill.

For best results, the vac should still be running (with its hose inside the vent). This will ensure that the lint is being suctioned as soon as it gets dislodged by the brush.

  1. As the brush kit goes into the vent, connect the next rod as necessary.

Something else: To prevent the rods from disintegrating inside the vent, tape the rod connections using the tape.

  1. If your vent is longer than your cleaning kit can go, repeat the above steps but from the outside.
  2. Reconnect your dryer to the wall vent.

As a repair technician, I have had cases where the brush reaches a certain point and won’t go in anymore.

Usually, this is either due to a crushed vent or troublesome lint… I normally use a dryer vent endoscope camera to help identify what might be causing this.

Remember, if the vent is crushed, you will need to fix/replace it.

How do you fix a dryer that takes too long to dry?

To fix a dryer that takes multiple cycles to dry, do the following:

  • Ensure you are not overloading it.
  • Confirm you are using the correct drying cycle.
  • Clean the lint filter.
  • Clean the moisture sensors.
  • If you are using a 2-in-1 washer dryer, make sure the washer is fully wringing water out of the clothes.
  • Clean the blower wheel assembly.
  • Clean the venting system.

How long does more dry take on a dryer?

The amount of time will vary depending on the type of fabric, the size of the load, and the amount of moisture in the clothing.

As such, this can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to almost half an hour for heavier laundry such as beddings.

Washer dryer takes 4 hours to dry – final thoughts

If all the above checks out, check if the door seals are defective… The seals might be worn out thereby letting hot air from the dryer leak outside.

If the seals are torn/worn-out, you will need to replace them for your dryer to resume normal drying.


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