Is Condensation in a Dryer Dangerous?

July 8, 2024
Dryer Repair

Have you ever gone to put your clothes in your dryer and noticed that the interior of the drum is coated in condensation? This can be alarming—particularly if you’re sure the last load came out of your dryer completely dry. Where’s the condensation coming from and can it be harmful to your dryer? We break down the common causes and solutions to condensation in a dryer and help you figure out what’s causing this issue. 

So, Is Condensation Dangerous? 

If you’ve found condensation in your dryer, the good news is there’s no need to panic. Dryers are built to cope with moisture. After all, you put wet clothes in your dryer every time you use it. However, it’s not ideal for condensation to form in the drum when not in use, and over time the constant moisture can cause damage to electrical components. Condensation can also be a symptom of another issue that can be dangerous, such as a blocked vent. While condensation doesn’t pose an immediate danger, getting to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible is a good idea to ensure your dryer is operating optimally. 

What Can Cause Condensation in Your Dryer (and How To Fix)

Finding out the root cause of the condensation is key to finding a fix. Here are some of the most common culprits and how you can solve them. 

Blocked Vent

The dryer vent allows warm, moist air to escape from the interior of the dryer drum and be released outside. If the vent is fully or partially blocked with lint, moisture won’t be able to escape, leading to condensation buildup. 

If this is your issue, you may notice that your laundry is taking longer to dry than usual. You may also notice that the laundry sometimes emerges from the dryer slightly damp, but very hot. This is because the heating element is still working but there’s nowhere for the moisture to go. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the dryer vent line. This is usually connected to the back of your dryer and then to an exterior vent. It may be held in place with screws or clips, depending on the model. 
  • Take the vent line and stretch it out. Check if you can see through it’ If it appears partially or totally obstructed, it will need to be cleaned.
  • If the blockage is near one end of the vent line, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove the buildup. 
  • If the blockage is too hard to reach, you can purchase specialized vent cleaning brushes from your local hardware store or online. These can be fitted onto a drill and they rotate to remove lint buildup from deep inside the vent pipe. 
  • Once the vent line is cleared, reassemble your dryer. Your condensation issue should now be solved. 

Clogged Lint Filter

A clogged lint filter can also obstruct airflow and this can lead to condensation buildup inside your dryer. Ideally, a lint filter should be cleaned after every load but if you’ve neglected this chore, it can start to impact dryer performance. To clean your filter, follow these steps:

  • Remove the lint filter. In almost all dryer models, this is located inside the door, at the bottom. Most filters simply pull out. 
  • Thoroughly clean all lint, dust, and hair buildup from the filter. You can use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to ensure it’s totally clean. 
  • Use the vacuum to remove all residual lint in the filter housing, then put the filter back in place. 

Humid Environment

If your dryer is in a very humid spot or you live in a humid climate, environmental humidity can be to blame for the condensation. If this is your issue, typically the condensation will be pretty mild and you’ll only notice it when you leave the dryer door open. This is an easy one to prevent—just ensure you close the dryer door when it’s not in use. 

Faulty Heating Element

If your heating element is malfunctioning, your dryer won’t be able to produce enough heat to allow the moisture from your clothes to evaporate. If this is your issue, you’ll notice the clothes aren’t hot when you take them out of the dryer and they take far longer to dry than usual. Replacing a heating element is the only solution. As this is quite a complicated process, you may prefer to call in a professional. Here’s what needs to be done:

  • Consult your dryer manual to find the best way to access your heating element. The location varies from model to model. Sometimes you’ll need to remove the back panel and other times it’s the front panel and drum that need to be removed. 
  • Source a replacement heating element that’s compatible with the make and model of your dryer.
  • Unplug your dryer from the power source. 
  • Gain access to the heating element and remove it. Make sure you make a note of how the wiring fits together so you can ensure you install the new element correctly. 
  • Put the new heating element in place and put the dryer back together. 
  • Restore power and run a test cycle to ensure your dryer is now producing heat. 

Overly Large Dryer Loads

Dryer overloading is another relatively common cause of dryer condensation, and it’s another easy one to avoid. Check your dryer’s manual to find out the recommended load sizes. You may find that the recommended load is smaller than you think. If you’ve been overloading, make sure you split your loads into two. This will ensure that everything can dry completely and there won’t be residual moisture in the dryer to cause condensation.


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