How To Clean A Condenser Tumble Dryer (the best way)

If you’re ever asked to think about cleaning, there’s probably a good chance that cleaning a condenser tumble dryer doesn’t spring to your mind. But it is important to keep your tumble dryer clean if you want it to perform as well as it should.

Why Should You Clean The Condenser Tumble Dryer?

Aside from the regular cleaning of the drum etc, it’s important to clean the filter and the actual condenser as well to prevent clogging which will slow the drying process down considerably. This, in turn, causes the machine to use more energy which is not only bad for the environment, but it will cost you more in fuel bills too.

Also if the tumble dryer gets infested with mould, it can be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Mould has been connected to breathing problems like asthma and bronchial issues. It thrives in damp areas and the condenser of your tumble dryer is a great place for mould spores to thrive.

How To Clean A Condenser Tumble Dryer

Tumble Dryer

Before you start to clean your tumble dryer it’s important to ensure it is disconnected from the electricity supply for your own safety. Allow the dryer to cool down completely if it has just been used.

Cleaning The Lint Filter

The first thing to be cleaned should be the lint filter which is usually located inside the rim of the door or in a panel on the front of the dryer (consult your user manual for more information).  Once you have found the filter, use a brush to remove as much lint as you can from the filter and then wipe it clean using a lint-free cloth.

Cleaning The Drum

Cleaning the drum of the tumble dryer is similar to cleaning the drum of a washing machine. You can use a solution of 10 parts warm water to 1 part bleach placed on a cloth and wrung out to almost dry to rub all around the drum of the machine.

This will remove any mould or other bacteria from the drum. If the drum smells of bleach once you have finished, try dripping vinegar onto an old, damp towel and running the dryer for a cycle.

If your tumble dryer drum has a sticky mess inside, which is often caused by chewing gum left in pockets etc, it can easily be removed. Just rub the sticky area with a cloth soaked in warm olive oil to loosen the patch. Then gently scrape off any residue.

Cleaning The Condenser

Consult your handbook for the location of the condenser, but they are usually found at the bottom of the dryer behind a panel. To remove the condenser you will need to open the latches which are holding the condenser box in place. Then pull the condenser towards you, it should just come out.

The condenser can be cleaned in the bath using the shower to flush any lint or dirt from the condenser. You’ll know when the condenser is fully cleaned because the water will run clear. You can then dry the condenser with an old towel or leave it to dry naturally.

Once the condenser box is fully dried, it can be replaced into the tumble dryer.

Cleaning Heat Pump Tumble Dryers

If your dryer is a heat pump dryer, the condenser can be cleaned in the same way as on a condenser dryer. However, you will also have to clean the evaporator filter. This will be located behind a panel at the bottom of the dryer (consult your handbook for further instructions), once located either twist or unclip the filter from its housing.

Using a soft brush or toothbrush gently brush the fins to remove any debris. Take care as the fins can be quite sharp so it might be a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands. 

You can now remove the evaporator filter from its drawer and clean it using a soft lint-free cloth and running water. Then make sure everything is dry and return it to its proper place.

Cleaning The Outer Casing

The outer casing of the tumble dryer can be cleaned using a cloth and your usual surface spray. Ensure the machine is dried after cleaning to prevent rust forming.

Maintenance Tasks That Should Be Performed Regularly

There are several tasks that should be carried out frequently to maintain the safe operation of your condenser tumble dryer. These include;

  • Cleaning The Lint Filter
    This should be carried out at least every week as it is easy for the lint filter to become clogged. If it were to become clogged it can become a fire hazard so pay particular attention to the lint filter. This is of greater importance if you own pets as their hair will clog the filter far quicker than lint from clothes.
  • Emptying The Water Reservoir
    If the water reservoir becomes full, the condenser tumble dryer will not work at all. It is good practice to empty the water reservoir after every use to maintain the drying integrity of your machine.

If you get into the habit of performing these simple tasks after every time you use the tumble dryer it will last longer and function better too.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Tumble Dryer 

If you want your tumble dryer to last longer than the warranty period, be sure to do the following;

  • Always Check Any Pockets
    Check all of the pockets on all of the garments you put in your tumble dryer. 
  • Never Overload Your Machine
    Not only could this invalidate any warranty, but the clothes will not dry properly either. They will remain damp and eventually start to smell. Plus, there is always the risk of damaging the drum or its bearings.
  • Ensure Good Ventilation
    Always ensure your tumble dryer has adequate ventilation to allow a good air flow to prevent overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean the condenser on a tumble dryer?

You should clean the condenser on your tumble dryer at least once a month.

How do you clean a smelly condenser dryer?

To clean a smelly condenser dryer, you should wipe out the drum using a weak bleach solution and rinse using a damp cloth. The condenser itself should be washed every month. If it smells, try using a white vinegar/water mix to remove any foul smells.

Can you clean a condenser dryer with water?

You can clean a condenser dryer with water, we recommend using the shower head as this will apply just the right amount of pressure to clean the condenser without causing any damage.

Why is my condenser dryer not drying my clothes?

The most common cause of a condenser dryer not drying clothes is the lint filter is blocked. If the water reservoir is full the condenser dryer would not work at all. If the machine is working but just not drying the most likely cause is the filter is blocked.

Does a condenser dryer take longer to dry clothes?

Condenser dryers take longer to dry clothes than a vented dryer. They are also less energy efficient than a vented dryer which means they take longer to dry your clothes and cost more too.

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