Tumble Dryer Not Collecting Lint? (here’s why & how to fix)

If there is little or no lint in the lint filter after your tumble dryer has run a full cycle it is often an indication of a serious problem. If your tumble dryer is producing no lint, or hardly any lint at all, you need to keep reading.

In this article we look at why your tumble dryer is producing little to no lint after each use. We then go on to show you how to fix this sometimes dangerous problem.

What Does It Mean When The Lint Filter Is Empty After A Full Drying Cycle?

If there is no lint caught in the lint filter, or there is far less lint than normal, it could indicate that there is a blockage inside the machine somewhere.

This could cause overheating issues or even catch fire if it’s not dealt with immediately.


We all know how important it is to clean the lint filter after every use to maintain the correct running of the dryer. We also know that it often gets forgotten due to the pressures of life. So you might think it’s a bonus when the lint filter doesn’t need to be cleaned.

However, if the lint filter remains empty or almost empty after the dryer has run a full cycle it could be an indicator that there is a build up of lint causing a blockage somewhere else in the machine.

What Problems Can Be Indicated By A Lack Of Lint In The Filter?

If the lint filter remains clear of lint after running a full cycle you will often notice the following issues;

Longer Drying Times

Longer than normal drying times is usually an indicator of restricted airflow in the tumble dryer. This is more often than not caused by the vent hose being blocked in some way.

It could be as simple as the vent hose is twisted or kinked, or it could be because the vent hose is full of lint.

Excessively Hot Clothes/Drum

If the vent hose becomes clogged, there is nowhere for the heat from the dryer to go. This will mean the laundry and the drum will become excessively hot.

This is not only inconvenient, it can also be dangerous due to an increased risk of fire.

Clothes Are Just As Wet After Drying

If the vent hose becomes blocked, there is nowhere for the moisture to go. Which means it stays inside the drum making your laundry hotter, but not dryer.

Dryer Cuts Out Mid-Cycle

If the dryer becomes too hot due to the inability of the hot air to escape, the appliance will activate its safety cut out. If this does happen, it’s time to call an appliance engineer.

Mildew Smell

Once the heat and moisture becomes trapped in the dryer, it becomes the ideal conditions for mould and mildew spores to grow.

This will be noticeable by that musty smell that always accompanies mould and mildew growth.

Excessive Lint Build Up Elsewhere

If the lint doesn’t get pulled through the lint filter, it finds other places to go. Which include;

  • At the back of the dryer
    If the lint is allowed to accumulate at the back of the dryer, it presents a major fire hazard. The lint is now sitting right by all of the electrical components like the motor etc which have the potential to produce a spark.
  • Stuck to the laundry
    If the air vent is clogged the lint will remain inside the dryer’s drum and accumulate on your laundry. This is a sure sign that the vent is blocked. 
  • Around the door seal
    Lint often gets trapped around the door seal if the vent is blocked because it is not being pulled towards the lint filter.

Pet Hair

Pet hair can cause tumble dryer vents to clog faster than average and add to the fire hazard issue. This means you should check the vent hose on your tumble dryer more frequently if you are a pet owner.

How To Clear A Blocked vent Hose

If you are experiencing any of the issues highlighted above, it’s more than likely that your vent hose is blocked. This can cause serious problems as we have seen.

To clear a blocked vent hose can take some time especially if you have allowed the lint to accumulate for some time.

We recommend using a dryer vent cleaning kit to remove all of the lint from the hose. You will need to check both ends of the hose and if possible remove the hose so that you can see right through from one end to the other.

Gbrand Washing Machine Cleaning Brush, Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit Dryer Lint Brush Vent Trap Cleaner Long Flexible Refrigerator Coil Brush Metal Materials 28.35 Inch
  • 🌻🌻---Improving cloth dryer working performance by using this brush to cleaning the trapped lint and dust in dryer gap and exhaust port
  • 🌻🌻---Flexible rod design, our cleaning brush rod is a flexible design that can be rotated to help you clean the inside of the washing machine, flexible operation, very practical

If you can’t remove all of the lint or you simply can’t be bothered to tangle with a blocked vent hose, you could replace the vent hose with a new one.

If the vent hose was full of lint and other debris, it’s worth removing the back panel of the dryer and checking if there is any lint accumulating anywhere inside the appliance. If you do find any it should be carefully removed (a Shark or Dyson vacuum cleaner comes in handy for this).

SEE ALSO: Our top recommendations for each type of tumble dryer

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there still lint on my clothes after drying?

If there is lint on your clothes after they have been tumble dried, it is often a sign that the vent hose is blocked.

How do you tell if your dryer vent is clogged?

If the vent on your dryer is clogged, your dryer will take far more time than normal to dry your clothes, the dryer will feel hot to the touch when in operation, there will be a significant amount of lint accumulated in areas away from the lint filter and vent.

Why is my dryer lint trap always full?

If your lint trap is always full it is an indicator that you are washing your clothes on a longer cycle than is necessary, or you are overloading your washing machine.

Will the dryer dry if the lint trap is full?

If the lint trap is full, the dryer will take a considerably longer time to dry your clothes. This is because the air cannot flow freely through your laundry and has nowhere to go. Which means your clothes will remain wet for longer than normal.

How often should the tumble dryer lint trap be cleaned?

The lint trap on your tumble dryer should be cleaned after each drying cycle.

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