There are many reasons to keep your dryer squeaky clean. If lint builds up in parts like the filter, it can lead to longer drying times and wasted energy. Plus, you don’t want your freshly washed clothes to come out smelly. Learn how to clean your condenser dryer, from the water tank to the drum.

How often should you clean your dryer?

You should clear out the filter and empty the water tank after every cycle.

As for a deep clean, including washing the drum and condenser unit, it depends on how much you use your dryer. If you use it every day, monthly is enough. If you use it more than once a day, clean it every one to two weeks.

Steps for cleaning your condenser dryer

First, make sure you have this equipment to hand:

  • Vacuum
  • Cloths
  • White vinegar or stainless-steel cleaner
  • Spray bottle

Now you can work through these steps.

1. Clean the lint filter

Keeping the filter lint-free helps air circulate in the dryer, so it can dry your laundry properly. In rare cases, a clogged filter can cause lint to escape and catch fire in the dryer’s heating element. That’s why – if you’re not already – you should be in the habit of cleaning the filter every time you use your dryer.

Once the dryer is cool, and you’ve turned it off at the wall, you should:
1. Remove the filter by lifting it up

2. Use your fingers to clean off dirt and fluff

3. Use a vacuum on any bits that won’t budge*

4. Replace the filter

*Or, run the filter under a tap. Just make sure it’s dry before popping it back in.

For more care tips, or if you prefer video instructions, visit our blog about cleaning tumble dryer filters.

2. Remove and clean the condenser

A condenser dryer doesn’t have an air vent. Instead, the hot air for drying clothes moves through a condenser unit, which turns it into water.

Lint and fibres can sometimes get stuck in the unit and cause blockages. To get to it, you need to remove the access panel at the bottom of your machine. There are different ways to do this – it depends on your dryer’s brand and model. You might have to press a button inside the main door or remove the panel carefully with a screwdriver. Check your dryer’s user manual for specific instructions.

Once you’ve opened the panel, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the condenser (you might have to adjust some security clips)
  2. Use a warm, damp cloth to clean it out
  3. Move the condenser unit to a sink or shower
  4. Run warm water over the unit until it runs clear and there’s no visible debris
  5. Let the condenser air dry
  6. Put the unit back in its compartment (remember to fasten any security clips before closing the access panel)

3. Empty and clean the water tank

The water from the condensing process is collected in a tank. Normally, you’ll find this behind the access panel, next to the condenser, or in a drawer at the top of the machine. Once you’ve found it, it’s easy to empty and clean. Just pull it out, open the cap and pour away the water.

Don’t forget to clean the compartment. Then, make sure the cap closes before reinserting the tank (as you don’t want water to escape).

4. Wipe the drum

To stop your dryer – and clothes – smelling of mould, pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle. Give the drum a quick spritz and wipe it with a cloth. You may be able to use stainless-steel cleaner instead – check your manual or the manufacturer’s website.

How to maintain your condenser dryer

Emptying the tank and cleaning the filter every time you use your dryer might seem unnecessary. But staying on top of this will help it run safely and efficiently. Another tip is to leave the dryer door slightly open after every use to let the drum dry. You should also wipe down the outside every so often.

If your dryer develops more complex problems, like not heating up properly or a faulty door seal, get expert help. You can call out an engineer to repair your tumble dryer.

About the author

Charlotte Letch

Charlotte is a resident copywriter at Domestic & General. As well as popping up on the blog, she writes for several different channels across the business. Over the past 7 years, Charlotte has put pen to paper for insurers, jewellers and a homeware brand. Out of the office, she enjoys running, yoga and adding to her ever-growing tattoo collection.

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