How Long Does A Dryer Take

A clothes dryer is one of those appliances that no homeowner wants to be without. Unfortunately, although it is a high-use appliance, it is frequently disregarded in terms of maintenance. You dash to the laundry room, open the dryer door. You find your work clothes are still damp after an hour-long drying cycle. How long is a dryer cycle?

Clothes typically take around an hour to dry in a dryer. Depending on large loads or small loads that tumble freely, drying time may be extended or shortened. Fabric type also affects how long the appliance takes to dry clothes. The reason for this will be discussed later.

Commercial dryers may complete the work in 20 minutes; however, residential dryers will take two hours. In most cases, a dryer takes 35-50 minutes to dry. A full load of laundry takes about 90 minutes. Average dryer cycle times and common maintenance issues are essential to understand to save money and make your machine last.


In our guide, you can learn more about how long does it take for clothes to dry, as the mix can affect these times. (Learn How To Clean Shower Tiles Without Scrubbing)

By the end, you’ll know how long should I dry my clothes and, ultimately, without issues, how long does the dryer take. You’ll know how to clean your machine or find out it’s time for a new dryer.

How Long Does a Dryer Take?

Understanding the proper ways to use your drying appliance will mean you can get the best from it. In addition, this boils down to how long dryers will take to dry clothes.

Modern dryers are often efficient dryers, yet with a lack of cleaning, they soon start taking longer to dry clothes and cost more money to run.

A typical load of clothes takes between 35 and 50 minutes to dry. However, if the clothes comprise a comforter or thick towels, time quickly increases to 1 hour or more.

It’s critical to know whether your dryer is taking too long to dry your clothes. It could be because of the poor quality of the clothing choice to dry as seen, or it can be a dryer malfunction.

Besides higher energy costs, extreme cases lead to a house fire.

Drying clothes can test your patience. For example, it takes 25-35 minutes to dry towel fabric, yet less than 30 minutes to dry cotton clothing.

However, there are several things you can do to keep drying time to a minimum.

  • First, check and empty the lint trap before each load.
  • Second, don’t overload it as clothes need to tumble freely so the warm air can pass between them and dry the moisture from the wet clothes.
  • One often overlooked thing is to shorten the dryer hose; this will affect how quickly your dryer can exhaust the hot air and moisture.

taking time

Why Do Dryers Take So Long?

An average load takes 45-75 minutes, but there are several reasons why dryers take so long.

First, the type of fabric in the dryer will affect the drying time. For example, a load of comforters and blankets will take much longer than a load of shirts and pants.

A complete load of bath towels may take 60 minutes on a high heat dryer setting, but a whole load of underwear and socks may only take 30 minutes on low.

Wash comparable items together to maximize drying time efficiency. For example, if you run a load of towels and t-shirts together, you’ll overdry the t-shirts. Also, modern dryers come with multiple cycles you can choose; using the wrong one will affect how long a dryer taking to what it should.

Dryers might also take longer if the venting hose is clogged. So, cleaning the dryer often is required to avoid clogging. Removing the lint screen box and cleaning the vent pipe can improve dryer efficiency.

Third, a faulty heating element can increase the drying time of the appliance. In this situation, check the heater manual to check the problem and possible solutions. This may work to speed up dryers.

Sometimes, defective thermostats or sensors cause dryer malfunctions. These increase the dryer’s work time. If the user exceeds the load capacity, the dryer may take 20 minutes longer to dry.

Parts failure and breakdowns can explain why a dryer takes many cycles to dry. However, when a dryer takes too long to dry, other factors may be at play, such as user behaviors. (Read Baking Soda In Washing Machine)

Here are some reasons a dryer takes forever to dry laundry.

Incoming Power

Is the dryer taking too long to dry clothes? Check your power supply. An electric dryer, unlike gas dryers, requires a 240V outlet to function correctly. A standard 120V outlet provides less electricity, resulting in 3x longer drying times.

Also, don’t use an extension cord to power your dryer. A standard extension cord cannot safely support the power a dryer requires.

overloaded dryer

Overloaded Dryer

Overloaded dryers are those that are full. Overloading the dryer prevents efficient hot air circulation and reduces tumbling. Your dryer can take two cycles to dry a heavy load on these occasions.

Fill your dryer only 2/3 full to allow hot air circulation. Refer to your dryer’s usage and care manual for specific load recommendations.

Clothes Are Too Wet From the Washer

The washer may be at blame if your clothes are moist. Choosing a wash cycle without or with an insufficient spin cycle renders clothes too wet to dry. So a standard drying cycle won’t dry these items. 

Before starting a wash cycle, check your settings for a sufficient spin cycle. After washing, if your clothes are still overly wet, call a washer technician.

Lint Screen Needs Cleaning

Each drying cycle sheds small fibers from our clothes. The hot air from the dryer blows these fibers into the lint screen. A lint-filled screen might obstruct hot air passage, prolonging drying times.

Clean the lint screen after each drying cycle to maximize airflow. Replacing the screen is as easy as pulling it out and cleaning it.

Clogged Dryer Vents

Lint or debris buildup inside exhaust vents causes slow drying dryers. Clogged dryer vents can reduce airflow, increase drying time, and even cause deadly dryer fires. In addition, unclean lint screens and dryer vent pipes can cause obstructions.

These methods and dryer fire prevention techniques will help speed up the drying process and prevent fires.

  1. Disconnect dryer vent hose
  2. Vacuum the vent hose from both ends, including the outside, with a narrow hose vacuum attachment
  3. Remove the exhaust hood and vacuum the hood opening.
  4. Reattach the exhaust hood and the dryer vent hose.

Be sure when cleaning the vent hose. Pinched or crushed vent hoses can reduce airflow and increase drying time.

Dryer Malfunction

A broken heating element in an electric dryer is likely. Gas valve solenoids in gas-fueled dryers can fail, preventing gas from reaching the dryer’s burner.

In both circumstances, these components are not repairable and should be replaced by a professional.

Load Size

Larger loads and bulkier things take longer to dry. For example, a sizeable king-size comforter takes longer to dry than other bedding.

Drying one towel or small item of clothing will take less time than drying a complete load of clothes.

If you need to leave quickly but need one item to dry first, put it in the dryer first and then transfer the rest of the load once it has dried. (Read Washing Machine Drainage Options)

Also, if your laundry takes too long to dry, you may put in too many loads at once.


Drying times vary depending on the dryer’s heat settings. For detailed directions, refer to your dryer’s manual or the labels on your products.

The higher the temperature, the faster your clothes dry. However, this isn’t ideal for all fabrics as it can harm them.

Dryer Efficiency

Some dryers offer better energy efficiency than others. This may be related to the dryer’s brand or model. Condenser or heat pump dryers take longer to dry than vented dryers yet offer other benefits.


Regularly cleaned dryers last longer and run more efficiently than unclean dryers. Clean the lint trap and the lint tray after every wash. Even unnoticeable lint can harm your machine, but a vacuum can remove it.

Clean the dryer vent at least twice a year.

Technical Problems

If your dryer has technical issues and the dryer is taking longer than usual to dry your laundry.

Among the technical problems that can affect your dryer working properly, and the dryer takes forever are:

  • Lint buildup restricts airflow
  • Clogged air vent
  • Too long air vent
  • Broken heating element

How Long Does A Dryer Take (1)

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