How to Clean a Condenser Dryer

Condenser tumble dryer cleaning

Tumble drying your laundry should be quick and convenient. Unfortunately, if your dryer is due for a cleaning, you’re bound to lose efficiency. Instead of wasting time and energy waiting for your clothes to dry, learn how to thoroughly clean your condenser tumble dryer. In just a few steps, you can get your condenser dryer in tip-top shape.

1. Turn off the dryer.

The first thing to do before you dive into the cleaning process is to make sure that your machine is off. Cleaning while the unit is running could be unsafe, or it could cause damage to the dryer. As an extra level of precaution, you might want to unplug the machine or cut the power at the circuit breaker.

2. Empty the water tank.

Many people own vented tumble dryers that draw the moisture from your clothes and send the water vapor out of the house. Condenser dryers, however, are ventless and don’t funnel the moisture outside.

Instead, the warm, moist air runs through the dryer’s condenser unit. The condenser converts the water vapor into liquid water. The liquid accumulates in a collection tank until you empty it.

After each load of laundry, slide the water container out of the dryer. Turn it upside-down over a drain to let the water run out. You can also repurpose the water; for example, pour it over your houseplants. Once the tank is empty, slide it back into place.

By emptying the collection container after each use, you won’t have to worry about your next load of laundry stopping mid-cycle because the tank is full. Make this a habit so your condenser tumble dryer will always be ready to go.

Some ventless dryers are connected to plumbing and can drain themselves automatically. If that’s how yours is, you can skip the emptying step.

3. Clean the lint trap.

As your clothes or bedding tumble around in the dryer, small bits of lint come loose from the material. Your dryer collects them in the lint trap. If the lint trap becomes too thick with fluff, your dryer’s efficiency will take a hit. Buildup can also be a fire hazard.

Daily Cleaning

After each load of laundry, slide the lint trip out of the dryer. It may be located on the top of the machine or just inside the door.

Use your hands to gather the lint and throw it away. Slightly dampening your hands may help you grab the lint better.

Occasional Cleaning

Now and then, use your vacuum’s hose attachment to suck up extra fluff from the trap. While you’re at it, stick the vacuum hose into the lint trap’s slot to grab any loose material that’s stuck in there.

Another option for cleaning the trap is to gently wash it with dish soap and warm water. This can help remove limescale buildup. Let the lint trap dry thoroughly before sliding it back into place. Before washing your trap, check your owner’s manual to make sure this is an approved cleaning method for your dryer model.

4. Rinse off the condenser unit.

The condenser box is the part of your dryer that transforms the water vapor into liquid. Just like the lint trap, it can get backed up with fluff.

Your condenser tumble dryer may have an indicator light that lets you know when the condenser is due for some attention. Never go longer than six months without taking the condenser out for a cleaning session.

You’ll find a door on the front of your dryer for accessing the condenser. Your dryer may come with a special tool for opening this panel. Beyond that door, there may be another door with a latch. Flip the latch so you can open it and access the condenser box. If there are additional latches, undo them, and then slide the condenser out.

A word of caution: The metal parts can be dangerous, so it’s smart to wear protective gloves when handling the condenser box.

All you need for cleaning the condenser box is a steady stream of water. You can use a hand shower or your garden hose. If you clean the condenser in the bathtub, it’s smart to place a piece of material over the tub drain so it doesn’t become clogged with lint.

Spray the condenser from the top and sides until the water runs clear. Use water only; no soap is necessary. Keep the spray gentle so you don’t damage any of the parts with a strong blast.

Once the condenser unit is thoroughly clean, set it on a towel to dry. Leave it out overnight.

The next day, you can slide it back into the dryer. Reverse your original steps to lock it in place and close the protective covers.

5. Wipe down the drum.

Finally, it’s a good idea to clean the inside of your condenser tumble dryer once a month. Over time, lint or other residues from your clothes can accumulate on the drum walls. If you use fabric softener sheets, you’re especially likely to get buildup.

Use a damp rag to wipe down the drum. For extra cleaning power, spritz a mixture of water and white vinegar on the walls before wiping them with the moistened cloth.

If your ventless dryer has a humidity sensor, use a clean rag to wipe off any dirt buildup. A clean sensor can do a better job of detecting the moisture level of your clothes.

After wiping down the drum and the sensor, prop open the dryer door. Leave the machine open until it’s thoroughly dry inside.

Cleaning Your Condenser Tumble Dryer

Look how easy it is to keep your condenser tumble dryer in great shape! All it takes is a bit of attention after every load and some extra cleaning power every now and then. With that type of care, you can count on your ventless dryer for load after load of fresh, clean laundry.