Tumble dryers: How to buy the best tumble dryer Tumble dryer tips and maintenance
To get the best results from your tumble dryer, it's important that you keep it well-maintained and clean the appropriate parts regularly. There are also some simple tips you can follow to get clothes dryer quicker and save money on your energy bills.
Cleaning and maintaining your tumble dryer
Cleaning the sensor - if your tumble dryer uses a sensor, you’ll need to wipe the drum every few months with white vinegar or stainless-steel cleaner to keep the sensor working well.
Cleaning the lint filters - to keep your tumble dryer running at peak efficiency, you should clean the filter every time you use the dryer.
Cleaning the heat exchanger (condenser dryers only) - regularly remove and clean the heat exchanger (which turns the steam back into water) by running it under a tap. This will help to wash away any built-up dirt and hair.
Emptying the water reservoir (condenser dryers only) - you should do this after each load to ensure you can run a drying cycle with a full load without having to stop halfway through to empty the tank.
Tumble drying tips
Separate fabrics before tumble drying - simply taking a mixed load of clothes from your washing machine and loading it into your tumble dryer might feel like the easiest way to get the laundry done, but it's not the most efficient way to dry clothes. To reduce drying times and save energy, separate different fabrics and dry similar clothes together. This also increases the evenness of drying.
Loosen laundry in your tumble dryer - a tightly bound bundle of wet laundry will take a long time to dry in a tumble dryer. However much the machine tumbles the load, some bundled-together clothes will end up dry while some will still be damp. So, when you take your laundry out of the washing machine, loosen it. This will help to prevent lengthy drying times, will aid even drying and will help to reduce creasing.
Don't overload your tumble dryer - because of their size, some items will never be suitable for a tumble dryer, so always avoid tumble drying extremely large items such as duvets and blankets. Even if you have one of the new breed of 10kg drum dryers, there won't be enough space for air to circulate, and this can overheat the dryer.
Check the care labels - different types of fabrics can withstand different levels of heat, and some shouldn't be tumble dried at all. The gallery below shows you what the different symbols mean on care labels.