Tumble dryers: How to buy the best tumble dryer Tumble dryer tips and maintenance
Making a few changes to the way you use your tumble dryer, such as separating different fabrics and keeping it clean, will make it much more energy efficient, as well as knocking money off of your bills and minutes off of your drying times.
So follow our hints and tips on how to get the best from your tumble dryer.
Cleaning your tumble dryer
Cleaning the lint filter
Clean the lint filter every time you use your tumble dryer, as this helps to increase the airflow, making drying more efficient.
A clean lint filter is also a good fire-prevention measure.
Cleaning the tumble dryer heat exchanger
The heat exchanger turns the steam extracted from the drum of a condenser tumble dryer back into water.
Regularly remove and clean the heat exchanger by running it under a tap – this will help to wash away the built-up dirt and hair.
Cleaning the sensor
If your tumble dryer uses a sensor, wipe the drum every few months with white vinegar or stainless steel cleaner.
Tumble dryer maintenance
Emptying the water reservoir
If you have a condenser tumble dryer, remove and empty the reservoir after each load. If you do this, you'll be able to run a drying cycle with a full load without having to stop mid-way through and empty the tank.
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.
Getting the best from your tumble dryer
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 your laundry. This will help to prevent lengthy drying times, will aid even drying and help to prevent creasing.
Tumble dryers reviewed by Which?
Which? has tested and reviewed over 100 tumble dryers from manufacturers including AEG, Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, John Lewis, Miele and Siemens.
Check out the Which? tumble dryer reviews for the latest Which? Best Buys.