A person taking colorful clothes out of a dryer.

How to dry clothes faster in the dryer

If you’re in a pinch and running late for your child’s baseball game, the last thing you need is a damp uniform in your dryer. Take the stress out of the equation with these quick tips and tricks to speed up your drying process and optimize drying cycles. Learn how to dry clothes faster for last-minute events with this guide.

A small load of laundry tumbling in a dryer. A small load of laundry tumbling in a dryer.

How to speed up drying clothes

Drying your clothes faster does not have to be complicated. Increasing airflow, routine dryer cleaning and these shortcuts can help you speed up drying clothes when you are in a tight spot. When in doubt, make sure to refer to your owner’s manual for specific recommendations on your dryer’s cycles.

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1. Clean the lint screen

Dryers need good airflow to work properly, and cleaning your lint screen is an easy method to help improve the speed of drying. After every load, get rid of the lint trapped in the screen by rolling it off with your fingers. This quick step can save you time and headaches in the future. Roughly every six months, make sure to thoroughly clean your lint screen:

  • Remove the lint trap after clearing all of the lint.

  • Run it under hot water with liquid detergent.

  • Use a nylon brush to scrub.

  • Dry the lint screen and insert it back into the dryer.

A clean vent icon.

2. Clean the vents

Another step to help dry clothes faster is to check the dryer ventilation system and clear any blockages from the interior and exterior vents. Follow these steps to clean your dryer vents for optimal airflow:


Interior vent

  • Unplug the power cord.

  • Locate the vent hose on the back of the dryer.

  • Detach the hose from the dryer.

  • Clean the vent and remove any lint and dust with a brush or vacuum.

  • Reattach the hose to the back of the dryer.

dryer cleaning brush from Whirlpool brand or a vacuum with a hose can help you quickly clear hard-to-reach debris inside your vent.


Exterior vent

  • Locate the exhaust vent, which is typically outside your home, roof or attic.

  • Remove the vent cover.

  • Clear any dust and lint inside the vent with a dryer cleaning brush or vacuum hose.

  • Replace the vent cover.

After you have cleaned the interior and exterior vent, plug your dryer back into the wall and run an empty cycle to clear any residual dust and debris. Whirlpool customers can schedule a service call for questions or concerns with dryer ventilation systems.


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3. Don’t overload the dryer

Your clothes need ample room to tumble in the dryer for quick drying times. In this case, less is more. Loading your dryer with fewer items can help dry clothes faster by increasing the airflow between the garments.

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4. Choose the right dryer cycle

Refer to your clothing care tag for recommendations on drying cycles for certain fabrics. Automatic cycles tend to give the best drying in the shortest times, with some Whirlpool® dryers featuring AccuDry sensor drying technology that helps prevent overdrying and automatically stops the cycle when the load is dry.

A load of laundry in a Whirlpool® Dryer. A load of laundry in a Whirlpool® Dryer.

Do clothes dry faster with more in the dryer?

Clothes may dry faster with fewer items in the dryer. Smaller loads help increase airflow between the garments and allow them to fully tumble for an optimal dry.

Does putting a dry towel in the dryer help?

If you are putting soaked clothes in the dryer, tossing in a towel with your load may help absorb moisture and can possibly help speed up drying times. Be mindful to remove the towel after about five minutes for smaller loads, rather than keeping it in the dryer for the entire cycle.

Do dryer balls help clothes dry faster?

Dryer balls can keep laundry from clumping together and help clothes dry faster by increasing the airflow between the items. These are also good alternatives to dryer sheets and can help prevent wrinkles, reduce static and soften clothes. This is especially helpful with materials that tend to clump when wet, such as down jackets.

Do dryer sheets make clothes dry faster?

While dryer sheets may not help clothes dry faster, they are effective at reducing static and helping to give your clothes a fresh scent and soft touch. Dryer sheets work well with most fabrics and clothing, like cotton shirts, pants and socks. But, avoid using them with athletic clothing or microfibers as this can affect the moisture-wicking abilities of your workout clothes or kid’s basketball jersey.

A person selecting dryer settings. A person selecting dryer settings.

How long should a dryer take to dry?

A typical drying cycle takes about 45 minutes, but this time can vary depending on the cycle, heat setting and size of your load. Delicate cycles take roughly 15 minutes, while heavy cycles, like bedding, can take up to three hours to fully dry. When in doubt, always refer to your clothing care tag for recommendations on dryer cycles, like permanent press or tumble dry.
If your dryer is taking multiple cycles to fully dry clothes, you may want to troubleshoot reasons a dryer isn’t drying properly.

Shop Whirlpool® dryers

Whirlpool brand offers a wide variety of dryers that are designed to give clothes the optimal dry. Some Whirlpool® dryers have an Advanced Moisture Sensing feature that helps prevent overdrying with three sensors that track moisture and temperature, adapting drying times to end the cycle at just the right time. Simplify your laundry routine and find the ideal dryer with the right features for your home.

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