My friend's dryer leaves partially wet clothes. I plan to clean it and remove any lint.

My question is - Do dryers have heat insulation that looks like lint and should not be removed?

Here are few pictures:

Doors open

While this dryer looks different than mine, I think what is in the doors is actually lint and not heat insulation (to reduce heat loss via doors)?


And the thing in the back probably is lint as well that should be cleaned:

enter image description here

Update #1 (the other side of drum that shows close up of picture #3):

enter image description here

  • 2
    Do clothes dryers have insulation? Sure, some do. Do they have insulation in the very path that heated & wet air is supposed to flow? No way. – noybman Oct 22 '17 at 20:45
  • 1
    While I'm not familiar with the model you pictured, The burned filter material is a bad thing, most likely due to overheating, near a fire - and is a fire hazard. The white material might actually be a filter (not insulation) that is there to prevent debris from getting into the flame area. It doesn't look like "typical lint" but either way, all of the lint needs to be cleared from the unit to be safe. The fact that the dryer has so much lint in it means the vent work is probably fully clogged. VERY VERY VERY VERY DANGEROUS. At a minimum, all dryer duct work should be cleaned yearly. – noybman Oct 22 '17 at 20:49
  • @noybman Ok, I suppose I MUST clean the doors completely because that there is lint because it is in the path of airflow. What you suspect that could be "filter material" is in the third picture? BTW, this is electric dryer, not gas powered. – user389238 Oct 22 '17 at 21:10
  • Yes the third picture, and the fact that this is electric is a good thing in this sense. I do believe by looking at it, it is just a filter to keep things from "backdrafting" into the heat area. BUT... since this is melted and burned, it is an indication of poor airflow and fire. That discoloration is BURNED fibers. and there is a portion completely open. That is almost certainly a bad thing. In fact, if that white stuff IS lint, it is even worse since that area is where the heat comes from. There should be NO lint there. – noybman Oct 22 '17 at 21:31

No. No such insulation that looks like lint. Anything that looks like lint is lint and has to go. Can use compressed air carefully to get at the hard to reach stuff. However the more likely culprit is a blocked or kinked vent pipe. Or a vent that does not vent clearly to the out of doors. Check out the vent pipe first. Make sure that it is clear all the way with no restrictions or reductions. Make sure that it is as straight and short as possible. When you put your hand on the air flow outside at the vent cap you should feel a hard pressing column of air. Without lots of air movement, you just can't dry clothes.

  • Today I dismantled the dryer, because I had to change squeaking rear bearing. I had opportunity to the close up inspect the material in the third picture that I somewhat still had doubts. It looks like burnt lint, still burns like lint if gets close to fire and also is on path from heat element. So most likely it is lint and I just cleaned it. Thank you. – user389238 Mar 16 '18 at 5:46

Use a vacuum cleaner! Don't use spray air unless you take the thing outdoors for god sakes.

Get a kit like this from your local home improvement store: dryer cleaner

Avoid kits like this at all costs! evil kit

Usually blockages occur in the duct work in the walls.

Run the dryer in air only mode, and push the brush in and out from outside while spinning back and forth. Repeat until you stop getting loads of dust come out.

If you want to be super thorough, you can do a second pass from the dryer end with the dryer removed, but that's a lot of work so I don't.

Then take the ribbon vacuum attachment, and stick it in to your dryer's filter slot without breaking the dryer. Run the vacuum while you brush around in there to gather lint.


I cleaned the went pipe and other areas. It did not help with "partially wet clothes".

A month later after I posted this question the belt that spins drum snapped. After replacing the belt dryer does not leave partially wet clothes anymore.

My guess is that belt was slipping and caused clothes to remain partially wet. Since the belt was old I just replaced it, but it could be that there is another issue with pulleys or drum that caused the belt to snap. Will see later if anything else needs to be replaced too, because I am not sure if the shedding that I just saw were from old belt or the new one.

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