Published on August 14th, 2014 | by Peter Young
How To Clean Your Dryer’s Moisture Sensor
Making sure your dryer’s moisture sensor is clean and working properly is a great way to ensure your dryer is using energy efficiently. The moisture sensor does what it’s name implies–senses moisture. If you use the “auto-dry” setting on your clothes dryer, this sensor will keep tabs on when your clothes are dry, and turn the dryer off automatically. This can save you a lot of money and reduce carbon emissions substantially.
How it works:
Typically, the moisture sensor in your dryer consists of two metal bars mounted on a black plate. The two metal bars will protrude into the dryer’s drum. When they come into contact with wet clothing (as the clothing is tumbling by), it temporarily creates a closed circuit, allowing a brief electrical impulse to pass through. As the moisture dissipates, the current becomes weaker. When the sensors can no longer detect moisture in the clothes in the drum, the dryer automatically turns off. Cool, right?
However, over time, things like dirt, lint and even dryer sheets can coat the sensor, preventing your dryer from being able to accurately sense when the clothes are dry. This will result in either under or over drying. To help keep your dryer working efficiently, simply follow these steps to clean your unit’s moisture sensor.
Things you’ll need for the job:
- A Damp Rag
- A Brillo Pad
- A Dry Rag
Instructions: how to clean your dryer’s moisture sensor
1. Locate your dryer’s moisture sensor. In older dryers, this sensor is typically found on the back wall of the dryer drum.
In newer dryers, typically, the moisture sensor is located on the front, often mounted to the lint filter housing.
2. Take your fine sandpaper and scrub the moisture sensor. All you should need to clean the sensor is a piece of fine grit sandpaper, a rag, and a little bit of elbow grease. Sand the moisture sensor, especially if you see white stuff caking up on it. This should be more than enough to remove any dirt or lint that has been caked onto the sensor.
3. Take your dry rag and polish up the moisture sensor. Now, take your dry rag and wipe off the moisture sensor completely. Giving the moisture sensor a good scrub with the dry rag should polish up the metal bars and have it looking as good as new.
4. Test your dryer to be sure it’s working properly. To do this, next time you do laundry, make sure the auto-dry setting is “On”, and periodically check your clothes to see if they’re still damp. If your dryer’s moisture sensor is working properly the dryer should stop once the clothes are dry. If this is true, your dryer and its moisture sensor are working properly. If not, you may need to have the sensor replaced. Contact your dryer’s manufacturer to find out how to go about doing so.
Another great way to save money on your monthly electric bill is to search your home for “phantom loads“. In some cases, eliminating these phantom loads can save you as much as 10% on your monthly electric bill! A good place to start looking for these is with your washer and dryer.
Photo courtesy of Just Answer.