How to Clean a Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

How to Clean a Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

A tumble dryer’s condenser box is one of those little things that often goes unnoticed and unkept. After all, it’s not exactly one of the first thing’s people think about when cleaning a tumble dryer because it’s tucked away. 

But, not cleaning a condenser box can lead to big problems. So, how do you make sure that you clean a tumble dryer’s condenser box correctly? Follow the steps below!

Some Tips Before You Start Cleaning Your Tumble Dryer’s Condenser Box

Here are a few points to keep in mind when you’re going to clean your tumble dryer’s condenser box:

  • Always make sure that the machine is switched off before cleaning it. Unplugging it completely from its power source may be a good option.  
  • Emptying the tumble dryer before cleaning it is always a good option. 
  • Read your user manual to check for specific do’s and don’ts before you start cleaning. 
  • You may need to hoover some lint/fluff away! 
  • It’s worth popping a mask on because of the excess fluff you’ll likely come into contact with. 
  • Try and work as close as possible to the bathtub/sink, this will prevent too much dirt from falling onto the floor as you clean the condenser box. 
  • There’s no need to use soap to clean the condenser box, water on its own is fine.
  • Pop a cover over your drain so that it catches all the debris that comes out of the condenser box. This dirt will only clog your drain up if you don’t do it.


How to Clean a Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

Condenser dryer

A condenser tumble dryer does not need an external condenser box or pipe to function properly. Instead, the condenser is inside the machine and hot air is channelled through it. It can also be removed for cleaning purposes.  

Note: Keep in mind that the steps below may vary slightly depending on what make and model tumble dryer you have.

How to Clean Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

What you need:

  • Tumble dryer
  • Mask
  • User handbook
  • Bathtub/sink
  • Water tap 
  • Towel
  • Cloth

Steps to follow:

  1. Make sure that your tumble dryer is off. 
  2. Pop a mask on. 
  3. Locate your tumble dryer’s condenser box – it’s usually at the front of your machine and is normally at the bottom. (See your user manual if you can’t find the condenser’s cover). 
  4. Open the condenser box’s door (Typically looks like a flap) – this is not the actual door on your tumble dryer. 
  5. The door may just come off or it will hang down. Inside you’ll see the condenser box that can be removed.
  6. Open any latches that are holding the condenser box in place. 
  7. Pull the condenser box towards you. 
  8. You’ll probably see some fluff/lint left in the gap, and perhaps the condenser itself will be covered in bits of dirt. 
  9. Take the condenser box to the bathtub/sink – try and avoid shaking it about too much as dirt will fall out of it.
  10. Run water all over the box – you can turn the box around to make sure that water gets all over it. 
  11. Flush out all the lint/ fluff that you can see. 
  12. Place a towel out on a flat surface and pop the condenser box on top of it. 
  13. Wipe off any obvious dirt. 
  14. Allow the box to dry naturally – may take a few hours or overnight. 
  15. Replace the condenser box back in the tumble dryer – make sure all the latches are closed and that the box has been put back in the correct direction (Boxes usually have arrows that tell you which way the box should face – normally its arrows pointing up to the sky). 
  16. Shut the condenser door. 
  17. Switch the tumble dryer on again and use it as normal.  


Vented dryer

A vented tumble dryer, on the other hand, usually needs to be placed next to a window or a wall. This is because a vent or pipe must be attached to it when it is in use to allow the moisture to escape outside. 

However, you can purchase external condenser boxes that work in a similar way to the condenser boxes found in condenser tumble dryers for these machines. 

The biggest difference is that vented tumble dryer condenser boxes sit outside of the machine and collect hot air. These boxes can prevent damp and mould from forming, and they still require cleaning.

how to clean vented tumble dryer external condenser box

What you need:

  • External condenser box
  • Water 
  • Towel

Steps to take:

  1. Turn the tumble dryer off. 
  2. Pop a mask on, if you like. 
  3. Remove any hoses and attachments that are keeping the condenser box in place.
  4. Carefully carry the box to the sink and empty the contents of the box away.
  5. Remove the lid, if possible, and clean the box out with water. 
  6. Dry the box and store it ready to use next time.


Why It’s Important to Clean the Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

There are a few reasons why you should clean a tumble dryer’s condenser box, and here they are:

  • A clogged condenser box will make the air in your tumble dryer move around very slowly. This will result in clothes taking longer to dry. (Applicable to condenser tumble dryers more so).
  • An unclean condenser box means that more energy is needed to dry garments, so this may result in an extra cost
  • Keeping a tumble dryer clean in general is essential because fluff can be a major hazard
  • If you don’t clean every part of a tumble dryer it will start to give off an odd smell
  • User manuals tell you to clean your tumble dryers, this includes the condenser box.  


How Often Should You Clean a Tumble Dryer Condenser Box? 

How Often Should You Clean a Tumble Dryer Condenser Box

There is some debate about this matter, but the simple answer is: follow what your user handbook tells you

If you frequently use your tumble dryer, then you should consider cleaning the condenser box, and the whole machine in general, more often than is stated in the book.  

Remember that it’s equally important to clean the whole of your tumble dryer too. This includes cleaning the filter out after every use and removing the water from the container. 

Tumble dryers need to be free from any lint and fluff because this can be dangerous. You should always keep an eye out for stray pieces of debris too. 


What’s the Best Tumble Dryer Condenser Box Right Now?

So, if you’ve got a vented tumble dryer, you may be interested in buying a condenser box for more convenience, and to prevent mould from growing in your home. But what condenser box should you buy?

There are a number of great condenser boxes that you can purchase. However, some are more suitable for particular models than others, and of course, they all have their pros and cons. You can learn more about which condenser box to buy in our guide.