Laundry comes out of washer dryer hot & steamy

Laundry wet and steamy If laundry on a drying cycle comes out of a washer dryer hot and steamy, there might be a problem with the condensing process. Condenser washer dryers don’t have a vent hose, so they need to convert the steam back in to water.

A fan blows the steam through a plastic chamber on the back of the outer drum. During the drying cycle, a steady trickle of cold water runs into the top of this chamber. When steam hits the cold water, it condenses back into water. The water runs into the bottom of the outer drum and is pumped down the drain as normal.

What causes the excess steam?

If the laundry is hot and there is excessive steam in the drum, then clearly the heating element is working ok. It’s just that the hot steam generated by drying isn’t being dealt with. This is likely to be caused by one of these problems –

  • No cold water is running into the condenser chamber for the steam to hit and condense
  • Or steam is condensing but the water that’s condensing can’t get into the main drum to be pumped away

No Cold Water is Running Into the Condenser Chamber

There’s a dedicated condenser water valve (with a built in flow restrictor) supplying water into the condenser chamber. Water should be trickling into the chamber from this water valve during the drying cycle. If it isn’t you need to find out why – starting with ensuring water is getting to the valve.

It’s easy to see the dedicated condenser water valve (solenoid). It is attached to a small hose leading to a large plastic compartment (the condenser chamber) at the back of the outer drum.If you know what you are doing you can check that the solenoid hasn’t gone open circuit. Water valves have a very high resistance and might appear open circuit depending on what type of test meter is used. If I remember correctly they are often around 200 Ohms. If you have an appropriate test meter compare the resistance with the other valves. They should be very similar.

The water flow into the condenser chamber is usually only a trickle. This is not a fault. For the steam to be condensed into water there should be some water constantly running into the chamber on the drying cycle.

The Condensed Water Can’t Run Into the Main Drum to be Pumped Away

Another fault is when water is trickling in, but a blockage at the bottom of the condenser chamber is stopping it from running into the main drum to be pumped away. Faults with the main pump would produce the same symptoms – but they would also cause faults in the wash cycle. It might be possible to observe that water is slowly rising up inside the bottom of this chamber. Water should run straight through into the outer drum.

Poorly designed condenser chambers can accumulate fluff inside or can accumulate gunge blocking the path from the chamber to inside the main drum.

Dryer fan not running

Finally, the steam generated on the drying cycle needs the dryer fan to blow it through into the condenser chamber to be condensed. If the fan is not running for whatever reason, then obviously this will prevent drying, and may result in hot and steamy laundry. It should be very simple to observe if the dryer fan on top of the main outer drum is running or not when it is on the drying cycle. Look for a blockage too.

However, if the fan isn’t running it usually causes overheating and the heater should cut out.


This article was inspired by a question which I answered on my Washerhelp forums. You might be interested in seeing the conversation here
Clothes Coming Out Of Washer Dryer Hot And Steamy, Still Wet
(goes to washing machine forums).

Laundry Hot After Just Wash Cycle

If the laundry is coming out hot after just using the wash cycle you need this article – Should the washing come out warm or cold?

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19 thoughts on “Laundry comes out of washer dryer hot & steamy”

  1. Hi I have a Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RD966JGD 9Kg / 6Kg Washer Dryer with 1600 rpm – the clothes always come out hot and steamy not matter how long I put the dry cycle on for, is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Nikki. That’s what my article is about. If the laundry is coming out hot and steamy after the drying cycle you need to read my article for possible causes.

  3. I’ve had the Bosch engineer out twice who cannot find a fault with my washer drier but my laundry too is coming out wet and hot. The machine seems to detect that it’s dry by cutting the drying time down with its drying sensor. It can go from 2hrs to 15mins in a few minutes and then stop with hot wet clothes inside.
    How can I convince the engineer something is wrong?
    He runs the diagnostic check which shows no errors?

  4. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Sarah. If the washing machine was rinsing in hot water that could explain laundry coming out hot and the fact that the dryer section can’t condense the steam – it needs cold water for that. Check this article out Should washing come out hot?

  5. Similar issue here, but wondering if it should be behaving as it is?

    I have a brand new Beko WDR 7543121W. The heater works, as does the drum and pump, but there is no evidence of any fan operating. The clothes are very hot and steamy, but also quite dry.

    Does this model recycle the air so not to release air into the room? There is not a waft whatsoever

    Many thanks

  6. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello George. Yes that’s how they all work, the steam trickles into a plastic container at the back with cold water running into it so the steam hits the cold water and condenses back into water.

  7. My Washer Dryer is AEG L75480
    it is not drying at all well, leaving clothes damp and hot, not dry.
    I am told the condenser system is clogged with fluff/lint, and is not repairable or accessible as it is part of the welded drum and cannot be separated.
    This puts a repair/replacement on the high side of £200, or more.
    Would you agree? Furthermore, if I replace the machine how can I establish which makes/models are accessible for this issue going forward?
    Thanks in advance!

  8. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Geoff. I’ve not heard of the condenser system being part of the outer drum but nothing would surprise me anymore. They are less and less repairable each year. In my opinion washer-dryers seem to have a design flaw which allows them to accumulate a lot of wet fluff and lint that sticks all inside the fan and fan chamber. I’m not aware of any that are immune to it because they all work exactly the same way.

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