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. Riccardo Grillo

    Would I be right to assume that condenser dryers not connected to mains water use the water recovered from the laundry itself to feed this constant trickle of water?

  2. Samantha Allen

    Hi i have this problem on a normal dryer not a condensing dryer i have cleared all the filters and it is still doing it the steam stays in the drum it doesnt come out of the vent which is also clean and clear help please

  3. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Samantha. On a vented dryer the steam is blown out of the dryer with a fan. If it isn’t clearing the steam the fan must not be running, or there’s a blockage around or in the fan chamber. Another possibility is if there is a vent hose connected that could be blocked.

  4. hi, i have steam from the soap draw on my lg washer dryer (condenser) it seems the valve isn’t being energised as i have replaced the valve and it’s still doing it. can you advise on what i should check to see what is not energising the valve? The whole machine has been checked for blockages and apart from the steam everything is fine with the machine.
    thanks for any help

  5. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Brad. That washing machine has an “inlet valve for steam”. Also, if a valve isn’t working the washing machine should malfunction or bring up an error code.

    1. thanks Andy…I have changed the valve but still the steam,
      the service manual has some tests that can be done so i did them by holding two buttons and starting the machine then cycling through tests to perform actions to check things are working ok. one test was (turn on Inlet valve for dry) and the valve did turn on and water trickled out into the condenser chamber, so i know the valve is being energised and water does flow into the chamber when instructed. There was another test (Water level Sensor for Steam) i chose that test and the machine just shuts off no error code or anything just OFF. i then tested the pressure switch to see if it had a fault with the multimeter. The manual says “is the resistance of the Pressure Switch out of range?” if so replace the pressure switch.
      [Pin1 ~ Pin3] should be 21~23Ω)
      on pin 1 and 3 i get 0.00Ω with the multimeter i don’t ever see 21-23Ω

      does that mean the pressure switch could be faulty. is it possible the pressure switch could be responsible for the excess steam i’m seing as it’s not telling the valve to open and send water to the condenser chamber and so i see excess steam?

      its definitely is a puzzle and if it wasn’t for the fact the machine is working fine but for some steam from the soap draw i would have called someone out by now. thanks again.


  6. Re. Hotpoint WDD960 Washer Dryer.
    On Dry programme, clothes come out hot and steamy – usually – not always. Intermittent fault. Sometimes does not pump out.

    But Dry works ok when set up as continuation of Wash or Spin programme.

    What is going on ?. Any advice appreciated.

  7. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Graham. Unfortunately all of the faults that can cause the clothes to come out hot and steamy after tumble drying should affect the dryer cycle no matter whether it is selected independently or after a wash cycle. There is no difference in function.

    Unless by any chance someone was using the dryer cycle without turning on the cold water supply to the washing machine.

  8. I have an Indesit IWDE 7168, it dries fine after a wash & spin cycle, but then if i select another say 30 minutes as I think it needs a little longer, the clothes then get wet, wetter than after a spin. So then I respin and dry and its fine??? Only seems to be a problem when not preceeded by a spin.

  9. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Paula. Do you mean that after the dryer cycle is finished you put it back on the tumble dryer setting? That should be totally unnecessary. You need to make sure you are not overloading on the drying cycle, remember that a washer dryer can wash considerably more laundry than it is capable of drying. Also make sure that the drying cycle you have selected is correct.

    You should not have to put the dryer back on to complete the drying cycle. Having said that, I can think of no logical reason as to why it would stop drying if you did. Essentially when a washer dryer is on a drying cycle it sends a small trickle of water into the condenser chamber which condenses the steam into water. This water then pumps down the drain as it does on wash cycles.

    But anything that didn’t work properly and resulted in the laundry getting wet should affect the normal drying cycle too. Maybe the drying cycle is not working properly and that is why you keep having to do it again for another half an hour? If the laundry is getting wet, but not hot, then it sounds like the heater isn’t working. If the laundry is getting wet, and it is warm, then the heater is working but the steam is not being condensed and or adequately pumped away. All possible causes are listed in my article above.

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