How To Test A Moisture Sensor In Your Dryer: 10 Easy Steps

How to Test A Moisture Sensor In Your Dryer

Stuck trying to figure out how to tell if your dryer’s moisture sensor is bad?

Don’t worry, this is a known issue. In fact, thousands of people are struggling with it.

But the good news is that if you have a spare 10 minutes and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’d like to test the moisture sensor in your dryer, you’ll need to clean it first. Then, check its settings, place clothes in the dryer, and see how it behaves.

Keep reading to learn more about these tips!

Clean the Moisture Sensor in 4 Simple Steps

During an automatic cycle, a moisture sensor is going to measure the amount of moisture present in your laundry.

Then, the time you see on the screen is an estimation of how long the dryer is going to take to complete your load. When the moisture sensor detects that the moisture is gone from your laundry, the dryer will shut off. 

Moisture sensor in perfect condition
When your clothes are no longer wet, the sensor sends a signal to the dryer’s electronic control board indicating it’s time to turn off the appliance. 

If there is something wrong with the moisture sensor, then your dryer might not turn off on time. There are several separate tasks you need to complete if you want to comprehensively test your moisture sensor. 

First, you need to clean your moisture sensor to see if this is the reason your dryer is not working properly. Even though you don’t need to clean your moisture sensor often, you do need to check on it from time to time.

The steps you need to follow are:

#1 Find the Moisture Sensor

The first thing you should do is take a look at the manual to see where the moisture sensors are in your dryer.

Don’t have your manual to hand? Don’t worry. Check out our guide to finding any product manual online.

For example, a lot of newer dryers may have moisture sensors located near the lint trap. On the other hand, older drivers might have moisture sensors closer to the rear wall of the dryer. 

To figure out where your moisture sensors are located, you need to check the manual. Then, you can figure out how to get into the dryer to test the moisture sensors. 

#2 Wipe Down the Moisture Sensor

After you have located the moisture sensors, you should start by wiping them down.

Try using a microfiber cloth with some cleaning material. You do not need to wipe down the moisture sensors that hard, and you do not need to inundate them with liquid. Otherwise, you could end up causing them to malfunction. 

You should be thorough, but do not rub that hard. If the stuff that is caked on the moisture sensors will not come off with some light wiping, there are other steps you can follow to get rid of this issue. 

#3 Consider Sanding the Moisture Sensor

If you look at the moisture sensors, and they still appear dirty to you, then you may want to consider sanding them down.

To do it, you should grab some fine-grain sandpaper. Then, use it to remove any lint, dirt, or residue that is caked on the sensors.

Bear in mind that it might take a few minutes for you to remove all the debris that is present on the moisture sensors. 

It is important to get rid of this dust, dirt, and debris because it could be interfering with the ability of your moisture sensor to work properly. Remember that you may have multiple moisture sensors in your dryer, so you may have to do this to all of them. 

#4 Polish the Moisture Sensor

Finally, you may want to take the cloth and polish the moisture sensor one more time.

This time, you should use a dry cloth to remove anything that might be present. It is possible that the same paper may have loosened the debris that was caked onto the sensors. Now, it may be easier for you to get them off using a cloth.

After you complete the steps, your moisture sensors should be clean again. Now, you can test the moisture sensors to see if they are working properly. 

How to Test the Moisture Sensor in Your Dryer: 3 Simple Steps

If you’re wondering how to test a dryer moisture sensor, then you’ve come to the right place.

There are different ways to do it. The first option is to run a simple test by adding a few damp articles of clothing to the dryer.

If you do not have any wet clothes available, you may want to dip them in a sink to get them wet. Then, you can add them to the dryer. 

Follow this quick guide to test the moisture sensor of your dryer:

#1 Check the Settings

The first thing you need to do is check the settings on the dryer to make sure you have the dryer set to the automatic cycle. That way, your moisture sensor will help your dryer to know when it should turn off.

If the dryer is not on the automatic cycle, then it is probably on the timed dry setting. In this case, the dryer is not going to use the moisture sensor to control the cycle. It will shut off at the end of the time instead.

#2 Place Clothes in the Dryer

Moving on, it’s time for us to put wet clothes in the dryer.

You do not want to overload the dryer because the test will take too long, just put a few clothing items in the dryer and turn it on.

#3 Watch the Dryer

Next, you need to watch the dryer carefully to see what happens next.

If the dryer turns off when it is supposed to, then this is a sign you have fixed the problem.

But, if it turns off even when the clothes are still wet, or if it continues to dry even when your clothes are already dry, there may be an issue with your moisture sensor.

At this point, we recommend calling a professional – as these often don’t specifically have power running to them and aren’t easy to diagnose. The instructions typically vary a lot between different brands and models.

If you truly want a DIY solution, you can often find replacement parts online to order and replace it yourself.


That about covers it! Hopefully, with the help of this article, you’ll be able to test the moisture sensor in your dryer.

Remember to clean it before testing it. Sometimes doing this is enough to get things back to normal.

And don’t forget that you can easily test your moisture sensor by checking its settings, placing clothes in the dryer, and seeing how it behaves.

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Have a great day!

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more