Are you concerned that there might be something wrong with the moisture sensor in your dryer?

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. You can also use a multimeter to test it.

Keep reading to learn more about these tips!

How Does the Moisture Sensor Work?

First, you may be wondering, how does a moisture sensor work, and why do you need it for your dryer? You need to make sure you only use the power you need to dry your clothing. That is why a lot of modern dryers come with an automatic cycle. 

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. 

If there is something wrong with the moisture sensor, then your dryer might not turn off on time. Perhaps the dryer continues to spin even when the clothes are already dry. There’s also a chance that the dryer may shut off before the clothes are completely dry. 

Even though this does not always indicate something is wrong with the moisture sensor, this is one possibility. Therefore, you need to figure out if something’s wrong with the moisture sensor. There are several separate tasks you need to complete if you want to comprehensively test your moisture sensor. 

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. 

Clean the Moisture Sensor in 4 Steps

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.

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 dry. 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.

If your dryer is not behaving correctly, then you may need to test the power to the moisture sensor. Keep reading to learn how to do it.

Test the Power Going to the Moisture Sensor

If you are still not convinced that the moisture sensor is working properly, then you need to make sure there is power flowing to it. In order to test the power going to the moisture sensor, you will need a tool called a multimeter.

Hands using a multimeter with a battery
A multimeter is great for some basic sanity checks and troubleshooting.  Is your circuit not working? Does the switch work?

A multimeter has been specifically designed to test the amount of resistance and the current flowing through a specific electrical item.

In this case, you will be testing the moisture sensor. To test the moisture sensor using a multimeter, there are several steps you will need to follow. These are: 

#1 Safety First

Before you test the moisture sensor, you need to put safety first. Make sure you have the appropriate safety precautions and do not use a multimeter if you are not comfortable with it.

You should wear goggles and gloves if you are working with electrical materials to reduce the chances of getting electrocuted. 

#2 Locate the Moisture Sensor

After this, you need to locate the moisture sensor.

If you do not remember where the moisture sensors were located, you should take a look at the manual. This will help you figure out what you need to do to access them.

There is a good chance you will need access to a screwdriver to reach the moisture sensors, so make sure you have one handy.

#3 Use the Multimeter

Finally, once you have located the moisture sensors, you need to test them using a multimeter.

Ideally, you should get a reading that is significantly above 0. But, if you get a reading that is close to 0 or exactly 0, your moisture sensor might be dead. In this case, you might have to replace it to get the dryer working again. 


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!