While not necessarily an obvious symptom that something is wrong, if you open your dryer and consistently find your long-sleeved shirts or sheets all tangled up in a wrinkly ball — something is wrong. Tangled clothes can happen on occasion, but more than every other load is not normal. So what is malfunctioning that causes tangled clothes?
The Dryer Isn’t Spinning Properly
If your clothes come out all tangled up, there is really only one problem — the drum isn’t spinning properly. Improper motion results in improperly rotated clothes. However, this one problem can have several different causes to it. The primary cause is the item that actually spins the drum — the belt. You will want to open the back of your dryer, (location may vary depending on model) and check the belt. It should be on the track in a snug manner. If it is partially off or you notice wear on the belt, you will want to replace it. You will also want to test that the drum moves smoothly. In some cases, the belt itself may be fine, but the motor may be faulty. The drum bearings could also be damaged in a way that affects how it rotates.
Improperly Loaded Dryer
Typically, tangling caused by a drum that isn’t spinning correctly will happen in almost every load. However, there is a perfect storm that can make it seem like a faulty drum when it is not. This happens when you wash clothing with items like sheets or blankets. Because these items are so much bigger than a t-shirt, for example, they often wrap them up tightly. This means the t-shirts come out a wrinkled, damp mess. It is recommended to wash these large items separately to both not overload your washer and dryer and prevent routine tangling.