LG Dryer Steam Fresh Cycle Not Working? 7 Things to Check

The Steam Fresh cycle on LG steam dryers promises many useful benefits. The cycle is designed to help refresh your fabrics by removing odors and wrinkles without having to rewash those clothes. So, what could cause an LG dryer’s Steam Fresh cycle not to work?

The LG dryer Steam Fresh cycle will not work if you load too many clothes into the dryer at one time. That’s especially true if they’re soaking wet and are made of different fabrics. The cycle is also not designed for delicate items as it might cause shrinking or discoloration. For optimal results, use only small loads and group similar fabrics together.

In this article, we’ll begin by exploring what the Steam Fresh cycle on your LG dryer is (and isn’t) best for. Then, we’ll explore the common problems faced when using that function and how to avoid them.

What Is The LG dryer Steam Fresh Cycle Used For?

Like many other leading appliance brands, LG also has a lineup of steam dryer models. These machines come with special drying cycles that utilize steam, including their trademarked Steam Fresh cycle.

Samsung also features a similar feature: How Does A Samsung Steam Dryer Work?

As the name suggests, this cycle uses steam to freshen up clothes by softening wrinkles and removing odors. The Steam Fresh cycle is helpful for already-clean clothes that you might have kept stored away for a while. 

LG dryer steam fresh cycle on control panel

Also, you can use it to freshen up your clothes before heading out of the house without having to rewash them all over again.

The Steam Fresh cycle also works well with 

Types of Clothes

It’s important to note that the Steam Fresh cycle is designed to work well with comforters, shirts, and trousers. 

However, it is not meant to be used on especially delicate fabrics. That a crucial point to understand, as it might explain why the Steam Fresh cycle doesn’t work on certain kinds of fabrics.

What The LG Steam Fresh Cycle Is Not Suitable For

Now that we’ve clarified what the Steam Fresh cycle is for on the LG dryer let’s explore what the cycle is NOT for. Unfortunately, there are some situations where users might think that the Steam Fresh cycle is not working, even though it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.

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For starters, the Steam Fresh cycle is not designed to work with delicate fabrics. That means it will not work with wool, silk, nylon, or anything that’s easily discolored or shrinkable.

Using the steam function will not only produce undesirable results with these materials, but it could also damage them as well.

Besides that, the Steam Fresh cycle is also not meant to be used with freshly laundered clothes which can be quite damp. Much like the ‘Refresh’ cycle on many other dryers, the Steam Fresh cycle is designed to work with dry clothes to remove odors and reduce wrinkles.

Possible Reasons The Steam Fresh Cycle Is Not Working

At this point, it’s clear what the LG dryer’s Steam Fresh cycle is intended for. Next, we’ll look at specific problems that you might face with that function and what you can do to resolve them. 

LG ThinQ dryer steam fresh cycle on control panel

Clothes Are Still Wet

If your clothes are still wet after finishing the Steam Fresh cycle on your LG dryer, there are two possible reasons. 

  • Loading Wet Clothes: Firstly, this problem happens when users load soaking wet clothes into the dryer before beginning the Steam Fresh cycle. For starters, the Steam Fresh cycle is only designed to freshen your clothes up so you can use them immediately after. 

The Steam Fresh cycle is not meant to be a full drying cycle for freshly laundered clothes.

  • Faulty Steam Valve: The second possibility is that there’s a fault with the steam valve inside the dryer. That valve is designed to spray only a fine mist of water which converts into steam in the hot drum. 

A faulty steam valve could leak or spray too much water onto your clothes when it should only be spraying a fine mist.

Both of these possible reasons could lead to your clothes being wet even at the end of the Steam Fresh cycle.

How to fix it:

To fix this, always remember to use the correct drying cycle. The Steam Fresh cycle is only meant to refresh clothes that are ready to wear, not damp or wet laundry.

Related: Why Does My Steam Dryer Leave My Clothes Wet?

If the problem is that you have a leaking or faulty steam valve, then you will have to replace it with a new one.

Clothes Are Still Wrinkled

The Steam Fresh cycle is designed to help remove wrinkles on clothes. So, if your clothes are full of wrinkles at the end of the cycle, you may have loaded too many clothes into the dryer. You’ll also experience the same outcome if too many different types of clothes are loaded into the dryer during the Steam Fresh cycle.

How to fix:

Here’s what you can do to enjoy wrinkle-free results from the Steam Fresh cycle:

  • Use Small Loads Only: The Steam Fresh cycle works best with small loads. The reason for this is that the clothes must have plenty of space in the drum to tumble around freely. When that happens, the steam can penetrate each piece of clothing thoroughly, removing all of the wrinkles as a result.

So, try your best to limit the number of items you put in the dryer to anywhere between 1-5 items. The fewer items there are, the more effective the Steam Fresh cycle will be.

  • Group Similar Types of Clothes Together: Different types of fabrics will require different amounts of steam to lose their wrinkles. That’s why the Steam Fresh cycle is most effective when you group similar types of fabrics together.

So, for example, separate t-shirts and jeans into two separate loads when using the Steam Fresh cycle for optimal results.

Clothes Still Smelly

The Steam Fresh function on LG dryers is designed to remove odors from clothes and freshen them up. So, why would your clothes still be smelly even after completing a full Steam Fresh cycle?

See Also: Why Do My Clothes Smell Burnt After Washing?

The reason could be that the clothes were exceptionally smelly, to begin with. The fabrics loaded into the dryer might already contain very strong odors, which the Steam Fresh function could not remove, at least not entirely.

How to fix it:

The Steam Fresh function is designed to freshen up clothes that are already still somewhat clean. So, if your clothes already have powerful odors deep in the fabric, it’s best to clean them thoroughly in the washer instead of using the Steam Fresh function.

Putting those clothes through the Steam Fresh cycle will remove the wrinkles but not the odors.

Clothing Items are Discolored or Have Shrunk

The Steam Fresh function on your LG dryer combines two things: water mist and high temperatures. Regular clothing fabrics and also heavier items like bedding have no problems coping with that steam and heat. However, that’s not the same when it comes to delicate clothing items.

Fabrics like nylons, silk, wool, and other delicates will react negatively to the Steam Fresh function, causing them to shrink, become discolored, or otherwise damaged.

How to fix it:

To prevent any discoloration and shrinking from happening, there are two crucial things that you must always consider:

  • What the dryer cycle is and isn’t for: At the opening of this article, we explored what the Steam Fresh function is and isn’t designed to do. That’s something that’s crucial to consider before you decide to use it on the types of clothes you have.

To recap, the Steam Fresh function is helpful for most types of fabrics but nothing that would be considered delicate. It’s also not suitable for clothes that discolor or shrink quickly. The combination of steam and high temperatures will not work well with those fabrics.

  • The care instructions on your clothes: The clothing items that you have already come with care instructions printed on the label. Before loading them into a dryer, especially if you plan on using a steam function like Steam Fresh on LG dryers, check to see what that label says.

Delicate clothing items will clearly state what kind of heat levels they can tolerate and whether or not it’s safe to expose the fabric to steam.

Dryer Shows Incorrect Duration For Steam Fresh Cycle

The default time setting for the Steam Fresh cycle is 20 minutes. When you select that cycle on your LG dryer, you might find that it shows a smaller number like three instead.

The number that you see is not actually the number of minutes or the duration of the Steam Fresh cycle. Instead, it represents the number of clothing items you’re loading into the dryer.

You can use the More Time or Less Time buttons to adjust that number to match your dryer load before starting the cycle. Then, the dryer will automatically adjust the total duration for the Steam Fresh Cycle.

Read: LG Dryer D90 Error Code But No Blockage – Troubleshooting Guide

Reader Comments (8)

  1. The steam fresh has stopped working on my LG DLEX2901V dryer.
    It doesn’t matter the size of the load.
    Are there any videos that show how to replace it?

  2. You are incorrect about how LG dryers produce steam , They even sued whirlpool because whirlpool just sprays water into the hot drum instead of actually making steam like LG! So yes most dryers work that way , but LG has TruesSteam™ and TurboSteam™ both use a steam generator ! You are welcome to research this , I even had a repair man say my Lg steam dryer was working fine and had to show him and have him call tech support to realize that Lg dosent just squirt a mist of water in the hot drum , you can even change the temp of the SteamFresh™ cycle and it lets you choose any heat even the utlta low setting!!

  3. I have the LG front load.
    It stopped spraying altogether.
    Mine is hooked up via a hose & doesn’t have the self fill compartment.

    • make sure you dont use distilled water because it will do this exact thing! for some reason they can’t detect the distilled water not sure why but check with LG and thats the first thing they will ask is if you are trying to use distilled water


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