What Is steam Sanitize On Samsung Dryers? 3 cycles explained

Samsung dryers come equipped with many specialized cycles and settings for you to choose from. Each of them caters to different types of fabrics and their unique requirements, giving you a perfectly dried load each time. The ‘Sanitize’ option is one that you’ll see on most Samsung models. But what does it do?

You’ll see dryer cycle options with ‘Sanitize’ in their names on many different Samsung dryer models. For instance, you can find Sanitize, Steam Sanitize, and Steam Sanitize+ dryer cycle options depending on your dryer model.

“Sanitize” cycle on Samsung dryer, generally involve delivering high or extreme heat to the fabric to dry more thoroughly, kill germs, reduce odors, and even soften the material.

Keep on reading to discover what each of these three Sanitize options on Samsung dryers does and how they could make your drying process much more effective.

Related: How Do You Clean A Samsung Dryer?

Sanitize (A Sensor Dry Cycle)

If your Samsung dryer model comes with the Sensor Dry feature, you’ll find that it offers an option to run a Sanitize dryer cycle. This option delivers an extreme level of heat which makes it worthwhile for thicker, heavier, and harder-to-penetrate fabrics. 

This Sanitize option is one of the many Sensor Dry cycles. That means the Samsung dryer uses a sensor inside the appliance to precisely measure the dryness level of the items inside.

As a result, the dryer will automatically shorten or lengthen the cycle time depending on what’s necessary to reach the targeted level of dryness for the Sanitize cycle.

As soon as the sensor detects that the target dryness level is achieved, the Samsung dryer will end the cycle.

Although if the sensor’s (specifically the moisture one) gets dirty or doesn’t function correctly, it can cause your dryer to shut off early. Samsung made a video describing the issue below:

Unlike the other types of Sanitize cycles that you’ll see later in this article, the Sanitize cycle on models with the Sensor Dry cycle does not involve the use of steam. Instead, it only delivers extreme heat while the Sensor Dry feature monitors the dryness levels inside and adjusts the cycle time as needed.

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As the name suggests, the Sanitize function on Samsung dryers with the Sensor Dry feature will help to kill off any germs and bacteria in the fabrics. That’s because the extreme level of heat delivered to the fabric makes it impossible for any organisms to survive.

The extreme heat also penetrates deeply into thicker fabrics like bedding’s and curtains, making it far more effective at eliminating foul odors.

What fabrics you should use it for:

This Sanitize cycle involves extreme heat levels, which makes it very helpful for heavier items like bedding’s (e.g. bed sheets, comforters, blankets, etc.) and curtains.

You should not use the Sanitize cycle for regular laundry items like t-shirts and pants because the extreme heat could shrink or damage those kinds of items.


Steam Sanitize (A Steam Cycle)

On Samsung dryers with the Steam function, you’ll find another version of the Sanitize cycle known as Steam Sanitize. Although it is similar to the Sanitize cycle mentioned above (for Samsung dryer models with Sensor Dry), there are some slight differences.

Firstly, Steam Sanitize is similar because it involves delivering extreme heat levels to the fabrics that you load into the machine. As mentioned before, that will sanitize the items by effectively killing off germs and bacteria.

However, what makes Steam Sanitize unique is that it has the additional use of steam. Besides killing off germs and eliminating odor, the use of steam also has the added benefit of softening the materials as well.

All of this is only possible on Samsung dryer models with the Steam feature. Samsung models with this feature work by spraying some water into the drum during the drying cycles.

When that water comes into contact with the high levels of heat inside, steam is generated as a result.


The Steam Sanitize cycle offers several benefits. Firstly, the high levels of heat and steam will effectively kill off any bacteria and germs inside the fabric and the dryer drum together.

That will also help to reduce any leftover odors there might be in those items. The additional element of steam, however, will also help to soften the fabrics as well.

What fabrics you should use it for:

Similar to the Sanitize cycle above, the Steam Sanitize cycle is best used for much thicker fabrics like bedding’s and curtains. You should not use the Steam Sanitize cycle for regular laundry like t-shirts because it could damage those items.

The items inside the dryer should be partially wet before you use this cycle.

Also, you must not use dryer sheets with the Steam Sanitize cycle or any other Steam cycles, for that matter.

Read also: Steam Dyers – What are the pros and cons?

Steam Sanitize+

Another version of the Sanitize cycle is Steam Sanitize+. According to Samsung’s marketing materials for models with this feature, Steam Sanitize+ can effectively remove up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria.

On top of that, they also claim that this feature removes more than 95% of pollen and up to 100% of dust mites.

Much like the Steam Sanitize cycle discussed earlier, this one also involves steam, which helps in removing odors, static, and wrinkles from your clothes.


As mentioned above, the Steam Sanitize+ function does more than just kill most germs and bacteria. It’s also effective for removing pollen and dust mites as well.

What fabrics you should use it for:

Samsung recommends using Steam Sanitize+ for regular laundry that you’ll want to thoroughly sanitize. The company highlights that this feature would be very useful, especially for children’s clothes that parents worry might carry germs and bacteria.

However, based on the benefits mentioned above, this feature would also be helpful for clothes affected by pollen or dust mites.

For the best results, you’ll want to ensure that there’s plenty of additional space left in the drum so that each piece of clothing can benefit from the steam inside. This cycle also requires that the clothes be at least partially wet for the best results.

Read also: 5 Common Problems with Samsung Dryers

Reader Comments (2)

  1. Hi Grace
    I had the same question and it seems like it should be fine to do it this way. Because mine is built with the steam cleaner function as well , I will put in a wet towel with the dry blanket so the steam dryer has some water to work with. Also I will use 30 minutes since I am using a dry blanket.

  2. for dryers with the Sanitize cycle (not the Steam/Sanitize), can the items go into the dryer already dry?….where you just want to sanitize them? Can you, additionally, if you wish, put wet items (from the washer) into the dryer on Sanitize cycle? The reason I’m asking about putting the items in already dried is if, for example, you have a blanket that you don’t want to wash, but just pop it into the dryer on Sanitize to freshen it up. Any info you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you on Sept. 27, 2021…….from G


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