Have you ever pulled a batch of laundry out of the dryer, warm and wonderful, only to find that your clothes feel a little damaged? Perhaps the fabric isn’t as soft as you remember, or loose ends of a strap have tied your favorite shirt into knots. Whatever the case, the damage is done.
Episodes like this are completely preventable, and you can take a few extra seconds each load to do your part and ensure this never happens again. In this post, we’ll teach you how. Let’s dig in!
#1: Make Sure You Understand Your Dryer
First and foremost, you need to make sure you understand what all the settings on your dryer mean. Knowing the different levels of heat, airflow, and timing will allow you to keep your clothes in the dryer only as long as they need to be there. Too much time in the dryer only increases the chances of damage.
As a general rule, there are at least four settings you need to be aware of:
- Regular — Usually, this is a higher and faster setting meant for white clothes, socks, or towels.
- Permanent Press — Medium heat, typically good to use with colorful clothes. It should help prevent fading.
- Delicate — Low heat, usually for last-resort drying of clothes that can’t take tumble drying. It’s not typically recommended to use this setting unless you have to.
- Fluff — This setting simply inserts air into your clothes while tumbling them, there is no heat. If you air dry clothes, use this setting to help prevent fading and toss out wrinkles.
It’s a good idea to read the manual (if you have it) for your dryer and make sure that you don’t stray from the manufacturer’s recommendations.
#2: Use The Right Heat For Your Fabric
High heat might dry everything faster, but it’s also a surefire way to damage certain types of fabrics beyond repair. So once you understand your machine’s settings, it’s important to get the temperature right.
Be sure to consult your clothing labels to select the proper setting — it may mean your clothes take a bit longer to dry, but your extra time will be rewarded with added life for your favorite clothes.
#3: Keep Certain Clothes Out Altogether
There are certain clothes that, no matter what, you should never put in a dryer to dry. It will only damage the fabric, and may possibly damage your machine. Examples of clothes that shouldn’t go into the dryer include:
- Bras and Lingerie
- Active wear
The list can go on, but these are the common culprits. Watch out for them and protect your valuable clothes!
#4: Don’t Overload!
Last but not least, don’t ever overload your dryer! Your clothes need room to breathe, tumble, and have heat evenly applied. If you overload, you’ll end up with some dry, some wet at the end, and you’ll have to overheat and damage some of your clothes. It’s best to err on the side of caution and split loads if you need to.