Drying clothes the right way is just as important as washing them properly. Putting away clothes when they are still damp can lead to mold or mildew growth, which can cause permanent damage by eating away at the fabric. It can also lead to bacterial growth, which irritates your skin. Further, machine drying the wrong type of material can cause shrinkage or warping, ruining your favorite pieces of clothing. Here are five tips for drying your clothes to ensure they come out fresh, clean, and in top condition.
Inspect your clothes carefully before placing them into a dryer. Take a look at the front and back to make sure there are no stains or dirt left from the wash. The heat of a dryer can embed stains further into a piece of clothing and make them difficult or impossible to remove. If you find some clothing that still has dirt on it, set it aside. Sometimes a special pretreatment or multiple washes are needed to ensure an article is completely clean. It only takes a few moments to look over your clothes before you put them in the dryer, but this small investment can pay off tremendously by preventing a permanent or hard-to-remove stain.
Check the label on your clothes for drying instructions. Some clothes can easily endure high heat for faster drying while, but others need to be dried on low heat. Some cannot withstand heat at all and must be air dried. Exposing clothing to a level of heat it is not designed to handle may cause it to shrink, lose shape, or take on permanent wrinkles. Additionally, be careful with shirts that have ornaments attached to the outside. Decorations such as sequins or beads can fall off or melt in a dryer. To get the best results, it’s important to follow the instructions on the labels of your clothes so they are machine dried as intended.
Air dry towels partially to save electricity.Towels are designed to soak up water, so putting them straight from the washer into a dryer can require a large amount of time and electricity. Consider air drying your towels first on a hanger or dry rack until they are only slightly damp, then put them in the dryer for ten to fifteen minutes. You’ll save energy (and lower your power bill) while still leaving your towels fluffy and clean.
Shake out clothing before air drying. Before putting shirts or pants on a hanger, take a moment to shake them lightly to straighten out wrinkles. This helps ensure they are crisp and smooth so you may not need to iron them before wearing them.
When placing shirts on a hanger, insert the hanger from the waist rather than the collar.This is especially important for cotton t-shirts. Cotton stretches when wet, so stretching a cotton collar even further to put in a hanger can cause it to lose its original shape. Inserting the hanger from the waist helps prevent the collar from being stretched out and ruined. Alternatively, consider hanging your shirts on a clothesline or dry rack.