A dryer is a handy appliance to have around, especially if you can’t sundry your clothes. But it can also damage your clothes by causing them to shrink, loose colour and wear faster than normal.
One of the most common mistakes people make when using a dryer is over drying. This happens when you set the heat too high or leave the clothes in the dryer too long.
The combination of mechanical agitation and the hot air is rough on clothes. What does over drying do to clothes? Read on to learn more.
What Over Drying Does
1. The fabric becomes weaker
This happens regardless of the heat level. But the hotter the dryer is, the higher the loss of strength. This can drastically reduce the lifespan of your clothes, causing them to wear and tear sooner.
2. Clothes shrink
The forced hot air and tumbling can drastically shrink fabric, causing clothes to get smaller. This is helpful if you are trying to fit into a baggy t-shirt – not so good if you had a perfectly fitting pair of pants.
3. Colour fading
Dryers don’t actually make dye on clothes fade. Even at the highest temperature setting, a dryer is not hot enough to affect the dye. But your clothes can still appear faded when you over dry. What happens is that over drying damages fibres, which in turn makes it appear like the colour has faded.
The severity of damage from over drying depends on the type of fabric. Fabrics like polyester can withstand over drying for longer, but you’ll eventually notice the damage.
More delicate fabrics like linen, lace and silk don’t stand a chance. In fact, most manufacturers of such fabrics will add a warning on the care label that you should not tumble-dry.
How To Avoid Over Drying
The easiest way to avoid over drying is to avoid using a dryer altogether. There’s a much smaller chance of over drying clothes in the sun. It doesn’t get as hot as a dryer outside and there’s nothing tumbling the clothes around and damaging them.
If you don’t have the luxury of sun drying, get an indoor clothes airer. It works much like sun drying, only that you hang the clothes inside the house.
Clothes airers are foldable, so you can easily put it away after the clothes dry. The only downside is that clothes dry slower and it can make your home a bit humid.
If you insist on using a dryer, select a short and low-heat setting to reduce the amount of damage.
Make sure you also check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. If the label says avoid tumble-drying, do not put that item in the dryer.
Another tip is to wash your clothes less frequently. This reduces how often they go into the dryer.