The dryer is one of the most useful and convenient appliances in the world of laundry. However, not everything in our wardrobes can be machine-dried. Putting certain items in the dryer can result in damage, deformation, shrinkage, and in some cases can even create a fire hazard.
Today, we’ll go through a list of items you should avoid putting in the dryer to help you keep your clothes looking their best and preserve their lifespan.
1. Leather clothing
Leather is a special material that requires special care to maintain its quality and longevity. Putting leather in the dryer can lead to several adverse effects that may damage the material irreparably.
As a natural product, leather contains a certain amount of moisture that helps maintain its flexibility and shape. When exposed to high heat, as in a dryer, this moisture evaporates, causing the leather to shrink. The result can be a garment that no longer fits as it should.
The rapid evaporation of moisture can also cause the leather to harden and become brittle. This leads to cracks appearing on the surface of the leather, ruining its smooth appearance and texture.
Heat can cause the dyes used in colored leather to fade or even run, resulting in uneven color distribution or a duller appearance.
Leather garments often have a specific shape that is designed to fit a particular way. The heat from a dryer can distort the shape, altering the way the item fits or functions.
Many leather items have finishes or treatments applied to them to enhance their appearance or increase their durability. These can be damaged by the heat of a dryer, reducing their effectiveness or altering their appearance.
Instead of using a dryer, it’s recommended to let leather items air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. If the leather item is very wet, you can blot it with a soft cloth to remove excess water before letting it air dry. Regular conditioning with a leather-specific product can also maintain the moisture balance in the leather and keep it looking its best.
2. Delicate fabrics
Delicate fabrics like silk, lace, and cashmere require special care when laundering to maintain their quality and appearance. Putting these materials in a dryer can have several detrimental effects.
Delicate fabrics are susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to the high heat of a dryer. This is because the heat can cause the fibers in the fabric to tighten and shorten, reducing the size of the garment.
The tumbling motion of a dryer can distort the shape of garments made from delicate fabrics. This could mean that they no longer fit properly or that their appearance is altered. The tumbling of a dryer can also cause physical damage to the fibers of delicate fabrics. This can lead to fraying, pilling, or even tears in the fabric.
Many delicate fabrics are dyed with colors that can wash out or become discolored when exposed to high heat. This can result in a garment that looks old and worn, even if it’s relatively new.
Delicate fabrics are valued for their softness and drape. The heat of a dryer can cause these fabrics to stiffen, reducing their softness and altering their drape.
Instead of using a dryer, it’s recommended to air-dry delicate fabrics. Set the garment flat on a clean, dry towel and firmly roll it up to remove excess water. Then, unroll the towel and leave the garment to air dry, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. If necessary, you can gently reshape the garment while it’s still damp to maintain its shape as it dries.
3. Stuffed animals
Stuffed animals, especially those with plush fur and delicate features, should typically not go in the dryer. Stuffed animals are often made of synthetic materials like polyester that can melt or warp under high heat. The stuffing inside the toy could also be affected by the heat, potentially causing it to clump together or lose its fluffy texture.
The tumbling movement in a dryer can be quite harsh and may cause damage to the seams of the stuffed animal. This can lead to tears or the stuffing coming out. Furthermore, any hard parts like plastic eyes or buttons could get banged up or even broken in the dryer.
Just like with clothes, the heat and tumbling action in a dryer can cause colors to fade over time. This could make your stuffed animal look old and worn out before its time. The heat from the dryer can also alter the texture of the stuffed animal’s fur, making it less soft and cuddly.
Some stuffed animals have battery-operated features, which can pose a serious safety risk if placed in a dryer. The batteries could overheat and cause a fire.
Instead of using a dryer, it’s best to air-dry stuffed animals. You can gently squeeze out excess water (don’t wring them out as this could cause damage), then let them air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. If the stuffed animal is very wet, you might want to place it on a towel to absorb the water. Remember to turn it over periodically so that all sides have a chance to dry.
Placing sneakers in a dryer can have several negative effects on the shoes, which is why it’s generally not recommended.
The high heat and tumbling inside the dryer can distort the shape of the sneakers, causing them to shrink or warp. This distortion can affect the fit and comfort of the shoes, potentially making them unwearable.
Many sneakers are made from synthetic materials like rubber and plastic, which can melt or become deformed under high heat. In addition, any adhesives used in the construction of the shoe can weaken or melt, causing parts of the shoe to separate.
The heat of the dryer can also cause colors to fade or bleed, leading to a loss of vibrancy or potential staining. This is especially true for sneakers with bright or dark colors. If your sneakers have decorative elements like logos, patterns, or other designs, these can be damaged or come off in the dryer.
Sneakers tumbling in a dryer can be quite noisy, which can be disruptive. Moreover, the hard soles can damage the drum of the dryer over time.
Instead of using a dryer, it’s best to air-dry sneakers. Remove the insoles and laces, if possible, and then place the shoes in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat sources. You can fill your shoes with newspaper or other absorbent materials to help speed up the drying process and maintain their shape. Remember to replace the stuffing as it gets wet.
To sum up, avoid putting these items in the dryer to maintain their appearance and ensure that they last as long as possible.
Taking care of your clothes starts with washing them, and following these simple steps will not only save you money but also protect the investments hanging in your wardrobe.
Always remember to read the manufacturer’s label and take extra care when it comes to delicate fabrics and materials.