Cleaning and Maintenance Laundry

10 Things You Should Never Put in Your Dryer

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Similar to how you should avoid placing some items in the washing machine, it’s also important to be extra cautious when adding some clothing articles in the dryer. Because of the convenience of dryers, we can often rely on them too much potentially ending up with damaged items. It might come as a surprise to you but there are actually lots of things that should never be put in the dryer. Instead of throwing the finished laundry load in the dryer without a second thought, check out the following list to make sure you always make the right choice.

1. Backpacks

Due to the use of various heat-sensitive materials, backpacks don’t belong in the dryer. With the exception of some backpack types made from 100% cotton, these items should be dried using an outdoor clothesline or just any sunny spot you can find. It’s safe to say that all that powerful heat of the dryer machine will pose some issues for the inner structure and outer materials of the backpacks. Similar to backpacks, you need to be careful about putting lunch bags in the dryer.

2. Wool Items

Whether it’s your favorite sweater or cozy blanket, wool items shouldn’t be placed in the dryer. This material has a particular sensibility to heat as it can easily shrink or become weirdly shaped. To avoid that, it’s recommended to lay them somewhere flat to dry after the washing. Wool clothes are frequently used in the winter months and it would be much more convenient to dry them with the machine. If you wish to properly maintain these items, you will need to resist that impulse.

3. Rubber-Backed Rugs

It may seem really practical to add these small rugs in the clothes dryer but the powerful heat of the machine will cause problems for the rubber backing. In the worst-case scenario, you can end up with crumbled rubber that overheats and can potentially start a dryer fire. Although it takes longer, it’s best to air-dry rubber-backed rugs so they can be ready to protect your feet from slipping in the bathroom.

4. Gloves and Mittens

Ski gloves and comfy mittens often get very damp from using them. They always seem to dry very poorly so it makes sense to want to put them in the dryer. It turns out that this is not a good idea as you can potentially ruin them with the intense heat. While it’s less convenient, it’s highly recommended to air out your gloves and mittens. Putting them on a heater can speed up the drying process. Get a second pair so you can alternate gloves and always have a freshly dried pair ready.

5. Denim Jeans

While denim jeans can handle some abuse, they don’t play nice in the dryer as they can struggle to maintain their shape. Air-drying seems like the best choice when it comes to reducing fading as well. With proper care, your favorite denim jeans can last for a long time, regardless of the exact materials used. It’s not recommended to put this item in the dryer and it’s also important to avoid washing the jeans more often than necessary.

6. Natural and Faux Fur

It’s quite unpleasant to get your natural or faux fur items wet but don’t be so quick to throw them in the dryer. All that heat can have damaging effects on the real fur. It’s so sensitive that even direct sunlight can ruin the material so try to air-dry the fur in a nice spot away from it. You can expect similar problems for faux fur as the fibers can melt from the heat and ruin the overall texture of the clothing item.

7. Activewear

Sports enthusiasts will be disappointed to find out that you can’t take the dryer shortcut to wick away the moisture from high-performance activewear. Sweat-soaked clothes you use for workouts will need to be properly washed quite often but try to avoid the dryer. It will make the clothes lose shape and reduce durability over time. The easiest solution is to let your activewear air-dry properly. It’s important to care for these items well so you can prevent mildew growth.

8. Bathing Suits

Elastic things and dryers don’t make a good combination because there’s a high risk of losing that nice stretch. This is why bathing suits are better off drying in a shaded area to prevent fading. While it does take some time, allowing swimwear to air-dry will make a considerable difference when it comes to maintaining the qualities of this kind of item. Consider avoiding the dryer for any other clothing article that has elastic properties.

9. Bras

Part of ensuring a long lifespan for your bra is to avoid putting it into the dryer. The mix of intense heat and mechanical action has detrimental effects on the overall quality and durability of bras. Hanging up the bras represents a much better alternative to retain the shape and right level of elasticity so it can adequately offer support. If you’re worried about excessive stretching when hanging, consider laying the bras flat to dry.

10. Chemically Stained Fabrics

Make sure that no clothing article splashed with gasoline or other dangerous chemical ends up in the dryer. Although quite unlikely, there’s a chance that high heat will activate the chemical residues and potentially start a fire. Be careful when handling any kind of oily items. It may seem that they’re fully clean after washing, but even the littlest splashes can cause issues in the dryer. Similar to other things on this list, go for air-drying to get some peace of mind.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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