How many times has this happened to you? You buy a new dress. You wear it once and it looks amazing—this is definitely your new favorite dress. It goes through the laundry and comes out a rumpled mess. This isn’t the same dress, what gives?! Your drying technique might be the culprit. Properly drying your clothes will help them to keep looking great and ready to wear fresh out of the dryer. It’s also the best thing you can do to further the longevity of your clothes, saving you money and stress. Here are the best ways to dry different kinds of clothes.
Cotton tees and dresses
Natural fibers like cotton scrunch together during rapid drying. That’s why it’s important to know how fast your dryer dries. Gas dryers usually heat up faster and dry clothes more quickly than electric dryers. Permanent press typically works best on cotton tees and dresses. To prevent static buildup, add a Bounce® dryer sheet atop wet laundry in the dryer machine.
Activewear and yoga pants
Moms wear activewear all the time (even when we’re not being particularly active). Ensure those yoga pants will last you several seasons with proper care. Stretchy fabrics need special care because these fibers can deteriorate under prolonged exposure to heat. That means these items fair better when they dry flat. However, if your activewear is super sweaty after a good workout, remember to wash the clothes in hot water. Since you wouldn’t be using the dryer machine or dryer sheets, you might opt to use fabric softener in the wash if you like your laundry scented.
Most of us have blended fabrics in our closets. Polyester fibers are different from natural fibers because they don’t absorb moisture. Ever noticed that your poly-blend blouses or tops don’t feel especially damp coming out of the washing machine? That’s the reason. This also means polyester dries quickly. Use the permanent press setting for its medium heat or hang dry. Polyester is subject to static cling, as it rubs against other clothes in the dryer, so using a Bounce® dryer sheet is a good idea. Avoid overheating because that causes polyester fibers to ripple and can damage the clothes over time.
The biggest takeaway about baby clothes is that they’re tiny. In addition to being so cute that they might just make you want to have another baby, their diminutive size means they dry very fast. As such, permanent press or the delicate cycle work best for baby clothes. It’s also another reason not to mix baby clothes with heavier laundry that would dry at a different rate. In our home, I needed our baby clothes to be static free but unscented. That’s why I used hypoallergenic dryer sheets when doing my little one’s laundry.
Good jeans are hard to find and when you do find that magic pair, you want to keep them forever. Jeans that are 100 percent cotton can go through the dry cycle on the regular setting since they’re heavier and take longer to dry. However, time the dry cycle so you pull them just as they get close to finishing drying to prevent over-drying and shrinkage. Jeans that have stretch are subject to the same concerns of stretchy clothes in general. Pull them from the dryer while damp so they can finish air-drying or air-dry them straight out of the wash.
Your favorite thick sweaters will hold their shape better if you allow them to dry flat. Never hang-dry heavy knits they because they’ll warp. Light knits can be dried in the dryer but you should dry them using the permanent press setting.
Lingerie, lace, and bras are all delicate and should dry flat. This helps bras retain their shape and prevents things from getting snagged in the dryer. Everyday intimates like cotton underwear or briefs can withstand drying just fine, though the permanent press setting is optimal since high heat will deteriorate elastic over time.
In a perfect world, we’d line-dry our laundry in a flower field while the sun shone on our perfect hair and our perfectly behaved kids, but that’s not real life and frankly, no one has time for that. Use this guide to the job done effectively so you can get back to what matters to you while always looking your best.
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