Can Dryers Shrink Clothes?
Whether or not a clothes dryer can shrink fabric largely depends on the type of fabric, the heat setting, and how long the article of clothing is in the dryer. Modern day washing machines and dryers are designed to be gentle on fabrics, which means that it’s unlikely that they’ll shrink most garments unless certain care procedures are not followed.
Drying Temperatures and Timing
You can minimize the possibility of your clothes shrinking in the dryer by selecting the lowest heat setting and by ensuring that the items are not left in the machine for too long. Different types of fabric require different temperatures, so it’s important to take the time to read the care label on clothes before putting them in the dryer.
Hot air can be detrimental to fabrics, particularly those made from natural fibers, such as, wool and cotton. Heat from the dryer can cause these fabrics to lose their shape and shrink. Synthetic materials, such as, polyester and spandex, are more resilient to the heat and are less likely to shrink.
Preserving Your Clothes
To preserve the shape and size of your clothes there are a few steps that you should follow when drying them:
- Read the Label: Care labels are there for a reason, so make sure that you take the time to read them before tossing your clothes in the dryer.
- Go Low Heat: If the care label says that your article of clothing can be put in the dryer, then make sure to select the lowest heat setting available.
- Check Regularly: Be vigilant and check the dryer regularly so that your clothes don’t overheat.
- Air Dry: If you’re not sure about a particular fabric, then it’s best to opt for air drying.
By following these care measures you can help to reduce the chances of shrinking your clothing in the dryer. Ultimately, if you take the time to read the care labels on your clothes and carefully select the temperature setting, then you can minimize the possibility of your clothes shrinking.