Will Clothes Shrink in the Dryer?
When it comes to caring for your clothing, you may be wondering if it is safe to use your dryer, as it can often cause clothes to shrink. The short answer is yes, some clothing will shrink in the dryer, but others may not.
Understanding Clothing Material
In order to know for sure if your clothing will shrink in the dryer, you need to understand the material it is made out of. Different materials react differently to heat and can shrink or expand depending on how long they are exposed to it. Generally, items made using natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, or linen are more susceptible to shrinking in the dryer than synthetic materials like nylon or polyester.
Caring for Your Clothes
When caring for your clothing, it is important to pay attention to the care instructions. Most items will be labeled with specific instructions that indicate the best method for laundering without causing the item to shrink. For example, if an item of clothing is labeled as “machine wash cold” then it is best to wash the item in cold water and avoid the dryer altogether. Additionally, it is important to read the tag regarding heat as some items may be able to be machine dried at low heat, while others should be hung or laid flat to dry.
Tips for Using the Dryer
If you must use the dryer to launder your clothing, there are a few tips that can help you avoid shrinking your clothes:
- Read Care Instructions: Make sure to read the care instructions as described above to ensure that your item can safely be machine dried.
- Choose the Right Temperature Setting: Heat settings can range from low to high, so it is important to choose the appropriate setting. Generally, low heat is best for items that are prone to shrink.
- Check Clothing During the Cycle: If you are drying a potentially shrinkable item, it is a good idea to check on it periodically during the cycle. Take it out as soon as it’s done drying to minimize the chances of further shrinking.
- Buy Pre-Shrunk Clothing: If you are concerned about shrinking your clothing, one option is to opt for items that are pre-shrunk.
While some clothing will shrink in the dryer, that does not mean that you must avoid using it altogether. By understanding the material and care instructions of your clothing and following the tips listed above, you can safely use your dryer and minimize the chances of your clothes shrinking.