Why Your Tumble Dryer Destroys and Shrinks Your Clothes

It’s not just a cliché of those everything has gone wrong scenarios you see on TV or in movies your tumble dryer really can damage your clothes. And to make matters worse it can actually damage your clothes in more than one way!

But let’s be honest even when we know the risks many of us will still use a tumble dryer won’t we? For some of us we might not even have a choice in the matter we don’t all have space to accommodate a washing line of we might not even get enough sunlight to dry clothes in the more traditional old-fashioned way.

Which means we’ll have to use a tumble dryer and even if we do have a washing line and a sunny climate to fall back on it can’t be argued that a tumble dryer is likely always going to be the fastest way to wash your clothes.

But there’s still the risk of damage to clothes and as I mentioned earlier this means more than just rips in your clothing. Let’s look at the different ways your clothing can be harmed during a drying cycle in more detail, shall we? We’ll investigate the cause of the problem and see if there is a way you can help prevent it from happening.

Shrinking Clothes

Shrinking Clothes

No, don’t worry you probably haven’t put weight on it’s probably just your tumble dryer! OK, that’s not exactly good news either is it? Tumble dryers aren’t alone when it comes to causing shrinking though a washing machine on the wrong setting can also cause similar problems to occur.

So, why can it happen during a drying cycle you ask? Unfortunately, it’s because of the agitation and forced air during a drying cycle which isn’t something that can really be fixed. According to research carried out by certified professionals tumble drying can cause clothing to shrink at the double the rate of air drying.

Although lighter fabrics like cotton and synthetic fibres are more at risk and although it’s wildly believed that the temperature can affect your clothing research has shown it as minimal to no effect when it comes to tumble drying. So, that’s some good news at least.

Colour Fading

fading colours

If shrinking clothes is the number one worry when it comes to doing your laundry then bleeding or fading colours has got to be in the number two slot! Bleeding colours can ruin clothes, but fading can be just as bad because after just a few cycles through the dryer than once vibrant shirt can look all worn out.

But the good news is this will rarely be a problem you’ll face with a tumble dryer, issues with colour are usually caused by sublimation. Sublimation is what happens when a solid turns into a gas without first going through the liquid phase. This can cause colouring to leak into other materials and make things appear more washed out and dull.

This can have a number of causes, but it will most commonly be due to heat and tumble dryers can grow quite hot can’t they? Thankfully most tumble dryers will be able to avoid this problem because they don’t reach a high-enough temperature to cause sublimation. However, it can still happen in some cases especially with lighter materials so keep a close eye on things just to be sure.

Rips and Tears

rips and tears developing

The final and most harmful damage that can happen to your clothing is the risk of rips and tears developing! Unfortunately, this is a very real risk because while you can’t see your clothing it will get damaged every time it goes through a drying cycle. There’s not really a lot you can do about this, but the good news is the damage is microscopic.

Your tumble dryer’s lint tray will give you an insight into how much damage your clothing is taking. The more lint you have in the tray the more damage your clothing is suffering. Scientific research has shown that clothing can lose up to 50% of its strength after just twenty drying cycles in some cases.

Although the type of material being put through the cycle will, of course, play a big part in this and if you dry your clothes on a cooler cycle you can reduce the amount of damage done. So, that’s a look at all the risks that come with using a tumble dryer. Unfortunately, the risk of harm is very real and repeated drying cycles should be avoided whenever possible, it’s convenient and fast but if you have an alternative sometimes it might be the better option to use it if you can.

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Author: Repair Aid®

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