Yes, it is definitely possible to overdry your clothes in the tumble dryer, and it is an easy mistake to make!
Every tumble dryer is different and each item in the machine can vary in how long it takes to dry. This makes it very easy for certain items to be overdried.
What Happens if You Dry Clothes for Too Long?
Overdrying your clothes could have serious consequences. Tumble dryers use heat to quickly evaporate the water in your clothes, leaving them soft and warm at the end of the cycle.
However, it is also very easy to misjudge how long something needs to dry, which can lead to irreversible damage to your clothing.
Clothes left too long in the dryer can suffer from shrinkage, warping, and melted or stretched elastics. Overdrying also causes general additional wear and tear on the material of your clothes.
With continuous overdrying, the sleeves and pants of your clothes will keep getting shorter as they steadily shrink. Additionally, consistently leaving your clothes for too long in the tumble dryer could cause them to fade faster than they would otherwise.
How to Avoid Overdrying Your Clothes
Always check the care label on your garments to be certain that they are safe for your tumble dryer. Many items will have the tumble dryer symbol, along with symbols for how hot the machine can be when you dry that item.
If you pay close attention to the symbols and adjust your machine accordingly then you will be more confident that the item is being dried for the correct amount of time to keep it safe from damage.
The best time to remove items from the machine is when they are just dry, and you’re sure there is no dampness left in them.
If they are still damp it could be beneficial to remove a few items from the machine and dry each batch separately, checking on them often to be sure not to overdry.
Most modern tumble dryers have sensors that will stop the dryer once the clothes are dry. You can often choose from several settings, such as “Iron Dry” and “Cupboard Dry”.
Iron Dry is a good option if you want to be sure not to overdry clothes. This setting is designed to leave clothes almost but not quite fully dry. The idea is that you will fully dry them when you iron them.
It’s always recommended to get to know the ins and outs of your tumble dryer and how it works. If you understand each setting and how hot it runs, then you can more easily remove your clothes before they have been in the heat for too long.
If you’re not completely confident then check regularly and make sure you take the items out at the right moment, even if several items must be removed before the rest. This could often be the case as some garments take longer to dry than others.
An adventurous book lover with an animal obsession and a proclivity for travel and spontaneity. Used to passionately despise cleaning but has grown to enjoy it thanks to learning all the best tricks and shortcuts to guaranteeing a stress-free routine and a spotless home.