Many people avoid tumble drying clothes, especially delicates, as they are worried about shrinking them.
A cost effective and eco-friendly alternative to tumble drying is using a heated airer. But since they also use heat to dry clothing, people often ask: do heated airers shrink clothes?
In this article, we find out how heated airers work and whether they can shrink your clothing.
Do Heated Airers Make Your Clothes Shrink?
Heated airers don’t reach as high temperatures as tumble dryers, and they don’t spin clothes around. This means that a heated airer won’t shrink your clothes, even delicates.
It’s well known that heat can cause your clothes to shrink. Heat causes fabric fibres to contract, especially wet fabric.
This issue is compounded in tumble dryers, as tumble dryers move clothes around, making them more vulnerable to shrinking and damage.
However, for a garment to shrink significantly, it would need to be exposed to very high temperatures for an extended period of time, which doesn’t happen with a heated airer as they aren’t hot enough.
How to Use a Heated Clothes Airer
Heated airers come in the same shape and size as normal clothes dryers, but they need electricity to work.
The bars that you hang your clothes on are made from a metal, usually aluminium, that heats up, helping clothes dry faster than a normal clothes dryer.
It’s safe to leave a heated airer on for several hours or overnight.
Some models of heated airers come with a cover. The cover traps in heat and redistributes it to your clothes, reducing drying time.
If you have a heated airer but it didn’t come with a cover, you can pop a bed sheet over it. Since a heated airer is supposed to be covered by fabrics, it’s safe to drape a bedsheet over the top of the airer, covering the clothes, and tuck the ends under the feet or wheels.
Why Choose a Heated Airer Over a Tumble Dryer?
Now that we’re sure heated airers don’t shrink clothes, let’s look at other reasons that people choose heated airers over tumble dryers:
- Space: A heated airer takes up less space than a tumble dryer and can be folded away and stored when not in use.
- Cost: Heated airers are much cheaper to run than tumble dryers. Even though they take longer to dry clothes, the overall electricity usage is still much lower. Plus, the upfront cost of a tumble dryer is generally higher than a heated airer.
- Noise: If you want to dry your clothes overnight or you live in a small space and are trying to watch your favourite series, you may put off starting the tumble dryer. A clothes airer doesn’t make any noise, and can be safely left to run overnight.
- Sustainability: Heated airers are more eco-friendly as they use less electricity to run.
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