Clothes in tumble dryer

How to Stop Clothes Creasing in the Tumble Dryer

No matter how much you try or how careful you are, your clothes may wrinkle in the dryer. This is a common problem, but the good news is that it can be solved relatively easily. Read on to find out how.


Why Do Clothes Wrinkle in the Dryer?

overloaded dryer

If your clothes are coming out of the dryer with wrinkles and creases, the cause can usually be traced back to your washing machine.

It’s common for clothes to come out of the washing machine with wrinkles, but ideally the tumble dryer will reverse this process.

If your dryer is failing to de-crease your clothes, it could be due to one of these reasons:

  • Dryer is overloaded – If clothes don’t have room to move, they won’t be able to untangle and dry evenly. This is especially likely to happen if you have a washer dryer, as the drying capacity can be much lower than the washing capacity.
  • Dryer is too hot – Drying clothes too quickly with a high heat can make wrinkles and creases worse. It’s better to take clothes out when they’re very slightly damp and then iron them, using the steam from the moisture within the clothes to remove the creases.
  • Clothes left in dryer – Leaving your clothes in the tumble dryer (or washing machine) for a long time after the programme is complete can lead the deep creases forming. Take your laundry out as soon as the cycle is complete!


If You Own a Washer Dryer

If you have a washer dryer combo, it’s important to know that the drying capacity is much lower than the washing capacity.

Usually, you can only dry about one half to two thirds the amount of clothes as you can wash.

This means that once the washing cycle is complete, you should remove about a third to a half of the clothes before putting the rest back to dry.

Otherwise, it’s likely your clothes will come out creased because the machine will be too full to spin them around and dry them properly.

Check your user manual for specific instructions on how much laundry you can wash and dry in your washer dryer combo. It will usually be given in kilograms.


Before Your Clothes Enter the Dryer

The first step to preventing creasing in the dryer is to make sure you have washed your clothes using the correct washing machine settings.

There are a few tips for preventing creases from forming in the washing machine:

Don’t overload the washing machine drum

Some washing machine cycles such as Delicates cycles are only designed to take smaller loads of laundry. Check your user manual to see the load capacity of each washing programme.

The Cottons cycle can take a large load, but filling up the drum on other cycles may contribute to creasing as your laundry won’t have enough room to move around.


Use a slow washing machine spin speed if appropriate

Higher spin speeds can contribute to creasing. Try reducing the spin speed on your washing machine if your clothes tend to come out creased.


Take laundry out of the washing machine immediately

Once the washing cycle is complete, take your laundry out immediately and put it in the tumble dryer. Not only will this help prevent a damp smell from forming, it could also help prevent creases from setting in.


Add fabric softener when washing your clothes

Not only do fabric softeners make your clothes smell good and feel softer, they can also help to reduce wrinkles. Add some softener to each load, and you should start to notice a difference.

Some washing powders come with added fabric softener, so you may want to look out for those the next time you’re in the supermarket.


Consider using white vinegar as a fabric softener alternative

Many people find white vinegar to be an effective and natural alternative to fabric softener.


Untangle and shake clothes before putting them in the dryer

Rather than simply pickling up your whole load of laundry and transferring it to the tumble dryer, separate and untangle your freshly washed clothes and shake them out.

If you don’t do this, you might just be putting a tangled bunch of clothes in the dryer, and they won’t have the chance to move around freely. This can make creases worse.

tumble dryer anti crease setting


Drying and Ironing Tips for Reducing Wrinkles

1. Use the anti-crease programme on your dryer

This is obvious, but if your dryer has an anti-crease programme, using it should help reduce creases.

These programmes work by adding extra tumbling at the end of the cycle to prevent creases from forming.


2. Put fewer clothes in the dryer

When they’re drying, your clothes need to be able to move around so that the hot air can get to them.

If you think your dryer might be overloaded, consider drying things you’re not going to wear immediately on a clothes airer and just putting the higher-priority things in the dryer.


3. Use dryer balls

sweatshirt, dryer balls and tumble dryer

Dryer balls can help prevent creases by separating laundry, allowing it to dry more evenly and preventing clumping and tangling.

You can get dryer balls made from wool, plastic or rubber. They are cheap, and have the added benefit of being able to speed up the drying process by about 25%.


4. Shake the creases out of your clothes

Clothes tend to get tangled up and creased while they’re being washed, and occasionally when they’re being dried.

Untangle your clothes and give them a bit of a shake so that the creases drop out. Hold your tops from the shoulders and shake them until they look a little smoother. Hold your skirts, shorts, and trousers from the top, and give them a good shake too.

You can do this both before putting clothes in the dryer and immediately after taking them out.

You could also pause the dryer halfway through and shake and untangle clothes before putting them back in the drum and unpausing it.


5. Use the ‘Permanent Press’ option

If your clothes tend to become very wrinkled, select the ‘Permanent press’ option on your tumble dryer.

This option allows your clothes to be cooled down gently, allowing the fibres to relax so your garments retain their original shape.

If your clothes are still a little creased you may have to iron them, however, if you use the techniques listed above your clothes are less likely to be wrinkled, which means they’ll be ready to wear as soon as you need them.


6. Take your clothes out as soon as the dryer has finished

Leaving clothes in the dryer for a long time after it has finished drying your clothes can result in creases and wrinkles forming.

Try to take your clothes out as soon as possible once the dryer has completed its programme. Some dryers make a noise when they are finished, or can be set up to give you a notification on your phone.

Leaving clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes or so is fine, but try to avoid leaving them in there for hours after the drying programme has finished.


7. Use the power of steam

Ironing shirt with steam

Steam can help remove creases. There are several ways you can take advantage of steam in the drying and ironing process:

  • Add an ice cube to the tumble dryer – If you’re drying at a high heat, consider putting an ice cube in the tumble dryer. The ice cube will melt, releasing steam into the drum and helping reduce wrinkles on clothes.
  • Use the ‘Iron Dry’ setting – This drying setting leaves clothes slightly damp, with the idea that you will finish off drying them by ironing them. This can be a good way to reduce wrinkles, as the moisture from the clothes will be released as steam when you iron them, helping remove creases.
  • Use a steam iron or steamer – If your clothes are crisp dry when you remove them from the tumble dryer, use a steam iron or steamer to reduce creases.


8. Fold your clothes straight away

folding clothes

As soon as your clothes have finished drying and they’ve been shaken and ironed (if required), fold them right away as this can help to prevent the wrinkles and creases returning.

Blouses, shirts, jackets, coats, and some tops will need to be hung on a clothes hanger. Pull these items of clothing straight so that wrinkles are smoothed out. If they have become a little too dry spray a mist of cool water lightly over them as this will make the fibres a little looser.

Once your clothes are folded, put them away as soon as you can so they’re even less likely to get creased again.

Drying and ironing tips for reducing wrinkles