woman putting clothes in washing machine

Can You Just Dry Clothes in a Washer Dryer?

Washer dryers are ideal space-saving appliances, offering you two functions in one. However, in some situations, you might only want to dry clothes without fully washing them first.

But is this possible in a washer dryer? Read on to find out.


Can You Just Dry Clothes in a Washer Dryer?

Pretty much all washer dryers will have a dry-only cycle. It should include 2 settings: high heat for natural fabrics and low heat for synthetics and delicates. Make sure you check the specific instructions for your appliance, but it should be fairly clear on its setting dial whether you have more than one dryer function.

Ideally, a washer dryer will give you the option to only run one of its functions in a cycle, whether this is just washing or just drying. After all, not everything can be dried using a tumble dryer, and not all damp clothes need washing before drying.

washing machine dial

Can You Use a Washer Dryer to Just Dry?

Using a washer dryer purely as a tumble dryer is perfectly possible. For example, if you’ve hand washed some baby clothes or delicates, putting them on a low heat setting can often be the easiest way to dry them.

However, there are some important points to consider when using a washer dryer just for drying clothes. These include:

Washer dryer capacity

Typically, a tumble dryer’s capacity is half that of a washing machine. This is because the clothes need more space to move around to be dried properly. As such, you’ll often need to split big washing loads in half when it comes to drying, which is why it helps to be able to run the drying cycle independently.

a modern washing machine dial

The dryer’s water usage

A lot of washer dryers use water to cool their condenser mechanism. This is separate from the water used for actual washing. As such, it might not always be the most economical option for drying clothes.

A more eco-friendly option would be to hang them on a radiator dryer or on a washing line outdoors, if possible.

Drying cycle heat settings

The heat settings on a washer dryer are typically less in-depth than a standalone tumble dryer. High and low heat might not give you enough flexibility for drying things like delicates, wool, etc.

In fact, the low heat setting isn’t ideal for many of the things it’s meant for, as you should generally keep synthetic fabrics away from a tumble dryer.


How Long Does It Take to Dry Clothes in a Washer Dryer?

how long to wash clothes

A standard drying cycle in a washer dryer takes around 45 minutes. However, this is dependent on the density of the load, the type of fabric, and how wet it is at the start. As such, it can take as little as 15 minutes or more than an hour.


Final Thoughts

While the dryer setting on a washer dryer does leave a lot to be desired compared to a standalone tumble dryer, it’s often more convenient that air-drying clothes around the home. Just make sure you consider the tips above when you plan to just dry clothes in your machine.