tumble dryer and shirt with pollen stain

Will Tumble Drying Remove Pollen?

Good ol’ pollen loves to put in an appearance when the weather starts to get better and the sun decides to poke its head out!

For those of us with allergies, this is known as nightmare time!

Runny noses, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats are what we have to look forward to over the next few months – the joys!

There’s not really a foolproof way to stop pollen from doing its damage, and it almost always finds a way of getting onto our clothes, carpets and furniture, so it can plague us indoors too!

That being said, some people believe you can remove pollen from items by tumble drying them. So, how true is this hack?

Can a tumble dryer remove pollen?

The short answer: It sort of works, but don’t think that it’s going to be some sort of miracle cure! Let’s look into this in more detail.


Using a Tumble Dryer to Remove Pollen

clothes with pollen stain in the tumble dryer

Pollen is incredibly small and can get trapped in fibres very, very quickly!

It’s so minute that it goes by unnoticed by the human eye. And it’s because of this that pollen is difficult to remove from various items.

A tumble dryer’s heat and agitation can dislodge some of these pollen particles from laundry, but not all.

Essentially, the motion helps to loosen the hold the pollen has on the clothing’s fibres, and in turn, the pollen is shaken free from the clothes.

Unfortunately, as noted earlier, a tumble dryer is not able to remove every single bit of pollen from an outfit and this is because some particles are so tiny, and are embedded so deep inside the fabric that they can’t be dislodged with just a dryers’ agitation and heat.

In addition to this, if the clothes in question have been washed, sometimes the pollen particles get pushed deeper into a material’s fibres, thus making them even harder to remove.

This is why a tumble dryer shouldn’t be considered a foolproof way of eradicating pollen from laundry.

Here are a few benefits of using a tumble dryer to remove pollen from laundry:

  • It’s a convenient method to try out if you have a tumble dryer.
  • It’s a quick and simple way to remove some pollen from laundry.
  • A tumble dryer can loosen the hold pollen has on clothes, so it can be easier to remove.

Here are a few drawbacks of using a tumble dryer to remove pollen from laundry:

  • A tumble dryer won’t remove every single piece of pollen from your laundry.
  • If you’ve cleaned your clothes beforehand, this can make some particles tougher to remove, and the dryer technique might not work out effectively.
  • Not all pollen covered items can be tumble dried, so you’d have to find an alternative way.
  • Some items are too big to go in a dryer, so this method wouldn’t be suitable.


Other Methods to Reduce or Remove Pollen

white vinegar, laundry detergent, drying clothes indoor and vacuuming carpet

If you don’t think the tumble-drying technique is working out well for you, try these alternatives:

  1. Pre-soak laundry in cold water and then wash them. Soaking items in cold water can help to loosen the pollen particles’ grip on fibres, thus making them easier to remove later on.
  2. Soak items in a white vinegar and water mix. The vinegar can also help to break down the pollen’s hold on your clothes.
  3. Clean your laundry with a hypoallergenic detergent. See our guide to the best hypoallergenic detergents if you don’t already have one.
  4. Try not to dry clothes on a washing line when the pollen count is high because there’s a very good chance that the pollen particles will land on your damp garments as they dry on the line. Dry your laundry indoors, either by using a dryer or a heated airer when the pollen count is up.
  5. Try not to allow too much pollen into your home and onto your furniture and clothes. So, keep windows and doors shut during peak pollen times!
  6. You should try to hoover pollen off various surfaces (carpets/rugs) and do laundry every day to reduce the amount of pollen you come into contact with.
  7. Try to have a shower before bed to remove pollen particles from your person. And then wash your clothes and bedding the next day to stop the spread of the pollen around your home. 
  8. Clean laundry using hot water, as this can remove allergens like pollen.
  9. Avoid using fabric softener as this can help to lodge pollen into the material’s fibres.

Note: You should test your cleaning products/methods out before you use them to treat items. A discreet patch test will tell you if your chosen technique will help or damage your garments. Not all alternatives noted above will be applicable to all types of laundry!