You might not actually know how to do laundry.
No, wait, hear me out. The conventional method of washing on cold, moving to the dryer, and drying on the hottest setting is doing harm to your clothes that you might not even realise.
You see, the dryer is evil. It may seem innocent, with its pure promise to extract the moisture from your clothing and leave them unwrinkled.
But the dryer has a darker side: you’re trading the convenience of drying your clothing quickly and easily for the longevity of your garments.
Here’s the two ways the dryer destroys clothing:
- Dryers shrink clothing. This is common knowledge to many. But what you may not know, and what a recent study confirmed, according to USA Today, is that the dryer shrinks clothing twice as much as washing alone. The study says that the temperature of tumble drying isn’t what causes shrinkage — it’s the agitation and forced air that affects the fabric’s size.
- The agitation of tumble drying produces microscopic wear to your clothing. Since it’s so small, you can’t actually see it unless you look in the dryer’s lint compartment. There you will find pieces of fabric that have come off the clothing in the dryer, and they reduce the longevity of your garment. The study found that towels washed and dried 20 times lost 50% of their tensile strength.
How can you avoid this? Easy: avoid the dryer altogether. Shirts and pants can be put on hangers after a washing cycle, and hung up in your closet or bathroom to dry. You can minimise your dryer time by using it only for undergarments, towels, socks, and other miscellaneous items.
If you still insist on drying everything, the evidence points to shorter, less-hot cycles being better for your clothes overall. Ultimately, you want to minimise the time your clothes touch heat and are agitated by the tumble.
Your clothes will ultimately thank you.
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