7 things you should never put in the tumble dryer

·3-min read
7 things you should never put in the tumble dryer
7 things you shouldn't put in the tumble dryerboonchai wedmakawand - Getty Images

Tumble dryers aren't an essential household appliance, but they sure come in handy, especially in the winter when you can't hang your clothes up outside to dry.

But as useful as it is, there are certain items that your machine can do irreparable damage to! To help you keep your clothes in good condition, here are seven items you should dry on the airer instead.

1. Bras

Bras are too delicate to throw in the dryer. The heat and agitation they'll be subject to during a tumble drying cycle can damage a bra’s elasticity and shape, particularly if it's made from a range of different materials (as many bras are) which will be affected by tumble drying in different ways. Instead, lay them flat to dry naturally.

Also, underwired bras are notorious for causing problems with the machine drum if the wire works its way out of the fabric!

2. Trainers

The heat of a dryer can shrink the rubber, ruin the cushioning and weaken the adhesives that help hold your trainers together, leaving them falling apart. However, some trainers that aren’t for sports purposes, like casual ‘tennis’ shoes, can be thrown in the dryer with several towels on a cool-air cycle.

7 things you should never put in the tumble dryer
Kinga Krzeminska - Getty Images

3. Swimming costumes

Tumble drying can seriously shorten the life of your favourite cozzie! While swimsuits can stand the heat on the beach, the harsh temperatures they'll encounter in a tumble dryer could leave Lycra brittle and damaged.

4. Tights

The delicate mesh material is likely to shrink in the heat, while the tumbling motion can also cause them to get tangled and snagged. Have you ever tried to untie a knot in a pair of hosiery? Frankly, we all have better things to do with our time! If you must tumble your tights for speed, then use a mesh washing bag.

7 things you should never put in the tumble dryer
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5. Clothes with embellishments

Don’t put anything with sequins, beads or diamanté embellishment in the tumble dryer. They may get damaged themselves and can snag other items, too. It’s far easier to leave them to dry naturally – if the material is thin or delicate, lay them flat on a towel to air.

GHI Tip: Every time you use the tumble dryer, clean the filter first.

6. Anything with a care label that warns against tumble dryers

Yes, it sounds obvious, but even the laundry experts at the GHI never toss in a load without double-checking the labels. Always have a look, especially if you’re not sure what sort of fabric your clothes are made of. Most items with silk or wool, for example, shouldn’t get thrown in the machine.

If natural drying or dry cleaning is recommended, it’s for a good reason – it’ll help your items look new for longer, while preventing shrinking, warping and other types of damage.

7. Rubber-backed rugs

Sure, these rugs that keep you from slipping and sliding in your bathroom are small enough to fit inside a dryer, but the rubber on the back won’t stand up to the intense heat and may even crumble. Plus, overheating it could cause a dryer fire.

GHI Tip: Turning down the temperature setting, or tumble drying for a shorter time, will not only save you money but stop the load from over-drying, which could damage fabrics or cause shrinkage.

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