Will dry clothes shrink in the dryer?

Compared to washing, which can shrink clothes, drying them with heat has the opposite effect. As a garment loses moisture, the fibers stretch a little; as you wear it, your body heat will increase this stretch. Whenever we have a question, cleaning or otherwise, we love to follow advice on the Internet. One Redditor agreed that you can put your already dry clothes in the dryer, but there are a few things you should pay attention to.

The Redditor noted that yes, you can put dry clothes in a dryer. It's a good way to remove wrinkles without using a steamer or having to open an ironing board. However, they advised that by doing this, certain fabrics may be prone to shrinkage, which, of course, is a problem. Another topic to consider? Denim buttons can get very hot after turning them in the dryer, so be careful not to get burned when taking clothes out of the dryer.

Cotton and other materials that do shrink shrink during the drying process. This is usually due to high levels of exposure to heat. When clothes are washed, it absorbs a lot of water and swells. Then, under the heat of the dryer, they dry and shrink to their normal size.

However, as they continue to dry, they begin to roll up, making them smaller than they originally were. Water molecules also act as lubricants between cellulose molecules, facilitating the way they approach each other. This effect is stronger in fibers that absorb water very well, such as cotton, linen and wool. Some manufacturers will add a layer of protection against this, but that's another story.

Drying clothes outdoors isn't very quick or very practical, but it can be the best way to keep your delicate clothes looking like new. Of course, if the cotton material is pre-shrunk, it is very likely that it will not shrink at all when washed and dried. Even if the dryer doesn't turn off automatically, you can dry your clothes at short intervals and check for moisture after each cycle instead of changing it to the longer setting and letting the machine turn off on its own. Agitation and high temperatures during washing and drying cycles can distort the fabric and cause clothes to shrink.

But, if it's not pre-shrunk, how do you ensure that your cotton clothes don't shrink every time you wash and dry them? Checking the labels on the fabric of clothing, washing it in cold water, drying it at a low temperature and air drying it are ways to help prevent the fabric from shrinking. Some dryers come with a “dryer”, spin or “air dry” setting, which uses movement instead of heat to dry clothes, helping to prevent fiber damage caused by shrinkage. Instead, opt for air-drying or a combination of air-drying and drying clothes at a cold air temperature for the best possible results. Depending on the fabric from which the clothes are made, there are several ways to reduce their size with a dryer.

Therefore, the only true way to prevent shrinkage is to avoid putting your clothes in the dryer completely and choose to air dry them after washing them in the washing machine. If you put it in the dryer at the highest temperature, even if it's completely dry when you do it, your clothes may continue to shrink a little. If the purpose of placing clothes in the dryer is to fix them a bit before using them, you may want to do it at a low drying temperature.

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