Can You Put Soaking Wet Clothes In The Tumble Dryer?

When it comes to doing the laundry, we’ve all been there: you’re in a rush, and you just want to get your clothes dried and ready to wear as quickly as possible. But what about those moments when your clothes are more than just a little damp? 

Can you put soaking wet clothes in the tumble dryer and hope for the best? Well, the short answer is no, it’s not advisable to toss sopping wet garments into the tumble dryer, and here’s why: your tumble dryer is a useful appliance, but it’s not designed to handle clothes that are dripping wet. 

So, before you potentially destroy your dryer and your clothes, let’s look into the details of why this isn’t a great idea.

Is It Okay To Put Soaking Wet Clothes In Your Tumble Dryer?

A tumble dryer’s primary purpose is to efficiently dry damp or moist clothes. It does this by blowing warm air into the drum, effectively evaporating the moisture from your garments. 

Tumble Dryer

The result? Dry, fresh-smelling clothes once the cycle is done. However, when your clothes are more than just damp, there are some clear downsides to putting them in the dryer.

It Makes Your Dryer Less Efficient

Tumble dryers are built to handle damp clothing, not sopping wet ones. 

When you put soaking wet clothes in the dryer, it can’t effectively cope with the excess moisture. This damp overload puts extra strain on your dryer.

It Will Take A Longer Time Drying Your Clothes

When you load your dryer with sopping wet clothes, it’s bound to run for much longer than it would with merely damp garments. 

The extra moisture means the dryer has to work harder, taking up to two hours or more to get your clothes somewhat dry. Still, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be completely dry, as some dryers struggle to eliminate all the moisture from extremely wet clothing. 

It Can Increase Your Electricity Bill

Spending more time in the dryer means more energy consumption. 

So, expect your electricity bill to creep up when you frequently put soaking wet clothes in your tumble dryer. It’s an expensive habit that can be costly in the long run.

It Can Ruin Your Clothes

Leaving clothes in the dryer for extended periods, especially when they’re dripping wet, can be detrimental to their condition. After all, prolonged exposure to high heat can lead to brittle, damaged fabric. 

There’s also the risk of colour transfer or bleeding, making your clothes look worse for wear. Plus, they might end up smelling unpleasant due to incomplete drying.

It Can Damage Your Tumble Dryer

The excessive weight of wet clothes can harm the bearings of your tumble dryer as an imbalanced load can negatively affect the appliance’s mechanisms! 

Additionally, water from the wet clothes can seep into the dryer’s internal components, potentially causing damage and even posing a fire hazard.

SEE ALSO: Tumble Dryer Smells? (how to keep it fresh)

Ways To Dry Soaking Wet Clothes Faster

The drawbacks of putting soaking wet clothes in the dryer are clear, and it’s certainly not a risk worth taking!

To ensure an efficient and safe drying experience, here are some practical tips to help you dry your clothes faster:

Run A Spin Only Cycle In The Washing Machine

Most washing machines offer a “Spin Only Cycle” that removes excess water from clothes once the wash cycle is nearly complete. This significantly reduces the drying time your clothes need in the tumble dryer.

Squeeze Out The Excess Moisture

Hand wringing your clothes is a simple yet effective way to reduce drying time. Squeeze the excess water out, so your garments aren’t dripping wet before going into the dryer.

wringing wet clothing

Roll Your Clothes In A Towel

Rolling your clothes in a large towel can help absorb excess moisture from the fabric. This little trick can significantly reduce the drying time and keep your clothes in better shape.

Allow Clothes To Drip Outdoors

If possible, consider hanging your waterlogged clothes outdoors on a clothesline. The fresh air and natural breeze will work wonders, saving you from high energy bills and potential dryer damage.

Clothes on a clothes line

Use The Right Setting

Finally, to protect your clothes during drying, go for a low-heat setting. Wet clothes take longer to dry, and high heat can shrink or damage the fabric over time. So, play it safe and choose the gentle option.

Dry Your Clothes Efficiently!

The simple answer to whether you can put soaking wet clothes in the tumble dryer is no, it’s not a good idea. 

It’s not just about saving your dryer from unnecessary wear and tear, but also about preserving the quality of your clothes and keeping your energy bills in check. Follow these tips to dry your clothes more efficiently, and your laundry days will be smoother and more cost-effective!

Do you have questions? Ask away!

SEE ALSO: Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put soaking wet clothes in the dryer?

No, it’s not advisable to put soaking wet clothes in the dryer as it can damage your clothes and tumble dryer.

How long does it take for soaking wet clothes to air dry?

The time it takes for soaking wet clothes to air dry can vary depending on factors like humidity and airflow, but it typically takes several hours to a full day.

Is tumble drying bad for your clothes?

Tumble drying can be bad for your clothes if done improperly. It can lead to shrinkage, damage, and wear and tear on the fabric if not done with care.

What clothes cannot be tumble-dried?

Delicate fabrics like silk, wool, and some synthetics should not be tumble-dried. Always check the care label on your clothes to be sure.

What can damage a dryer?

Excessive weight from wet clothes, an imbalanced load, and water seepage from the wet clothes can damage a dryer.

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