Can You Tumble Dry Egyptian Cotton? (does it shrink or is it safe)
The short answer is yes, you can tumble dry Egyptian Cotton as long as you only use the low heat setting on your tumble dryer.
Egyptian cotton sheets and bedding should be line dried whenever possible to keep the cotton fibres relaxed which will make them last longer.
You should always follow the guidance given on the care label of your Egyptian cotton item.
In the absence of a care label, below are general care guidelines for Egyptian cotton.
The Best Way To Keep Egyptian Cotton In Excellent Condition
The following rules apply to both Egyptian cotton bedding and Egyptian cotton towels.
- Wash separately
Egyptian cotton should never be washed with other materials as the fibres from other harsher materials can damage the fine, Egyptian cotton. It’s OK to wash Egyptian cotton items with other Egyptian cotton items but keep them separate from other materials.
- Never use bleach
Bleach is a great whitening agent but it should never be used with Egyptian cotton. Bleach can weaken the cotton fibres and degrade your fine linen.
- Wash at the lowest possible temperature
For bedding this means no hotter than 40 C and 60 C for towels. This will help to prevent the colours from running and keep your Egyptian cotton items looking and feeling at their best.
- Separate different colours before washing
As Egyptian cotton is so absorbent, it is best to separate colours before washing. It is normal for new Egyptian cotton items to bleed colours in the wash which makes it best practice to wash different colours separately.
- Line dry
It is recommended to dry Egyptian cotton bedding on a washing line whenever possible. In many cases, as long as you have hung the bedding correctly it will not need ironing once it is brought in from the line.
- Tumble dry on the low heat setting
If the weather prevents line drying you can tumble dry your Egyptian cotton items on the low heat setting. In fact, Egyptian cotton towels will often dry feeling softer if they are tumble dried.
- Never use drying sheets
The harsh chemicals used in drying sheets can damage Egyptian cotton and should never be used.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Egyptian Cotton
Below we have listed all of the symbols related to tumble dryers. Some can often be found on items made from Egyptian cotton. Others will not likely be found on these items but are included for your information.
Square With A White Circle And A Black X On Top
This symbol indicates do not tumble dry, this is not normally found on Egyptian cotton.
Square With A White Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried and is likely to be found on Egyptian cotton items.
Square With A Black Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be dried in a tumble dryer with no heat. This could possibly be found on Egyptian cotton items.
Square With A White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle
This is the symbol which indicates the item can be tumble dried on a low heat setting.
Square With A White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle
This is the symbol which indicates the item can be dried in a tumble dryer on a medium heat setting.
Square With A White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried on a high heat setting.
How To Dry Egyptian Cotton Without A Tumble Dryer
If you don’t own a tumble dryer there are a number of ways you can dry your Egyptian cotton items. These include;
Line Drying Your Egyptian Cotton Items
Line drying is the recommended way for drying Egyptian cotton sheets and pillow cases. If the sheets are hung on the line correctly, and folded carefully, they will not need ironing.
Egyptian cotton items can be line dried on a washing line, rotary line or if space is tight a retractable clothesline. A retractable clothesline can be extended from one wall to another then after the washing is dry the line just retracts into the wall mounted box until the next time it is needed.
SEE ALSO: Recommended Retractable Clotheslines
Using An Airer To Dry Your Egyptian Cotton Items
It is possible ro dry your Egyptian cotton bedding and towels on an airer but it will take longer.
Especially the sheets as you will probably need to fold them to allow them to fit on the rack.
Using A Heated Airer
Heated airers are similar in design to standard airers except they have an electric element which heats the rails of the airer and decreases drying times.
Using A Dehumidifier Can Speed Up Drying Times
By placing a dehumidifier in the room where your Egyptian cotton items are drying will decrease the time taken to dry considerably.
As the dehumidifier removes moisture from the surrounding air, the drying items can release more moisture and so dry faster.
SEE ALSO: Dehumidifiers For Drying Egyptian Cotton
Using An Electric Fan Can Decrease Drying Times
Placing an electric fan in front of the Egyptian cotton item can also help to speed up the drying time.
Be sure to open a window to allow excess moisture to leave and increase air flow.
It is also possible to use an electric fan in conjunction with a dehumidifier.
SEE ALSO: Badeless Fans (We Think Are Great)
Why You Should Always Read The Wash Care Label On Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton is more expensive to buy than other cotton items. It costs more because of the luxurious comfort Egyptian cotton provides.
To maintain this luxury, Egyptian cotton needs to be cared for correctly which is why you should always follow the advice on the care label. If not be prepared for the following;
If you were to wash or dry your Egyptian cotton items in too high temperatures, you run the risk of them shrinking by 5% or more.
Exposing Egyptian cotton to high temperatures can lead to the individual cotton fibres becoming damaged.
This can lead to pilling and a dramatic shortening of the life of your Egyptian cotton bedding/towels.
Egyptian cotton will naturally bleed some colour during the first few washes.
However, exposing Egyptian cotton to high temperatures will cause the colour to bleed more and for longer.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should always consult the care label, but as a general guide it is OK to put Egyptian cotton in a tumble dryer on a low heat setting.
It is usually OK to tumble dry Egyptian cotton shirts on a low heat setting. You should consult the care label for more information on your specific shirt.
You can dry Egyptian cotton without a tumble dryer in a number of ways which include; Line drying on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline, on an airer or a heated airer. You can speed up drying times by placing a dehumidifier in the same room to remove moisture.
Egyptian cotton sheets can be tumble dried on a low heat setting. However it is better for the material if they can be air dried on a washing line.
Egyptian cotton towels can be dried in a tumble dryer on a low heat setting. You can expect a 3-5% shrink rate on your first tumble.
The dryer setting that should be used for Egyptian cotton sheets is the low heat setting.