Can You Tumble Dry Elastane? (what you need to know)
You should always check the care label but in the absence of a wash care label we recommend not tumble drying elastane.
Elastane should never be tumble dried because exposing elastane to heat can cause serious damage.
Elastane, also known as lycra and spandex, is a synthetic man made material that will shrink if exposed to high temperatures.
It is blended with other materials like cotton and polyester and can be found in many kinds of clothing.
Trousers, leggings, t-shirts, socks and linen can all be found with elastane in the material blend.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Elastane
Here are the common tumble dryer symbols you’ll see in the UK. Some of them may not be relevant to elastane, but we’re including them anyway for future reference.
Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top
This symbol indicates that the item cannot be tumble dried. This is the most likely symbol to be found on elastane.
Square With White Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. There are some elastane items that carry this symbol.
Square With Black Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using no heat. You could find this symbol on some elastane products.
Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle
This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried on the low heat setting. This can sometimes be found on elastane blended fabrics.
Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle
This indicates you can dry the item on a medium heat setting. It is unlikely to find this symbol on elastane.
Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the high heat setting. You will never find this symbol on elastane products.
How To Dry Elastane Without A Tumble Dryer
Elastane is a material that dries quickly so drying your elastane or elastane blended garments should be easy.
Use An Airer (Clothes Horse) To Dry Your Elastane Clothes
You can lay your elastane or blended clothes on the racks of the airer or drape the items over the bars to dry.
Airers are great drying aids because they can be used outdoors on good drying days. Or indoors when the weather is too bad for outdoor drying.
SEE ALSO: Best Clothes Airers Reviewed
Use A Dehumidifier To Dry Elastane Indoors Faster
Elastane is a quick drying fabric, but on days when there is high humidity, lycra or spandex clothes can take longer to dry than normal.
To speed up the drying time, place a dehumidifier in the same room as the drying elastane products. The dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air.
This will allow your garments to dry faster.
Line Dry Elastane Garments
Drying elastane garments on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline is a great way of air drying your elastane clothes.
Always keep the elastane or blended elastane garments out of direct sunlight.
Dry Clothes Indoors Faster With An Electric Fan
When drying your elastane or blended clothes indoors, using a fan can reduce the drying time. It works by creating a gentle breeze which will move dry air over the elastane products.
This works particularly well if you open a window in the same room to help with airflow.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry Elastane
If you were to tumble dry your elastane garments you should expect the following;
Elastane Will Shrink
If elastane is exposed to high temperatures in a tumble dryer; it is likely to shrink by up to 10% of its original size.
This could permanently damage the garment.
The Elastane Clothes Can Stretch
If exposed to high temperatures and the rough action of a tumble dryer, it is possible to damage the elastane fibres and cause the fabric to stretch out of shape.
The garments Could Be Severely Damaged
Even at relatively low temperatures, elastane garments can become damaged in the tumble dryer.
The fibres can become so damaged that the item can never be worn again.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should always consult the wash care label, but as a general rule, it is not recommended to expose elastane to high temperatures which means do not tumble dry.
Although elastane is a stretchy fabric, it is liable to shrink if subjected to high temperatures which is why it should be hand washed and air dried.
The best way to dry elastane is without a tumble dryer. You should air dry elastane either on a washing line or clothes horse.
Elastane is a synthetic, man made fabric which has qualities similar to rubber but is made from polymers which are derived from petrochemicals.
Lycra is the trademarked brand name of a type of synthetic fabric which is known as spandex in the US and Canada and elastane elsewhere in the world.