Can You Tumble Dry Sofa Covers? (here’s the truth)
In many cases, sofa covers can be washed in a washing machine, this then leaves us with the inevitable question, can you tumble dry sofa covers?
The truth is many people do tumble dry their sofa covers but this can be risky because sofa covers tend to shrink in the tumble dryer.
This can lead to the sofa covers no longer fitting the sofa, or the covers can become damaged in the dryer. This leads to rips, tears and areas with hardly any threads.
If you do use a tumble dryer to dry your sofa covers, you do so at your own risk, and you should always check the care label before doing so.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Sofa Covers
There are several symbols relating to tumble dryers that can be found on care labels. However there are only one or two that usually apply to sofa covers.
Below, we’ve included all of the tumble dryer symbols for your information.
- Square With White Circle – You can tumble dry, the majority of sofa covers will not carry this symbol.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This indicates you can dry on a low heat, it’s possible that some sofa covers will have this symbol.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This indicates you can dry on a medium heat, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find this symbol on your sofa cover’s care label.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – You can dry on a high heat setting, it is very unlikely that you’ll find this symbol on your sofa cover’s care label.
- Square With Black Circle – You can dry with no heat, it is possible to find this symbol on the care label of some sofa covers.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top – Do not tumble dry, this is the symbol you’re most likely to find on your sofa cover.
How To Dry Sofa Covers Without A Tumble Dryer
Sofa covers can shrink if subjected to the heat of a tumble dryer which means you’ll need to dry your sofa covers another way. Below, we have listed the best ways to dry your sofa covers without running the risk of them shrinking.
However some shrinkage is normal which is why you are always best to fit the sofa covers back while they are still slightly damp. The covers will then shrink fit onto your sofa.
The sofa shouldn’t be sat on until the sofa covers are completely dry.
Air Drying Your Sofa Covers On A Washing Line
This is the recommended way of drying sofa covers, all you need to do is hang your sofa covers over a washing line, rotary line or even a retractable clothesline.
Depending on climatic conditions it can take up to 8 hours to dry sofa covers, sometimes even longer.
Air Drying Your Sofa Covers Using An Airer
Using an airer to air dry your sofa covers allows you the options of drying outdoors or indoors if the weather is too bad for outdoor drying.
Simply drape the sofa cover over the airer and allow it to dry naturally. You should ensure the airer is situated in a well ventilated room.
Reducing The Drying Times Using An Electric Fan
You can help to speed up the drying time indoors by placing an electric fan indoors with the sofa covers. Aim the fan at the drying sofa cover to simulate a gentle drying breeze.
Just ensure there is enough air flow in the room by opening a window.
Using A Dehumidifier To Reduce Indoor Drying Times
Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the room. By placing a dehumidifier in the same room that the sofa cover is drying in, you can drastically reduce drying times.
As the excess moisture is removed from the air, the sofa cover can release more moisture at a faster rate.
Using A Hair Dryer To Help Dry Sofa Covers
Once the damp sofa covers have been refitted onto the sofa, it is possible to speed up the final drying process with the help of a hair dryer.
You should have the hair dryer on a low heat setting and remember to keep the nozzle moving at all times. Never allow the heat to concentrate on one area for too long.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry Sofa Covers?
If you decide to ignore the care label and put your sofa covers in a tumble dryer you risk;
Shrinking The Sofa Cover
Sofa covers can be made from many different fabrics, many of which will shrink if subjected to high temperatures. Fabrics such as cotton, polyester, wool etc will all shrink under high temperatures.
This will lead to your sofa covers no longer fitting your sofa.
As the material shrinks, it will apply pressure onto the various seams and joints which will then rip, tear or split at those weak points.
This is particularly true of areas around zippers etc.
Melting The Cover
Man-made, synthetic materials like polyester can melt if they are subjected to high temperatures. This could damage your tumble dryer as well as ruining your sofa cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not safe to put a sofa cover in a tumble dryer. Even at low heat, you run the risk of the material shrinking or becoming damaged. In some extreme cases, man made fabrics have been known to melt in a tumble dryer.
To speed up the drying time of your sofa cover, it should be placed in a room with an electric fan or a dehumidifier. Once the slightly damp sofa cover has been refitted onto the sofa you can speed up the drying by using a hair dryer on a low heat setting. The nozzle should be kept moving at all times and not be allowed to concentrate on any one particular point for too long.
The recommended way to dry sofa covers is to air dry them. Either on a washing line or on an airer.
It is not a good idea to machine wash DFS sofa covers. Washing DFS sofa covers even at low temperatures could cause the fire retardants to become damaged, the colours to run and the materials to shrink.
A damp couch cover can take anywhere between 2-6 hours to fully dry depending on the material, temperature and climatic conditions.