Can You Tumble Dry Thermals? (check this first)

There are several manufacturers of thermal clothing all using different materials. Some say it’s OK to machine wash and tumble dry their garments while others say do not tumble dry.

There are cotton thermals, wool thermals, polyester thermals and blended thermals, some even use elastane (lycra or spandex).

This makes giving general advice somewhat tricky. However, we would recommend that you do not tumble dry your thermals if you want them to last.

You should always refer to the wash care label on your thermals for specific advice.

Tumble drying your thermals could lead to them shrinking or the threads could become damaged which will cause the material to tear or wear through at certain points.

What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Thermals

Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes

There are several symbols used on wash care labels relating to tumble dryers. Many of these will not apply to thermals but we include them all for your information.

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 thermals.

Square With White Circle

This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. There are some thermals 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 thermals.

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 some thermals.

Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle

This indicates you can dry the item on a medium heat setting. You should never usually find this symbol on thermals.

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 thermals.

How To Dry Thermals Without A Tumble Dryer

In many cases, thermals should not be tumble dried which means you’ll have to find another way to dry your thermal clothes.

Below we have listed the best ways to dry thermals without using a tumble dryer.

Drying Your Thermals On A Washing Line

Air drying is the most recommended way to dry thermals according to leading manufacturers.

Hanging your thermals on a washing line, rotary clothesline or a retractable clothesline is a great way to get them dry.

One word of warning, always keep thermals out of direct sunlight to prevent colour fade and also to prevent damage to the material, especially elastane (spandex, lycra).

Indoor Air Drying Using A Clothes Horse (Airer)

If you don’t have an outdoor washing line or the weather’s too bad for outdoor drying, an airer will get your thermals dry indoors.

Just set the airer up in a well ventilated room and either; lay your thermals on the racks of the airer or drape them over the bars.

You can place the airer in front of a radiator to get the thermals dryer faster. But not too close and definitely not if the radiator is too hot.

Using An Airing Cupboard To Dry Thermals

If you’re fortunate to have an airing cupboard, it is a great place to dry your thermals.

Simply arrange your thermals on the shelves of the airing cupboard and allow to dry.

SEE ALSO: The Top Clothes Drying Racks & Airers (Clothes Horses Reviewed)

Ways To Speed Up Indoor Drying Times

We mentioned above placing the airer in front of a warm (not hot) radiator. There are a few other ways to decrease the drying times of your thermals indoors. Which are;

  • Using An Electric Fan
  • Using A Dehumidifier

Drying Thermals Using An Electric Fan

You can speed up the drying time of your thermals indoors by placing an electric fan in the same room. You should point the fan directly at the drying clothes.

This method works best if there is a window open in the same room. This allows better airflow which speeds up the drying time.

SEE ALSO: The Best Bladeless Fans On The Market Today

Using A Dehumidifier To Dry Thermals

Dehumidifiers are great appliances for removing excess moisture from a room. Which makes a dehumidifier a great choice for getting thermals dryer faster indoors.

Simply place the dehumidifier in the same room as the drying thermals and reap the benefits of dry thermals in a far shorter time.

SEE ALSO: The Best Dehumidifiers For Drying Clothes

Why You Should Always Read The Wash Care Label On Thermals

Always check the wash care labels

You should always check the wash care label for specific care instructions on your thermals.

If not, you can expect;

Your Thermals To Shrink

Depending on the materials used to manufacture your thermals, there’s a good chance they will shrink if exposed to high temperatures.

In some cases it is possible to restore the original size by soaking the thermals in warm water but this is not always successful.

Your Thermals To Wear Out Faster

When you put anything into a tumble dryer, you are subjecting it to an attack on two fronts. Firstly, there’s the heat and secondly, there’s the rough treatment of the tumbling action.

Both of these can cause damage to the fibres of the materials that the thermals are made from. Which will result in the thermals wearing out faster. Small holes will appear at points of stress in the material like around the seams etc. 

As there is often some form of elastane in the material blend in thermals, those small holes will become large holes very soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to put thermals in a tumble dryer?

You should always consult the wash care label for specific instructions, but as a general rule it is not safe to put thermals in a tumble dryer. They are likely to shrink and become damaged if subjected to the heat and rough treatment of a tumble dryer.

Can you put cotton thermals in the dryer?

It is not recommended that you tumble dry cotton thermals. They should be air dried on a washing line or airer.

Can you tumble dry merino wool thermals?

It is possible to tumble dry merino wool thermals on a low heat setting, but it is best to air dry them.

How can I dry thermals without a tumble dryer?

Without using a tumble dryer, you can dry thermals on a washing line, on an airer (clothes horse) or in an airing cupboard.

Do thermals dry quickly?

Whether thermals dry quickly or not depends on the materials they are made from. For instance, thermals made from synthetic man-made materials like polyester will dry far quicker than thermals made from wool.

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