Does A Heated Airer Shrink Clothes?

The short answer is no, a heated airer does not shrink clothes, and there are a whole load of benefits to be obtained by using a heated clothes airer. Keep reading to find out more.

During the warm, Summer months getting your laundry dry even here in the UK is an easy enough task. We pop all of our clothes on the washing line in the morning before work, and bring them in on our return home at teatime.

The problem of course, is during the other 9 months of the year when the weather ranges from damp to wet to torrential rain and back again. This is when we have to rely on the tumble dryer to get the laundry dry.

But with rising energy bills and the potential to shrink clothes unless they’re carefully sorted, we started to look at an alternative way to dry our laundry.

Why Do Heated Airers Not Shrink Clothes?

For clothes to shrink they need moisture, heat and agitation. You place wet clothes in the dryer which are then subjected to heat and agitation to get them dry.

This is what causes some fabrics to shrink in the dryer. As heated airers don’t heat up to high temperatures, and because the clothes remain static on the airer, there is no opportunity for them to shrink.

How To Use A Heated Airer For Drying Clothes

If you’ve ever used a clothes horse or airer, then you already know how to use a heated airer. Heated airers look exactly like regular airers only they need electricity to function.

You hang your clothes on the bars which heat up due to an electrical element that spreads the heat through the bars.

Some heated clothes airers are supplied with a cover which traps heat and keeps it concentrated on your clothes as they dry. If you have a heated airer that doesn’t have a cover, you can get the same effect by putting a bed sheet over the airer.

It is perfectly safe to place a sheet over the airer even when it is plugged in. For best results, tuck the sheet in all around the airer and secure it under the base.

What To Consider When Choosing Between Heated Airers & Tumble Dryers

There are a number of factors to consider before deciding whether to buy a tumble dryer or a heated airer. These include;

  • How Much Washing You Do Each Week
    If you intend to do lots of washing every week, you’ll probably be better off with a tumble dryer because heated airers take far longer to dry clothes.
  • How Quickly You Need The Laundry Dry
    If you need clothes dry within hours of being washed, a tumble dryer will be the best choice for you. This is because tumble dryers take far less time than heated airers to dry clothes.
  • How Much Space You Have In Your Home
    Tumble dryers need a designated space that will permanently house the appliance. Heated airers can be used and then packed away, saving on space.
  • How Much Money You Have to Spend
    You can almost buy a top of the range heated clothes airer for the amount a basic tumble dryer will cost. Plus it costs far more to run a tumble dryer than a heated airer.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Heated Clothes Airer?

There are several benefits to using a heated airer compared with using a tumble dryer. These include;

  • Clothes Won’t Shrink
    Unlike the tumble dryer, drying clothes on a heated airer will not shrink your clothes.
  • Clothes Won’t Become Damaged
    Unlike tumble dryers which have the potential to damage your clothes due to the excessive heat and rough action, heated airers will not damage your clothes. You could leave clothes on a heated airer all night without causing them any damage.
  • Greatly Reduced Running Costs
    It costs around 30p to dry a fully loaded airer whereas a tumble dryer costs around £1.80 to dry a full load.
  • Much Lower Purchase Price
    Heated airers range in price from around £40 to around £200. Tumble dryers start at around £150 and top of the market models can cost more than £1000.
  • Reduces The Need For Ironing
    Because the items are either laid flat or hung on a heated airer, there is often no need to iron many garments at all.
  • Needs No Permanent Space
    Unlike the tumble dryer that needs its own designated space permanently, the heated clothes airer can be stored anywhere after use.
  • Available In Many Different Shapes & Sizes
    Heated airers are available in many different styles, shapes and sizes. This means no matter how much (or little) space you have, there is a heated airer that’s suitable.
  • Makes No Noise
    There’s no getting away from it, tumble dryers are noisy, the mechanical action of the rotating drum and the continuous hot air pumping around makes a noise. Heated airers on the other hand are silent.
  • Packs Away After Use
    Once the laundry is dry, the airer can be folded up and packed away until the next time it’s needed.
  • Less Cleaning/Maintenance
    In all honesty there’s not that much cleaning or maintenance required with a tumble dryer, but there’s even less with a heated airer.
  • Environmentally Friendly
    As heated clothes airers use less power to operate, they are a more environmentally friendly option than a tumble dryer.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using A Heated Airer?

We’ve listed the main benefits of using a heated airer, so it’s only fair to list the main disadvantages as well. Which include;

  • Longer Drying Time
    Although it costs less to dry a full load of clothes using a heated airer compared to a tumble dryer, it also takes far longer. It can take as long to dry one load on a heated airer as it takes to dry 3 or even 4 loads in a tumble dryer.
  • Needs Lots Of Space
    When the heated airer is being used, depending on the model you own, it can take up a lot of room. This can mean not being able to use a certain room when the airer is set up.
  • Can Cause Dampness
    Heated airers have no way to remove moist air which does increase the potential for dampness and the associated issues (mould etc).
  • Requires More Attention

To get the clothes to dry uniformly, you will need to rearrange the garments fairly regularly on a heated airer. Whereas once the clothes are in the dryer, you can forget them until the cycle is finished.

SEE ALSO: What Temperature Shrinks Clothes When Washing And Drying?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a heated clothes airer cheaper to run than a tumble dryer?

Even though heated airers take far longer to dry clothes, they also use far less electricity which means using a heated airer is far cheaper than using a tumble dryer.

Should you put a sheet over a heated airer?

If your heated airer never came with a cover, you can put a sheet over it to keep the heat inside and concentrated on your clothes. This will help to dry your clothes more efficiently.

How long do you leave clothes on a heated airer?

Depending on the make and model heated airer you own, and the thickness of the clothes you’re drying, it can take anywhere between 5 to 10 hours to fully dry your clothes.

Do heated airers cause damp?

Heated airers don’t cause damp, but the clothes drying on them can do. As the clothes dry they release moisture into the air which will increase the humidity level in the room.

Is a heated airer better with or without cover?

A heated airer is better with a cover because the cover will keep the heat inside and on your clothes. This can decrease drying times which makes the heated clothes airer more energy efficient.

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