Does Tumble Drying Remove Pollen? (what you need to know)

Springtime! The season when flowers are in full bloom and the air is sweet with the smell of trees and greenery lushly growing.

Then, your eyes suddenly get itchy, and your nose is running due to one culprit: pollen.

Pollen are tiny substances from some flowers and trees that can go anywhere, and it’s common for them to stick to your clothes after being outdoors. Since many people suffer from hay fever and pollen allergies, this can be a problem that could trigger a reaction[1].

Will putting your garments in the tumble dryer remove it? Let’s find out.

Can a tumble dryer reduce and remove pollen from fabrics?

Pollen can be a pain to deal with for allergy sufferers and asthmatic individuals. Because they are powdery, they stick everywhere and will take a bit of time to remove.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce and remove pollen. Let’s focus on your fabrics.

Yes, tumble drying your clothes and bedding can remove the pollen from their fabric[2]. This method works as the heat and spinning of the clothes in the dryer shakes out the powdery substance and dislodges it from their fibres.

pollen in fabric

If you wore your clothes outdoors and want to make sure that the pollen will not spread in your home, putting them for a spin can be effective in getting the pollen off.

However, there is always a possibility that some pollen may get stuck in your garments. After all, the method does not 100% guarantee that all of the powder will be removed. If this happens, there’s still an advantage to putting the clothes in the dryer as it will loosen the pollen on the fabric and make it easier to get off.

NOTE: Not all clothes can be put in the dryer! Make sure to check the care label on your garments as they may shrink or get ruined due to the heat and agitation.

How to remove pollen when you do laundry

To remove pollen in your fabrics, here are the things you need to remember while doing your laundry:

Use the right amount of detergent

When you put more detergent than what’s necessary in your washer, you will make your garments sticky and may make the pollen lodge more into your fabrics.


Make sure to read the suggested amount of detergent in its packaging. Many washer manufacturers also include a detergent section in their manual as a guide on how much to put in.

Select the hot setting

Using a hot wash on your clothes helps remove pollen, dust mites and other allergens on them. A temperature of 60°C or higher is more than enough to help keep you allergy-free.

60 Degree Wash Cycle

As always, read the care labels on your clothes to prevent ruining them. Delicate fabrics such as silk and lace may not do well in hot temperatures.

SEE ALSO: What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Hot Wash?

Avoid drying your clothes outdoors

We know how it’s great to dry your garments on a clothesline. Not only is it free, but it also makes our clothes smell better and appear more crisp.

Unfortunately, if you have hay fever or allergies, drying your clothes outdoors is not a good idea. This is because there’s a possibility that pollen will get caught in your clothing. Hence, if it’s pollen season, stick to using your dryer.

pollen allergy

And although tumble drying clothes can use a lot of electricity making it quite expensive, here’s a tip:

Try hanging your clothes outdoors and putting them in the dryer once they’re 70-80% dry. Doing so significantly reduces the spinning time and will reduce the pollen that may be in the fabrics.

Tips to reduce pollen in your home

If you have allergies or hay fever, having pollen in your home can be a nightmare. Here are our other tips to help you keep your house pollen-free:

  • Close your windows when possible when the pollen count is high
  • Soak your laundry in cold water before putting them in the washer
  • Change your clothes immediately after being outdoors
  • Use vinegar instead of fabric softener as it can make pollen stick to your garments
  • Vacuum your space regularly

And there you have it! Although we like the smell of flowers, nobody likes to wheeze around all day due to the allergies they may trigger.

Do you have other tips to share? Feel free to leave them below!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does pollen stay on fabric?

Pollen can stick to fabrics for a long time. Since they’re very small, it’s not surprising that they’re quite difficult to remove, especially without washing them.

Does pollen stick to clothes drying outside?

Yes, pollen will stick to clothes drying outside. When it’s pollen season, it’s best to use your tumble dryer to avoid triggering your allergies.

Does drying clothes outside make hay fever worse?

Yes, drying your clothes outside will make hay fever worse as they are exposed to pollen and allergens.

How do you get pollen out of bedding?

To get pollen out of your bedding, vacuuming them before washing could significantly remove the allergens that are on their surface.

Does pollen get in your hair?

Yes, pollen will get in your hair and skin. Showering after being outdoors will remove it and prevent you from transferring pollen to your furniture and sheets.

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