Have you ever left your clothes in the dryer for more than an hour, only to find them still damp? Or maybe you’re tired of pulling shrunken or wrinkle-ridden clothes out of the dryer? If so, it could very well be a classic case of “user error!”
The unfortunate truth is that many of us are guilty of committing a variety of dryer mistakes (myself included!), but on the bright side, there is hope! Most of the problems that result from common dryer mistakes are 100% solvable, and I’ll be sharing those solutions with you in this post.
No matter what type of dryer dilemma you’re facing, learning to avoid these 9 dryer mistakes is sure to help you solve it!
No dryer? No problem! Check out these useful tips for air drying laundry.
9 Dryer Mistakes That Cost You Time And Money
1. You Don’t Use Dryer Balls
If you aren’t familiar with the magic of dryer balls, it’s time to give them a try! Wool dryer balls are the perfect eco-friendly way to save money on laundry. They speed up drying times, reduce wrinkles and static, and are far more sustainable than dryer sheets.
And you don’t just have to take my word for it! This is what OGT reader Nicole G. had to say about using dryer balls:
“I decided to try these felt dryer balls as a substitute for commercial dryer sheets. Boy, am I glad I did! They help dry my clothes and minimize wrinkles without heavy perfume. They will be a money saver as I won’t have to buy dryer sheets anymore.”
Because dryer balls separate items and help them dry faster, they save you money on energy. Unlike plastic dryer balls or tennis balls, wool dryer balls are quiet. Plus, you can add a drop of two of essential oils to the dryer balls to soften and scent your laundry without chemicals. They’re a total game-changer!
2. You Fill It Too Much (Or Not Enough)
Did you know that fabric expands as it dries? While it’s great for making your freshly laundered towels nice and fluffy, expansion means that oversized loads may not tumble correctly as they dry. Alternatively, clothes in an undersized load can clump together and increase drying time while wasting energy!
The solution? Split large loads into two smaller loads, and add a few lint-free towels to smaller loads to avoid problematic clumping. Once you find that “just right” load size for your dryer, your dryer will run much more efficiently and you’ll run into fewer problems!
3. You Don’t Take Advantage Of Residual Heat
Speaking of efficiency, there’s one very good reason to dedicate a whole day to doing laundry rather than doing one load every day throughout the week. When you dry a few loads back to back, you can take advantage of the residual heat left in the dryer from the previous load instead of starting from room temperature, which means faster drying!
4. You Let Your Clothes Sit In The Dryer
If your clothes are wrinkled when you take them out of the dryer, you may be letting them sit for too long. When you leave laundry sitting in the dryer for too long after it’s dried, wrinkles can set in and the clothes can even shrink in the residual heat!
To avoid these unfortunate effects, remove your laundry promptly after the drying cycle ends. And if you’re not ready to fold right away, shake the items out and lay them flat until you’re ready to fold them!
5. You Over-Dry
Similar to the way the heat from a blow dryer can damage your hair over time, excessive heat from dryer can damage your clothes and linens too. Set the timer on your dryer conservatively to avoid damage like yellowing, wrinkles, shrinking, loss of elasticity, and textural changes
You can always check your laundry at the end of the cycle to see whether it needs to dry a bit more, but you can’t reverse the effects of over-drying after the fact! (Pro Tip: Embrace the damp dry setting!)
6. You Don’t Empty The Lint Trap After Each Load
There are two main reasons you need to clean your lint trap regularly. The first is safety-related, because clogged lint traps can cause your dryer to overheat and potentially create a fire hazard.
The second reason is that it’s more economical. If your lint trap isn’t clean, the airflow in your dryer suffers, your clothes take longer to dry, and your dryer eats up more energy. So be safe and save energy by cleaning your lint trap before or after each and every cycle!
7. You Don’t Clean It
Much like cleaning out your lint trap regularly, it’s also important to deep clean your dryer once a month or so, including washing the lint trap with soap and water.
Regular cleanings keep your machine working efficiently and help prevent fires that can be caused by lint and residue buildup. (And who wants to throw their clean clothes in a dirty machine anyway?)
8. You Don’t Understand How All Your Dryer’s Functions Work
Many people only use one or two of their dryer’s programs, usually because they don’t understand what the other ones do or when to use them. But if you don’t know understand your dryer’s options, you may be missing out on some very useful functions!
To make sure you’re reaping all of your dryer’s benefits, master your machine by taking the time to read your dryer’s user manual. (If you threw it out, you can usually find them on the manufacturer’s website.)
9. You Open The Dryer Door Too Often
If you’re trying to increase efficiency, avoid opening the dryer door after you start a cycle to keep the hot air trapped inside. Every time you open the door, the dryer drum loses heat and adds time to the drying cycle.
What’s your best tip or trick for making the most of your dryer?