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5 Surprising Things You Shouldn't Run Through the Dryer

by Michael Webster

Nowadays, it’s pretty hard to imagine what everyday life would be like without a dryer (other than hanging out things to dry – which takes forever). There's no doubt that dryers are total life savers; they provide a huge convenience for us when it comes to drying our clothes and belongings, which ultimately saves us time. However, as convenient as our dryers are, some items just don't mesh well with this heavy-duty appliance.

Some of those items are a bit more obvious, but you might be shocked at what else you shouldn’t be running through your dryer. If you want to avoid shrinking, warping, or straight-up destroying some of your favorite pieces in your wardrobe, here are the five most surprising things you shouldn’t run through the dryer.

1. Bathing Suits

Even though they can stand the heat on the beach, the harsh temperature in the dryer can do some serious damage to bathing suits. Bathing suits and all swimwear need to be washed after every wear to remove sunscreen oils, sand, salt, or chlorine, but after washing, allow them to air-dry instead of putting them in the dryer.

Swimming suit hanging on rack in bathroom.

This one is a little more obvious, but the dryer heat will cause the fabrics to distort and deteriorate over time, as well as ruin the elasticity. Instead of using the dryer, lay your swimwear on a flat surface in a dry area and out of direct sunlight.

2. Bras and Delicates

Sometimes your delicates are, in fact, too delicate to throw in the dryer. Not everyone knows this, but the heat and agitation of a dryer can actually damage a bra's elasticity and shape, potentially melting it as well.

We recommend going with the old-school method of laying your delicates out flat or on a rack to let them dry. That way, you can guarantee that your delicates will be safe from harm or any deformation from the heat of a dryer.

3. Rubber-backed Rugs

Bath mats with rubber backs are non-slip and water-resistant which is absolutely perfect for the bathroom but not so much for the dryer. Sure, these rugs that keep you from slipping and sliding in your bathroom are small enough to fit inside your handy dryer, but the rubber on the back won't stand up to the intense heat and might even crumble.

Hanging towel outdoors on a clothes line.

Plus, overheating a rug could potentially cause a dryer fire – yikes! To prevent a possible dryer eruption, after washing your rugs, hang them over a clothesline or rack and keep them out in the sun for drying. Your dryer will thank you later!

4. Baseball Hats

Representing your favorite sports team is hard to do when your hat is crumpled and faded, but you’d be surprised how many people still dry their hats in the dryer. A dryer will do a number on caps if you throw them in there, especially if they’ve already been through some wear and tear.

To add some longevity to your favorite hats, we recommend spot-cleaning and soaking them in soapy water. Then, give them a rinse, pat them down with a towel, and let them air-dry. Your hats will be looking spotless, and you won’t cause any damage to the fabrics or materials.

5. Athletic Shoes

To round off our list, we’re going to talk about one that everyone has been guilty of at least once. You buy a new pair of athletic shoes and get them dirty. You probably give them a good scrub and throw them in the dryer, right? Wrong.

Running shoes drying on a fence.

Putting athletic shoes in the dryer can shrink the rubber, ruin cushioning, and weaken adhesives, leaving your sturdy sneakers weak and useless. However, shoes that aren't for athletic purposes can be thrown in the dryer with several towels on a cool-air cycle and not be damaged. Next time you run your athletic kicks through the washer, let them air-dry on a flat surface to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Young man sits in front of a washing machine and is using his smartphone.

Dryers make doing laundry so much easier by how fast and efficiently they can dry our clothes and belongings. But just because it’s the easier option, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice. When it comes to using your dryer, make sure the items you throw in are meant to be there; otherwise, they might not look or feel the same when they come out.

If you’re still unsure or have any questions about what not to put in your dryer, contact us today! And if you think your current dryer could use an upgrade, we offer a top-selection of new dryers that will instantly make laundry day a breeze. Shop in-store or online today!