If You Put Clothing With Elastic In The Dryer, This Is What Happens

Putting your washed clothes in the dryer might be a natural step for you. After all, who wants to take wet clothes out from the washer and hang them around the house to dry? And even if you have a clothesline in your yard, if it's humid outside, your clothes might take forever to dry. Nonetheless, not all types of clothing are suited for a dryer. For instance, if you put clothing with elastic in the dryer, it might come out damaged and stretched out of shape.

Elastic clothing gets damaged in the dryer because it can't withstand the high temperatures produced by the appliance. The heat can melt the elastic material and ruin the garment's, well, elasticity, impacting its life span. What you can do is dry these clothes without a machine – get them out of the washer, wring them gently, spread them on a clothesline (or rack) away from the direct rays of the sun, and let them air-dry instead.

Elastic clothing items you shouldn't put in the dryer

Clothes with elastic are something you should never dry in your dryer. For example, bras absolutely shouldn't be tossed in the dryer. They contain elastic and spandex to maintain their shape, provide support, and stretch comfortably. However, the high temperatures inside the dryer do irreparable damage to the material and cause the bra to lose shape. Moreover, the straps and underwires of the bra might get caught between the spinning drum and panel of the appliance.

Similarly, if you want your swimwear, especially any with padding or built-in cups, to last long, refrain from putting it in the dryer. You also shouldn't toss your activewear in the dryer. Besides damage to the material and shape distortion, the heat from the appliance will damage its moisture- and sweat-wicking properties over time. 

With that said, if you're ever in a hurry and don't have time to wait for these items to air-dry, choose your dryer's air-fluff or air-only setting — in other words, your dryer's no-heat setting. Put the items you need to dry, along with two clean and dry towels, inside the drum. Run the cycle for five to 10 minutes before taking the clothes out. The air circulation and tumble will allow the dry towels to absorb the water from your wet garments.