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Laundry machines get better and better as technology advances. Gone are the days of dryers that blow hot air and nothing else! Now, dryers can do almost everything except fold your laundry. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to get away without owning an iron.
But aside from the temperature setting, how well do you really know your dryer’s options? Dryers are smarter now than ever, but choosing the wrong setting can still wreck a load of laundry.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What the different dryer settings actually do
- How to keep your clothes from shrinking and fading
- Tips for saving energy on laundry days
Keep reading to learn more!
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Dryer Settings, Defined (Finally!)
Use the air fluff cycle when you need to freshen up a piece of clothing. It doesn’t use any heat, so it won’t dry wet clothes.
Air fluff is perfect for that dry clean-only piece that you need to wear one more time before it goes to the cleaners. It’s also great for clothing that has been in storage or forgotten at the back of the closet.
Permanent press is the closest you’ll get to a one-size-fits-all dryer setting. This cycle uses medium heat, so it works for almost any type of clothing.
Use permanent press for loads of colors. The higher heat of a regular setting can cause fading.
Use this setting for any clothing items made from silk, rayon, or other synthetic fiber.
Your safest move is to air-dry these types of clothing. If you’re in a hurry, however, the low heat of the delicate cycle is the next best thing.
The regular setting on your dryer will get the job done in the least amount of time. But that convenience might come at a cost.
High heat can fade colors and shrink fabrics. Use this setting only for items that are designed to hold up to tough treatment, like cotton towels and bed linens.
On most dryers, the automatic or timed setting defaults to high heat. Your machine might give you the option to lower the heat. Check out your options to make sure.
The steam cycle is ideal for getting the wrinkles out of a garment. If you’ve forgotten clothes in the dryer, running the steam cycle helps freshen them up so they can be folded and put away.
Energy-saving Tips for Laundry Day
As helpful as household appliances are, most of them use a lot of electricity. Using them efficiently can help keep your power bill in check. Here are some dryer-specific tips:
- Tailor your dryer cycle to each load of laundry. Does your dryer have a moisture or humidity sensor? If it does, use that feature to prevent the dryer from running longer than necessary.
- Air dry when possible. If you have the time and space, line drying is a great way to shrink your carbon footprint.
- Keep the dryer (and its vent) clean. A clean dryer is an efficient dryer. Clean the lint screen after every load. Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned every year. These simple steps keep your dryer clean and safe.
Easy, right? Without much extra work on your part, you can keep your clothes in great shape and your power bills in check.
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