Six surprising uses for your clothes dryer

While the primary purpose of a clothes dryer is to dry your freshly washed clothes, modern dryers offer a range of features that extend well beyond this basic function.

Minimise wrinkles

If you’re short on time or don’t have the energy to iron, your dryer can help reduce wrinkles in your clothing. If your dryer has a permanent press setting, which employs medium heat and a cool-down period, you can keep your clothes from wrinkling. This setting works particularly well for synthetic fabrics and natural fibres that tend to wrinkle easily.

Refluff a down comforter

Over time, your down comforter may lose its fluffiness and become flat. Fear not, your dryer can come to the rescue. If your home dryer isn’t large enough, consider using an industrial-size dryer at a laundromat. It’s crucial to have enough space for your comforter to freely toss and tumble. To aid the process, throw in a few wool dryer balls or tie a few tennis balls inside clean white socks. These additions will help de-clump the comforter’s filling and restore its loftiness.

Destroy bacteria

Many dryers come equipped with a sanitise cycle, but you may not be aware of when to use it. This cycle becomes especially useful when someone in your household has been ill, and you want to eliminate lingering germs from their bedding or clothing. According to GE Appliances, the sanitising cycle can reduce certain types of bacteria by 99.8 per cent, providing an extra layer of cleanliness and peace of mind.

Remove pet allergens

Living with pets can be a challenge if you or your family members have allergies. Fortunately, washers and dryers can help remove pet allergens from household items. According to research published in the journal Asthma and Allergy Proceedings, washing items in a machine with detergent effectively removes most pet allergens from fabrics. In cases where washing is difficult, using a dryer alone can be a viable alternative, particularly for dog allergens.

Read more: Common mistakes you might be making with your clothes dryer

Eliminate bedbugs

The mere thought of a bedbug infestation is enough to induce nightmares. These tiny pests feed on human blood and can take up residence in your mattress, pillows, blankets and clothing. To combat them, experts from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Entomology recommend washing and drying your clothing and bedding items thoroughly. While washing may eliminate some bedbugs, it is the heat of the dryer that eradicates the rest. Use the highest dryer temperature that the items can withstand.

Warm up bedding

On cold winter nights, you can toss your sheets, blankets, or pyjamas into the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up before getting into bed. Toss them in the dryer on a low heat to create a cosy and comforting experience, especially when the weather is chilly.

Dry shoes quietly

Engaging in sports, camping or hiking can leave your shoes caked in mud. Once you’ve washed them, the dryer can speed up their drying process. However, unlike clothes, shoes are solid and can cause a noisy racket inside the dryer. To prevent this, consider using a dryer rack, which may come with your dryer or can be purchased separately.

Specific sizes and installation vary by manufacturer but, in general, drying racks are fitted racks that you can place inside your dryer to dry heavy or delicate items. Delicate items or items with straps can get tangled, twisted and misshapen when tumbled in the dryer with other items. Using a rack can prevent this from occurring and extend the life of your items.

If you don’t have a rack, you can suspend the shoes inside the dryer by closing the door on their shoelaces or placing them in a mesh bag after tying them together.

So, next time you’re doing laundry, remember that your clothes dryer has the potential to do much more than simply dry.

Are there any other things you use your dryer for? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?

Also read: Are you washing your clothes correctly?

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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