what shouldn't go in the dryer

Laundry 101: Here’s What Shouldn’t Go in the Dryer

While the dryer can be the ultimate laundry convenience, it can spell disaster for certain items. What shouldn’t go in the dryer to keep it looking its best? Leather and suede can become misshapen and discolored when exposed to heat. Use our list of things you should never put in the dryer to ensure proper care of clothing, footwear, and household objects.


What Shouldn’t Go in the Dryer? These 7 Items Won’t Beat the Heat.

Nobody wants their dryer destroying clothes due to shrinking, discoloration, or breakage. But that’s what can happen if certain fabrics or materials are exposed to their heat when they should be air-dried. Here’s what shouldn’t go in the dryer to save your clothing and peace of mind.

Dryer destroying clothes

1. Leather and Suede

While these natural materials are revered for the protection they offer the wearer, leather and suede can’t withstand dryer heat. Prolonged exposure will result in distortion and discoloration even if they’re blended with synthetic materials. To preserve leather and suede items, it’s best to hang and air dry them out of direct sunlight.

2. Wool Clothing

What shrinks in the dryer? Wool clothing tops the list. That’s because wool’s natural fibers interlock when exposed to high heat until it’s almost impossible to restore their original appearance. Always air dry wool clothing thoroughly, as the thick fibers often require elongated drying times to prevent odor and mildew. 

3. Bathing Suits

Bathing suits, particularly women’s suits, should steer clear of the dryer for several reasons. Most are made of spandex that breaks down, losing its color and elasticity, when repeatedly exposed to dryer heat. Many also contain silicone pads to add shape and support. Can you put silicone in the dryer? Unfortunately, heat will also harm this chemical substance and destroy its supportive capabilities. After machine washing on a delicate cycle, air dry bathing suits to preserve their color and elasticity.

4. Rugs With a Rubber Backing

While small, rubber-backed area rugs can be machine washed with ease, they top the list of what shouldn’t go in the dryer. The rubber backing quickly crumbles or even melts when faced with dryer heat. Always opt for air drying these rugs and mats when they come out of the washer.

Rugs that don’t have a rubber backing are typically dryer-safe, with some precautions. You’ll find the dryer taking too long when drying rugs with other items, so always dry them separately. You may also need to pause the drying cycle at various points and redistribute the rug evenly throughout the drum to avoid clumping.

5. Embellished Clothing

things you should never put in the dryer

Can you put metal in the dryer? It’s not recommended. Garments with metal decorations or rhinestones can melt, discolor, or break, ruining the clothing and potentially damaging other items or your dryer. Always hang dry these items or, if the material is especially delicate, lay them flat on a towel to air dry.

6. Sneakers

Whether they’re a high-performance running shoe or a casual canvas slip-on, sneakers should be air-dried after washing. Dryer heat can shrink the rubber soles, destroy adhesive embellishments and weaken the cushioning that provides support. 

Your dryer benefits from air drying sneakers as well, as their heavy soles can damage the drum, requiring a clothes dryer repair. Since air drying sneakers can take over 24 hours, try stuffing them with newspaper to help absorb moisture and shorten drying times.

What shrinks in the dryer

7. Silk, Lace and Netting

These fabrics are called delicates for a reason, as they can easily become damaged by dryer heat and other items. While heat can cause deep wrinkles that are difficult to remove, zippers and buttons on other clothing can snag the fragile material. To avoid damage like holes and pulls, air dry silk, lace, and netting to preserve their delicate appearance. 

The team at Apex Appliance Service are your laundry appliance experts. From what shouldn’t go in the dryer to performing repairs, we can resolve any issue!