No matter how you wash your clothes, using a washing machine or not, when it comes to drying your freshly washed clothes, you have two options.
Let it air dry by hanging it on a line rack or using an electronic appliance. Most washing machines come with a built-in dryer nowadays. But those are not tumble dryers most of the time. They are spin dryers meaning they spin your wet clothes to dry; without using any external heat from a heat source. Here’s where a Tumble Dryer comes into action.
What Is Tumble Dry?
You just heard about spin dry, which doesn’t use heat. A tumble dryer uses external heat to dry the clothes. Tumble dry is more efficient than spin dry. You can figure out why. While spinning dry just extract most of the water by spinning the clothes fast, tumble dry gives heat to dissipate the existence of any water completely.
Now, a question might arise, if tumble drying is so effective, why not all of us use this technology every time to dry our clothes?
Tumble drying is only sometimes gentle to your precious garments and may ruin them partially or completely depending upon how reckless and unaware you were while drying your clothes.
Then what should we do to protect our beloved clothing and still take advantage of a clothes dryer?
What Does Different Tumble Dry Symbol Mean?
Most of the time, your shirt or pant or whatever you want to wear comes with very specific instructions for washing and drying. Since these instructions cannot be written elaborately onto a garment, manufacturers use symbols on a laundry care label to depict instructions on how to treat the cloth.
In the next part, I will picture different tumble dry symbols and their meaning. You must know the meaning of these symbols to ensure the best longevity and keep your garments in the best condition possible.
This symbol on a shirt’s cloth care label means you can use a tumble dryer to dry the shirt. Usually, it is told which heat settings you should use by putting one, two, or three dots inside the circle (we will get to them later in this article). But this symbol solely means that you should tumble dry the cloth in normal settings.
Before proceeding to the next symbol, please be advised and avoid getting confused with the dry clean symbol. While a circle enclosed within a rectangle means Tumble Dry – Normal, only an empty circle without the rectangle would mean “Dry Clean Only,” not tumble dry or any other drying method. To get you sorted more, here’s an image of the symbol “Dry Clean Only.”
There are more symbols related to dry cleaning. I am trying to be very concise here, remaining only on clothes dryers, other cloth care symbols will be discussed sometime else.
Do NOT Tumble Dry
If this symbol appears on your garment, do not throw it into the dryer. There are some delicate fabrics like silk that can shrink if it is exposed to heat. Wool or other types of knitwear may also lose their default sizing and shape if exposed to excessive heat. So, it is crucial that you do not use a clothes dryer to dry these clothes and let them air dry instead.
No Heat Tumble Dry
With most clothes dryers available in the market, you can tumble dry with no external heat. This symbol tells you to use that setting to dry the specific clothing item. With this setting, your cloth will be tumble-dried with the current room temperature, whatever that is.
It is the ideal setting for most sweaters or similar fluffy garments.
If you don’t want to take any risk with any type of cloth shrinkage, this is the drying setting you should apply.
Pro Tip: Want to get rid of loose dirt from your shirt quickly? Toss it in the dryer with the No Heat Tumble Dry setting.
Low Heat Tumble Dry
This symbol tells you to use a low heat setting. Usually, normal tumble dry has three heat options. It is the lowest among them hence the gentlest on your cloth if you use heat to dry. This setting is often referred to as Gentle Cycle or Delicate Cycle on some clothes dryer models. Most clothes dryers use 100–125 degrees Fahrenheit to dry our clothes while using the Low Heat Tumble Dry Setting.
Most of the time, clothes meant for exercising has this symbol printed on their clothes care label. It’s because they are mostly made of spandex and should keep their original size since they should remain in their current fitting.
Medium Heat Tumble Dry
This symbol tells you to use a medium-heat setting. Told just before that normal tumble dry usually has three heat options. This setting is in between the low and the high heat setting. To be exact, the heat should be around 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit or 54-58 degree Celsius if you want the measurement metrics to be in Celsius.
High Heat Tumble Dry
It refers to the High Heat Tumble Dry Setting. Clothes like sweatshirts and jeans should be dried using this setting. Please check the clothing care label first to know whether it tells otherwise. Cotton-like towels can be dried using this setting too.
In a hurry? High Heat Tumble Dry might save you precious time while drying your clothes. Saying this again, don’t act in haste and then regret. Make sure you check your desired garment’s care label to ensure it is safe to dry in a high-heat setting.
The ending is in sight. Some very basic clothes dryer symbols are discussed above. Hope it helped. Before you leave, here’s another pro tip: Throw a completely dry cotton towel to speed up the drying process. The fluffier the towel, the better. It would increase the drying quality, too; cause a dry towel helps by absorbing extra water. Remember not to do this in the case of permanent-press garments.