How to get the best from your clothes dryer

Just purchased a new clothes dryer? It can save heaps of time, especially if it is raining outside. But the wrong choice of a dryer or its improper use may make the experience less than satisfying.

GadgetGuy has just completed an overview of dryer types – this is about how to get the best from your clothes dryer. The do’s and don’ts of using a clothes dryer – whether it is a vented, condenser or heat pump model.

How to get the best from your clothes dryer

A dryer implies that you had something wet (washed) to start with.

That is really where this article starts. Washing machines usually have programs like cotton, synthetics, bedding, delicate/wool, baby (nappies and vomit), cold, hot, dark, work clothes and super Eco speed.

Research shows that 99.99% of us (yes, it is true) only ever use one program – usually, the fastest speed that takes an hour or so and uses cold water only.

So our advice is to sort laundry into like piles – bed linen, towels, shirts, wash and wear pants, underwear/dedicates, work clothes and if you are blessed – baby stuff. Then wash them separately using the correct program.


best from your clothes dryer
Don’t stuff straight from the washer to dryer

Then on a load by load basis, you can elect to use an air-drying method and/or a dryer.

If your dryer simply uses a timer don’t twist it to maximum time and leave it to grill your clothes. Start with say 30 minutes and check the load. You will gradually learn that sheets take say 45 minutes but shirts take only 15 minutes.

If your dryer uses a sensor pay attention to the options. Most will have settings for every day (most used), delicate and heavy. This varies not only time but heat settings. Some also have secondary settings for Damp/Dry/Extra/Dry. Use the right setting for the job.


  • Always check pants pockets for tissues (before washing and drying), money, paper, business cards
  • Always check labels before drying.
  • Sort the load to place like items together and select the best program.
  • Empty the lint filter after each load.
  • If clothes are stained to start with (grass, oil etc.) a dryer will only set those stains like cement. Don’t use a dryer on stained clothes – get them clean first.
  • Never place fabrics containing rubber, fake suede or similar materials in a dryer. Over time elastic in underwear will lose its tension.
  • Never shove in washing, especially large sheets or towels. Separate and layer these.
  • Close zips, hook and eyes before drying.
  • Never mix lint ‘givers’ (towels, chenille, nappies) and lint ‘takers’ (synthetics, corduroy, poly-cotton) unless you want lint all over these latter
  • Never over stuff as everything will come out wrinkled. If drying shirts or pants at best half fill the drum.
  • Hang your clothes immediately after drying to reduce the need for ironing.
Lower heat and less items means less wrinkles

Tips for better clothes care

A dryer, by definition, is never as good as air-drying. As you empty the lint filter remember that all that lint came out of the clothes in the dryer. Although there is little scientific evidence, the empirical evidence is that air-dried clothes last 30-50% longer and are far easier to iron.

best from your clothes dryer
Don’t let your lint filter get like this!

So invest in an air-dry rack that you should hang shirts, pants and delicates on. The warm (and often moist air) from the dryer blowing over the rack will lower wrinkles.

best from your clothes dryer