Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

When it comes to caring for our clothing, we often find ourselves wondering about the best way to handle specific items. One common question that arises is whether it's safe to put sweatshirts in the dryer. Sweatshirts are a staple in many wardrobes, providing warmth and comfort. However, the delicate nature of fabric and design in some sweatshirts may make us hesitant to subject them to the heat of a dryer. So, what's the answer?

Putting sweatshirts in the dryer can be done, but it's essential to consider a few factors. Firstly, it's crucial to read the care label on your sweatshirt. This label will provide guidance on washing and drying instructions specific to that garment. While some sweatshirts may be safe to tumble dry, others may require air drying to prevent shrinkage or damage to intricate details. Secondly, using a lower heat setting in the dryer can help minimize any potential risks, allowing your sweatshirt to dry gently. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the convenience of using a dryer while still preserving the quality and longevity of your sweatshirt.



Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

Understanding the Effects of Putting Sweatshirts in the Dryer

Sweatshirts are a staple of comfort and casual fashion, but when it comes to their care, many people wonder if they can safely put them in the dryer. While it may be tempting to toss your sweatshirt in with the rest of your laundry, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. In this article, we will explore the effects of putting sweatshirts in the dryer and whether it is a suitable method of garment care.

1. Shrinkage

One of the main concerns when it comes to putting sweatshirts in the dryer is the potential for shrinkage. Sweatshirts are often made from cotton or a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, and cotton has a tendency to shrink when exposed to heat. The high temperatures inside the dryer can cause the fabric to contract, leading to a smaller and tighter-fitting sweatshirt.

If you have a sweatshirt that fits perfectly and you want to maintain its size, it is best to avoid putting it in the dryer. Instead, consider air drying or laying it flat to preserve its original shape. However, if you have a sweatshirt that is slightly too large or you prefer a more fitted look, putting it in the dryer can help achieve a desired shrinkage.

It's important to note that the degree of shrinkage can vary depending on the fabric composition and the specific drying conditions. Some sweatshirts may shrink significantly, while others may only experience minimal changes in size. Always check the care label and follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the best possible care for your sweatshirt.

To summarize, putting sweatshirts in the dryer can lead to shrinkage, especially in cotton or cotton-blend fabrics. If maintaining the original size is important to you, it is recommended to avoid the dryer and opt for alternative drying methods.

2. Color Fading

Another consideration when deciding whether to put sweatshirts in the dryer is the potential for color fading. Heat and friction can cause the dyes in the fabric to break down, resulting in a dull appearance and loss of vibrancy. This can be particularly noticeable in sweatshirts with bold or intricate designs.

If you want to preserve the color and vibrancy of your sweatshirt, it is best to air dry it or use a low-heat setting on your dryer. This will minimize the risk of color fading and help maintain the garment's original appearance.

In addition to heat, it is important to consider the impact of friction on color fading. When sweatshirts are tumbled together in the dryer, they can rub against each other and cause the colors to fade and bleed. To prevent this, it is recommended to turn your sweatshirt inside out before placing it in the dryer. This will help protect the outer layer of the fabric and minimize color fading.

In conclusion, the dryer can contribute to color fading in sweatshirts, especially if exposed to high heat and friction. To maintain the vibrancy of the colors, opt for air drying or using a low-heat setting on the dryer and consider turning the sweatshirt inside out.

3. Fabric Softness

The texture of a sweatshirt is an important aspect of its overall comfort. However, drying sweatshirts in the dryer can potentially affect the fabric's softness. The high temperatures and tumbling action of the dryer can cause the fibers to become rough and stiff, resulting in a less cozy sweatshirt.

If you prefer a soft and plush feel, it is advisable to air dry your sweatshirt or use a low-heat setting on the dryer. This gentler approach will help preserve the softness of the fabric and ensure a comfortable wearing experience.

Additionally, using fabric softeners or dryer sheets can help maintain the softness of your sweatshirt. These products coat the fibers, making them feel smoother and more pleasant against the skin. However, be mindful of any sensitivity or allergies you may have to certain fabric softeners, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results.

To sum up, drying sweatshirts in the dryer can affect the fabric's softness, potentially making it rough and less comfortable. To maintain a soft feel, opt for air drying, use a low-heat setting, and consider using fabric softeners or dryer sheets.

4. Potential Damage

While some sweatshirts can withstand the dryer with no issues, others may be more delicate and prone to damage. This is especially true for sweatshirts with embellishments, delicate embroidery, or intricate designs. High heat and tumbling can cause these details to become distorted, unravel, or even fall off.

If you have a sweatshirt with delicate features, it is best to avoid using the dryer to prevent potential damage. Instead, opt for air drying or lay the garment flat to preserve its integrity. It is also advisable to check the care label for any specific instructions regarding drying.

Moreover, it's worth noting that repeated exposure to the dryer can lead to general wear and tear of the sweatshirt. The constant heat and tumbling can cause the fabric to become weaker over time, leading to eventual stretching, fading, and deterioration. To prolong the lifespan of your sweatshirt, consider air drying or using the dryer sparingly.

In summary, sweatshirts with delicate features or embellishments should be air-dried or laid flat to avoid potential damage caused by the dryer. It is also important to minimize frequent exposure to the dryer to preserve the overall quality and lifespan of the sweatshirt.

Maintaining Your Sweatshirt's Quality and Longevity

Now that you have a better understanding of the effects of putting sweatshirts in the dryer, it's important to consider alternative methods for maintaining their quality and longevity. Here are some tips to help you care for your sweatshirts:

  • Read the care label: Always check the care instructions on the label of your sweatshirt. This will provide specific guidelines for washing and drying.
  • Air drying: If possible, air dry your sweatshirt to minimize the risk of shrinkage, color fading, and fabric damage.
  • Lay flat to dry: For more structured sweatshirts, laying them flat on a clean surface can help maintain their shape and prevent stretching.
  • Use low heat: If you must use the dryer, opt for a low-heat setting to minimize the potential for shrinkage, color fading, and damage.
  • Turn inside out: To protect the colors and designs, turn your sweatshirt inside out before placing it in the dryer.
  • Avoid overcrowding: Allow enough space for air circulation during drying to prevent wrinkling and promote even drying.
  • Use fabric softeners sparingly: While they can enhance softness, be mindful of potential allergies or sensitivities. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Spot-clean as needed: Treat stains promptly with appropriate stain removers or follow the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Store properly: When not in use, fold your sweatshirt neatly and store it in a cool, dry place to protect it from dust and potential damage.

By following these care tips, you can help ensure that your sweatshirts remain in excellent condition and continue to provide you with comfort and style for years to come.


Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

Yes, you can put sweatshirts in the dryer. However, it is important to follow the care instructions on the garment label to ensure that the sweatshirt does not get damaged during the drying process.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind when drying sweatshirts:

  • Check the care label: Make sure to read the care instructions on the label of the sweatshirt. Some sweatshirts may have specific drying instructions, such as air drying or tumble drying on low heat.
  • Turn the sweatshirt inside out: Turning the sweatshirt inside out before putting it in the dryer can help prevent the fabric from pilling or fading.
  • Use a gentle cycle: If your dryer has different cycle settings, choose a gentle or low heat cycle to protect the fabric of the sweatshirt.
  • Remove promptly: Once the drying cycle is complete, promptly remove the sweatshirt from the dryer to minimize wrinkles and prevent overheating.

Key Takeaways: Can You Put Sweatshirts In The Dryer?

  • It is generally safe to put sweatshirts in the dryer if the care label allows it.
  • Always check the care label for specific drying instructions to avoid damaging your sweatshirt.
  • Avoid using high heat settings as it can cause shrinkage and damage to the fabric.
  • If possible, air drying or laying flat to dry is recommended for sweatshirts to preserve their shape and fabric quality.
  • Using a low heat setting or tumble drying on delicate can be a safe option for some sweatshirts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions related to putting sweatshirts in the dryer:

1. Is it safe to put sweatshirts in the dryer?

Yes, it is generally safe to put sweatshirts in the dryer. However, it is important to check the care label on your sweatshirt for specific instructions. Some materials or delicate embellishments may require special care and may not be suitable for machine drying.

When drying sweatshirts, it is recommended to turn them inside out to prevent fading or damage to any printed or embroidered designs. Additionally, using a lower heat setting and avoiding over-drying can help prolong the lifespan of your sweatshirt.

2. Can I put my sweatshirt in the dryer with other clothes?

Yes, you can put your sweatshirt in the dryer with other clothes, but it is important to consider the fabric types and care instructions of the other garments. Avoid drying your sweatshirt with clothes that have zippers, hooks, or sharp objects that could potentially snag or damage the fabric.

To prevent any potential color bleeding, it is advisable to wash similar colors together and avoid mixing bright or dark-colored garments with light-colored sweatshirts. Following these guidelines will help keep your sweatshirt in good condition while drying it with other clothes.

3. What happens if I accidentally shrink my sweatshirt in the dryer?

If you accidentally shrink your sweatshirt in the dryer, there may be limited options to undo the shrinkage. However, you can try stretching the fabric while it is damp or using a fabric relaxer or conditioner to soften and stretch it back to its original size.

To prevent shrinking, it is essential to follow the care instructions on the sweatshirt's label. If the label recommends air drying or a specific temperature setting, it is best to follow those instructions to avoid shrinkage.

4. Can I dry my sweatshirt on a high heat setting?

While most sweatshirts can tolerate a moderate heat setting in the dryer, it is generally recommended to use a lower heat setting. High heat can cause shrinking, fading of colors, and damage to any embellishments or designs on the sweatshirt.

Using a lower heat setting, or even air drying, can help preserve the quality and lifespan of your sweatshirt. It may take a bit longer to dry, but it will be worth it in the long run to keep your sweatshirt in good condition.

5. How do I prevent my sweatshirt from shrinking or stretching in the dryer?

To prevent your sweatshirt from shrinking or stretching in the dryer, follow these tips:

  • Check the care label for specific drying instructions.
  • Turn your sweatshirt inside out before putting it in the dryer.
  • Use a lower heat setting or opt for air drying.
  • Avoid over-drying your sweatshirt.
  • Avoid drying it with clothes that have zippers or sharp objects.
  • Wash similar colors together to avoid color bleeding.


Putting sweatshirts in the dryer is generally safe, but it is important to follow the care instructions on the garment label to ensure the best results. Most sweatshirts are made of cotton or a cotton blend, which can shrink or lose shape in high heat. To avoid this, it is recommended to turn the sweatshirt inside out before placing it in the dryer. This helps to protect the outer fabric and prevent any color fading.

If you are unsure about the specific care instructions for your sweatshirt, it is always a good idea to air dry it instead. This will help to maintain its shape and prevent any potential damage. Lay the sweatshirt flat on a clean surface or hang it up to dry. By following these simple steps, you can keep your sweatshirt in great condition and enjoy its coziness for a long time.


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