Can You Tumble Dry Sweatshirts?

Can You Tumble Dry Sweatshirts?

When it comes to tumble drying sweatshirts, there is often confusion about whether it is safe or not. The truth is, tumble drying sweatshirts can have varying results depending on the fabric and construction of the garment.

Sweatshirts made of delicate fabrics like wool or cashmere are generally not suitable for tumble drying as they can shrink or lose their shape. However, sweatshirts made from synthetic materials or cotton blends are usually safe to tumble dry on a low heat setting. It is important to read the care instructions on the garment label to ensure the best results and avoid any potential damage.

Can You Tumble Dry Sweatshirts?

The Best Way to Tumble Dry Sweatshirts

As the weather gets cooler and sweatshirt season approaches, many people wonder if they can toss their favorite cozy garment into the tumble dryer. Sweatshirts are a staple in everyone's wardrobe, but not all of them are suitable for machine drying. In this article, we will explore the best practices for tumble drying sweatshirts and provide you with tips to ensure that your favorite sweatshirt remains in great condition.

Check the Label for Care Instructions

The first step in determining whether you can tumble dry your sweatshirt is to check the care label. The care label provides specific instructions on how to clean and maintain the garment. Look for symbols or text that indicate whether tumble drying is suitable. If the label states that tumble drying is not recommended, it is best to follow these instructions to avoid damaging the sweatshirt.

However, if the label permits tumble drying, it is still essential to pay attention to any additional instructions. Some sweatshirts may require low heat settings or gentle cycles to prevent shrinkage or distortion. By following the care label's guidance, you can ensure that your sweatshirt remains in excellent condition even after multiple wash and dry cycles.

If you no longer have access to the care label, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid tumble drying the sweatshirt. Instead, consider alternative methods of drying, such as air drying or laying it flat on a clean towel.

Prevent Shrinkage with Proper Sorting

Sweatshirts can sometimes shrink when exposed to high heat in the dryer. To prevent this, it is essential to sort your laundry properly before loading the machine. Separate your sweatshirts from other clothing items that might require different drying settings or are prone to shedding lint. By sorting your laundry, you can ensure that your sweatshirts are subjected to the appropriate tumble drying conditions and avoid potential damage.

If your sweatshirt is made of a delicate fabric or has intricate designs, consider placing it in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before tossing it into the dryer. This extra layer of protection can minimize the risk of snagging or stretching, helping your sweatshirt maintain its original shape and appearance.

It is also important to note that overloading the dryer can lead to uneven drying and potential damage to your sweatshirt. Be sure to leave enough room for the hot air to circulate freely, allowing your sweatshirt to dry evenly and thoroughly.

Choose the Right Drying Settings

When loading your sweatshirt into the tumble dryer, it is essential to choose the appropriate drying settings. Start by selecting a low to medium heat setting to prevent overheating and potential damage. High heat can cause fabric shrinkage and distortion, so it's best to avoid it altogether.

If your dryer offers a gentle or delicate cycle, opt for that setting. These settings usually have lower heat and slower tumbling action, which is ideal for delicate fabrics or sweatshirts with sensitive adornments. Additionally, selecting a shorter drying cycle can help prevent excessive heat exposure and reduce the risk of damage.

Remember, not all sweatshirts are created equal. Some materials, such as cotton, may tolerate higher heat settings, while others, like wool or synthetic blends, require more delicate treatment. Refer to the care label or consult the manufacturer's guidelines for specific drying recommendations based on the sweatshirt's fabric composition.

Complete Proper Post-Drying Care

After removing your sweatshirt from the tumble dryer, it is essential to complete post-drying care to keep it looking its best. While the sweatshirt may feel dry to the touch, it is recommended to allow it to cool down for a few minutes before folding or wearing it. This will help prevent any residual heat from causing wrinkles.

Inspect your sweatshirt for any signs of damage or shrinking after you remove it from the dryer. If you notice any issues, such as shrinkage or distortions, consider adjusting your drying methods for future use. Taking note of such occurrences can help you tailor your washing and drying routines to ensure the longevity of your sweatshirt.

Finally, fold or hang your sweatshirt appropriately to prevent creasing and maintain its shape. Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, as this can encourage the growth of mold or mildew. By following these post-drying care tips, you can keep your sweatshirt looking fresh and ready to wear.

The Exceptions: When Not to Tumble Dry Sweatshirts

While many sweatshirts can be safely tumble dried, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain types of sweatshirts may require alternative drying methods to prevent damage and maintain their quality. Here are some instances when tumble drying sweatshirts is not recommended:

  • Sweatshirts made from delicate fabrics like cashmere or silk should be hand washed or dry cleaned instead of being tumble dried.
  • Sweatshirts with intricate embellishments, such as sequins or embroidery, are best air-dried or laid flat to prevent damage to these decorative elements.
  • Sweatshirts with special finishes or coatings, like water repellency or UV protection, may lose their effectiveness if tumble dried.
  • Thick or oversized sweatshirts may take longer to dry in a tumble dryer and may not receive sufficient airflow, leading to a musty odor or prolonged drying times.

For these types of sweatshirts, it is best to consult the care label or the manufacturer's guidelines for specific drying instructions. Taking extra care when handling these sweatshirts will ensure that they maintain their appearance and functionality for an extended period.


Tumble drying sweatshirts can be a convenient way to keep your favorite cozy garments in great condition. By following the care label instructions, sorting your laundry, selecting appropriate drying settings, and completing proper post-drying care, you can ensure that your sweatshirts maintain their shape, size, and overall quality. However, it is important to know when not to tumble dry certain types of sweatshirts to prevent damage. By considering the fabric type, embellishments, finishes, and size of your sweatshirt, you can determine the best drying method and maintain your sweatshirt's longevity.

Can You Tumble Dry Sweatshirts?

Can Sweatshirts Be Tumble Dried?

As a professional, it is important to know whether sweatshirts can be tumble dried. While many sweatshirts can be tumble dried, it is crucial to read the care label instructions before proceeding. The care label will provide specific guidelines on how to properly care for your sweatshirt, including whether it can be tumble dried or not.

In general, most sweatshirts made from cotton, polyester, or a blend of these fabrics can be safely tumble dried. However, it is recommended to use a low or medium heat setting to prevent shrinking and maintain the quality of the fabric. It is also advisable to turn the sweatshirt inside out before placing it in the dryer to protect any printed or decorative designs.

On the other hand, some sweatshirts made from delicate fabrics such as wool or cashmere may require special care and should not be tumble dried. These types of sweatshirts often need to be air-dried or laid flat to maintain their shape and fabric integrity.

In conclusion, while many sweatshirts can be tumble dried, it is essential to check the care label instructions to ensure proper care for your specific sweatshirt. Following the recommended drying methods will help prolong the lifespan and appearance of your sweatshirt.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tumbling dry sweatshirts can cause them to shrink.
  • Some sweatshirts may have specific care instructions that prohibit tumble drying.
  • Drying sweatshirts on medium or low heat can help reduce the risk of shrinkage.
  • Air drying or laying sweatshirts flat is the safest option to preserve their shape and size.
  • Always check the care label to determine the recommended washing and drying instructions for sweatshirts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tumble drying is a common method of drying clothes quickly and efficiently. However, when it comes to sweatshirts, there might be some considerations to keep in mind. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about tumble drying sweatshirts.

1. Can I tumble dry my sweatshirt?

Yes, you can generally tumble dry sweatshirts. Most sweatshirts are made from materials like cotton, polyester, or a blend of both, which are often safe to tumble dry. However, it is important to check the care instructions on the label of your sweatshirt. Some sweatshirts may have specific recommendations for drying, such as air drying or low heat settings. Follow the care instructions to ensure the best results and longevity of your sweatshirt.

Additionally, consider the design and any embellishments on your sweatshirt. If your sweatshirt has delicate embroidery, beading, or sequins, it may be best to air dry it to avoid any damage that could occur in the tumble dryer. Take extra care with specialty sweatshirts and follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.

2. What temperature setting should I use when tumble drying sweatshirts?

When tumble drying sweatshirts, it is generally recommended to use a low or medium heat setting. High heat can cause shrinking or damage to the material, especially if the sweatshirt is made from cotton. If your sweatshirt has specific temperature recommendations on the care label, follow those instructions for the best results.

If you're unsure about the appropriate heat setting, it's better to err on the side of caution and opt for a cooler setting. You can always check the sweatshirt periodically during the drying cycle to assess its dryness and adjust the temperature if needed.

3. Can I use fabric softener when tumble drying sweatshirts?

It is generally not necessary to use fabric softener when tumble drying sweatshirts. Most sweatshirt materials, such as cotton and polyester, do not require fabric softener to maintain their softness. In fact, using fabric softener excessively can build up residue on the fabric and reduce its absorbency over time.

If you prefer a softer feel to your sweatshirt, consider using a fabric softener during the wash cycle instead. This can help maintain the softness without the need to use it during the tumble drying process. Always check the care instructions on the label of your sweatshirt to ensure compatibility with fabric softener.

4. Can I tumble dry sweatshirts with other clothing items?

Tumbling drying sweatshirts with other clothing items is generally safe, as long as the fabrics are compatible. However, it is important to consider color bleeding and potential damage to delicate items. Dark-colored sweatshirts, especially when new, may release some dye during the drying process, which could transfer onto lighter-colored clothing.

It is advisable to separate dark-colored sweatshirts from lighter-colored or delicate clothing items to prevent any unwanted dye transfers. You can also use color-catching sheets or laundry pods to help absorb any dye released during drying. Always follow the care instructions on the label of each clothing item to ensure compatibility and to minimize the risk of damage.


Tumble drying sweatshirts can be a convenient and efficient way to dry them, but it's important to consider the fabric type, specific care instructions, and any embellishments or designs on the sweatshirt. By following the recommended heat settings, checking care labels, and taking necessary precautions, you can safely tumble dry your sweatshirts and keep them in good condition for longer.

In summary, it is not recommended to tumble dry sweatshirts. Tumble drying can cause shrinkage, fading, and damage to the fabric and embellishments.

Instead, it is best to let sweatshirts air dry by laying them flat on a clean surface. This will help preserve their shape, color, and overall quality.