Most people go for months without washing blankets. And when it’s time to wash them, they want them to dry so fast. It’s never fun. Maybe because of the bulk in cleaning them or the long time they take to dry. However, people have found ways around this, like using a dryer to dry the blanket faster. But, should you put wet blankets in the dryer?
You should never put a soaking wet blanket in the dryer. The heavy blanket can easily damage your dryer, causing it to partially dry clothes, stop working, or even catch fire. However, you can drain off the excess water from the blanket before placing it in the dryer.
Many people hardly care about the condition of their dryer until one day it stops working. They leave wet clothes in there for days or even using them dry, heavy wet blankets. However, like any other household appliance, a clothes dryer should be adequately looked after. This article explains why you shouldn’t put your wet blankets in the dryer and what to do instead.
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Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Wet Blankets in the dryer
When washing your blankets, you want them to dry fast. The dryer can do that for you, but you’ll need to consider how many blankets you are washing and want to dry, the size of the blanket, and how much water they have.
It’s not a good idea to put the blankets in the dryer when they are soaking wet. Here are some of the reasons why.
You’ll use too many resources.
Even though the dryer is designed to heat the water in the clothes and dry them, this may not work for the blanket. As the dryer heats the water in the blanket, the moisture released keeps rewetting the blanket, making very little progress. That means that it will take a very long time to dry one blanket.
The dryer will end up running for a long time, thus consuming too much electrical energy. You’ll end up wasting so much electricity and time drying one blanket. If you’re drying several of the blankets, you can imagine how much energy you’ll have wasted in the long run.
The dryer may stop working.
The heavy blankets provide a heavy load in total weight, making it difficult for the dryer to start and run it relatively. With the heavy load, the belt driving the motor may slip and break, causing it to stop working.
In an attempt to move the heavy blanket, the dryer may experience an “on and off” scenario which ends up overheating the motor. Even though the dryer has an overload switch to control such situations, continuous overloading will permanently break down.
The risk of electrocution.
The dryer’s lint has air holes and vents, but these pose no risk in ordinary drying cases, as they clog up when wet clothes are put into the system. In the event of a heavy wet blanket, water may sip through the holes and spin into the dryer’s electrical system.
Water and electricity pose a great risk of electrocution, especially because the dryer is made of metal. In a more serious case, the dryer may catch fire and pose a greater risk. This is usually a result of overheating or improper working of the dryer.
Your blankets may be destroyed.
If you leave your wet blankets in the dryer for too long, especially if you don’t intend to dry them immediately, they may develop molds and become destroyed. The dryer may also develop some rust that can stain your blankets.
If you dry them right away, the wet blankets will come out wrinkled and almost tattered after a rigorous drying exercise. This happens mostly to wool blankets, and if you don’t take precautions, you may end up with a shrunk blanket, such that it can’t fit on a toddler’s bed.
How a Dryer Works
A dryer is a simple appliance, often separate from the clothes washer. Its primary use is to quickly dry clothes so that you can put them away as soon as you wash them. Understanding how a dryer works will help you effectively use it to meet your needs and dry even heavy things like blankets.
The concept behind every dryer is to use heat from electricity or natural gas to speed up the clothes’ drying process. Those that use electricity have heating coils made from highly resistant material to resist the electric current. This resistance leads to a build-up in electrons, and in turn, produces heat. The heat is propagated into the dryer as the blower fans the air around.
The clothes dryers that depend on natural gas or propane require an ignition so that the gas burns and produces heat. The metal plates in the dryer become heated up, and a blower blows the heat into the wet laundry to dry it.
It works the same as when clothes are hanging outside, and there’s a breeze. The windier it is, the faster the clothes dry. For the dryer, the speed of drying clothes will depend on the amount of hot air passing through the machine and into the clothes chamber. As air passes over the clothes, it draws the moisture and goes through the vents as dry air is pulled in.
If there’s a blockage in the vents or is incorrectly aligned, the airflow will be blocked, and the clothes will not be blown a fusee dried efficiently. To ensure proper drying, the drum in the dryer tumbles the clothes, moving them from side to side, and turning them over completely. If the clothes are not tumbled, they remain in a pile and do not dry completely.
Some dryers have no vents, and they use a heat exchanger to heat and cool through a continuous process. Fresh air is heated and channeled to the clothes. It absorbs moisture from the clothes and travels back to the heat exchanger, where the moisture condenses out, and the air is reheated and channeled back to the system.
It’s important to know the kind of dryer you have, how it operates, and any special features it has so that you can employ good practices when using it.
How to Dry Wet Blankets in the Dryer
A well-dried blanket will not only give you good sleep but will also have a fresh smell so that you enjoy your sleep. On the flip side, if your blanket is not completely dry or stays wet for some time, it will develop a foul smell and not let you sleep well. So it’s essential to ensure that your blanket is completely dry.
Whether you’re washing your blanket in a warm or cold season, your goal should be to ensure that your mattress dries within the shortest time possible. And that’s where a clothes dryer comes in. It will help to dry your blanket entirely and keep it free of molds and foul smells.
However, you cannot just dump your soaking wet blanket into the dryer and expect the dryer to work on it. As discussed earlier, doing this will only risk destroying your dryer or causing more serious damage.
Here’s a guide on how to dry your wet blankets using a dryer.
Step 1 – Drain the water in the wet blanket and leave it feeling damp.
There are many ways to drain the water from your blanket. Some of them include:
Washing machines’ spin cycle.
Most fully automatic washing machines (Top-loading or front-loading) come with a spinning cycle that helps strain out the water from your blanket. After the cleaning process and your blanket has completed the rinse cycle, you can take it through the spinning cycle to remove all the water.
The blanket will be left feeling dump and dry enough to proceed to the dryer. Ensure that you’re using low heat in the spinning process to avoid ruining your blanket’s material. For example, if your blanket is made of cotton, you may need to be extra careful as it can quickly shrink.
Hang it out in the sun.
If you’re washing the blanket on a sunny day, then you’re in luck. Carry your wet blanket out and hang it in the sun. The water will evaporate away, and your blanket will have a fresh smell, thanks to the antibacterial effect of the sun’s UV rays.
If the sun is strong enough, like during summer, you can let the blanket dry completely in the sun. You’ll save on electricity and have an awesomely dried and fresh-smelling blanket at the end of the day. It’s a good option for people living in the tropics.
Spread it on the drying rack or a flat surface.
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The purpose is to allow the water to drain slowly, maybe because you have no access to sunlight or have limited space to spread the blanket. It’s also a choice if you are washing your blanket in unfavorable weather conditions.
For example, on a rainy day, you can hang your blanket on a drying rack in your laundry area, and in a few hours, it will be dry enough to put in the dryer. You can wring out the water as the blanket hangs on the rack to speed up the drying time.
Step 2 – Dry your blanket in the dryer.
Your blanket must not be sopping wet, so the above methods in step 1 should help you achieve a dump feeling for the blanket before putting it in the dryer. To dry your blanket, follow these steps.
- Place your dump blanket in the tumbler and shut the door.
- Carefully adjust the heat settings to fit your requirements. Medium heat would do the job well, as you don’t want too much heat, leading to overheating or too little heat that will take hours to dry the blanket. However, you must consider the type of material you’re working with to ruin it in the process.
- Set a timer for the drying. Some of the newer dryers in the market come with an auto-turn-off feature that turns off the dryer when it completes the drying process.
- If your machine allows for custom settings, you can adjust them depending on your blanket’s material and other available cycle settings.
- When you’re content with the settings you’ve chosen, you can start the dryer, and the drying process will begin. It will follow a similar process as discussed earlier on how a dryer works.
The dryer is designed with sensors that recognize when the dryer is overheating and suddenly stops the machine to prevent clothing damage. Therefore, if you notice a sudden stop when the dryer is in operation, it’s an indication that your dryer is overheating and may require some checks to ensure that everything is working fine and that it doesn’t pose a risk to those using it.
A blown fuse is an indication that something is wrong, so you should find out the root cause of the problem and deal with it. Thatblown will prevent future blow-ups and thus prevent serious incidents like catching fire.
When setting a timer, you can set 20 minutes to check on the progress if something goes wrong. You can also set a loud siren to alert you when the dryer stops.
To maintain your dryer in good shape and function optimally, you have to ensure that you clean it regularly and keep it away from water and rust.
We all want a quick solution to a wet blanket. And even though a dryer is that quick solution, it’s essential to consider the effects it will have on your dryer and how to navigate around it. Suppose you are thinking of tossing that wet blanket in your dryer; plan on draining the excess water first. It’s a crucial step for your safety.
- What would happen if I put very wet blankets into the dryer?
- How to Dry a Blanket?
- How Does a Clothes Dryer Work?