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How to Air Dry your Delicate Garments

wet clothes

You probably love your clothes dryer because it quickly and easily dries your wardrobe while you go on about your busy lifestyle. However, you may have noticed that several of your more special garment items contain care instructions requiring you to use the air-dry method. As you purchase clothing made from specialty fabrics, you may find that you have quite a few items that need to be dried using good old-fashioned fresh air. Your wash-and-care tag may ask you to hang up items or lay them flat to dry. While you can use items in your home – like the back of a handy chair - to complete these steps, it helps to have a few handy tools nearby.


A delicate matter

Most often, you will find air-dry instructions on your delicate items. While most undergarments can be hung from a line with a single clothespin, bras are another matter entirely. Usually, you have to shape them and then lay them flat to dry. Shaping can be as simple as folding them back out to their original shape, or you can purchase special shapers that help them keep their form as they dry. The shapers will obstruct some airflow, so expect a longer drying time. You can lay your bras flat to dry on your dryer, but you might want to consider getting some mesh flat drying racks to expose your delicates to a little more fresh air and get them dry more quickly. Dry your delicates in a well-ventilated dust-free area so that they will look beautiful and clean in no time.



No sweat

Sweaters and wool items often need to avoid the dryer so that they don’t shrink or pill. Even your less fancy sweaters will last longer if you air dry them, but they can take a really long time to dry. While you might be tempted to hang your sweaters on the line, this might not be the best solution. The weight of a hanging sweater can cause it to stretch into an unnatural shape. Instead, lay your sweaters flat to dry on some mesh flat drying racks in a well-ventilated room. If you're short on time, aim a fan at your sweaters to increase air circulation and keep things moving.


Sizing matters

Another reason you might want to air dry your clothes is to avoid shrinking. Over time, even pre-shrunk cotton will shrink up, which means you may eventually find yourself squeezing into jeans, even though you haven’t changed size. You can line dry most wardrobe basics easily. Use a drying rack or designated clothesline to hang your clothes. Hang your clothing however you like, but you will find that pants dry the quickest if they are hung by the waistband and shirts have fewer wrinkles when they are hung by the hem. Stock up on clothespins so that you always have enough to hang everything perfectly.


It's easy to air dry your clothes when you have the right tools nearby. With a bag full of clothespins, a sturdy drying rack, a couple of mesh flat racks and a small fan, you will be able to dry anything efficiently.


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