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Low Heat VS Medium Heat VS High Heat in Dryers

by Logan

Surely it is preferable to dry your clothes under the sunlight as it kills bacteria out of them. But it is not always easy to dry clothes in sunlight or air. One must be in a hurry to wear a shirt or maybe it’s winter and there is almost no sunlight that can dry out your heavy jean or cotton clothes.

I have happened to like so many clothes when worn once but after a single wash, my opinion of those clothes changed a lot. The clothes that I thought I will wear till my death bed are lying in the closet unwanted, unnoticed.

Why? Simply because I was not familiar with the concept of, different clothes needing different dryer settings.

Short Answer: The low heat setting in dryers is for fabrics that are made of polyester, nylon, and velvet. Medium heat is for everyday regular clothes like t-shirts and sweat pants, meanwhile, high heat is for clothes like heavy cotton and denim.

And I was also unfamiliar that a lot of my adulthood will be spent thinking about how should I do my laundry better next time. I believe it is an art that needs a lot of practice to be perfect.

In this article let me walk you through when and when not to apply temperatures. To know all about the difference between using a dryer’s low, medium. and high heat, keep on reading.

Should I dry my clothes on low or medium heat?

clothes drying in the sun

I ask WHY NOT?

Of course, you can dry your clothes on low or medium heat but keep in mind the fabric that you are going to dry. Not all fabric needs the same heating for drying.

Drying your clothes increases the life span of them if done right or vice versa.

Here are the reasons why you need to dry your clothes on low or medium heat:

  • Drying your clothes on low heat can give them the fluff that will make you feel warm and cozy on any day. May it be a towel or a sweatshirt, who does not want that soft touch the fabric brings to the skin.
  • Low or medium heat is used for clothes that can hold the odor in them if dried on high heat.
  • Fabric-like linen, cotton, silk, and everything that is used on daily basis can be dried in low to medium heat.
  • Clothes that stretch need low heat for drying.

It is always better to dry clothes under sunlight for the clothes to get disinfected. As the sunlight works as a sanitizer for them.

Does low heat save power?

Yes, low heat can save power.

When drying clothes on high, the time duration for the process may be lesser than the time duration of a low heat drying process. But the energy high heat takes is more than that of what the low heat takes.

Will medium heat shrink clothes?

Medium heat can shrink some clothes but not all.

Drying clothes like nylon, and polyester can not be shrunk when dried at 60 degrees but fabric like cotton can shrink at that temperature.

Check out this video to know why do clothes shrink and how can you prevent your clothes from shrinking.

When should you use high heat?

You should use high heat when you require drying your clothes faster. Fabrics like jeans, denim, heavy cotton, already washed clothes that just need a quick spin for disinfection, and sheets can be dried in high heat.

High heat can be a good idea for quick results but it is not always a better option to go for.

Why? Because high heat takes more energy as compared to low or medium heat. This just does not affect your electricity units but high heat can also shorten your dryer’s life.

Does drying at high heat damage clothes?

Yes, you can say that high heat can somewhat damage your clothes as they tighten them.

High heat can shrink your fabric and can also be a cause of forming wrinkles in your clothes. Clothes that are dried on high heat have proven to lose their strength by 25% as compared to other temperatures.

As I have mentioned before, every fabric demands a different kind of setting while drying them. And certain fabrics can only be dried with high heat.

What temperature is best for drying clothes?

clothes in a dryer

There is no one particular temperature that can suit best for drying clothes. It all depends on what you are drying.

The best drying condition is when the temperature set is hot enough to dry the clothes but not too hot to damage the fabric or reduce its wear out.

Here is a chart that will let you know what clothes can be dried at what temperature.

Temperature/ HeatTypes of Fabric
LowVelvet, Nylon. Polyester, and more.
MediumT-shirts, sweat pants, shorts, and most clothes that are used regularly.
HighJeans, denim, heavy cotton, and already washed clothes that need a quick spin.
A guide to drying clothes

Check out the label

You must have noticed a label at the back of your sweatshirt or any other garment?

Read it out, that is for your benefit only. The manufacturers instruct their customers on how they can increase the life span of their clothes.

We often do not bother to check out that label and do what we feel best and then we blame the clothes and the dryer for the damage done.

Some manufacturers state the label in words while there are some instructions with visual representations. I have decoded those instructions for you, for a better drying experience next time. The square with a circle in it represents drying. if there is;

  • One dot in it means you have to dry the fabric on Low.
  • Two dots in it means you have to dry the fabric on Medium.
  • Three dots in it means you have to dry the fabric on High.
shirt label

Final thoughts

I am sure while growing up, any of us had never given a thought on drying clothes at all. Let alone think that this could ever be something we will be searching on google for guidance.

Drying clothes is no joke and we know it now.

May it be low-heat, medium heat, or high heat. you should be well aware of the care label at the back of your dress and take it seriously. If, of course, you do not want your dress to wear out soon.

It will be an injustice from my side to choose any drying temperature as the best one because it all depends on the fabric.

In my opinion, it is best to dry clothes under sunlight as it helps the clothes get sanitized naturally. So, air-dry your clothes whenever possible. Otherwise, choose your drying temperature carefully.

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