Having an in-house dryer will offer great benefits; you can wash, dry, and store clean blankets in the closet to wear right away – regardless of their weight.
However, blankets are also susceptible to ruffling and wrinkling if they are not properly dried. So, today, we will walk you through all things you should know on how to keep blankets from balling up in the dryer.
Table of Contents
Why Are Blankets Balling Up in The Dryer?
For the wet method, machine wash (or use a clothes dryer), the washing and drying temperature is one of the reasons that cause fabric deformation.
The main cause is that the fabric’s molecular compositions are mostly polymer fibers and chains. When soaked in water, the blanket will absorb as much water as possible until saturated. This state causes the hydrogen bonds to be broken.
Hydrogen bonds are bonds between polymer chains in the structure of cellulose. The closely spaced and dense polymer fibers form strong hydrogen bonds between the fibers. When this bond is broken, the polymer chains can slide through each other, benefiting the fabric for being easy to wash. However, these hydrogen bonds will remain and continue to regenerate when the water evaporates. Thereby, the cellulose will return to its original strong bond.
The problem is that the way the water evaporates will give a different final texture of the fabric. At this point, wrinkles will appear. If a dryer is used, the clothes will have to move continuously, and thus the hydrogen bonds are formed again.
Rebuilding will become more difficult, less reliable, and incomplete. Therefore, when drying the blanket at too high a temperature and with the washing machine’s internal force, it will be easy to shrink, wrinkle, and decrease in size compared to the original.
How to Keep Blankets From Balling Up in The Dryer
Choose The Right Operation Mode and Temperature
Wrinkles appear when polymer chains are broken down, usually due to heat or external forces. Therefore, the easiest way to prevent this situation is to adjust the temperature. You should pay attention to choosing the right washing temperature for the fabric.
High temperature is the main cause of fibers’ shrinkage by breaking chemical bonds in product construction and excessive moisture reduction. Moreover, many people often have the habit of opening up the device to check. This habit is very harmful when moist outside air penetrates, causing the blanket to be partially balling up.
The drying machines will often have different drying modes with different time and temperature for each type of fabric. The modes are carefully researched to avoid unnecessary damage on blankets such as torn, frayed, threaded during the washing process.
Some common popular modes on the machine are casual, thick clothes, silk, woolen, cottons. You have the flexibility to customize the washing mode to suit the types of blankets in the house!
For thick blankets, we recommend drying in the Super Dry mode for about 124 minutes. For more expensive blankets such as fleece blankets, it would be best to choose the Drying mode for storage for about 60 minutes to avoid damaging the blanket structure.
An important note is that you should only dry until the blanket is still a little damp and then dry naturally. When dried outside, clothes are in a fairly still state. This is a good condition for the hydrogen bonding system to be perfectly regenerated, making the fabric return to its original condition.
Dry One Blanket at A Time
Many people often think of saving too much time when stuffing a few blankets into a dryer. I’m afraid that’s not right.
A blanket, when wet, will usually be massive, weigh even twice their normal weight. Washing only one blanket at a time minimizes excessive contact of the fibers together, reducing the possibility of wrinkles and clumping. Furthermore, leaving only one blanket in the machine increases the blanket’s contact surface with the heat source. Therefore, your work will be completed faster and more efficiently and minimized damage to the product.
Another thing is that the manufacturer recommends using only 2/3 of the capacity of the dryer. Too many wet blankets can cause the machine to operate excessively, leading to an engine fire. Furthermore, many wet items will result in a longer drying time, leading to prolonged exposure of the fabric to heat, making it more susceptible to damage.
You should also note that do not add in blankets while the machine is operating. This is because every clothes dryer has a hygrometer; adding laundry will cause the hygrometer not to measure the correct moisture, your blanket will be too wet or too dry. Make sure your blankets are squeezed dry in the washer before drying and should only be done one at a time.
Use A Tennis Ball
The tennis ball seemed to be quite a strange item to put in the dryer. However, in addition to playing sports, they are also really useful for your laundry.
During the washing process before drying, the blankets will often be mixed up many times due to the rotation of the drum. Since fabrics are constantly in contact at high speeds, they create friction and electrostatic force, causing other fibers to be drawn in and causing your blanket to clump.
Tennis ball surfaces are made mainly from wool or felt with a lot of fiber on the outside. This is an extremely good electrostatic material. To demonstrate, during winter, you will often feel a slight tug when wearing a sweater and touching other people.
By placing tennis balls in a dryer, static electricity with opposite charges is created by friction during motion. Therefore, when you put the ball in with the blanket in the dryer, the charge will move from one object to the other, helping to eliminate the friction that causes your blanket to be balling up.
However, this method only comes to play when you bring the blanket to dry right after drying. If left for a long time or overnight, the tennis ball lying still will no longer work, which means that wrinkles will form on the blanket due to being piled up on each other, wasting the effort you did before.
Use The Washing Bag in The Dryer
The laundry bag is a type of bag made of thin woven mesh material, forming a hole that protects clothes from being stretched, broken fibers. Especially for cotton or fluffy blankets, washing bags are extremely useful in protecting them from heat damage in the dryer. Furthermore, the laundry bag can also accumulate electricity and reduce the static electricity caused by the blanket’s friction.
A little note is that you should change the laundry bag before putting it in the dryer to avoid the bag getting wet, which can easily lead to electric shock.
The dryer is truly a good friend to any housewife. With a clothes dryer, you no longer need to rely on the weather anymore but can speed up the drying process for clean, fresh clothes.
Say goodbye to long waiting times, fading, and welcome the joy of being able to wear your favorite outfit any time you want. We hope you now understand how to keep blankets from balling up in the dryer. Thank you for reading.