The Effects Of Tumble Drying Your T-Shirt

When the weather is nice enough, most of us do not mind putting out wet clothes outside on the washing line. However, when it is freezing cold outside or it is raining, tumble drying your shirts might be the best and only way to quickly dry your clothes. However, tumble drying your shirt is going to have a number of different effects that you might not be aware of. These are some effects of tumble drying your t-shirt that you may not have considered.

Effect #1 – Your Shirt May Shrink

One of the major issues facing tumble drying is the fact that your clothes might shrink. Researchers have found that synthetic fiber blended fabrics and cotton were prone to shrinkagewith tumble drying. In fact, tumble drying your t-shirt will shrink the shirt twice as much as air-drying. The main culprit behind the shrinkage is NOT the heat as you might suspect, but it is rather the forced air and mechanical agitation that leads to shrunken clothing.

Effect #2 – A Static Cling

Have you ever felt that your shirt had this rather forced static cling after being in the dryer? A sensation that almost seems to dry out your fingers? Scientifically, this can be explained through the triboelectric effect. Oftentimes the combination of an extremely low humidity level with over-drying textiles is to blame for this rather frustrating sensation. In order to remedy this problem, dryer sheets or fabric conditioner is often recommended.

Effect #3 – The Colors of Your Shirt May Fade in Cheaper Options

When it comes to tumble drying, color fading and color bleeding are serious issues. Even though many of the dyes that are used today in quality clothes are going to stick around when tumble dried, fading and bleeding may occur when you have a cheap t-shirt in the wash. While most of the clothes are going to be OK, t-shirts made with cheaper dyes could begin to suffer.

Effect #4 – Just Look at The Lint for Proof

After you tumble dry your shirt and have to remove the lint from the dryer, you have an indicator of a slightly less obvious problem – but one that is going to lead to long-term issues. There is microscopic damage done to the fabric of your t-shirt every single time that you put your clothes into the dryer. Even though we cannot see this damage with the naked eye, the collective damage that it does is obvious – just look at the lint tray of your dryer. Even though this microscopic damage is going to show up slowly, it is eventually going to damage your clothing.

Effect #5 – Prints Can Start to Fade

If you have any t-shirts that come with a print on them, tumble drying may actually cause the print to deteriorate rather quickly. Unless the print is embroidered onto the shirt, chances are that tumble drying is going to lead to the print being removed altogether, primarily because of the continuous friction inside of the tumble dryer.

Effect #6 – Your Shirt Becomes Thinner

Coming back to the earlier example of lint, studies reveal that fabric may lose upwards of 50 percent of its tensile strength after 20 dryer cycles. This means that eventually, your t-shirt is going to be more prone to tearing or just dissolving altogether. The tensile strength of your shirt is going to be tested every time that you put it through the tumble dryer. Eventually those microscopic tears are going to be big enough that you are going to see a hole in your favorite shirt.

While tumble drying your shirt is certainly easy and convenient, there are a number of different reasons why you may just want to hang your favorite shirt out to dry, especially if you intend to use your shirt for more than a single season.

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