Things you should not put in the dryer

March 23th, 2022

Hey there! As an appliance technician, I’m here to give you a heads up about your trusty clothes dryer. While it’s a fantastic tool for most of your laundry, some items just aren’t cut out for the heat and tumbling. Trust me, you don’t want to see your favorite clothes shrink, wrinkle, or get damaged. I’ve seen plenty of cases where a little care could have saved a lot of favorite items! So, let’s chat about what to keep out of the dryer to keep both your wardrobe and machine in top shape. Ready to save your clothes and maybe even your dryer? Let’s dive in!
what not to put in a dryer

Clothes dryers are a game-changer in our busy lives, offering quick and efficient drying. However, it’s crucial to know that not all items are suitable for this heavy-duty machine. To prevent shrinking, wrinkling, or damaging your favorite wardrobe pieces, it’s wise to be selective. Some fabrics and items just don’t mix well with the intense heat and tumbling action. In fact, forcing these items into the dryer can lead not only to damaged clothes but can also wear out your dryer faster, leading to malfunctions and repairs.

Certain items are particularly vulnerable and can be ruined by the heat and agitation, necessitating costly replacements or repairs. It’s not just about the clothes, though. Continuously drying items that aren’t meant for the dryer can lead to accumulated lint and debris, causing strains on the dryer’s system, reducing its efficiency, and potentially leading to overheating. This doesn’t just mean a broken machine—it can be a serious safety hazard too.

To maintain the longevity of your clothing and the reliability of this essential appliance, it’s best to skip the dryer and air dry the following items. By doing so, you’re not only preserving the quality and appearance of your garments but also protecting and extending the life of your dryer. Let’s keep those clothes looking great and the dryer running smoothly for years to come!

Preventing a Broken Dryer: Items to Avoid Drying

Rubber Mats:

Wash bath mats often in hot water to get rid of germs and smell. Never put them in the dryer, even if they fit. The rubber back can break down and melt with high heat, and might even cause a fire in your dryer. It’s safest to air dry them away from direct sunlight.

Fur (Fake and Real):

Never dry any fur items in the dryer. Real fur can get ruined, with the lining breaking and fur falling out. Fake fur might get tangled or melt. Instead, hang them up to dry away from direct heat or sunlight. Gently brush with a wide-tooth comb to keep the fur smooth.


Some wool items can be washed, but none should be dried in heat. Wool shrinks and felts in high heat and tumbling. Even if it’s a wool blend, check the label first. It’s safest to air dry all wool items flat to maintain their shape and texture.


Swimwear’s stretchy material doesn’t like dryer heat. It can become brittle and lose its shape. After washing out all the sand, salt, or chlorine, just lay them flat or hang them up to dry away from direct heat to keep them in good shape for the next swim.

drying clothes

Oily Clothes:

Greasy or oily clothes, like kitchen towels or clothes stained with gasoline, are a big no for the dryer. The heat can make the oil set into fabrics or worse, start a fire. Always air dry these items, ideally outside but in a shaded area to prevent direct sun damage.

Running Shoes:

Dryers and running shoes don’t mix. The heat can shrink and warp them, ruin cushioning, and weaken the glue. It can also damage your dryer by leaving marks or smells. After washing, stuff them with newspaper to absorb moisture and let them air dry for a day before using them again.

Pocket Items:

Before you wash or dry anything, check the pockets. Items like crayons, pens, or lip balm can melt and ruin your clothes and the dryer. Turn pockets inside out as a habit when you’re loading the washer. Double-check for any small items before moving clothes to the dryer to avoid any mishaps.

empty pockets

How this can damage the dryer?

Putting inappropriate items in the dryer can cause several types of damage to the machine itself:

Overheating: Items that retain a lot of water or are very dense (like heavy quilts or large bath mats) can cause the dryer to overwork, leading to overheating. Over time, this can damage the motor and other critical components.

Clogs and Fires: Items that shed a lot of lint or have loose particles (like rugs or towels with damaged fibers) can clog the lint trap and vents. Excessive lint buildup is a common cause of dryer fires. Moreover, flammable residues from certain stains can increase the risk of fire.

Melting or Damage to Interior: Plastics, rubber, or foam can melt in the heat, sticking to and potentially ruining the interior drum. Metal objects or items with hooks can scratch or dent the drum’s interior or the door.

Damage to the Drum: Bulky or heavy items, especially if they have hard components (like shoes or belts), can bang around inside the dryer, leading to dents, chips, or damage to the drum.

Imbalance and Wear: Non-flexible items or unevenly distributed loads can cause the dryer to vibrate excessively or run off-balance. This puts extra stress on the dryer’s bearings and motor, leading to quicker wear and potential breakdowns.

Sensor and Control Damage: Modern dryers often have moisture sensors and other electronic controls. Items that shouldn’t be dried can confuse these sensors or cause them to malfunction, leading to ineffective drying cycles or damage to the control systems.

By avoiding putting these items in the dryer, you can help ensure that your appliance runs effectively for as long as possible without unnecessary repairs or safety hazards.

Need Dryer Help? Our Professionals Are Here

Ensuring the longevity of your appliances requires proper maintenance and regular repairs. Our customers rely on us for both straightforward and complex fixes, knowing their appliances will be as good as new after our service. If you ever find yourself unsure, remember that consulting a professional is always the best course of action.

We fix all dryer issues including:

Overheating: Dryers that get too hot can be a safety hazard and often indicate blocked vents or a malfunctioning thermostat.

Not Heating: If your dryer isn’t heating, it could be due to a faulty heating element, a broken thermostat, or an issue with the power supply.

Unusual Noises: Squeaking, thumping, or grinding sounds can signal worn-out bearings, a misaligned drum, or foreign objects stuck in the dryer.

Turning Off Mid-Cycle: Dryers that shut off before the cycle is complete might have a defective door switch, overheated motor, or problems with the electronic control board.

Not Tumbling: If the drum isn’t turning, it could be an issue with the belt, motor, or the idler pulley system.

laundry repair

Don’t delay your dryer maintenance! Reach out to the experts at ARNI Services today to help protect your home.

Need Help?

Talk To Our Technicians.

647- 808-9935

If you have concerns about your appliance’s performance, contact the professionals at ARNI Services, Appliance Repair, for a thorough diagnosis and repair service. – you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.