How to Pick a Dryer Setting

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With all the settings available on clothes dryers, choosing the right one can be confusing. Pick the wrong one and you can waste energy. Worse yet, you can ruin clothes, especially delicates. Clothes can wrinkle and shrink, too, if they're not dried properly. Special items like shower curtains need to be put on a setting that won't overheat them. To choose the right one, pick a dryer setting that suits the items you put into the dryer.


Step 1

Check the manufacturer's care tags in the clothing if you're not sure which dryer setting to use. Clothing such as blue jeans, towels, whites and preshrunk items can usually be dried on the "Regular" setting. This provides the highest level of heat possible.


Step 2

Pick the "Permanent Press" dryer setting for colored clothes that come out of the dryer wrinkle-free. You can use this setting to make a dry, but wrinkled pair of pants look like they were just ironed, too. Ten minutes on "Permanent Press" removes mild wrinkles from pants, for example. The medium heat on this setting helps protect colors from fading, according to the Ask Men website. The "Permapress" dryer setting saves energy because the last part of the drying cycle is done with cool air, according to Target Woman.


Step 3

Run a clothes dryer on the "Damp Dry" setting if you want them to remain just damp when the cycle is done. This is perfect for clothing that's not "Permanent Press" and will be ironed once they come out of the dryer. It's also a good setting to use to save energy if the clothes are going to be hung up to finish drying.


Step 4

Set the clothes dryer to "Delicate." This setting uses gentle heat to slowly dry fragile items so they don't fade and/or fall apart. Drying clothing on the "Delicate" cycle uses more energy, but it's the only way to preserve certain items.


Step 5

Choose the "Air Fluff" dryer setting to get no heat at all, according to Good Housekeeping. This setting is good for softening a pair of jeans or refreshing a "Dry clean only" item by adding a fabric sheet to the dryer. "Air Fluff" is also good for drying shower curtains and other items that can be ruined by drying them with heat, according to Ask Men.


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Kayar Sprang

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.