How to Remove Dryer Burn Marks from Clothes
Scorch marks from the dryer on your favorite piece of clothing? In many cases, you can still salvage it. Here's how.
It’s happened to all of us: You reach into the dryer expecting soft, fluffy clothing, only to find it’s still damp.
To combat this common laundry problem, many people will crank up the heat on their dryers. And while this may dry your clothes, you’re also risking unsightly dryer burns.
Fortunately, if your clothing gets burned in the dryer, all hope is not lost. There’s an easy way to remove most dryer burn marks, restoring your clothes to their original glory. Here’s how.
What Does a Dryer Burn Mark Look Like?
First off, make sure the mark you’re looking at is, indeed, a dryer burn, not a washer stain or some other mark.
You’ll know dryer burns by their brown color and unique pattern. Because dryer heating units are typically X-shaped, burns appear as short lines or small Xs. They can show up on any clothes placed in the dryer, not just delicates.
Which Dryer Burn Marks Are Removable from Clothes?
According to Clorox, many burn marks are removable. As Clorox experts explain in a Q&A: “The dividing line for scorch marks is how badly/deeply the mark is in the fabric. Light marks usually can be removed, while deep ones probably will always have some/a lot of permanent discoloration.”
How Do I Get Rid of Dryer Burn Marks on Clothes?
The below method will work for most light or moderate burn marks.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An iron;
- An ironing board;
- Three percent hydrogen peroxide;
- A clean, white cloth.
Note: You’ll need to wash your dryer-burned clothes immediately after treating them, so be sure you have access to a washing machine.
Follow the below steps adapted from the University of Georgia Extension’s Textiles page.
- Heat up your iron. Check the clothing label on your clothing to determine the appropriate temperature.
- Lay the article of clothing flat on the ironing board.
- Wet the burn mark with the 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Let the hydrogen peroxide soak in for about five minutes. If the spot starts to dry out, reapply the hydrogen peroxide.
- Cover the damp, stained area with the clean, white cloth. Press the iron on top of the cloth to transfer the dryer burn mark onto the cloth.
- Rinse the stained area well, then launder immediately with detergent.
Moving forward, set your dryer to a lower heat setting to avoid burns altogether. Alternatively, hang your clothes to dry. This not only eliminates the risk of dryer burn, but reduces your electric bill and environmental impact.