9 Things You Never Knew Your Dryer Could Do

Updated: Jan. 11, 2024

If you’re only using that appliance to dry clothes, you’re missing out. Find out some more ways your clothes dryer can make your life even easier.

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Modern iron and shirt on board
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Toss Your Iron

That magical permanent-press setting that most people never use is a wrinkle-reducing marvel and gentler on clothes, helping them last longer. The secret? It runs a little less hot than a standard drying cycle and switches to an even cooler temperature later in the cycle to help keep wrinkles at bay. Make sure you know what perm press means on a dryer.

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Tumble dryer vent

Sound the Alarm If Something’s Wrong

Some newer electric dryers have built-in sensors that monitor the dryer-vent status. These models will sound the alarm if the vent gets clogged—which could help prevent a fire.

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Refresh Your Down Comforter

If your down comforter has flattened out and lost a little bit of its fluff, running it through a dryer along with several tennis balls can help restore its usual loft.

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Laundry machine at work

Be Super Energy Efficient

For the longest time, clothes dryers didn’t earn Energy Star ratings because they were energy devourers. But in the past few years, several models have been released that can use 20 to 40 percent less energy than standard models. By the way, you can opt for drying clothes without a dryer to save maximum energy, too.

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sneakers urban background, sneakers in hand
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Dry Your Sneakers Silently

Drying sneakers in the dryer can make a sound like a cement mixer, and they could wreck the appliance. But with a drying rack installed in the dryer, you can cut back on the noise that comes with drying heavy, clunky shoes.

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Men's briefs socks and shirts weigh in the bathroom on the rope to dry. Linen for every day of the week, linens for every day, bachelor panties, family panties

Kill Germs

Most dryers these days come with a handy sanitize cycle—and you’ll definitely want to take advantage of it. Run your germiest clothing through the dryer on that setting, and you can kiss those germs goodbye.

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fungus in underwear women so dirty on white background

Dry Your Delicates

You don’t necessarily have to air-dry your unmentionables—or your child’s beloved stuffed animal—anymore. Some newer models, like the Samsung Flexdry, have a separate, smaller dryer section custom-made for keeping your more delicate items safe.

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Studio shot of couple of man's shirts on a grey background
Lev Savitskiy/Shutterstock

Refresh an Outfit

Some newer clothes dryers can help you easily get a wrinkled or not-so-fresh outfit ready to go. The dryers are hooked up to cold water: The machine heats the water to create steam, releasing wrinkles and adding freshness.

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The bed bug crawls over the gray paper
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Kill Off Bugs

According to the University of Minnesota, the heat of the dryer is an all-natural (and fast) way to kill ticks, bedbugs, or lice,. Just make sure to run the objects in the dryer for at least 30 minutes at high heat to kill them off.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest