It is generally not recommended to put waterproof clothes in the dryer, especially those with special waterproof coatings or treatments. The heat and tumbling action in the dryer can damage the waterproofing properties of the fabric, causing it to lose its effectiveness.
It’s best to air-dry waterproof clothes. Hang them on a clothesline or a drying rack in a well-ventilated area.
Make sure to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain the quality and performance of your waterproof clothing.
The Science Behind Waterproof Clothing
To better understand the effects of using the dryer on waterproof clothes, we must first understand how these garments achieve their water-resistant capabilities.
Most waterproof clothes rely on advanced materials and technologies to keep you dry.
These fabrics often feature a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating, which causes water to bead up and roll off the surface instead of being absorbed.
This treatment allows the fabric to remain breathable while still providing protection from the elements.
The Dryer’s Impact on Waterproof Clothes
The dryer’s high heat can compromise the effectiveness of the DWR coating. The heat can cause the DWR to break down and lose its water-repellent properties.
The dryer’s tumbling action can wear down the fabric, reducing its ability to repel water over time.
⇒ Important Note:
Always refer to the care instructions on the garment’s label. Manufacturers provide specific guidelines to help you preserve the fabric’s properties.
If the care label advises against using the dryer, it’s best to follow those instructions.
How to Dry Waterproof Clothes
Air Drying is the Best Option
The best way to dry waterproof clothes is by air drying them. Lay the garments flat or hang them on a drying rack in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
Use Low Heat Settings
Some modern dryers have low heat or delicate settings that may be suitable for certain waterproof clothes.
Check your dryer’s settings and the care label to see make sure this option won’t compromise the DWR coating.
While the convenience of using a dryer may tempt you to toss your waterproof clothes in, doing so may compromise their water-resistant properties.
For optimal performance and to extend the life of your outdoor gear, air drying is the preferred method.
Always refer to the care instructions on the garment’s label. When needed, reapply a DWR treatment to maintain the fabric’s water repellency.