Can You Put Soaking Wet Clothes in the Dryer? 

clothes in dryer

Maybe you’ve heard people say you shouldn’t place soaking wet clothes in the dryer. This question confuses some people. Isn’t the dryer made to dry wet clothes? Can I put super wet clothes in the dryer? This article will share what we’ve found on this issue.

You should avoid placing soaking wet clothes in most dryers. If you pack your dryer with soaked clothes, you run several risks. First, the clothes might not get fully dry, causing a musty smell. Second, you might damage the bearings on your dryer. Finally, extra water might leak, causing rust and malfunction. 

This issue can be confusing. Below, we’ll try to break it down into simple points, so you don’t get lost. To get the best experience with your dryer, you need to consider the type of dryer and the status of the dryer’s best friend – the washing machine. 

Alright, let’s figure this one out. 

What Will Happen if You Place Waterlogged Clothes in the Dryer?

Some of us might have a ball of soaked clothes that needs to be dried. Maybe the washer machine stopped half cycle, or you accidentally fell into a swimming pool. At any rate, you’re wondering if you can throw all these soaking wet clothes directly into the dryer – this might not be the best idea. 

Several things can happen if you put soaked clothes in the dryer: 

  1. Super wet clothes won’t get dry 
  2. Soaked clothes might damage the dryer drum 
  3. Water might leak into the rest of the dryer 

Below, we’ll look at these things in more depth. 

Note: not all dryers are created equal. Some dryers may be of an industrial grade and made to handle more moisture. For this article, we’ll be talking about standard dryers in everyday homes. 

Super Wet Clothes Won’t Get Dry 

The first problem with placing soaking wet clothes in the dryer is that they may not ever get dry. Why? Your dryer is made to dry your clothes in a certain amount of time and a certain amount of moisture. However, if your clothes are soaking wet, your dryer might really struggle to get those clothes dry. 

This issue is compounded if you have a lot of wet clothes. If it’s just one wet piece of clothing, the dryer will probably be okay. However, if you’re placing an entire, heavy load of soaking clothes in the dryer, then your dryer could take hours to dry the clothes. 

In addition to all this, if your clothes retain moisture, they can smell musty or even begin to develop mildew. It’s no fun to smell like mildew. Further, if the clothes don’t get dry, you might see increased wrinkles. 

Finally, the extra time it takes for the dryer to dry the clothes will use significant energy, either electricity or gas (depending on your dryer). If you place super wet clothes in the dryer, you could end up paying a fortune. 

Now, let’s talk about damage to the dryer. 

Soaking Clothes are Heavy and Could Damage the Dryer

Fighting more moisture isn’t the only thing for your dryer to overcome. Your dryer will also need to deal with the extra weight of water in the clothes. As you probably know, water weighs a lot. So, by placing soaking wet clothes in your dryer, you could overwhelm the bearings in the dryer. 

When a dryer is working properly, it spins tightly and fairly quiet. Unfortunately, when you overload the dryer with extra weight, it can begin to force the drum from its alignment. What’s the result? The dryer will become loud and emit too many vibrations. 

Think about this like shocks on a car. When the shocks don’t work, the car takes too many direct impacts, and the rest of the vehicle begins to fall apart. The same thing happens with a dryer. If you throw the dryer drum out of alignment, it will begin to vibrate, causing the dryer to wear out faster. 

Now, let’s talk about another problem that might develop from placing soaking wet clothes in the dryer. 

The Problem with Too Much Water in Your Dryer 

Not only can the weight of too much water cause problems in your dryer, but the water itself could cause problems as well. How so? 

Water doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. If care isn’t taken, water almost always causes problems. When water soaks into your home, it can cause rot; if it pools near metal, it can cause rust, and if there’s too much in the air (humidity), it can cause mold. 

So, if you place overly soggy clothes in your dryer, the water could leak from the drum and lead to more problems. First, the water could mess with the electronics of the dryer. Water and wiring don’t mix well. 

Second, repeated water exposure could cause rust to develop, eventually ruining your dryer. Of course, this will depend on how much water escapes and if it can easily dry. 

Some dryers will be made stronger, and you may not notice any problems with extra water. In the next section, we’ll talk about several other things you need to know about too much water in your dryer.

Things to Know about Placing Soaking Clothes in the Dryer 

We talked about some of the dangers of placing super wet clothes in your dryer. However, now let’s address some of the nuances. You should consider certain things if you need to place overly wet clothes in the dryer. 

Here are some things to keep in mind and some tips for dealing with soaked clothes: 

  • Double-check your washer 
  • Check the capability of your dryer 
  • Wring out your clothes 
  • Don’t forget regular maintenance of your dryer 

Below, we’ll explore these in more depth. 

Double Check Your Washer 

The main question is this: why are you placing soaking wet clothes in your dryer? If your washing machine is working, you should only have damp clothes to place in the dryer. 

So, before you think about placing soaking clothes in your dryer, you should take a look at your dryer. It might be that your washing machine needs repair. If you fix your washing machine, you may fix the whole problem altogether. You can call Dryer Repair Sacramento for help on fixing your washing machine.

However, if you don’t repair your washing machine, soon you’ll have two problems. First, your washing machine probably isn’t getting the clothes fully clean. If the water isn’t draining or spinning out of the clothes, then your clothing might still be dirty. 

Second, the extra weight and moisture from the clothes may lead to problems for your dryer – now you have a broken washer, a broken dryer, and dirty, wrinkly clothes. Do yourself a favor and ensure your washing machine isn’t the problem. 

Check the Capability of Your Dryer 

There are a ton of dryers on the market. The only way to determine how much water your dryer can handle is by contacting the manufacturer. They will tell you the specifications of your dryer and whether it can handle soaking wet clothes. 

Some companies build dryers for heavy-duty purposes. These dryers are larger and more durable. If you need to dry soaking wet clothes regularly, consider upgrading to a more powerful dryer. 

Wring Out Your Clothes Before Placing in the Dryer

There may be times when you need to handwash your clothes. For example, maybe your washing machine is broken. Or perhaps you must clean something without using the washing machine. 

In this case, try your best to wring out the clothes before placing them in the dryer. Just twisting the clothes into a tight bundle will expel a lot of water and reduce the strain on your dryer. 

Don’t Forget Regular Maintenance on Your Dryer

Don’t overlook your dryer. Dryers may seem like a simple machine; however, if you ignore them, you can risk ruining the device or causing a fire. 

Make sure you regularly change the lint trap on a dryer. If you don’t chance the trap, you risk stunting the function of your dryer and even causing a fire. 

Also, make sure your dryer is adequately vented and that the vent is clear. If the vent is too long, your dryer may struggle to pipe out the moisture. If the vent is clogged, your dryer will waste energy and struggle to dry your clothes. 

Key Takeaway on Placing Soaking Clothes in the Dryer 

It’s best to avoid placing soaking wet clothes in your dryer. Not only will the dryer become less efficient, but you risk reducing the life of your dryer and increasing the need for repairs. 

When deciding how to keep your dryer functioning at a high level, consider several things: first, check your dryer’s specifications. Some dryers might handle more moisture than others. Second, check your washer. If the washer isn’t removing the needed moisture, maybe the washer needs maintenance. 

Finally, if you must, try to wring as much water as possible from clothes before placing them in the dryer. The dryer is there to get rid of the moisture, not drain a bunch of water.