Bedding in the dryer - any tricks?
September 9, 2017 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Washing our bedding every week helps us sleep better. But in the dryer, the bedding gets tangled and lumped and twisted together, which makes it take much longer to dry. Right now, I'm drying for 30 minutes or so at a time, untangling everything, and doing it again. (And then again, and again.) Are there any tricks to making drying bedding in the dryer easier? Some way that I can just throw it all in and it'll all come out dry an hour later?

Unfortunately, we don't have enough room in our little condo to air-dry the bedding.

I've noticed that the fitted sheets seem to be the worst culprits for gathering lumps of other bedding inside themselves, and regular sheets are the worst for twisting into undryable ropes. The pillowcases are mostly victims.
posted by clawsoon to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a solution, but throwing in dryer balls (and the odd flip flop) seems to help ameliorate the issue.
posted by arnicae at 12:36 PM on September 9, 2017

Dry them separately. If you do a couple of smaller dryer loads, it'll take way less time an come out wrinkle-free. I do have dryer balls but I'm not convinced they actually make a difference.
posted by stillmoving at 12:39 PM on September 9, 2017 [10 favorites]

I bought these Whitmore dryer balls hoping they would help with pet hair. They didn't do much about the hair, but definitely improved the bedding drying (and dry time) situation.
posted by lalex at 12:55 PM on September 9, 2017

Dryer balls and making sure everything is unfurled/untangled after pulling it out from the washer.
posted by quince at 1:35 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tie the fitted sheet into a large, loose knot. Paradoxically this prevents it from trapping other items and everything dries faster.
posted by drdanger at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

We use three tennis balls as dryer balls they seem to help.
posted by sol at 2:38 PM on September 9, 2017

I've also found that drying some towels with sheets helps a lot.
Don't get me started on duvet covers!
posted by dbmcd at 4:38 PM on September 9, 2017

I try to never wash and dry more than one sheet in a load for this reason. I'll do the fitted sheet in my white load (hot) and the flat sheet in my color load (cold) typically.
posted by Kriesa at 5:35 PM on September 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I dry them for a cycle or two which gets the worst of the wet feeling out of them. Then I drape them over back of kitchen chairs to dry fully. They can be folded once or twice to facilitate this. Normally do this in the evening and they are always largely dry the next morning but may have a damp spot somewhere. Fully dry all over when I get back from work. I can't be asked to spend my Sunday remembering to restart the drier multiple times and am rarely home all day anyway. May not work if you really only have one set.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:33 PM on September 9, 2017

I'm a handspinner and occasional needle-felter, meaning that I usually have wool roving or top lying around. I've felted quite a number of balls for fiber art uses. If you don't mind a bit of elbow grease, you can felt your own wool dryer balls. It's quite easy.

How to felt wool dryer balls

Failing that, lots of online places sell them. Just google. I notice many Etsy fiber artists I buy my fiber from do a sideline in dryer balls.
posted by whitelotus at 7:45 PM on September 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Use a tennis shoe or tennis ball.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:03 PM on September 9, 2017

Noisy and it makes the dog sad but 2-3 tennis balls in the dryer works for me, too.
posted by jamaro at 8:11 PM on September 9, 2017

Years ago I read a tip to loosely fold each piece in quarters before tossing it in the dryer. That plus the tennis/dryer ball have helped tremendously.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2017

Yes, fold into quarters before placing in dryer. You can use a binder clip to keep them in that shape of you want and don't mind a small wet spot in each corner when it's done.
posted by spindrifter at 7:42 AM on September 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Some way that I can just throw it all in and it'll all come out dry an hour later?"

You say "little condo" - do you perhaps have one of those terrible stackable all-in-one units?

With newer and bigger washer/dryers you can do what you want: new washers (especially front-loaders) often have a super high spin cycle from which clothes emerge partially dry. Big dryers can handle big loads, especially if they are almost dry.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 6:17 PM on September 10, 2017

I've never found the dryer balls useful for this. It seems worse that larger the sheets are. For our king sized sheets, I've found that drying the pillowcases separately from the sheets makes a big difference. I bought extra pillow cases so I can throw them in with my pajamas and wash whenever, but the sheets get washed and dried by themselves. Another thing to try?
posted by purple_bird at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2017

The solution that appears to be working is to pinch together the openings of the fitted sheets at 3 or 4 places with wooden clothespins before putting them in the dryer. (I initially did it with 6 clothespins per fitted sheet, but so far that appears to overkill.)
posted by clawsoon at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2017

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