Can You Put Soaking Wet Clothes In A Dryer?

It is confusing knowing the thoughts on whether can you put wet clothes in a dryer or not considering the fact that dryers are made to dry wet clothes. It is however tempting to transfer wet clothes directly to the dyer but this poses a great risk and damage to the machine. 

If you try this, then you’re likely playing with fire as the tension in the dryer trying to drain moisture that it can’t expel can lead to a fire outbreak.

Can You Put Soaking Wet Clothes In A Dryer?

No, you cannot put soaking wet clothes in a dryer.  Dyers were made to dry clothes but they can only dry damp clothes, not soaking wet ones because a dryer does not have the necessary equipment to absorb excess moisture that is created when you put soaked clothes into it.

The cloth dryer is an efficient heat pump but experiences difficulty pumping heat into clothes if they’re soaking wet. The excessive time used in turning could cause overheating and a fire outbreak which will damage the heating elements and likely to cause other hazardous effects from the fire outbreak. Soaking wet clothes should be well and properly wrung out by hand or washing machine before transferring them into the dryer.

Putting soaking wet clothes into a dryer might lead to the growth of mold, mildew, or lint buildup in the tumble dryer drum.

Do Soaking Wet Clothes Damage A Dryer?

Of course, a dryer is prone to damage from soaking wet clothes. The domestic dryer lacks the necessary equipment to handle excess moisture in soaking wet clothes.

It isn’t ideal to put soaking wet clothes as they’re heavy and hard, the dryer will heat up as normal and extract some water but will only run for excessive time and this is likely to damage the dryer and also increases the risk of a fire outbreak.

Consequences Of Putting Soaking Wet Clothes In A Dryer

Allowing your clothes to dry in a dryer is time-saving and a perfect alternative during rainy and winter seasons when you won’t be able to hang your clothes outside to dry. Also, a dryer helps to make clothes soft and maintains their colors by protecting them from exposure to scorching sun as the ultraviolet rays of light cause clothes to fade. However, the following are the consequences of putting soaking wet clothes in a dryer:

1. It uses a lot of energy

Dryers use a lot of energy from spinning to heat production and drying of clothes. If you put in soaking wet clothes, it first has to absorb the water and this alone will take a lot of energy (wasted energy), then the heat production and drying take even more energy.

The consequence is a regular dryer will take about 3000W of electricity at a go and after all the lost energy, it is likely that the clothes still do not get completely dry after you’ve wasted much energy and this leaves you with wet clothes and increased power bills.

2. The clothes will be stiff

If after all the wasted energy, you bring out the clothes from the dryer and they do not feel soft to the touch, then it means they have become stiff which is a result of not allowing the machine to rinse out the detergents properly. There is a thin film on your clothes and this makes them stiff.

3. Clothes take longer to dry

Apart from the wasted energy, soaking wet clothes take a longer time to dry. It means that the time it will take a damp cloth to dry, it will take more for a soaking wet cloth. This is not ideal if especially you’re using an electric dryer.

4. You likely damage the dryer

Too much moisture in the dryer damages it. When you put damp clothes in the dryer, the water is used to create steam to dry them but when it is too much, the heating elements and other parts get damaged, and this can lead to a fire outbreak.

When water turns to steam, it gets to expand 1,600 times it is in initial volume and when this happens, tension begins to build in your dryer and is likely to cause a fire outbreak. In such a situation, put off the machine immediately.

5. The tumble dryer drum gets strained

Soaking wet clothes are heavy and hard and the load causes strain on the dryer drum and breakage of some other parts. This cause you to spend what isn’t budgeted for.

Putting soaking wet clothes in the dryer will not only cause the dryer to be less efficient but you’re damaging the dryer. To keep your dryer at a high level of functioning, you should first check the dryer’s specifications as some have the necessary equipment to handle more moisture while some don’t. Then, take a look at the washer if the moisture isn’t well removed as the washer might need maintenance. 

What Do I Do If My Clothes Are Wet?

After washing, it is recommended to use a rinse cycle to remove soap residue from your clothes. If the clothes are still wet, you should repeat the rinse and spin cycle. 

Can I Dry My Soaking Wet Clothes Without A Dryer?

If you’re looking for other means to dry your soaking wet clothes without using the dryer, consider using the following means:

1. Wring out your clothes

To wring out the clothes and drain excess water them, there two simple ways to get it done – by hand or by washing machine:

– By hand

Using your hand to wring out your clothes requires that you roll your clothes into a towel. You should follow these:

  • Get a towel and put the cloth in the center
  • Then, lay on top of a bath towel
  • Ensure to use a towel larger than the cloth itself

– By machine

Aside from using the hand, which tends to be more stressful if the clothes are much and how wet they are than having your machine do the work. Switch your machine to the fastest spin cycle as this will drain the water quickly and makes the clothes dry even faster.

2. Use a clothesline

After rinsing the clothes by hand or rinse-cycle, then hang them to dry using the clothesline to either air-dry or sun-dry the clothes. This is best as it costs less. 

3. Use an oven

Using an oven to dry clothes sounds absurd but also good especially if you want to dry small clothes such as socks, handkerchiefs, or underwear. The following are things to do to dry your clothes using an oven:

  • On a rack, place the items and put them in the oven at 93oC or 200oF.
  • After about 20 minutes, you can the clothes out of the oven and allow them 
  • to hang dry completely.

4. Use a fan

Turn on a fan and target to blow at the damp clothes and this dry clothes even faster. The fan should be turned on at a high point and the door should be kept open to allow air to circulate in the room.

Note: the faster the clothes dry prevents the growth of mildew.

5. Use a hair hand dryer

Using a hair dryer helps to quicken the drying process in case you do not have enough time to hand dry your clothes. The hair dryer should be held at a far distance away from your clothes to prevent melting, burning, or even damage to the clothes.

6. Iron the wet clothes

Use an iron set at steaming or drying to drain excess water from your clothes. The iron heat removes the moisture and dries the cloth.

How Should I Dry A Soaking Wet Blanket?

It is best to put the blanket in the washing machine and switch to the spin cycle. This would drain out the water and moisten it before you can transfer it to the dryer. You can use the dryer or hang dry depending on the blanket type and size. Allow the water to drain partially before putting the blanket in the dryer, hand the blanket aside and allow it to air or sundry, and you can also use a dry towel to squeeze water out of it. 

To quickly dry the blanket, you can use a ball of aluminum foil and a dry towel in the dryer (to absorb the moisture well and this helps to make the comforter dry quickly). Throw the aluminum foil and towel into the dryer and leave for about 20 minutes. After, remove the towel but leave the aluminum foil.


Remember, do not put soaking wet clothes in the dryer. You stand to gain nothing more than extra expenses from leaving a machine to drain moisture that it doesn’t have the strength to force out!

Also, ensure that you always wring out water from the clothes before putting them into the dryer (drain as much water as you can because dryers are meant to remove moisture not to drain excess water).