You thought that tossing your wet clothes in the dryer could save time. But is it better to tumble dry your clothes or just line dry them? This article will discuss line dry meaning, symbol, and vs. tumble dry.
Putting clothes, you have just washed in the dryer is called tumble drying. Most people do that for convenience. Line drying, on the other hand, allows your just-washed clothes to hang on the clothesline so they can dry naturally.
The symbol of line dry is a square with a vertical line inside, while that of tumble dry is a square with a circle inside. If you find these symbols on your clothes, you can either line dry or tumble dry them. Drying your clothes can be done differently, depending on the laundry care label.
Read on to learn more about the meaning of line dry vs. tumble dry, their symbols, and their advantages and disadvantages.
Line Dry Meaning, Symbol, and Vs. Tumble Dry
Hang Your Clothes on a Clothesline
If the instructions tell you to line your dry clothes, you must hang your clothes on a clothesline. Tumble dry, on the other hand, means you have to put your just-washed clothes inside the dryer to dry them.
Line and Tumble Dry Symbols
The symbol for line dry is a square with a vertical line inside it. Meanwhile, the symbol for tumble dry is a square with a circle inside it. How can you be sure what drying method you should use for your wet clothes?
Check Your Clothes’ Laundry Care Label
You need to look at the laundry care label of your clothes. If it has the line dry symbol, you need to line dry it. But if it has the tumble dry symbol, you can safely toss it inside your clothes dryer so it can dry.
Additionally, the laundry care label for clothes that can be tumble dried usually contains several dots. These dots indicate the temperature setting for your clothes dryer. A single dot means low heat. Two dots is for medium heat, and three dots mean you need to set it at high heat.
No Problem Line Drying Clothes Meant to Be Tumbled Dry
You may wonder if you can line dry clothing meant to be tumbled dried. Indeed, if a dress or shirt is safe to tumble dry, there’s no problem line-drying it. You see, tumble dry is just for convenience. But make sure it is safe for your clothes before tossing them inside the dryer.
Nature of Line Drying
In line drying, you are using the ambient temperature outside or inside your house to dry out your just-washed clothes. To dry clothes, you need a clothesline to hang your clothes so the air can dry them.
Some communities prohibit the setting up clotheslines in backyards because they consider them eyesores. But that’s the old-fashioned way of drying clothes that many still use.
Our ancestors used clotheslines for all their clothes back in the day. It’s hard work, but doing it the old way has many benefits.
Fast forward to our day, we now have a stylish clothesline that is far from being eyesores. There’s one most preferred by people today; a rotary dryer you can collapse if it is not in use.
You can also adjust its height. And the most wonderful thing about it is that you can spin the lines toward you, so you don’t have to move an inch while hanging all the wet clothes you have just washed.
In a community where clotheslines are banned, you can use an indoor clothesline to line dry your clothes. Some people do this because they want to take advantage of the benefits of line drying.
What Are the Benefits of Line Drying?
There are many benefits to line drying your wet clothes. Here are some of the most outstanding benefits of this method of clothes drying:
1. Improves Freshness and Removes Strong Odors
If you line dry your clothes, they will smell much fresher compared to those that are tumble-dried. The reason is that they don’t use other chemical laundry fresheners such as fabric softeners.
This is suitable for fabrics sensitive to dyes and perfumes. Additionally, fresh air costs nothing, while dryer sheets cost so much.
2. Does Not Need Electricity
You won’t be using electricity if you will line dry your wet clothes. As such, you are helping protect the environment because you are saving expensive fossil fuels.
This is significant because, according to statistics from Home Appliance Manufacturers, there are about 90 million clothes dryers in the United States.
A typical household can reduce its carbon footprint by as much as 2,400 pounds per year by air or line drying their clothes. Experts estimate the country can save 3.3% of its carbon dioxide output if all American households line dry their clothes.
3. Gentle with Clothes
The clothes dryer tumbles and tosses your clothes to dry them. These actions stress the clothes’ fibers, zippers, and buttons. In other words, your clothes are subjected to wear and tear. The excessive heat inside the dryer can also damage fabrics. This may cause irreversible damage.
There are no such stress, wear, and strain in line drying. It is gentler to fibers compared to the clothes dryer.
4. Save Money
If you limit your clothes drying to just hanging them on clotheslines, you will save considerable money. You will experience a drop in your monthly utility bills. Indeed, one or two sets of clotheslines are much cheaper than a clothes dryer.
5. No Fire Risks
Do you know that every year in the United States, there are about 400 injuries, 15,600 structural fires, and 15 deaths due to fires caused by faulty clothes dryers?
The loss from fires from structures because of electric fires from clothes dryers is estimated at $99 million. If you use line drying, there is no chance you will be part of these yearly statistics.
6. Whitens and Disinfects Clothes Effectively
When you are line drying your wet clothes, you expose them to the sun’s UV rays. This effectively whitens and disinfects your laundry.
So, if you want to restore the pure whiteness of your white dresses and white sheets, expose them to UV rays while hanging on your clotheslines. There are no harmful germs that can withstand UV rays. So, that’s an additional benefit of line drying.
7. Get Your Needed Exercise
Hanging clothes on a long clothesline takes effort because doing it is very physical. Whether you do it outside of your house or indoors, you will spend some effort and time hanging your wet clothes.
So, if you cannot put in some exercise because you’re too busy, just line dry your clothes, and you’ll get some physical activity.
8. Increases Winter Humidity
During winter, the temperature grows cold, and the air runs dry. This causes the humidity inside your home to drop. That condition can dry out your nasal passages. This makes you susceptible to flu and cold viruses.
You can prevent this condition by line drying your clothes indoors. It will add humidity to the air inside your home during the winter months.
For this purpose, you can use a clothesline such as the Household Essentials 17145-1 Retractable Clothesline:
You will love this space-saving clothesline because you can adjust its 5-line drying track to hang wet or dry clothes inside or outside your house. The line extends to 34 feet, allowing you to create 170 feet of drying space for multiple laundries.
Again, what does line dry mean? Line drying, which has a vertical line inside the square symbol, means you have to hang your clothes on the clothesline. By line drying your clothes, you eliminate static cling and wrinkles, so your clothes will not need ironing. Use a fabric conditioner when using this drying method.
Nature of Tumble Drying
More Convenient Than Line Drying
There’s no question about it: tumble drying is much more convenient than line drying your wet clothes.
You won’t have to spend so much time and effort hanging your clothes on a clothesline and then waiting for several hours before they can dry. Who will not choose tumble drying over line drying?
In tumble drying, you only have to toss your wet clothes inside the clothes dryer, set the drying temperature, wait for the clothes to dry, and presto! You have finished washing and drying your clothes in an instant.
Clothes Tumble Inside the Dryer Drum
This drying method is called tumble dry because your clothes tumble inside the dryer drum. Airflow, together with heat, will dry your clothes quickly. However, not all of your clothes can be tumbled dry. Only those with non-delicate fabrics are to be tumble-dried.
Do Not Tumble Dry Tag
If the laundry care tag of your clothes says “Do not tumble dry,” you should never use your clothes dryer to dry them. There are fabrics that, when subjected to high temperatures, will warp or shrink.
These fabrics include silk, knitwear, and wool. When you toss them inside the clothes dryers, they may lose their shape, or they can be damaged beyond repair. So, before tossing any clothing inside the dryer, ensure they don’t have the “Do not tumble dry” tag.
There’s also a right and wrong way of tumble drying your clothes. Knowing when and how to tumble dry is the key to getting the best results. There are several options you can choose in tumble drying your wet clothes.
Tumble Dry Options
They depend on the type of fabric that you want to dry. It will be indicated on the laundry care tag of your clothes. Here are your tumble dry options:
1. Tumble Dry Low
Tumble dry low is what you will choose for clothes that have delicate fabric. These clothes types should use the delicate or gentle drying cycle.
This cycle is designed for clothes with decorations such as sequins, readings, and iron-on decals. Dry all your spandex clothing in low heat. This prevents the fabric from stretching, fading, and fraying.
2. Tumble Dry High
If your clothes are made of cotton and other fabrics that are longer to dry, such as jeans, sweatshirts, beach towels, and so forth, the best way is to tumble dry them. You may also need to increase the heat inside the tumble dryer if you need to dry them faster.
3. No Heat Tumble Dry
If the laundry care tag of your clothes says tumble dry, no heat, you can’t use heat to dry those clothes. You have to tumble dry these clothes under room temperature. This is a setting that is most often used for fluff-up garments. It will help remove the lint or dust from the clothes.
The drying process results are similar to what you will get with air drying. Since no heat is used, the drying time usually takes longer to finish.
How Do You Tumble Dry Properly?
While tumble drying appears easy, you must observe certain things to do it correctly. Here are some tips to ensure your clothes turn out nice after tumble drying them:
1. Include a Clean, Dry Towel
This towel will soak up the excess water from the clothes and help reduce the drying time.
2. Ensure That Your Clothes Are Not Dripping
Just-washed clothes should be wet but not dripping. If they are still soaked, give them another spin cycle inside the washer to remove the excess moisture.
3. Dry the Same Fabrics Together
This will ensure that your clothes get dry at the same time. If you dry different fabrics in the same load, lighter fabrics will get dried first while heavier fabrics are still wet. This means you should dry delicate garments separately from undergarments.
4. Use One Half or a Quarter of a Dryer Sheet
This can create a waxy buildup on the lint screen.
5. Always Clean the Lint Screen After Every Load to Get a Fast Drying Time
This will maintain good air circulation inside the dryer.
6. Shake Out Clothes from the Washer Before Tossing Them Into the Dryer
Then fill the dryer three-quarters of the way for regular loads and only about halfway for permanent press loads. If you ball up the clothes too tightly or overfill the dryer drum, the drying time will be slower. The clothes will also end up with stubborn wrinkles.
Line Dry Vs. Tumble Dry
Now that you know all this information, you are better positioned to choose between line drying and tumble drying. Which of the two drying methods do you think is the best?
Line drying is the more natural process of drying. Tumble drying is a product of our modern world focused on convenience and a fast-paced lifestyle. What is more beneficial, tumble drying or line drying?
Let’s take a look at this issue:
1. Tumble Dry Costs Money
Using a clothes dryer means you are using additional electricity. Your electric bill will increase as you use your clothes dryer to dry your clothes. You also need to buy drying sheets to use with your clothes dryer.
If you go back to line drying, you will not worry about additional electric bills. You will also be able to exercise by hanging and drying your clothes on your clothesline.
2. Not All Clothes Can Be Tumble Dried
You cannot tumble dry all kinds of clothes and fabrics, especially delicate fabrics and clothes with ornaments. So, you still need to hang them dry on a clothesline.
If you are pressed for time, a clothes dryer will help. But you can’t do it with your delicate and expensive clothes if you don’t want them destroyed.
3. Tumble Drying Creates Wrinkles
When you load your clothes into the dryer, they will move in endless circles. They will get entangled with each other. Your clothes will be in a jam-packed condition that it will be impossible for them not to get wrinkles.
Yes, your clothes will dry out faster inside the clothes dryer. But they will also have wrinkles all over. Sometimes, the wrinkles are hard to iron out.
If you want your expensive clothes to stay longer and in their original state, there is nothing better than to dry them on your clotheslines. Tumble drying them will dry them faster, but it may also damage them beyond repair.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m sure there are some questions in your mind about line dry and tumble dry that you want to be answered. The answers to the most often asked questions about this topic are listed below:
What’s the Difference Between Line Dry and Tumble Dry?
Line dry is when you hang your freshly washed clothes on a clothesline to allow them to dry. While your clothes hang, the ambient temperature and the air will dry them naturally.
If you want to tumble dry your wet clothes, you need to load them inside the clothes dryer. Then turn on the machine, and your clothes will turn in endless circles. With the addition of heat, they will dry out faster.
What’s the Symbol for Line Dry and Tumble Dry?
The symbol for line dry is a square with a vertical line inside it. For tumble dry, the symbol is also a circle inside a square. You can see these symbols in the laundry car tag of the clothes and the sheets. Always consult the laundry tag before loading the clothes inside the dryer.
Which Is Better, Tumble Dry or Line Dry?
Line dry is generally better because it won’t damage the fabric, and the clothes dry without wrinkles. But if you are pressed in time, and the clothes you are drying are not that delicate, you can always tumble dry them in the clothes dryer.
In Closing: What Do You Mean Line Dry Vs. Tumble Dry
Tossing your freshly washed clothes into the dryer is what tumble drying is. Most people do this type of clothes drying for convenience. Meanwhile, line drying is when you allow your just-washed clothes to hang on the clotheslines so they will dry naturally.
Line drying is represented by a symbol showing a square with a vertical line inside. Tumble drying is represented by a square that has a circle inside it. You should take note of the laundry care label on your clothes to ensure that you are drying them the right way.