Can You Put Sweatpants in the Dryer? SOLVED!

We answer the question: Can you put sweatpants in the dryer? Find out how to dry your sweatpants without shrinking or damaging them!

Can You Put Sweatpants in the Dryer?

Tumble Dry

Yes, you can put your sweatpants in the dryer BUT you must understand the implications of doing this.  By putting your sweatpants in the dryer you run the risk of shrinking your sweatpants, crating lint balls and losing your drawstring if its not tied properly.

This is Can You Put Sweatpants in the Dryer? SOLVED!

Use our article to find out how to properly dry sweatpants, and also how to wash, shrink, or avoid shrinking your sweatpants. 

Can You Put Sweatpants in the Dryer?

The majority of sweatpants are made from either 100% cotton fleece or a cotton polyester blend. If you want to avoid shrinking or damaging your sweatpants you should:

  • Lay your sweatpants flat to dry
  • Line dry your sweatpants
  • Place your sweatpants on a drying rack
  • Use the dryer on air dry or tumble dry low

Learn more on What are Sweatpants Made Out Of: 4 Different Types.

If your sweatpants are made from 100% cotton then you want to avoid using the dryer on tumble dry medium or tumble dry high settings. Cotton is a natural fiber that will shrink up to 10% in size if dried with a high level of heat. This means if you do not want to shrink your sweatpants, you should use the dryer on either air dry or tumble dry low settings. It is best to avoid the dryer (tumble drying) all together and simply line dry or lay flat to dry your sweatpants. By avoiding the dryer you may also help to avoid the creation of lint balls on the surface of your sweatpants. Learn how to remove lint balls from sweatpants.

If your sweatpants are made from a cotton polyester blend you will also want to avoid using tumble dry medium and tumble dry high. This is because polyester is non-resistant to heat, which means the high temperatures in the dryer may damage the polyester fibers. Your cotton polyester may also shrink since there is still a percentage of cotton included in the fabric blend.

Read our article for more insight, can you shrink polyester?

To treat your sweatpants with the respect they need, make sure you know how to use a dryer properly & know how long a dryer takes.

Read our important guide on how to stop 60% cotton sweatpants from shrinking.

How to Prevent Sweatpants from Shrinking

The best way to prevent your sweatpants from shrinking is to never put them in the dryer. The constant heat and tumbling in the dryer will have a shrinking effect on the cotton fibers, leaving your sweatpants significantly smaller. Instead of using a dryer, you should lay them flat on a drying rack, or line dry your sweatpants.

The second option (and may be the best choice for you) is to take your sweatpants to the dry cleaners. Dry cleaners clean clothes for a living so you can be sure they will do the job right. Learn more about how long dry cleaners take and how much do dry cleaners cost.

How to Dry Sweatpants

If you want to avoid shrinking your sweatpants or damaging the polyester fibers then you must likely want to line dry your sweatpants or lay flat to dry; also known as dry flat.

If you are in a rush and need to quickly dry your sweatpants than you may choose to use the dryer and adjust the settings to “air dry” or “tumble dry low” in order to protect your sweatpants from shrinkage and damage.

Let me help you understand better how to dry sweatpants without a dryer. And be careful, dryers get quite hot. Learn how hot a dryer gets.

How to Machine Wash Sweatpants

Follow these steps in order to properly machine wash sweatpants. 

  1. Turn your sweatpants inside out. This protects the outer layer of your sweatpants and allows for greater contact between the detergent and the dirtiest part of your pants.
  2. Set the washing machine to the cold water setting and add detergent and fabric softener if you wish (how long does a washer take).
  3. Run the rinse cycle.
  4. Remove the sweatpants from the washing machine and place them into the dyer.
  5. Run the dryer on tumble dry low or air dry settings. If you are able to, avoid using the dryer and instead line dry or lay your sweatpants flat on a drying rack to dry.
  6. Once finished, remove the sweatpants from the dryer, turn them inside out once more, and enjoy your fresh and clean sweatpants.

How to Shrink Sweatpants

Follow these detailed steps if you want to properly shrink your sweatpants. Remember that hot water shrinks clothes.

  1. For 100% cotton sweatpants set the washing machine to the highest water temperature setting, and adjust the wash cycle to the longest possible time. If your sweatpants are a cotton poly blend, consider using medium heat or a shorter wash cycle, and observe the results.
  2. Remove the sweatpants from the washer. Check the sweatpants to make sure they are damp, not soaking wet. If they are soaking wet, put them back in the washer and do a spin cycle to remove any of the excess water.
  3. Shake the sweatpants out before you place them in the dryer to make sure there is no excess dirt or debris.
  4. Place the sweatpants in the dryer. If your sweatpants are 100% cotton, adjust the heat setting to tumble dry high. If your sweatpants are a cotton poly blend then use tumble dry medium and observe the results and modify as necessary.
  5. Feel free to check on the sweatpants periodically to ensure that you don’t over shrink them.
  6. Remove the sweatpants and wear, roll or fold your sweatpants appropriately.

Can You Put Sweatpants in the Dryer FAQ

Clothing made out of natural fibers such as silk, cotton, and wool cannot be put in the dryer. Additionally, clothing made out of polyester cannot be put in the dryer since polyester is heat non-resistant.

To dry sweatpants without shrinking them either line dry them, lay flat to dry, or use the dryer on air dry or tumble dry low.

Use dryer setting “air dry” or “tumble dry low” for sweatpants. Most sweatpants are made from 100% cotton which means they will shrink if placed in the dryer on high heat settings.

To shrink sweatpants first use the washing machine on the highest heat setting. Once finished, place the sweatpants into the dryer and use tumble dry medium or tumble dry high. The high levels of heat in both the washer and dryer will successfully shrink your sweatpants.

Written and reviewed by:
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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