Can you put leggings in the dryer?

Can you put leggings in the dryer
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You shouldn’t put your leggings in the dryer.

Doing so will ruin your favorite pair, especially if done repeatedly. 

That’s what I did, and it was a $100 mistake that I’m here to teach you how to avoid.

Can you put leggings in the dryer? 

Well,  you can, but you shouldn’t. The leggings we love so much are made of synthetic materials. These man-made fabrics are usually made of a blend of spandex and other materials.

Putting your beloved leggings in the dryer will compromise its structure and special properties. 

So to save you from a ruined pair, I’ll tell you how to dry leggings plus other drying and washing tips.

How To Dry Leggings

Air drying is the best way to dry your leggings. 

As mentioned, it’s a cardinal sin to put your leggings in the dryer. 

If you want them to last for a long time, you should avoid it at all costs.

 Especially if you got your leggings from one of those expensive yoga brands.

Leggings are usually made of synthetic materials.  

They’re often designed to be breathable, stretchable and moisture-wicking. 

When exposed to extreme heat, it can alter or even destroy the fabric. 

It’ll leave your beloved leggings unusable.

How to dry leggings is simple. 

After washing, take them out of the machine immediately. 

Don’t let it soak since the water can expand the material. 

You can hang them indoors or outdoors, whatever works for you. 

If you can, hang or lay them flat so they don’t stretch when drying. 

But make sure to keep them away from direct heat from radiators or even sunlight. 

How The Dryer Can Ruin Your Leggings

The dryer can ruin your leggings in different ways. 

Unfortunately, since the synthetic material is usually thin, it won’t do well in extreme heat. 

If you weren’t able to check the label for washing instructions or just completely forgot, once or twice won’t hurt.

But expect serious damage if you ignore the warnings and continue using the dryer.

Your Leggings Can Shrink

Synthetic materials like spandex are the most common fabric used for leggings. 

They have unique elastic properties not found in natural fabrics. 

They can stretch up to 500% of their size and snap back to their original shape.

But with high temperatures, the threads can lose that tension. 

Think of it like a spring that goes back to its original form after being stretched. 

That’s what happens to the fabric and causes it to shrink. 

So you end up with leggings that are one size smaller.

Your Leggings Can Lose Their Elasticity 

Your leggings lose their elasticity with time and use. 

That’s how the fabric naturally degrades. 

The more it stretches, it’ll eventually lose its ability to snap back. 

The heating process in the dryer can accelerate this degradation.

The elasticity loss is visible on the thread lines. 

You can see how some parts look flaccid or old. 

Like something that has been stretched too much. 

It’s the complete opposite of the smooth and vibrant feeling of a healthy stretchable fabric.

Your Leggings Can Become Transparent 

Another downside of shrinkage is that you’re going to stretch your leggings too much when worn. 

Because they shrunk to a size smaller, it’s going to feel tighter and stretch more than it should. 

The result is you now have a pair of see-through leggings. 

It’s bad in a few ways:

  • It compromises your leggings’ performance. They might not be able to keep the sweat off your skin effectively.
  • It can wear out your leggings sooner than expected.
  • It exposes your body and can be awkward and uncomfortable.

How To Properly Wash Your Leggings

Like any piece of clothing, the best way to keep your leggings looking fresh is to follow the washing instructions. 

And if you have one of those expensive yoga pants that feel really good when worn, you’d want them to last as long as possible. 

Here are the most common tips to wash your leggings properly.

Don’t Use Hot Water

If the heat from the dryer is your leggings’ worst enemy, so is hot water. 

Synthetic materials don’t do well in hot water. 

Always wash them in cold water or lukewarm if there’s no other option available.

Wash Them With Similar Fabrics 

The thing with leggings and other activewear with the same type of material is that they don’t mix well with others. 

Washing them with your cotton tops or jeans isn’t recommended at all.

Doing so will cause your leggings to look bad. 

Cotton fibers produce lint that sticks to synthetic fabric like a magnet. 

By the time you’re done with the laundry, your favorite leggings will have fuzz balls all over. 

So don’t let this happen by washing them with the same synthetic fabric. 

Wash them alone if you have to. 

Just don’t let them mix with others that aren’t their kind.

But when washing synthetics together, it’s best to turn them inside out. 

This reduces the friction on the outer part of the fabric as they rub against each other in the washer. 

This can also cause some fuzzing but it wouldn’t look so bad if it’s on the inside.

Be Gentle

Synthetic fabric tends to be thinner than cotton. 

This makes them more sensitive to wash cycle settings. 

Be sure to use the gentle cycle to preserve the fabric’s integrity. 

The heavy-duty setting will subject your leggings to excessive abrasion. 

This can result in an overstretched pair.

Don’t Be Generous With Detergent

Don’t use a lot of detergent sounds counterintuitive. 

Normally, we’d use enough detergent to kill all the germs and odor on our clothes. 

But such shouldn’t be the case with synthetic fabric.

The excessive soap will leave your leggings stiff and sticky. 

Instead of killing the bad stuff, it can even trap germs and odor. 

And in case there’s leftover soap that wasn’t rinsed off, it’ll cause skin irritation in places you don’t want there to be.

When choosing a detergent, don’t get stingy and choose high-quality brands. 

You’ll be sure they’ll be able to handle any kind of stain or dirt your leggings will be subjected to.

Skip The Fabric Softener

Using fabric softener on your leggings will compromise its moisture-wicking properties.

Fabric softeners work by coating your clothes with chemicals. 

These chemicals are what makes them feel soft and silky after each wash. 

But these chemicals negatively affect the synthetic fabric your leggings are made of. 

Instead of being able to pull sweat and moisture away from your skin, they end up getting trapped. 

Too much moisture on your clothes can lead to discomfort, chafing, and skin irritation. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Leggings?

Because leggings sit next to your skin just like underwear, you should wash them frequently if used for your gym or yoga session. 

Especially if you worked up a lot of sweat.

Using fabric softener on your leggings will compromise its moisture-wicking properties.

What If you didn’t use them for working out? 

Well, that depends on what it was used for. 

If I went out for errands, got exposed to the sun, dirt and pollution, I’d wash it afterwards. 

If I just stayed at home, I’d probably use it once more before throwing it into the hamper.