Can You Dry Clothes in a Microwave
What to know

Can You Dry Clothes in a Microwave?

Let’s say your clothes dryer ended up on the fritz or busted. What should you do now to dry your clothes? You can air-dry it outdoors on the clothesline, indoors but make sure you have a vent to prevent the formation of mold and mildew, and with the assistance of your iron or blow dryer.

However, what about the microwave? So can you dry clothes in a microwave? Keep on reading to learn the deal.

Dry Clothes in a Microwave

Almost all of the sites you visit will recommend to you to note dry clothes in a microwave. Use all other options before going the microwave route. This hasn’t stopped people from trying though. The same way doctors forbid q-tips or earbuds for being used for ear cleaning yet people still use them as such.

If you were to dry items in a microwave, don’t dry large items like bedsheets, jeans, and t-shirts. They could cause electrical fires, melt plastic buttons, or react harmfully to metal buttons and buckles. People who’ve used microwaves for drying can dry pantyhose (made of natural fibers) and socks.

Again, it should be a last resort. Your pantyhose, socks, and other small items should also be made of natural fibers like wool and cotton rather than synthetic spandex or polyester materials.

Using your microwave to dry your socks quickly and easily
Using your microwave to dry your socks quickly and easily

For Those Who’ve Successfully Microwaved Clothes

Again, we don’t recommend this method. Proceed at your own risk in light of all the warnings aimed at you. However, for those who’ve used it at their own risk, they claim it’s safe as long as you observe certain precautions. First off, don’t microwave synthetic threads like nylon, rayon, and polyester.

If you have to dry damp clothes in a jiffy and you’re willing to risk burning a hole in them, then microwave clothes that actually fit inside a 1 cubic foot or less oven space. You certainly shouldn’t use this method regularly.

The worrying trend among those who microwave clothes involves microwaving nylon pantyhose anyway instead of silk or cotton pantyhose and risking it melting when overcooked. You can technically microwave nylon and synthetic fibers but you still risk them catching fire or melting.

Read more: What Are The Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave?

Anecdotal Recommendations from Strangers

According to anecdotal evidence from strangers, you should microwave things like jeans rather than anything made of elastic fabric or wool. According to one microwave owner, he bought a pair of jeans on an overseas trip, washed it, and then realized he had no dryer available.

He needed the jeans the next day. He, therefore, microwaved his jeans. You do remember above that we didn’t recommend doing this because it might cause an electrical fire, right? The jeans might even have metal or plastic buttons on it.

However, this person still microwaved the jeans because they were dripping wet and he couldn’t find an iron.

How to Microwave Jeans (Although Not Recommended)

Yet again, this isn’t recommended and you should proceed at your own risk. According to this person, he ensured that the studs and zipper didn’t do electrical arcing when he tested them on the microwave and zapped the jeans for about two minutes.

He then took the jeans out, with them steaming a lot of the wetness away. He repeated this 8 times in 2-minute increments until the jeans ended up dry to wear. However, it remained slightly damp but not totally sopping wet like before.

We don’t recommend doing this because different jeans offer different results. What if your wet jeans caused electrical arcing? Or superheated steam? Or it’s too bit to fit into the microwave?

If You Have to Microwave Something

If you have to microwave jeans, shirts, and the like with less-than-perfect results and a lot of risks, you can do so (anecdotally) by short stints. We don’t recommend this but anecdotal evidence exists that you can microwave the wet clothing article every two minutes until only slightly damp at least.

For best results, microwave natural fabrics and not synthetic ones. However, contradicting advice exists that you should microwave pantyhose in the microwave, and those more often than not use nylon instead of silk as their material.

If you have to microwave synthetic fabrics like nylon pantyhose and stockings, do so in increments as well while hoping that neither the heat from the steam or from the threads would melt it.

The Hairdryer Treatment

Blow-drying or using a hairdryer to dry your clothes offer a safer alternative to microwaves that might or might not start a flame or burn your clothes by sheer steam heat. The heat of the hairdryer won’t burn your clothes because the airflow does a better job of drying the wetness out.

It will take you forever to blow-dry a sopping wet clothing article though, so get on squeezing and wringing that bed sheet, t-shirt, jeans, shorts, or skirt. Get the water out and make it merely damp instead of sopping wet. Use low heat when blow-drying your clothing.

Put the fan blower on the highest setting. Furthermore, slowly rotate the item as it’s blown all over.

The Electric Fan Treatment

Thusly, you can also use an electric fan for the same purpose only this time put your clothing on a chair or rack then change its sides from time to time. You can blow-dry your clothing the same way, with it hanging on your door or your chair.

Make sure to blow out the collars, sleeves, pockets, and other nooks of your clothing. Any damp spots left behind by careless air-drying, blow-drying, or fan-drying can become bacteria havens and mold spots. A veritable Petri dish of microbes.

For Good Measure

As much as possible, don’t use microwaves to dry clothes. You have to deal with at least two liters of water from freshly washed clothes for one thing. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is wring your clothes until they’re damp rather than soaking wet. If you have to, only microwave small items.

Think pantyhose and socks. Also, avoid microwaving polyester and only microwave natural fabrics. Drying clothes indoors can cause condensation on your windows and deadly mold to form int eh corners of your walls like a neglected bathroom.

References:

  1. Laundry: Is it safe to microwave wet clothes to dry them?“, Quora.com, October 1, 2017
  2. TJ Ryan, “Rainy Day Ways to Dry Your Clothes Without a Dryer“, CanStarBlue.com.au, February 6, 2016
  3. Agnes Shafer, “Can You Dry Clothes in the Microwave“, SmartKitchenImprovement.com, Retrieved September 21, 2021

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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