Nothing is more disheartening on laundry day than opening the dryer expecting to find clean, fresh, warm laundry and instead, finding a damp, crumpled wad of tangled sheets. Ugh! In an effort to never face this knotted mess again I turned to the internet to find some ways to ward off this soul-crushing situation.
There seem to be a few different ways to tackle this dilemma. Some address your laundry-doing style and others are products specifically created to solve this very problem. Let's take a look at both.
Stop drying too many items — Overfilling the dryer is sure to lead to tangles, not to mention a damp load, because your stuff doesn't have the proper space to tumble.
Or too few — On the flip side, a just-full-enough load means there's not extra room to allow sheets to spiral around each other and twist up as they are so wont to do.
Stop the dryer halfway through its cycle and de-clump — If you can remember to check, giving your load a manual fluffing mid-cycle will keep everything from having so much dryer time to form a really massive tangle.
Dry a variety of items in each load — That is, don't do a load of only sheets — their large size means they'll be much more likely to ball up. It's not convenient if you just want to do a quick load, but washing each sheet as a single with other laundry will help keep them flatter.
Dryer balls (or tennis balls) — Throwing a ball or two in the dryer supposedly keeps your laundry separated. This tip has mixed reviews on the web — some swear by them and others just don't see the point. I suspect that it has to do with your items, ie, it may work better with clothing and other small items but might not be much of a match for a king-sized sheet.
A tennis shoe — Surprisingly, this piece of advice was one of the most popular I ran into on the laundry forums (yes, those exist). People claim a new shoe is just the right size and weight to help keep things in line. Worth a try!
Dryer rack (below) — This little invention is a new one to me but apparently lots of dryers come with these racks (or they're also sold separately). They hook into the spinning drum of the dryer (yet remain stationary) so you can set items on top that you don't want tumbled. Comforters are a popular choice, as are tennis shoes (maybe so you can then have a clean shoe to separate another load as per above?). Genius!
We know you all have lots of laundry experience, so chime in. Have you had success with any of the techniques or products here or do you have your own laundry secrets that you're ready to spill? Tell us!