This Lesser-Known (But Super Common) Dryer Setting Will Save You Hours of Ironing

published Oct 5, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

We’ve all probably at least considered the hanger-turn-around method or the single box trick to declutter our closets, even if we haven’t personally filled the trunk with overflowing bags of donations. But did you know that there’s another, far more insidious, type of closet clutter? It’s camouflaged as clothes you love and want to wear—but don’t.

Days and weeks go by while the flowery blouse and the flowy dress hang unworn… because you pulled them out of the dryer wrinkled and you just do. not. want. to. iron.

You can avoid wrinkled clothes and tedious ironing, however, by re-discovering a common dryer setting that will save you hours of ironing or steaming: the damp dry signal.

How to Use the Damp Dry Signal on Your Dryer

Almost all dryers have a damp dry signal. Re-discovering and taking advantage of it will give you back a whole new segment of your wardrobe.

Look for a button found among your dryer’s control panel labeled, appropriately, damp dry. (Your machine may have an “iron dry” setting instead—same thing.) The next time you start a load—after you’ve selected a cycle, but before you hit “start”—press the button to activate the damp dry signal. This will kick off a feature where your dryer will sound a tone when your clothes are about 80 percent dry.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

The idea behind this setting is that you can take out your clothes when they’re still a bit damp—which is the best condition for ironing. But! You can use the damp dry signal to to say goodbye to ironing almost completely: When the damp dry signal sounds, use that as a cue to hang up (or flat-lay) your easily-wrinkled clothing.

Wrinkles take hold when clothes are dry (that’s why you employ water or steam when ironing). Hanging up damp-dry clothes allows gravity to do its thing and pull your fabric taught as it dries. Similarly, spreading your garments out in a flat, wrinkle-free shape ensures they’ll stay that way until they’re ready to wear.

Also, by taking out your clothes when the damp dry signal sounds, you eliminate the risk of leaving your garments in a neglected pile of dried clothes, a scenario that causes the most wrinkles possible.