Cloth Dryers are one of the most useful things that I own which really saves a heck lot of time. The tumble dryer reduces my workload by eliminating the need to hang the clothes on the line and removing them after drying. Also, its a much better, faster, and reliable method for drying your clothes real quick.
Dryers are used very commonly in most of the developed nations to remove moisture from clothes. It’s a very reliable and fast way to dry up your clothes without the headache of hanging them in the sunlight.
Yes, I know that it will consume more electricity in fact even more than your washing machine but it has far more advantages than the traditional method of drying your clothes. You don’t need to worry if there is enough sunlight or not. In dark rainy days it sometimes even takes more than 2 days for your clothes to completely dry up.
Sometimes, even after washing clothes in the machine, germs and bacteria stay alive. This is due to the fact that the temperature at which we wash clothes is not enough to kill those gems. Many people have a question Does the cloth dryer kill germs? And, with the rising threat of dangerous viruses such as Covid-19, it is very essential to clean your clothes properly!
After going through a lot of blogs and deep research I can answer this question! A Cloth Dryer can significantly kill most of the bacteria and germs if it runs at an ideal temperature. Research and studies show that if the Dryer runs at a minimum temperature of 140°F (60°C) then it kills most of the bacteria. Although, it also depends on a number of different factors such as the type of fabric, bacteria or virus, and also the drying period.
Does A Clothes Dryer Really Kill Germs?
If we want to know whether these Dryers effectively kill germs and bacteria we first need to know the mechanics of a cloth dryer. Majorly there are two types of Cloth Dryer available: Vented Tumble Dryers and Condensed Tumble Dryer.
The differentiating factor between these two is that the Condensed Dryers dry up clothes by condensing the moisture into water. Whereas the Vented Dryers pull dry air from surroundings and throw out moist air through a flexible tube.
However, to dry up clothes faster all types of Dryers heat up to an extent. This heating of the dryer is done to fasten the evaporating process which indeed consumes a lot of energy too. Heat kills a majority of bacteria and germs as all are responsive to heat.
Indeed it’s pretty simple, the dryer heats the air to a certain degree to speed up the process of drying which also kills the bacteria and germs present on the clothes. Now, when we know that Dryers do kill the germs lets see whats the ideal temperature for killing bacteria and germs.
Maximum Temperature of A Cloth Dryer!
Most of the Cloth Dryers available run ideally between the range of 110°F to 140°F (43°C – 60°C). The temperature of any Dryer doesn’t go past the 140°F mark because higher temperatures damage the cloth fabric. Also, exceeding this limit will although fasten your drying process up will consume a lot more energy.
Although, there are few cases in which the temperature of Dryer recorded was 180°F which is not at all safe for clothes as well as for the Dryer. If your Dryer heats above the 140°F mark then I would consult replacing it with a new one!
To know the range at which your Dryer works you should read the manual carefully. In most of the manuals, the ideal temperature range, as well as operating, is written. If in case you don’t have the manual you can always use a thermometer to check the temperature of your clothes right after drying. This will give you an approximate idea of how much your Dryer heats up!
Ideal Temperature that Kills Germs!
I would like to tell you guys that bacteria are present everywhere but not all of them are harmful and dangerous. So, now let’s see whats the ideal temperature that trouble these harmful bacteria and germs.
Most of germs and bacteria are very responsive to heat but at different temperatures. Bacterias such as Thermophile are one of the earliest bacteria which can survive in very high temperatures. But, germs are majorly Mesophilic which means they die pretty easily to a temperature above 70-80°F.
So, it is safe to say that if your Dryer reaches a temperature of 140°F it kills most of germs and bacteria. But, as said earlier there are some Thermophile bacteria that don’t even die at 150°F. But, if we try to heat the Dryer more it would potentially lead to damaging our clothes. So, if you run the Dryer at 130°F plus for a sufficient amount of time it will kill most of the Germs, Bacteria, Viruses, as well as Pathogens!
If your Dryer doesn’t heat much you can always prolong the period of Drying to achieve similar results. Some bacteria get killed within seconds after exposure to high heat whereas some take more than 30 minutes.
The temperature at which the germs killed also depends on the type of fabric. Polyester clothes get rid of bacteria and germs much quicker than woolen and cotton clothes. So, ideally, run your Dryer at a temperature of 130-140°F for an hour to achieve the best results.
Also, take into consideration that there will be germs enough if you Dry your clothes. Some of the bacteria and germs don’t even get killed in temperature above 300°F!
Does Oxiclean Kill Germs?
When it comes to killing germs and disinfecting oxygen bleach does work but it’s better to use strong disinfectants such as chlorine bleach. Whereas Oxiclean is a laundry detergent which primarily removes spot stains. Oxiclean can disinfect your clothes much better than your regular detergent powder.
However, using Oxiclean for disinfecting and killing germs is not that effective. Using half a cup of white vinegar while washing your clothes will effectively remove most of the bacteria and germs. Not only that your clothes will smell great as it also does the work of deodorizer and will also make your clothes softer!
You can also use Borax with your regular detergent to wash your clothes. It acts as an antifungal and removes all the bacteria as well as germs.
Another great thing you can add in addition to your washing detergent is Pine Oil. It is extremely good at disinfecting your clothes and more the use of pine oil the better it will clean. Just add a half-cup of Pine Oil products such as Olde Tyme Super Pine Cleaner or you can also use Pine-Sol. But, the downside to this is the odor of pine which can remain even after washing.
Putting it All Together
So, Clothes dryers do kill most of the bacteria and germs if they run at a temperature above 140°F for a sufficient amount of time. There are basically two types of Dryers- Vented Tumble Dryers and Condensed Tumble Dryer.
You can always find the temperature range at which your Dryer runs in the manual book. However, if in case it’s not written on the manual you can always use a thermometer to check the temperature of the clothes after drying.
If your Dryer doesn’t reach the temperature of 140°F you can increase the length of the drying cycle to get similar results. Any Cloth dryer will not 100% kill all the germs and bacteria.
Also, its much depended on a number of factors such as fabric, temperature, length of drying, and also the type of bacteria. To get more optimum cleaning you can also use Borax, Pine Oil, as well as white Vinegar!