Dryers obviously require a lot of electricity (you can check the wattage of yours on its label). But not only does the dryer use a ton of energy, the clothing damaged while inside can also release microfibers into the environment.
“Microfibers are damaging to the environment,” Blackburn says, “both from natural and synthetic fibers. We have found that mechanical action is the primary driver of microfiber release, so dry for the shortest time possible and make sure the drum is filled to recommend capacity so that the garments don’t cascade in the dryer.” Plus, he adds, this will help maintain the quality of whatever you’re washing for longer.
To save energy and extend the life of your clothing, consider air drying when you can. (Air drying also works wonders as a DIY humidifier when you need it!)
And when you do have to use the dryer, one hack I’ve found helpful is throwing a dry bath towel in with the wet clothes. It absorbs excess moisture, you take it out after five or so minutes, and your clothes should dry much faster afterwards.
From saving energy, to limiting microfibers in the environment, to preserving your clothes, drying optimally is an important consideration to make. When in doubt, air dry! But when you can’t, know you’ve definitely got ways to dry effectively.