It’s always wise to check the product care labels on your clothing and fabric items prior to putting them in the dryer, to make sure they remain in their original state. There are some general rules of thumb you can follow though, so here’s a guide to help you determine which fabrics should typically be hung to dry:

Spandex: Spandex does not react well to heat, and therefore putting full spandex clothing, such as a bathing suit or leggings, into the dryer will caused the fabric fibres to weaken and break. Clothing that contains a small amount of spandex material, such as jeans, could be okay to put in the dryer.

Pantyhose or tights: The mesh material that makes up pantyhose and lightweight tights will likely shrink when exposed to the heat in your dryer, so it’s a better idea to just hang these items to dry.

Rubber-backed mats: Never place rubber-backed mats into your dryer. The heat from your dryer can cause the rubber on the mat to crumble and break off inside of your dryer. The intensified heat of your dryer can also cause the rubber to ignite, potentially causing a dryer fire.

Athletic/running shoes: Heat can do quite a number on your athletic footwear. For instance, it can shrink their rubber soles, ruin the cushioning, and damage any adhesives used in making the shoe.  To avoid possibly ruining your shoes, simply leave them out to dry after you wash them.

Bras: The materials used to make a bra are too delicate to be tossed into the dryer, and therefore they should be hung after washing. The heat of the dryer can cause damage to the elasticity and shape of the bra.

Clothing with embellishments: The dryer can be very damaging to clothing with fancy finishes. Aside from heat, items with sequences can also get snagged on other clothing in the dryer, causing even more damage to the garment. These types of clothing should just be hung to dry or laid on top of a towel to dry.