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What Is the Wrinkle-Free Setting on a Dryer?

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The wrinkle-free setting on a dryer, also known as wrinkle prevent, wrinkle control, or wrinkle shield, is a feature that has revolutionized laundry routines worldwide. But what exactly is this setting, and why should you use it? Let’s delve into the details.


The wrinkle-free setting on a dryer is a feature designed to reduce or prevent wrinkles in your clothes during the drying process. It works by intermittently tumbling the clothes without heat after the drying cycle ends, and some models also include steam-enhanced cycles to remove wrinkles. This setting is beneficial as it helps to maintain a fresh appearance of clothes, reduces the need for ironing, and cools down the clothes to resist further wrinkling.

What is the Wrinkle-Free Setting?

The wrinkle-free setting is a cycle or option designed to reduce or prevent wrinkles from forming on your clothes during the drying process. This setting typically works by intermittently tumbling the clothes with no heat for a certain period after the drying cycle ends. Some dryers also include steam-enhanced cycles or features that generate steam within the dryer drum to remove wrinkles from garments.

How Does It Work?

The wrinkle-free setting on a dryer works by using a combination of techniques to prevent or reduce wrinkles in clothes. One of the main features of this setting is the cool-down cycle at the end of the heated drying process, which helps prevent wrinkles from forming. During the cool-down period, the dryer stops generating heat and starts pulling in room temperature air, allowing the clothes to cool down and relax any lingering wrinkles. This makes it easier to fold or hang clothes without causing additional wrinkles.

Another aspect of the wrinkle-free setting is the periodic tumbling of clothes after the drying cycle is complete. This prevents the laundry from sitting in the drum for a long time, which can cause wrinkles to form. Some dryers also offer a wrinkle-prevent option that includes a short steam cycle to help smooth out wrinkles.

Benefits of Using the Wrinkle-Free Setting

The wrinkle-free setting offers several benefits for your laundry. These benefits include:

  1. Reducing wrinkles: This setting helps prevent wrinkles from forming during the drying process, making ironing less necessary and saving time and energy.
  2. Preserving a freshly dried appearance: The wrinkle-free setting helps maintain a fresh and well-maintained look in your clothes, especially when you cannot remove them from the dryer immediately.
  3. Cooling down clothes: During the last several minutes of the drying cycle, the dryer stops generating heat and starts pulling in room temperature air, which cools down your clothes and helps relax any lingering wrinkles. Cool clothes are better at resisting wrinkles when folded or hung than clothes that are hot out of the dryer.
  4. Steam-enhanced cycles (on some models): Some dryers offer steam-enhanced cycles as part of their wrinkle-free settings, which use steam to help smooth out wrinkles and refresh clothes with a slight odor.

Potential Downsides or Risks?

While the wrinkle-free setting offers numerous benefits, it’s important to be aware of potential downsides or risks. These include possible exposure to formaldehyde in wrinkle-free clothing and fabrics, lower quality appearance, environmental concerns, attraction to grease and oil, and fabric debasement over time due to chemical treatments.

Wrinkle-Free Setting Vs. Traditional Ironing

While both the wrinkle-free setting and traditional ironing aim to remove wrinkles from clothes, there are differences in terms of effectiveness, speed, and gentleness on fabrics. Steaming, which is generally faster, gentler, and safer for delicate fabrics compared to traditional ironing, is often used in the wrinkle-free setting. However, ironing may be more suitable for creating crisp seams and perfectly smooth linens or for sewing purposes.

Tips and Tricks for Using the Wrinkle-Free Setting

To get the most out of the wrinkle-free setting, it’s essential to follow proper usage guidelines. These include shaking out each piece of clothing before placing it in the dryer, not overloading the dryer, using your dryer’s “wrinkle-free” or “permanent press” setting if available, removing clothes from the dryer immediately after the cycle is finished, and using the appropriate drying cycle for the type of fabric to prevent over-drying and wrinkling.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the wrinkle-free setting is a useful feature that can make your laundry routine more efficient and convenient. While it’s not suitable for all fabrics and has a few potential downsides, its benefits, such as reducing wrinkles, preserving a freshly dried appearance, and cooling down clothes, make it a great option for many households. Always remember to check the fabric composition and care instructions before using this setting to ensure the best results.

Whether you’re a busy professional who needs to maintain a sharp appearance or a busy parent with a never-ending laundry pile, the wrinkle-free setting on your dryer can be a game-changer. So next time you do laundry, why not give it a try? You may just find that it simplifies your routine and leaves your clothes looking better than ever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all types of clothes be dried using the wrinkle-free setting?

No, not all types of clothes are suitable for the wrinkle-free setting. Delicate fabrics such as silk, cashmere, and wool may be damaged by this setting. Always check the care label on your clothes before using this feature.

Does the wrinkle-free setting use more energy than a regular drying cycle?

The wrinkle-free setting may use slightly more energy as it involves an additional cool-down phase and intermittent tumbling after the regular drying cycle. However, this extra energy use could be offset by the time and energy saved from not having to iron the clothes.

Can I use the wrinkle-free setting if my dryer doesn’t have a steam function?

Yes, you can. The steam function is an added feature in some models, but the wrinkle-free setting primarily works by using cool-down and intermittent tumbling techniques to prevent wrinkles.

How long does the wrinkle-free cycle typically last?

The duration of the wrinkle-free cycle can vary depending on the dryer model. However, it typically lasts for about 60 to 90 minutes.

Can I use the wrinkle-free setting for large items like bed linens and towels?

Yes, you can use the wrinkle-free setting for larger items. However, make sure not to overload the dryer as this can prevent the clothes from tumbling freely, which is necessary for the wrinkle-free process to work effectively.

Is there a risk of clothes shrinking when using the wrinkle-free setting?

As the wrinkle-free setting uses less heat and a cool-down phase, the risk of clothes shrinking is lower compared to a high-heat drying cycle. However, some fabrics are more prone to shrinkage than others, so always check the care instructions on your garments.

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