What Is Cotton Dry and When Should You Use It?

Dryer on cotton dry setting - Clean and Tidy Living

What Does Cotton Dry on a Tumble Dryer Mean?

Cotton Dry on a dryer is a hotter, more vigorous program designed for efficiently drying cotton garments and bedsheets. 

Cotton is a more durable material than those that fall under the category of ‘delicates’. A cotton drying cycle does not need to use a gentle spin or low temperatures to protect the fabric from damage.

Also, internal heat is beneficial for drying cotton. This means that you can fill the tumble dryer with a large load to speed up the drying process, without any risk of damaging your clothing.

When Do You Use the Cotton Dry Cycle?

The cotton cycle is hot and vigorous. It can be used on any durable garments, which do tend to be made of cotton

Synthetics in laundry refer to artificial materials; most likely plastic. 

Washing and drying on high heat can melt or damage some materials, so be careful with what you’re drying on the cotton cycle. 

Cotton is resistant to these high temperatures, so anything 100% cotton will be fine. Examples include:

  • Jeans
  • Bedsheets 
  • Towels
  • Cotton non-wired underwear
  • Cloths 
  • Socks
  • And other cotton clothing 

What Is the Difference Between Cotton Dry and Synthetic Dry? 

When it comes to synthetic dry vs cotton dry, it’s worth knowing when to use each one. 

Synthetic clothing such as polyester is made of plastic, which melts in the high temperatures of a cotton drying cycle. 

The synthetic dry cycle is much more gentle, using slower movement and low temperatures to protect our garments. 

Cotton will technically dry fine with cotton or synthetic cycles, so you might be thinking of saving time and drying everything all together on the synthetic cycle. 

Although this seems like a time-saver, the synthetic cycle won’t work when the dryer is too full.

An over-filled synthetic cycle will produce too much internal heat, which again melts the synthetic fibers in our clothing. 

To have your dryer performing its best, be sure to dry your delicate clothing on the synthetic cycle. 

Also, be sure to only fill the drum halfway to keep the internal temperature down. 

If you have one or two small cotton items, they’ll be fine to throw in with your delicates. 

However, they tend to be heavy and more durable so they can rub against our delicate garments and cause pilling

That’s why it’s best to separate cotton from other garments and use the cotton dry cycle for the best efficiency. 

Cotton Dry FAQs

Which Is Hotter Cotton Dry or Synthetic Dry? 

Cotton is more durable than synthetic clothing, so the cotton dry cycle is hotter to dry the clothes effectively. The synthetic drying cycle uses cooler temperatures and a smaller load size than the cotton cycle to protect the plastic fibers from melting under high heat. 

Which Dryer Setting Is Hottest?

The Regular/Heavy cycle and Cotton Dry cycles use high temperatures to dry clothes. These also tend to be the fastest cycles and the heavy garments increase the temperature within the machine, causing fabrics to dry faster. 

Key Takeaways 

That’s a wrap on our guide to what the cotton setting means on the dryer, and when it should be used. 

We hope we’ve answered all of your cotton drying questions, and that your tumble dryer seems a little bit less intimidating. 

Although it might not seem that way, our dryer settings are designed to be helpful. 

Even though it seems like they’re only there to confuse us!

Knowing when to use each setting can prevent damage, pilling, or expensive bills from running the machine again and again when things don’t seem to be drying properly. 

Chucking everything in together might seem the most efficient, but you might actually be making more work for yourself. 

And we don’t want you all to spend hours with your noses in the dryer manual. 

So, hopefully this quick and concise guide to the cotton program will help speed up your laundry routine!

If you’ve enjoyed this guide from Clean and Tidy Living and would like to see more from us, take a look at some of our similar posts below. 

Related Laundry Advice from Clean and Tidy Living:

What Is Cotton Dry?

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