This is just a guess, but I’d be willing to bet that very few of us have actually sat down and read the user manuals for our major appliances. Personally, I might pull one out if I needed to look up an error code, but even then I’d probably only look at the relevant pages.

But it might be time to rethink our stance on user manuals, because they’re actually a great source of tips and tricks that can help you get the most from your appliances! And that’s especially true of one of my personal favorite appliances, the tumble dryer. 🙂

In order to entice you to crack open those pages, today I’m sharing 7 surprising things you can do with your dryer! From eliminating bedbugs to saving money on your bills, these tips will have you looking at your dryer in a whole new light.

7 Surprising Things You Can Do With Your Dryer

1. Kill Germs & Bugs

If your dryer has a Sanitize cycle, it can really come in handy! Sanitizing cycles work by cranking up the heat, reaching high enough temperatures to kill bacteria, lice, bedbugs, moth larvae and any other unwanted critters.

When using the Sanitize cycle, be sure to let it run for the entire time (or 30 minutes at the very least). Cutting the cycle short could reduce its effectiveness.

2. Freshen Up An Outfit

If the outfit you want to wear has been sitting under a pile of other clothes for a few days, you can use your dryer to freshen it up in a flash! For those with steam dryers, use your dryer’s Steam Refresh cycle to revitalize your wrinkled clothes quickly and easily.

For those of us whose dryers don’t offer a steam option, there’s a simple way to supply your own steam. Just dampen a clean cloth and toss it in your dryer along with your outfit. Turn the dryer on for a few minutes, and your outfit will be ready to wear in minutes!

3. Dry Delicates Flat

Many newer dryers have a lot of cool accessories you can purchase separately from the manufacturer. One accessory I’ve seen that I’m extremely envious of is a drum rack, which you can slide into your dryer to stabilize chunky items and block delicate clothing so it dries flat.

To find out if a drum rack or any other accessories are available for your dryer, look up your model number on the manufacturer’s website.

4. Cut Down On Ironing

Many of your dryer’s cycles and settings can help you cut down on ironing. For instance, steam dryers can inject steam into the drum during the dry cycle to help prevent wrinkles from forming.

For those with standard dryers, the Permanent Press cycle (sometimes shortened to “Perm Press”) rotates the drum more slowly to reduce wrinkles. And if your dryer continues to rotate the drum occasionally after a cycle has completed, that’s another feature designed to prevent wrinkles.

5. Sound The Alarm

Many newer dryers have built-in sensors that monitor the conditions inside the exhaust vent. If it senses a blockage or clog in the vent, it will trigger an error message or alarm so that you know to clean it out before using it again.

This feature may not seem like much, but it could very well help you prevent an expensive or even lethal dryer fire! For more information about how to avoid a dryer fire, read my post on the topic here.

6. Refresh Your Comforter

Does your comforter seem a bit squashed, flattened, or lifeless? Over time, the material inside your comforter can get compressed from normal use, but there’s an easy way to restore its loft!

Just put your comforter in your dryer with a few tennis balls on a low heat or no heat cycle. The tennis balls will bounce around the dryer and help to refluff the filling, and it’ll come out feeling like new!

7. Conserve Energy

When shopping for appliances, eco-conscious consumers can look for the Energy Star label to know which models are energy efficient. But up until 2014, there wasn’t a single Energy Star-rated clothes dryer on the market!

Luckily for us, the tide has turned over the past few years, and now there are plenty of energy efficient dryer models to choose from. In fact, the newer, more efficient models use around 20-40% less energy than a standard dryer, making them a great choice for both the environment and your budget.

Share your favorite dryer tips and tricks with us in the comments below!