When it comes to washing clothes, a washing machine is literally one of the best appliances you can get for yourself. You can go ahead and wash it by hand, spending your precious time and energy on it, or you can get a basic or the best washing machine that not only washes your clothes for you. The convenience a washing machine provides is simply exceptional. That said, when it comes to drying clothes, there are two methods washing machines generally use, spin method and air drying. So, what is air dry in washing machine? A simple technology that uses air and a fast rotating drum to remove all moisture from your clothes in a matter of seconds.

Let us take a look at what is air dry in washing machines to get a better idea, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Air Dry Technology in Washing Machine

Air Dry in Washing Machine – Explained

If you are planning to get a new washing machine, or have recently purchased one, you might have come across the air dry function in some of them. Now, first you need to understand that washing machines, and other home appliances too, are constantly being reworked for better efficiency and convenience. So, when it comes to washing and drying clothes, there are a variety of formats your washing machines can use in order to achieve fresh and clean clothes.

A lot of the Samsung washing machines come with air dry technology. You can also find air dry technology in the washing machines under 20000 as well. It is not like it is a premium feature.

What is Air Dry in Washing Machine?

Air drying is a method a few washing machines use, mainly top loaders, to dry clothes. This method of drying is different from what a normal dryer would use. Most of those either use heat, or a fast spinning drum to spin out all the excess water from the washed clothes.

Air drying works by drawing in a current of air through the air inlets into the dryer drum while it is rotating. This essentially dries clothes a lot faster, but can also wrinkle the clothes much more than what a normal dryer would.

Air drying is designed specifically to reduce drying times of synthetic clothes. Using it on wool or cotton would potentially weaken the fibers and cause the clothing item to break down in the dryer, or become loose and unwearable.

How to Air Dry clothes?

Basically, a washing machine that comes with the air drying feature, has tiny vents that open up into the dryer tub. Once you begin the dry cycle, these vents open up and the air from the outside is circulated within the rotating drum which ends up helping with the drying function.

This allows your drying cycle to be cut in half essentially, but can be quite harmful to a certain type of clothes. Air drying also creases clothes a lot, and can be quite destructive to lighter fabrics. Air drying is best used for synthetic clothes.

The air current along with the spinning tub effectively removes any and all the moisture from the clothes and is a great thing to use if you are always in a hurry.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Air Drying Clothes

Air drying is great if you do it right. There are a few advantages you would see, and a few disadvantages you might face when you are air drying your clothes.

Here are the advantages of using air dry in washing machines.

  1. Reduce drying time – Air drying can really speed up drying time. You can expect your dry cycle to end 30%-40% faster.
  2. Save energy – Since air drying dries your clothes quicker and uses air to help with the drying function, air dry washing machines actually end up saving a ton of energy bills.
  3. Comes in handy during rainy season – If you live in a place that sees frequent rains, you might as well go for a air dry washing machine. They will prove to be really convenient.
  4. Incredibly soft on fabrics – Air drying is made to be highly soft on your clothes to avoid any damages. While they still can damage softer clothes, air drying overall is a very gentle feature.

Now, let us give a look at the disadvantages of having an air dry washing machine.

  1. Wrinkled fabrics – Since heat is not used in the drying function, you can expect your clothes to develop quite a bit of wrinkles and creases.
  2. Hard on certain fabrics – Though you can, we would suggest not air drying lighter fabrics like soft cotton, lace and wool. The fast circulating air might loosen the fabrics and cause the material to tear in places.

Which fabrics should you Air Dry?

Air drying is highly effective, and actually a pretty simple format to dry clothes out. As explained, the tiny vents open up to suck in air and circulate it in the drying tub. This allows for exceptionally quick drying.

That said, air drying can be pretty hard on your clothes. Air drying is best used for synthetic clothing items and can cut down the drying time by a huge margin.

However, if you are planning to dry your woolen or softer cotton or silk clothes, beware. Since the air currents can be really quick and hard, it can damage softer fabrics and essentially destroy them.

Here are some of the fabrics you can air dry.

  1. Acrylic – More affordable gloves, sweaters, and blankets are made from acrylic instead of wool. This synthetic material is perfect to air dry since high temperatures can easily wrinkle them.
  2. Nylon – Hosiery, undergarments and such are often times made from nylon, perfect to air dry.
  3. Polyester – Strong polyester can easily take the force of an air dryer, and actually works really well on this fabric.
  4. Microfiber – Raincoats and such are generally made from microfiber cloth. Good sportswear and swimwear is also made from the same fabric. They can easily be thrown in an air dryer.
  5. Spandex – If you are someone who loves to swim or surf, chances are you own a few spandex clothes. They are also perfect to air dry.
  6. Polypropylene – You might not realize this, but most backpacks, hiking apparel and such, are made from polypropylene. You can easily air dry these as well.

Which fabrics you should not Air Dry?

Natural fibers can easily damage in an air dryer. If you have soft cotton clothes, try and resist the urge to shove them into the dryer. Woolen clothes might also not fare well in an air dryer often. Lace clothing can also unravel in an air dryer pretty easily.

You can always check the washing machine manual to understand which clothes are good to dry in an air dryer.

How long does air drying take?

Air drying significantly reduces the time it takes you to dry your clothes. Basic spin drums, or heat-based dryers might help with creases, but when it comes to time duration, air drying is essentially the fastest.

There are a few factors it depends on, but no matter what, you might see a high reduction in time taken to dry out your clothes.

  1. Type of fabric – Depending on the fabric, your air dryer might work faster, or slower. Synthetic clothes dry much faster, while natural fibers take some time.
  2. Thickness of the fabric – Naturally if you are drying winter jackets, it will take more time to dry. T-shirts will be quick enough we are sure.
  3. Number of clothes – It also depends on the amount of clothes you add to the dryer. More clothes would take more time to dry, naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better air dry or spin dry?

Air drying will save you time, money, and electricity. Since it uses a basic phenomenon to dry your clothes, there are a lot of factors you wouldn’t have to worry about when it comes to air drying.

Does air dry use heat?

No, air drying does not use any kind of heat. It just uses air sucked in from tiny vents which is then circulated inside the drum to dry out your clothes.

Do clothes shrink on air dry?

No, not at all. Air drying is extremely easy and soft on your clothes and can be a great way to dry clothes without damaging and shrinking them out.


Air drying is a relatively older technology in washing machines. While tumble drying, the usual method used in washing machine, can be effective, air drying makes things a lot easier and safer for your clothes. The gentle drying function allows wrinkle-less and clean clothes within minutes. It can be somewhat damaging to soft clothing and delicates, so make sure you take care of that. Over drying these soft clothes can be really damaging to their fibers.

Otherwise, air drying is a brilliant feature you can easily opt for in your next washing machine.