Can you dry clothes in a microwave?

A bit of a daft question I know but…

Since moving into my new house we haven’t got a washing machine or a dryer. I have a shift in the kitchen in my pub tonight and my whites are filthy. If I wash them in the bath can I dry them in the microwave or will it result in busting my microwave and burning my house down?

This is speculative since I’ve never done it. I don’t think it would hurt the microwave oven but it might hurt your clothes. It certainly won’t give you the results you would get in a clothes dryer. I don’t recommend it.

Microwaves will only penetrate about an inch or so, so you’re bunched up clothes will only dry on the outside.

Drying clothes in a fixed, bunched-up position will have an effect tantamount to ironing wrinkles into the clothes.

Microwaves excite the water molecules, which will boil off. This will expose the fabric to much higher temperature than it might in a clothes dryer, although I don’t know the ramifications of that.

I believe microwaves also excite oil molecules. Some synthetic fabrics are made from petroleum products, and I would guess they could get very hot, maybe even melt or burn.

Hang your clothes to dry.

I can only give you anecdotal evidence…

But I once attempted to dry a pair of underwear in the microwave. The cotton dried fine… however the elastic waistband melted to a nice dripping scorched black state… so I wouldn’t recommend it for anything that contains plastic… and of course nothing with zippers or metal rivets like jeans…

Drying clothes in the Microwave…

Not unless you want to set yourself up for a Darwin Award.

I wouldn’t do it, you risk melting your clothes perhaps. Some people warm napkins that way- but thats like a 30 second thing.

There are other methods to dry clothes, just hang them in a warm room from a line you put up. You can even get a retractable line at the store used to do this sort of thing.

Do you have a box fan? You could clip the cloths one piece at a time to the fan and dry then, no wrinkles either. I used to do this back in my poor days. Of course keep an eye on it. As I recall about 30 minutes for a tee shirt. I guess a laundrymat would be out of the question…

Re: Drying clothes in a microwave:

I used to do this all the time with my sports kit (at Uni) if I had a lot of mid-week matches (when I had no tumble dryer) and my kit needed washed three or four times a week. I was always in a rush to get it dried on time. It worked fine, IIRC. (Kit was all cotton though)

Another starving-college-student story:

Hang the wet clothes in your shower, then hit them with a hair dryer. Fluff fabric frequently with your hands to ensure even drying. Turn item inside out when necessary. Takes a while with thick items (like denim), but will work.

Really, it’s better to plan ahead and hang your clothes up overnight in the shower or over a door frame.

The hospital that I go to to donate platelets used to heat blankets in the microwave. This was a waffle type blanket that was sized for a hospital bed.

They came out nice and toasty. I was amazed the first time I saw it done. Now they have a dedicated warming cabinet.

I’m going to try warming my bath towel sometime.

It’s really a gamble. My kid brother used to do this with success quite often with small pieces of clothing. OTOH he had a pair of socks catch on fire - not just scorching, actual flames- so…it’s a gamble.

Funny, becuase a nurse I know tried this and came very very close to starting a fire. Blanket was scorched.

I must note the OP asked IF you could dry them in a microwave, answer is, yes.

SHOULD you dry clothes in a microwave? Nope :slight_smile: