So, you’ve just washed a load of laundry at the laundromat and rolled it over to the dryer. You throw your wet clothes into the drum and begin inserting quarters, but you realize you don’t know how long your clothes need to stay in the dryer to become fully dry. You don’t want to pull out damp clothes, but you also don’t want to “over dry” your clothes (especially if you’re using a high heat setting) or spend more quarters or waste more time than necessary. People who have been using laundromats for years generally know how long to dry clothes at the laundromat, but if you’re new to commercial dryers, you may need a little advice. Scroll down for some helpful tips.


Knowing how long to dry clothes at the laundromat offers several benefits:

  • You will save money – and use fewer of your precious quarters.
  • You will save time – and get in and out of the laundromat as quickly as possible.
  • You will save your clothes – and prevent over drying, which damages clothing and may cause shrinkage or warped elastic.

Let’s start with a rough estimate. Generally, it takes about 24 to 40 minutes to dry an average load of laundry on a medium setting. However, some loads will only take 20 minutes, and others may require 60 minutes or more.


The types of items in the load and their fabrics will heavily influence how long they take to dry. If all of the items in the load are thin and their fabrics don’t hold a lot of moisture, it won’t take the dryer much time to thoroughly dry them. However, if the load contains any of the following items, prepare for a longer drying session:

  • Comforters
  • Towels
  • Thick blankets
  • Denim
  • Stuffed toys
  • A full load of bath towels may require 60 minutes of drying on high heat, while a load of underwear and socks may only take 24 minutes on a low setting. To optimally dry your clothes, try to wash similar items together. For example, if you mix towels and t-shirts in a load, you’ll over dry the t-shirts if you run the load until the towels are dry. Instead, dry your towels and t-shirts separately.


  • If you want to shorten the drying time, you could wash multiple loads at once in larger dryers. In addition, try to choose a laundromat with modern, efficient dryers and be sure the dryer’s lint filter is clean before you run the load. Finally, remember that it’s not the end of the world if a few items are not fully dry when you take them home! Simply hang them up when you get home, allowing them to air dry.
  • Clearly, many variables are involved when it comes to drying clothes: the size of the load, the items, the fabric types, the ambient humidity, the dryer efficiency, the dryer setting, the style, and length of the vent pipe, etc. If you’re uncertain how long to run the dryer at your laundromat, you could ask an employee for help. Or simply make a guess and aim on the low side. If the items aren’t dry afterward, add more time (keeping track of your progress). At the end, you’ll know how long it took your load to dry. And then the next time you’re drying a similar load, you’ll know how long to run the dryer.