Waiting for clothes to dry is like watching a pot of water boil, especially when you’re in a hurry. The more you check, the longer it seems to take.

And let’s be real, laundry’s pretty tedious anyway. You can multitask, loading the dishwasher or vacuuming while the cycles finish, but wouldn’t it be nice to speed things along?

There’s a hack making the rounds that promises to slash your drying time, and all you need is a towel. Here’s the theory: If you add a dry towel to the dryer with your wet laundry, your clothes dry faster.

Does it work? We talked to appliance experts Haven Polich, product manager at ASKO laundry appliances, and Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance, to see if this theory holds water.

I decided to test the theory, too. I got a definitive verdict from Patric Richardson, aka the Laundry Evangelist and author of Laundry Love: Finding Joy In a Common Chore.

So should you put a dry towel in the dryer? Let’s check with the experts.

Why Add a Dry Towel to Your Dryer?

The same reason we use towels to dry our hair or clean up messes: They’re absorbent. A dry towel in the dryer “acts as a kind of sponge, pulling excess moisture away from the wet clothes,” Shimek says. At least that’s the idea.

As the wet and dry items mix, “the dry towel absorbs some of the moisture from the wet clothes, reducing overall humidity in the dryer and allowing the clothes to dry faster,” Shimek says.

Polich says it’s a “very helpful trick if you’re in a pinch,” but the amount of time saved depends on your specific dryer. For best results, Polich says to take the towel out after five to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the load. “If you leave it in too long, it will start to become damp,” Polich says.

The point is to disperse some of the initial moisture, not give the appliance one more wet thing to dry.

Does It Work?

It depends on how you look at it. A dry towel will absorb moisture, and the added bulk could help fluff and separate your clothes, helping them dry more efficiently. “It does speed it up a little,” Richardson says.

If you’re asking if this really works as in, is this saving you tons of time that’s a little murkier. Shimek says this practice “might have a slight effect on drying time, but it’s unlikely to be a significant reduction.”

I can confirm. I dried two identical loads of towels and managed to save six minutes.

Richardson is more blunt: “I don’t think it’s worth it.”

It’s all a matter of perspective. A few minutes isn’t nothing, and if you’re doing multiple loads, it could add up. Polich says the downsides are few, as long as you remove the towel before it gets damp.

Richardson says you may end up with more wrinkles, and Shimek notes that repeatedly heating a dry towel isn’t great for the towel.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for ways to improve drying efficiency, this trick would not be at the top of the list.

How To Dry Clothes Fast

So the towel hack does (technically) work, but its usefulness is debatable. Try it for yourself and see if you can beat my six minutes.

Depending on load size, fabric makeup and whether you can remember to take the towel out after 15 minutes, it may or may not change your laundry life.

If you really want to make the most out of your dry time, try these professionally-endorsed drying tips:

Separate your clothes. “Heavy fabrics take longer to dry, so separate them from lighter items,” Shimek says.Use dryer balls:These dryer sheet alternatives improve air circulation and reduce drying time by breaking up clumps of wet clothes.Clean the lint filter: A clogged filter restricts airflow and reduces efficiency. Plus, it’s a fire hazard.Re-spin:If your clothes come out of the washer soaking, Polich recommends a quick extra spin cycle before transferring to the dryer.Don’t overload the dryer: “Overloading can result in longer drying times and less efficient drying,” Shimek says.

About the Experts

Haven Polich is a product manager at ASKO, a company specializing in Scandinavian-inspired laundry and kitchen appliances. Polich has eight years of experience in the luxury appliance market.Patric Richardson is the Laundry Evangelist, host of the Laundry Guy on HGTV and Discovery+ and author of Laundry Love: Finding Joy In a Common Chore. Check out Richardson on his YouTube channel, his many talk show appearances and in multiple national publications.Ron Shimek is the president of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company.Read More