Best Ways To Dry Clothes Without A Dryer

Best Ways To Dry Clothes Without A Dryer

Washing and drying clothes is one of the constant chores that comes with life, and it's one you can't put off if you want to have clean clothes to wear. Washing clothes is easy enough, but getting them to dry can be hard depending on your living situation and everyday factors like the weather. And if you want to save on your electricity bills, learning how to dry clothes without a dryer can be especially hard!

At Spotlight we know the importance of keeping your clothing in good condition, and drying things wrong can lead to faded colours, fraying edges and even shrunken clothes. This guide will help you discover all the best ways to air dry your clothes, indoors, outdoors and with space constraints for those living in small spaces like apartments or units. So read on, and discover how to dry clothes without a dryer today!

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How Long Do Clothes Take To Dry?

With so many kinds of clothing available, how long do clothes take to dry when you're air drying them at home? Certain external factors can speed up the drying process (sunlight, warm air) or slow it down (humidity, cold air), but the actual material your clothing is made from can also affect its drying time.

Sportswear made from synthetic materials like polyester can dry very quickly when hung up, as the material repels water and encourages it to evaporate. Sometimes they will be ready to store away in as little as an hour!

In contrast, a cotton t-shirt or thick woolly jumper will absorb and hold onto the water, which will give them a greater drying time - expect thicker laundry to take up to eight hours to dry.

How To Dry Clothes In Summer

Warmer days = faster drying times, so in summer drying clothes is easy! Longer days give us more sunshine and warm winds, which are key to drying clothes outdoors, while open windows that let in that fresh summer breeze are perfect for drying clothes indoors as well.

Drying clothes indoors in summer

If you don't have the space to dry your clothing outdoors, you can still dry them inside while taking advantage of the summer weather. If you plan to dry clothes indoors you will need a portable drying rack or a more permanent set-up somewhere like the laundry or bathroom.

If you intend on creating a permanent spot for your clothes to dry, like by installing a rack or lines, make sure to do it in a room with windows or plenty of ventilation.

If you have a portable drying rack, always place it somewhere with good airflow and preferably some natural light, so you can take advantage of the summer weather.

Open windows near your drying clothes to help circulate the air around them. Warm air will help them dry, and allowing the air to flow will prevent moisture from your clothing gathering in your home, creating humidity and potentially causing mould.

Drying clothes outdoors in summer

Drying clothing outdoors is definitely the preferred method of drying your clothes in summer - nothing beats the fresh feel and smell of clothing dried naturally in the sun!

Line drying in direct sunlight is great for white clothing in particular, as the sun can brighten whites similarly to bleach. Pastel colours can also handle strong light, but bright and dark colours should line dried in the shade, otherwise colours can fade. If you are especially worried, turn your clothing inside out before hanging them up to protect them from fading.

If the summer breeze is a little too strong, make sure to peg your clothing down securely, particularly ones you may just drape across the line like bed sheets and bath towels.

How To Dry Clothes In Winter

How To Dry Clothes In Winter

In the cold, wet months of winter, drying clothes becomes much more difficult, both inside and outside the home. When deciding how to dry clothes in winter, much of what you can do will be defined by your available indoor and outdoor space.

Drying clothes indoors in winter

If you don't have a covered area outdoors, you will have no choice during winter but to dry your clothes inside your home. When drying clothes inside, one of the most important factors is the room you choose - you want a well-ventilated space where the moisture from your clothes can escape from, rather than hang around in. Rooms like the laundry and bathroom will usually have a vent in the roof for steam and air to escape into.

If rooms like this aren't suitable, a space with windows you can open is your next best choice, as air movement (even from cold air) will help dry your clothes and keep your home free from mould and moist air.

If you have ducted heating, positioning a drying rack over one of these vents is a useful way to dry your clothes quickly in the warm air. However, the same cannot be said for a radiator - you must never place any clothing over a switched-on radiator. Not only does it heighten the chance for mould to grow above it, but it is also a fire hazard!

Drying clothes outdoors in winter

Even though the sun might not be as strong in winter and it will take longer, drying your clothes is still a great choice for many reasons.

The main reason is all the moisture from your clothing will safely evaporate outside - no mould concerns here!

While the cooler climate may mean your clothes dry a little slower than they would in your heated home, any air movement outside will help dry your clothes as well as freshen them up, giving them a pleasant scent you won't get from indoor drying.

Again, pegging down your clothing is especially important for the wild weather you can get in winter. Spread your clothing out and peg them securely to avoid them blowing away in a storm!

Drying Clothes In An Apartment

When you live in an apartment, you may not have the luxury of extra space like a dedicated laundry or large bathroom where you can hang your clothes inside. And your tiny balcony may not be the safest space to hang your clothing outdoors!

Here is how to air dry clothes in an apartment, no matter your size constraints!

  • Mount a drying rack on, under or near your window. Wall-mounted racks are a great choice when you don't have floor space to spare, and mounting one under or next to a window allows you to take advantage of any sunlight or fresh air that will come through when drying clothes.
  • Place a rack over your ducted heating vents to take advantage of your indoor heating during the colder months. The warm air will help dry your clothes much faster than room-temperature air alone!
  • Line dry on your balcony or fire escape. You'll want to use any outdoor space you can to dry your clothes, and this includes spaces that are high up! Make sure to secure your clothing with pegs, because if they blow away and off your property you might have some trouble finding them again. Be aware that if your balcony or fire escape is a shared space you will want to coordinate with your neighbour about using it to dry clothes.
  • Door-mounted drying racks are a great way to save space without a permanent fixture. Simply hook the rack over the top of your door and hang your clothing on the attached rails! This is a great option for those who cannot make permanent fixtures in their apartment, like students at university or renters.
  • Installing a retractable clothesline in the bathroom allows you to make the most of a space designers to handle moisture, while also not creating a fixture that is going to get in your way. Your bathroom tiles can handle any drips too!
Clothes Drying Tips And Tricks

Clothes Drying Tips And Tricks

Now that you know what your options are for drying clothes, here are some of our favourite tips and tricks for you to learn how to dry clothes quicker!

  • Drying socks and underwear in the sun helps sanitise them, as the bright, direct sunlight can kill any leftover germs and bacteria left behind from the wash.
  • Avoid using wooden pegs if there is ever a chance they will get wet! Wooden pegs can hold onto moisture from rain, which can then cause them to stain any clothing you use them with. Keep pegs safe in a peg caddy to keep them clean and dry!
  • Wipe your outdoor clothesline before use. This will dislodge any bird droppings, dust and critters which may have taken up residence there - spiders love to create webs on clotheslines, particularly ones under shelter.
  • Shake out clothes between transferring them from your washing machine to the line. This will fluff up any fibres that may have been compressed in the washer and prevent the fabric from clinging to itself as it dries. Altogether, this means your clothing will dry faster and with fewer wrinkles!
  • If you or anyone in your family suffer from pollen allergies, keep an eye on the pollen count on days you want to dry your clothing outside. Pollen can easily stick to your freshly-washed clothing, which will make indoor living for allergy sufferers quite uncomfortable.
  • If you want to simulate air flow inside your home when drying clothes, try opening a window and positioning a fan to blow air through your clothes and outside. This will help your clothes dry faster, as well as ensuring the moist air is removed from inside your home.
  • Drying large items like sheets can take up a lot of space on your clothesline, and they can take ages to dry! Speed up the process by hanging a few clothes hangers underneath your sheets with their edges sticking out to the sides - this will spread out your sheets, preventing each one from sticking to itself and helping them dry faster thanks to the increased airflow.

Discover More Home Life Hacks With Spotlight

We hope you can make the most of these amazing air drying hacks at home! Now that you know how to dry clothes quickly and effectively, browse Spotlight's range of washing and drying racks, bags and more online for a great range of handy tools to make drying clothes easy at home. You can also visit your local Spotlight store, where our friendly team will help you find the right drying racks and bags to suit your space.

For more lifestyle tips, check out our blogs on organising your pantry and washing towels correctly, as well as our laundry storage buying guide.




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