Need to know how to dry clothes without a dryer? Here’s how to do it properly.
As the seasons change and the chill in the air picks up, gone are the days our washing dries in less than 24 hours. Welcome to the age of damp jumpers and cold pants.
Drying your clothes indoors if you don’t have a tumble dryer is no easy feat. But, there are ways to dry clothes without a dryer that won’t take all week or rack up your electricity bills at the same time.
We’ve got the tips and tricks on how to dry your clothes indoors without a dryer, and it’s easier than you might think.
How to dry clothes without a dryer
Wring washing out with the high spin setting
No dryer? No problem. Just utilise your washing machine settings to help you out…
Once your washing machine has finished its cycle, set your machine on for an extra spin — if your machine has this setting (it should). This allows the excess water in your clothes to be removed and ensures they’re not soaking wet when you take them out of the machine.
Now you can hang your clothes up without them dripping wet and taking an age to dry. Wringing out excess water helps your clothes to dry quicker. Especially if you combine this step with the rest below.
Make the most of a sunny winter day
Winter isn’t known for its sun, especially not in the UK. But don’t dismiss the sun’s rays on a winter’s day.
On days that are sunny and dry, you can still put your clothes outside to dry on a line or drying rack. Obviously check the forecast for any rain or snow, but a bit of wind may be helpful in kickstarting your drying.
Keep windows open a tiny bit
Drying clothes indoors can cause damp and mould, which is something you need to be wary of.
Find a space you’re happy to hang your laundry up and open the window just a tiny bit as this will help the evaporation from the damp clothes to escape. In fact, many homes experience condensation and steamy windows in winter due to warmth inside the home, so, it’s best practice to keep your windows open a little bit in winter to stop mould forming anyway.
Hang clothes on the curtain rail
If you need your clothes to dry quickly, the curtain rail is a great hack to try.
Not only will this lead to less creasing but the sunlight from outdoors can help to speed up the drying time, especially if you’ve opened the window slightly. This is a great way to speed things up, but don’t rely on it if you need something dry urgently, as it could still take a few hours to be fully dry.
If your radiator is by the window, then hanging the clothes off the curtain rail while the heating is on may help your clothes to dry faster. The heat will rise from the radiator and dry your clothes, along with the sun (if there is any).
Invest in a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a great way to stop mould from forming in your home and keep condensation and steamy windows away. It’s also super helpful for doing laundry as it will help to remove moisture from the air meaning your clothes will dry much faster.
You can also use your extractor fan in your bathroom and keep the door closed while your clothes are drying in there. Dehumidifiers are cheap on places like Amazon and are also energy efficient to run, so they can be super helpful to have in your home.
We recommend this dehumidifier from Amazon for its energy saving efficiency and portable, compact design, making it perfect for smaller student accommodation:
Zastion 2200ml dehumidifier — Amazon, £85.99
Try the drying rack hack
If you’re in a rush and your radiators are on, there’s a hack you can try to speed up drying your clothes indoors.
Simply place a dry bedsheet down the back of your radiator then place the other end over the top of your drying rack. This will stop warm air from escaping and effectively dry your clothes faster.
This TikTok by cleanwithjen shows how it’s done.
Use radiator airers
You should never hang your wet clothes directly onto radiators to try and dry them.
However, you can buy radiator airers for cheap on Amazon which hang off your radiators to help you dry your clothes using the heat from the radiators.
This is a good option if you find using a regular drying rack isn’t fast enough or if you need to wear something that you’ve just washed pretty soon after you’ve taken it out of the washing machine.
Here are a few of our favourite radiator airers:
Set Of 2 Radiator Airer 4 Tier — Amazon, £7.95
TradeXone 7 Bar Radiator Airer — Amazon, £11.99
Rainberg 5 Bar Radiator Clothes Airer Rack pack of 3 — Amazon, £12.99
For more laundry tips, check out the best heated clothing airers and drying racks for 2023.
How long do clothes take to dry?
If you’re wondering how to dry clothes without a dryer and how long it would take to dry, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. It depends on the material of your laundry and the way you’re drying them.
Thicker, bulkier items like jeans, jumpers, and hoodies will hold onto more water so will likely take longer to dry than lighter fabrics such as t-shirts, bedsheets, and underwear.
Drying outdoors may speed up the drying process but the weather will need to be consistent and be exposed to enough sunlight. Any chance of rain and you’ll be back at square one — wet washing.
Generally, if you need to wear something urgently like the same day or the next, it’s best not to wash and then dry without a dryer as it’s not guaranteed to be dry in time for when you need it.
Can I dry my washing outside in winter?
Yes! There’s no reason why you can’t dry your washing outside in winter, as this is one of the most effective ways to dry clothes and prevents the possibility of any mould build-up.
However, this is weather dependent and even if there is the odd sunny day, it will still be cold outside meaning that it will take longer for your clothes to dry. So, while you can dry your clothes outside in winter, it may not be the best everyday option.
Is drying clothes in a bedroom bad?
It can be bad to dry clothes inside as this can lead to mould forming, which isn’t something you want in your bedroom due to the health complications that can arise.
However, if you open a window or use a dehumidifier there’s no reason why you can’t dry your clothes in your bedroom. Maybe have the heating on, too, to ensure a quicker drying process and to prevent the risk of damp.
Can you dry clothes with a hair dryer?
A good old-fashioned hack many people may resort to if they desperately need something to dry is using a hairdryer. The simple answer is, yes you can dry clothes with a hair dryer but it’s not necessarily practical or something you should rely on.
If you really need a clean shirt for an interview and you need it to be dry asap as it’s not fully dried yet, then a few blasts with the hairdryer can speed things up, especially as it’s a light material. However, drying larger or heavier items such as jeans or trying to dry your entire laundry basket with a hairdryer isn’t really going to get you anywhere.