How to Air Dry Your Laundry Like a Pro
Posted by JAREK ZYLINSKI
When it comes to drying clothes, going green might not be the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, many of us don't even consider eco-friendly practices until we realize how much energy and resources are wasted in traditional methods. The truth is, your laundry room is one of the easiest places to start your eco friendly journey. One simple way you can greatly reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to laundry is by air drying your clothes instead of using a dryer. I'm here to provide tips and tricks so that you don't have to learn these through trial and error (like I did!). My experience provides lessons you can use every day in order to make sure your clean clothes remain looking as vibrant as they were on day one while also doing something great for the environment!
Why Should You Air Dry Clothes?
For many of us, hang-drying clothes can feel inconvenient and time consuming. With today’s modern washers and dryers, why bother with traditional hanging methods? Hanging-dry clothes, when possible, is actually beneficial for several reasons:
Reduce Energy Use and Carbon Footprint
As its name suggests, air drying simply uses the power of the sun and wind to dry clothes. This natural method of drying doesn’t require any electricity or gas, so it reduces energy use and helps lower your carbon footprint. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using a clothes dryer accounts for 6-10% of total energy used in households across the United States. By opting for air drying clothes instead, you can help reduce these numbers significantly.
In addition to reducing your environmental impact, hanging your clothes to air dry can also save you money. Electric dryers are one of the most expensive appliances in terms of energy use—the EPA estimates that operating a traditional electric dryer costs between $0.75 - $2 per load! By switching to air drying, you can say goodbye to those hefty price tags on your monthly energy bills and keep more money in your pocket every month.
Lengthen Clothes Life
Another major benefit of air drying is that it helps extend the life of your clothing by protecting them from damage caused by heat and tumbling in a conventional dryer. The high temperatures generated by electric dryers may shrink or damage delicate fabrics or cause colours to fade over time. Air drying is gentler on fabrics and will help preserve their condition longer reducing the wear and tear so they stay looking great!
Air Drying Tips
Shake out clothes before hanging them up to remove excess moisture and reduce wrinkles
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just transferred clothes from the washing machine to the hanger without shaking them out? If so, you may have been met with some creases and wrinkles that could have been avoided by taking an extra moment or two. A good way to reduce wrinkles that naturally occur when hanging wet clothes is to give them a good shake before styling it on the hanger; this will allow most of the excess water to drip off and give your clothes a better chance at preserving its shape. It may take a few extra minutes, but if you care about having neat and wrinkle-free clothing, it's well worth it!
Prepare your clothes before hanging
Check all garments for signs of stains before hanging them, as air drying can cause stained areas to set in further. Treat any stained garment before hanging them on clothesline. Furthermore, ensure all items of clothing are buttoned and zippered - if not, they might end up stretched or misshapen from being hung up. Lastly, turning clothing inside out can help prevent fading from the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays. With this simple preparation beforehand and an open spot to hang your clothes outdoors, you'll be sure to enjoy wrinkle free, bright-coloured apparel in no time at all!
Choose the Right Drying Pegs
Choosing the right drying pegs for air drying clothes may seem like a small task, but it can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your drying process. When selecting pegs, consider their material (stainless steel, wood or plastic), size, and shape. Wooden pegs are often preferred as they are gentle on clothes and do not leave marks. Plastic pegs can sometimes leave marks or snap, especially if used on heavier items such as blankets or towels. In terms of size, larger pegs may be necessary for thicker fabrics or larger items, while smaller pegs are ideal for delicate clothing such as lingerie or silk. The shape of the pegs can also influence their effectiveness - square pegs can leave marks on thinner fabrics, so rounded pegs may be a better choice. By choosing the right drying pegs tailored to your specific needs, you can ensure that your clothes dry effectively and remain in excellent condition.
After each use, detach them from the line and keep a handy pouch nearby so you can gather all of your pins in one spot without needing to constantly go back out!
Do not overlap
When you air dry, try to space clothes out on the line or drying rack to allow for good air circulation and faster drying times.
Fold laundry as you remove it from the line.
Air drying clothes is an energy efficient and cost-effective method for laundering clothes, but folding the clothing soon after it finishes drying can offer even more benefits. This is because when dry clothes are removed from the line early, they feel softer than items that left to crease and stiffen within their dampness. The quicker you move freshly-dried items into your laundry basket, drawer or closet, the less likely they will be to get covered in pet hair or other dirt particles. Furthermore, clean folded clothes have a crisp look that ironing simply cannot replicate. To ensure optimal results, make sure clothes are properly unwrinkled prior to folding with a few pats or shakes of the fabric - this will help avoid any stubborn creases. Taking small steps like this when you fold warm summer linens can avoid hours of chores later on down the road!
Outside Line Drying
The best way to dry your clothes outside is by taking advantage of the wind and sunshine. I take a breezy day over sunny day any day (to dry clothes, that is). Wind provides additional speed and tumbling action to get all the water off quickly and helps reduce shrinking, while sunlight helps kill bacteria and deodorize fabrics.
Keep your clothing line clean
When it comes to finding the best clothes line material for outdoor drying, it's important to consider a few factors. Specifically, you should look for washable materials that will minimize the amount of friction on clothing items as well prevent debris and dust from collecting on your wet laundry.
Cotton and linen tend to be great options as these fabrics allow garments to breathe while keeping them safe from dirt particles. Additionally, synthetics such as nylon and polyester are very lightweight and can hold up in any type of weather conditions, making them good choices for a strong clothes line. Whatever material you choose, make sure it has been treated so that your clothesline remains rust-free over time. By taking all of these features into consideration, you'll be able to find a durable yet washable material that's ideal for keeping your clothes clean when drying outside.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Air-drying in the sun and fresh air can be an enjoyable, natural way to freshen up clothes without using a dryer. The weather is often the key factor in determining whether air-dried garments will truly be refreshed, however. Humidity level, wind factor and amount of direct sunlight will have a direct effect on the drying time.
On days when it's too wet or very windy, the clothes may not become completely dry before they are brought inside. On sunny days with little wind, however, sheets and other fabric items hung outside can quickly become revitalized by the sun and clean air - leaving them smelling as fresh as a spring morning. By carefully monitoring and choosing favourable weather conditions to air dry your laundry , laundry day can become much more pleasant!
Air drying clothes outside on the line can be a great way to reduce your energy usage, but for those with allergies it can be tricky. Pollen levels in the air can seriously trigger allergies, so it’s important to check the daily pollen report before you go out and hang up washing. To make this easier, there are a range of websites and apps that will provide you with accurate information; alternatively you could use the Weather Network to get an idea of how much pollen is in the air. That way you can decide whether or not it’s worth doing some outdoor laundry on any given day.
Understand the Effect of Direct Sunlight on Your Garments
You may think that sunlight is the best thing for air drying clothes, but it is not always the case. Especially for dark and bright coloured clothes. Sun's UV rays will break down the dyes in your garments which will lead to fading. Few ways to combat this is to have your outdoor clothesline placed in the with nice, steady breeze. Have the lines to run east/west to minimize the time of direct sunlight, or turn your clothes inside out. If you set up more than four clotheslines, it's helpful to drape kitchen towels and colourful pieces over the inner ones while you leave spotless white garments out outside.
Now, when it comes to whites, the sun is your friend. It will perform natural and free bleaching session on your laundry. To get natural bleaching action from your sunshine friend - hang those whites on lines running north/south for maximum exposure!
Be aware of animal behaviour too: bird droppings are acidic, damaging to cloth fibers, and bees love bright colours like white sheets!
Allowing for extra time for drying is another key component of effective outside air drying - be sure not to overload your lines so you’ll have plenty of room to hang everything needed.
Air Dry Laundry Indoors
Not everyone has access to a backyard and most urban dwellers find themselves living in a small apartment without access to a backyard. But with a little creativity, air drying garments inside of your domicile is an achievable feat - even if you don't have access to an outdoor area or a dryer. By using folding drying rack, hangers and other space-saving tactics, air drying indoors can be more than effective. And who knows, you might even develop new found respect for this traditional task!
Get a Good Clothes Drying Rack
Finding the right clothes drying rack for your apartment can be a daunting task. You want something that is not too big and bulky, but still able to support all of your wet laundry. Make sure you look for a drying rack with adjustable heights, so you can find the perfect balance between space-saving design and well-ventilated airing. In addition, you should look for materials like stainless steel or bamboo that are resistant to mold and mildew, as these will last longer even in the less-than-ideal environment of a small apartment. With some patience and an eye for detail, you'll be sure to find the perfect rack for your laundry needs.
Urban Clotheslines has everything you may need to dry clothes inside. Foldable drying rack is best option to keep your laundry room organized.
Maximize Your Space
The key to maximizing your space when air drying clothes inside is to get creative. Hang as many clothes as you can using clothes hangers and line them up on your shower curtain rod or any door handles you can find. If you don't have enough clothes hangers, utilize your towel rack. Take advantage of as much available space as possible, but be mindful of the steam emitted during the clothes drying process, as it could damage walls or other objects in close proximity.
Keep Your Room Ventilated
Air circulation is crucial when it comes to air drying garments indoors – be sure to open windows regularly throughout continually monitor humidity levels as well as temperature inside your home during laundry duty days (or nights!). If things get too stuffy inside despite keeping windows open - invest in fans! Electric fans will help circulate hot air around rooms even faster than traditional methods like opening/closing windows would - thus speeding up drying times significantly! As an added bonus, using fans also helps keep mould growth at bay - something that's especially important during summer months when moisture levels tend to be higher than usual indoors due to increased outdoor temperature & humidity levels!
Tip: If you are unable to open your windows due to whether (either cold or humidity), simulate an outdoor breeze with a ceiling fan in the same room as your dryer. Also run your dehumidifier, if possible as it will remove the excess moisture in your home preventing the growth of mould.
How Should I Hang Clothes on a Clothesline?
Pants: To hang pants, match the inner leg seams together and pin the hems of the legs to the line with the waist hanging down. You can pin one leg to one line and the other leg to an adjacent line if there's enough space between them - they will dry faster. Make sure that you keep track of which way the wind is blowing before doing this - it will help ensure that your pants don't end up stretched or wrinkled in strange shapes!
Shirts and Tops: When it comes to t-shirts or tops, you can hang dry them by pinning them by their bottom hem at the side seams. This will help prevent any stretching or wrinkling of their shoulders. Alternatively, you can also hang them on wooden coat hangers if available and pin them securely to your clothesline.
Towels: Towels are a heavier fabric so the best way is to hang them by corners (without folding) so the whole area is exposed evenly. They will dry faster if you flip them upside down once the top part feels dry and the bottom feel dump.
Socks: Hang socks together in pairs and catch one corner of each pair with a clothespin so they dangle open for faster drying times. If you have multiple pairs of socks, be sure not to hang them too close together as this could affect their overall drying time due to blocked airflow.
Sheets, Blankets and Bed Linens: It's important not only not crease these items but also block out unnecessary wind from hitting them directly as this could cause more wrinkles than necessary when they finish drying out on your clothesline. To achieve this, fold these items in half lengthwise and clip both corners of their open ends onto your clothing line. Additionally, using one or two extra clips along each side seam can provide extra support against strong gusts of wind while they're being hanged up outside!
Sweaters and knitted tops: Do NOT hang them on clothesline, they will stretch beyond repair. Instead you need to lay sweaters and any other knitted heavier items on a flat surface to be air dried on a flat drying rack like this one here from Amazon. Always check your care label for drying instructions.
Air drying clothes is an easy way to save money and energy while also extending the life of your clothes. Follow these tips to get the most out of line-drying your clothing: choose the right clothespins, prep your clothes properly, and be conscious of both inside and outside air drying conditions. And finally, don’t forget to fold your laundry as you take it down from the line - this will make putting away clean laundry much easier! Do you have any other tips for air drying clothing? Let us know in the comments below!