Doing the laundry is one of those time-consuming tasks that make one fantasize about time travel. Is it possible to speed up the time it takes for clothes to dry?
Totally! There are several tips and tricks to get your clothing to dry in no time.
- Getting as much water out after you wash your clothes is key to helping them dry quicker.
- Wring them out or use a high-speed spin cycle on your washing machine.
- Hang your clothes up outside on a line or drying rack on a warm, sunny, breezy day.
- Heat and airflow speed up the drying process indoors.
But what if you don’t have a clothesline or a tumble dryer, or it’s rainy outside, and you can’t hang your clothes out to dry?
You certainly don’t need to worry about damp clothes.
In this article, we cover all the ways you can dry your clothes as fast as possible; indoors, outdoors, using a dryer, or without.
How Long Does It Normally Take For Clothes To Dry?
Clothing can take anywhere from an hour to 24 hours to dry, depending on the conditions. Hanging your clothes up to dry outside or next to a sunny, open window normally takes between 2 and 4 hours.
Drying heavy fabrics indoors can take a long time. Denim and thick cotton hoodies can take up to a day to dry hanging up in your house.
If you need to dry a piece of clothing and you do not have hours to spare, you need to find a way to speed this process up!
Factors That Speed Up The Drying Process
Clothing dries as water in the fabric evaporates. A few factors influence how quickly water evaporates, and we should consider these when we are trying to make our clothes dry faster.
The following things influence the drying process:
- Temperature – warmth speeds up the drying process.
- Humidity – thedrying process is faster in low humidity
- Airflow – moving air makes the drying process go faster.
- Surface area – the greater the amount of surface exposed to air, the faster a thing will dry.
Each of these factors gives us a hint at how we can optimize our clothes drying time.
How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Dryer
People have washed their clothes for hundreds of years without dryers. A tumble dryer is a convenient appliance to have, but there are plenty of other ways to dry your clothing without one.
These are the fastest, most effective methods to dry your clothes without a dryer:
- Use a clothesline or drying rack to hang them up. Clothes dry the fastest when the weather is warm, dry, and breezy. If the humidity level is low enough, they will dry on cooler, overcast days.
- If you have to hang your clothes up inside your home, set the drying rack up in a room with a heat source, like a radiator or fireplace. Place a fan near the clothes to move the warm air over the fabric. A dehumidifier is optional.
- Use a hairdryer to quickly dry a few small items.
- Iron your damp garment through a clean, dry towel.
- Dry small items, like socks and undies, in the oven.
Make Your Clothes Dry Quickly Hanging Up
The key to getting your clothes to dry quickly on the line is making sure you get as much water out of the clothing as possible before you hang them up to dry.
If your washing machine has a setting for a high-speed spin cycle, use it after washing your clothes with a normal wash cycle. The extra spin will get lots of moisture out of the garments.
The way you hang your clothes also makes a difference in how long they take to dry!
Make sure you hang garments as open and flat as possible – pull pockets inside out and give each item a firm shake before you hang it.
Hang your clothes over two wires rather than one. This increases the amount of surface area, so water can evaporate faster.
Dry Your Clothes Indoors Fast
To hang your clothes out to dry on a warm, sunny day is all well and good, but there are always those laundry days when it’s drizzly and overcast.
You know there is no chance your clothing will dry if you hang it up outside.
Your only option is to dry your clothing inside your house or garage. Set up a DIY clothesline or use a drying rack (or both, if you have a large load).
When you need to dry clothing indoors, it is even more crucial to spin as much water out as possible.
Consider two consecutive spin cycles after the normal washing cycle.
Hang your clothes up, leaving big gaps between things. Allow as much air as possible to flow between the garments to speed drying.
Place an oscillating fan in front of the drying clothes to move the air in the room. It also helps to put a heater in the room or set the drying rack up near a radiator or fireplace.
If you have a dehumidifier, use it. This will speed up the drying time even more.
Use A Hairdryer To Dry Clothes Fast
A hairdryer is very useful when you need to dry a few small items, like socks, in a hurry. You can dry a damp shirt in just a few minutes.
You do need to be careful when using this method. Take the necessary precautions to protect your clothes and your hairdryer.
Set the hairdryer to warm or hot. Do not bring the hairdryer too close to the item you are drying or heat a particular spot for too long.
The heat from a hairdryer is enough to singe some synthetic fabrics. For delicate items with lace, rather use the cold setting.
Hold the dryer a few inches from the item and move the hot air back and forth over the fabric.
Do not try to blow dry a garment while you are wearing it. It will dry like this, but it will take longer. Hang the item of clothing up and let the air flow through the fabric.
You can also lay the item down on a flat, clean surface. Focus on one area at a time until the whole garment is dry.
Dry Clothes Quickly With An Iron And A Towel
You should never place a hot iron directly onto a wet item of clothing, but indirectly heating the garment through a towel is a good way to dry it quickly.
Lay your damp item of clothing flat on the ironing board, and place a nice thick, clean towel over it. Iron the item over the towel, pressing down firmly.
The towel will absorb the moisture while the hot iron’s temperature steams the fabric.
You can dry clothing with the iron and towel trick in minutes!
How To Quickly Dry Your Socks In The Oven
If you are in a hurry to dry a few pairs of socks or underwear, place them on a baking sheet and pop them into an oven preheated to 100 degrees.
You can cut down the drying time to about an hour. Keep in mind, the items must be thoroughly wrung or spun so that they are not sopping wet.
Choose The Right Day to Do Your Laundry
Be strategic about when you do your laundry. Have a look at the weather forecast for the next few days and try to plan around warm, sunny days.
Clothing dries much faster when the weather is warm, and there is a breeze. Warm, overcast weather is good for drying clothes, but cool and overcast, not so much.
Look at the atmospheric humidity – this is the amount of moisture in the air as a percentage.
Your laundry will take ages to dry on days 90% humidity (if it’s 100% humidity, don’t even bother hanging your clothes up to dry).
The ideal humidity for outdoor drying is 75% or lower.
Humidity is highest in the morning and in the evening. The least humid part of the day is the middle of the day. This is, therefore, the best time to dry your clothes.
Wring Clothes Out With A Towel
If you don’t have a washing machine to spin the excess water out of your clothes, there is another way to squeeze water out of garments. Grab a nice thick, clean, dry towel!
Lay the towel down and place your wet items flat on the towel. Starting at one end of the towel, start to roll it up. Imagine making a laundry Swiss roll.
Once you’ve got the towel rolled up, start squeezing it at one end and move down the length of the roll. Twist and wring so that the moisture is absorbed by the towel.
This is a fantastic method to pre-dry clothes before you hang them up, put them in the dryer, blow dry them, or use the iron and towel method.
How To Make Your Clothes Dry Faster In A Dryer
If you have a tumble dryer, the following tips are for you:
- Firstly, don’t overload your dryer. Not only does it put strain on the motor, but your clothes take much longer to dry. You also end up using more electricity.
- Don’t put wet clothes in the dryer. They need to be damp. The weight from the excess water in wet clothes puts stress on the dryer motor, and clothes take extremely long to dry.
- Get as much of the excess water out of the clothes as possible before putting them in the dryer. Either use a high-speed spin cycle in your washing machine or wring your wet clothes out in the sink.
- Put a fresh, dry towel into the dryer along with your damp garments. The towel will you’re your clothes dry faster by absorbing some of the moisture. If you are drying a handful of items, put the towel in for 5 minutes. For a full load, leave it in for 15 minutes. Hang the damp towel up to air dry after your clothes are dry.
- Sort your laundry by weight – put heavy items and lighter items in the dryer separately.
- Put long, stretchy items in dryer bags so that they don’t tangle up the rest of the laundry in the dryer. If items are twisted and crumpled, they do not dry evenly.
- Choose the right setting for the garments you are drying.
Maintain Your Dryer So That It Dries Clothes Faster
If you maintain your tumble dryer properly, it dries clothes much faster. For maximum efficiency, you must clean out the dryer’s lint trap before each cycle.
When the dryer is running, hot, humid air flows out via the lint trap. If it becomes blocked, the moist air will stay around your clothes, slowing down the drying process.
Don’t let the duct pipe get bent or twisted behind the machine – it is better to keep your dryer standing a few inches away from the wall.
Check that the dryer feet are level. This will make sure your dryer doesn’t “walk” while it spins.
Do Dryer Sheets Make Your Clothes Dry Faster?
Dryer sheets are a staple in the laundry room, but few people actually know why we use them. Besides giving laundry a pleasant fragrance and making clothes feel soft, they also reduce static inside the dryer.
Static electricity builds up in the dryer when loose electrons are removed from clothes as they rub together, leaving them with a slightly negative charge.
Static items hold together or cling. Synthetic fabrics are most prone to developing static cling.
However, there is little evidence that reducing the static cling inside the dryer makes clothing dry faster. Dryer sheets also have some negative drawbacks.
The residue from dryer sheets builds up on your clothes and in your tumble dryer. Over time is clogs the lint trap, making your machine less efficient.
To get your clothes to dry as fast as possible, do your laundry on a warm, sunny day and hang things out to dry in the middle of the day.
On those days when hanging clothes up outside just isn’t an option, hang them up inside and turn on a fan and a heater to speed up the dryer process.
If you are in a real hurry and need to dry your clothing in minutes, use a hairdryer, or iron your garments through a thick, dry towel. These are tried and tested methods to get your clothes dry in no time!