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How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Dryer

There are plenty of ways to dry clothes quickly without a dryer. Here are just a few.


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A tumble dryer isn’t a necessity in a modern household. While it’s quick and convenient, there are plenty of ways to dry clothes quickly without a dryer.

Alternatives to tumble dryers can be equally fast and are often better for the environment. They’re also less likely to shrink your clothes!

Does a washing machine dry clothes too? Yes! Use a high spin cycle so your clothes come out the machine as dry as possible and ready to hang.

How to Dry Clothes in a Washing Machine?

Does a washing machine dry clothes? Yes, in a way – the spin cycle at the end of a wash extracts moisture from your clothes, leaving them damp instead of dripping wet. How to dry clothes in a washing machine? Select the highest spin speed suitable for the load to remove as much water as possible without damaging your clothes. Use low spin speeds for delicate fabrics.  

How to dry your clothes completely? Where possible, it’s best to air-dry your clothes – either indoors or out in the fresh air. Air drying has many benefits, including:

  • Reducing wear and tear on clothes that a tumble dryer could case

  • Preventing static cling that might occur in machine dried clothes

  • Keeping energy bills and environmental impact low

How to Dry Your Clothes Outside?

How do clothes dry quickly outside? It all depends on warmth and air movement. While drying clothes on a radiator works well, hanging them outside exposes them to air movement, which speeds up the drying process. There are also some differences to note between drying white and coloured clothes:

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1.     How to dry your clothes – whites

How do clothes dry in the sunlight? Very well, if they're white. Sunlight helps keep whites bright and fades any stains that might not have come out in the wash. Enhance this whitening effect on any hand-washed garments by using Surf washing powder, which has a unique whitening granule that delivers superior whiteness.

2.     Where to dry coloured fabrics

Light from the sun can cause colours to fade, so keep bright or deep-dyed fabrics in the shade. If this isn’t possible, simply turn them inside out. If you regularly dry clothes in the sun, use a colour care detergent such as Skip to maintain the vibrancy of your coloured garments and keep them looking newer for longer.

3.     How to hang your clothes

Arrange clothes on a line or drying rack so that each item is separate, with room between one piece of clothing and the next. Shake clothes out before pegging them to the line to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Who doesn’t want to save time on their ironing?

Next time you think about drying clothes on the radiator, check the weather to see if the elements will do a quicker job.

Key steps

  • Wash your clothes with a whitening or brightening washing powder

  • Selecting the highest spin cycle suitable for your laundry load

  • Bypass the tumble dryer and air dry your clothes instead

  • Dry whites in the sunlight and coloured fabrics in the shade

  • Hang clothes to maximise drying speed

How To Dry Clothes Quickly Without A Dryer

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you dry clothes on a rainy day?

When the rain is pouring down and you don’t have a tumble dryer, you can still get your clothes dry inside. After washing your clothes, put them on the highest spin cycle possible for a quick spin to get the most moisture out of the clothes and then hang them up in a bright room on a drying rack. If you can open the windows or get a fan blowing in the room for additional air flow, that would be great.

How long does it take to air dry clothes?

It all depends on the weather really. On a bright, hot summer day your clothes will take quite quickly to dry, probably between 1 – 2 hours. But on a cooler or cloudy day they can take much longer.

Do clothes dry quicker inside or outside?

Again, it really depends on what the weather is like outside. If it’s a cold day with cloud cover or even raining, your clothes will dry much quicker inside in a warmer room. However, if it is a warm and sunny day, then hang your clothes up outside for the quickest dry.

Is it ok to dry clothes outside overnight?

We’ve all forgotten our washing out at night, haven’t we? It’s not ideal to leave clothes outside overnight as they could get damp due to the moisture in the air as the air cools at night and therefore not dry. But, if it happens occasionally don’t worry, just leave them to dry out properly in the sun the next morning.

Do you need heat to dry clothes?

Heat is not the only element needed to dry clothes, in fact, air is more important. As long as clothes are subjected to a good air flow, either inside or outside, they will dry. Air flow and heat combined, like a bright sunny day outside, is the perfect combination if you don’t have a dryer.

Originally published