So your clothes are wet and you need them dry – quickly. We all find ourselves in the situation sometimes where we need our clothes to dry quickly but simply don’t have a tumble dryer. It could be you are in a rush to dry an outfit because of some event you are attending later that day. Or perhaps you just live in a humid climate and hang drying your clothes is taking too long (or maybe your clothes are not drying fully leaving them damp and smelly yuck!). Or maybe you have a dryer but simply don’t want to use it regularly because you are trying to save electricity. Whatever your situation, here are some techniques on how to dry clothes faster without a dryer.
Squeeze out excess water
Wringing out out excess water will vastly speed up the drying process, whether you are using a dryer or not. This should be your first step before using any of the other techniques. There are different ways of going about wringing out excess water.
- Use the high spin wash on your washing machine. Most washing machines have a high spin setting. This removes a huge amount of excess water from your clothes. Don’t worry about the electricity though – according to the Energy Saving Trust the amount of electricity used on a high spin wash is negligible to the amount you would use for tumble dry.
- Wring your clothes by hand! Yes, old school style. Hold the garment firmly between your hands and twist firmly. Be careful not to overdo it though – you can stretch your clothes if you are not careful.
- Twist the garment onto a dry towel. Lay your garment onto the towel. Then roll it up slowly and tightly with the clothing inside. Give it an extra twist. The towel will absorb a lot of the water. You can repeat with another dry towel to remove even more excess water if it helps. This youtube shows the principle.
Drying with other appliances
While a tumble dryer is obviously the most powerful way of drying clothes, you might already have some other appliances around the house that you can use as a low-key alternative.
- Use a hairdryer. Make sure you have wrung out as much excess water, then lay your garment on flat surface or better yet let it hand somewhere. Turn on the hairdryer and direct it at different parts of your garment, front and back, inside out, until you have covered all areas. This is more about the warm air flow than the heat. Using a hand dryer works for quickly targeting specific garments or areas on a garment that are wetter than others.
- Use a towel warmer. Towel warmers aren’t just for towels they can be used for any type of clothing. Towel warmers are particularly useful if you have ongoing needs to dry your clothes faster without a dryer.
- Use an iron and a towel. Place the clothing on your ironing board and then place a thin dry towel on top of the garment. Iron on high heat as you would normally. The iron and towel combination will bring some heat to the garment and speed up the towel absorbing some of the water. Don’t forget to turn the garment over to iron the other side
Oh and if you are wondering if a microwave can be used to speed up your drying, just don’t do it!
Tips for air drying
There are several things in terms of location when hanging your clothes to air dry that can speed up the process.
Give them room. Clothes need air and ventilation to dry properly. Don’t just dump all your wet clothes onto a drying rack. Make sure each garment is spread out. Make sure there is lots of space between garments. You can hang a garment over more than just one bar if you have enough drying rack space.
Place your rack/line strategically. If you have a boiler or radiator nearby place the clothes nearby. The increased heat will speed up the drying. The movement of air also speeds up drying so if you can place the rack near an open window or in front of a blowing fan that will help.
Summary – Drying clothes faster without a dryer
The methods or combination of methods you use will depend on the speed at which you need to dry your clothes and amount of clothing you need to try. Also it’s important to consider if this is an ad-hoc thing or if you want to have a way of drying clothes faster on a regular basis. After all, using a blow dryer to dry your clothes on a daily basis will not be great for your carbon footprint or your electricity bill. Good luck!