When it’s dark and stormy outside, our washing lines go into seasonal retirement. But if you don’t have a dryer in your home, or are trying to save on your power bill, no problem! Here are Canstar’s top tips for drying clothes faster during winter without using a dryer.
Drying your clothes is a breeze in summer. One hot day and they’re good to go. But if it’s pouring down and you’ve just finished a load of laundry, you might think your only hope of getting it dry is with a tumble dryer.
But clothes dryers use a considerable amount of electricity – an average load costs around a dollar to dry. However, fear not! There are certain tricks that can ensure your sheets and clothes get dry in the depths of winter dryer-less. After all, no one wants soggy socks!
Use your washing machine on the fastest spin setting
If you put your washing machine on the fastest spin-cycle possible, it’ll help reduce the length of time it takes clothes to dry. It does this by spinning out excess water. Of course, make sure you check the label on your clothes, to see if there’s anything delicate in there before sending it on an intense spin.
Don’t overfill the washing machine
Squishing clothes in together will only make them damper at the end of the wash, meaning they’ll take longer to dry. Keep a bit of space in the washing machine so your garments can move around freely.
Use a drying rack
A drying rack lets air distribute evenly around your washing. It can help a lot to place it near a source of heat, like direct sunlight. Keep in mind you’ll need to ventilate the room thoroughly (open a window), otherwise you’ll end up with a space full of warm, moist air.
Pick the right room
The secret to getting laundry dried quickly inside is making sure you position the drying rack in a room with low humidity. Better yet, put your clean clothes in a room with open windows and good air-flow. Avoid leaving the drying rack in your living room. Try to place it in the bathroom, kitchen or hallway, or anywhere you spend less time.
Spread clothes out evenly
Make sure you aren’t over-loading your drying rack. Heavier fabrics and clothing, like pants and sweaters, should be hung on the outer rungs. Smaller, quick-drying fabrics, like underwear and socks, on the inner and lower rungs.
Open all buttons and zips
Open zips and buttons on tops, pants and sleeve cuffs, and pull out pockets to aid the drying process.
Move clothes around
Check your clothes to see how well they’re drying. If one particular section is drying better than the rest, rotate it to let the other parts dry.
Open windows are the best way to get fresh air flowing through a room. Fresh air can prevent moisture damage and create a healthier climate in your home. That’s why it’s key to air your house even more on winter days, especially when you have damp clothing drying indoors.
Utilise your heating
If you have a heater on in a room, you can hang your laundry nearby, at least a metre or so away from the heater. The warm and dry air will get your clothes dry faster.
Heating costs can add up, but if you’re mindful with your electricity use and consider what heating is the most energy efficient for your home, your bill doesn’t have to spike.
If you’re concerned about your power use, also consider whether you’re on the best deal for your household, as you could secure a better rate. Canstar compares electricity providers so you can compare your options easily:
Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.
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Canstar Blue NZ Research finalised in April 2021, published in June 2021.
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Use a dehumidifier next to your drying rack
You could also consider putting a dehumidifier next to your drying rack. They can be a little noisy, but a dehumidifier will suck up moisture and can create a breeze and warmth that will help the clothing dry.