Do you toss every freshly washed load of laundry into the dryer? Or do you sort clothes into two piles, based on the instructions on the label - a dryer-pile and hang-up-carefully-pile? Have you every thought of cutting back on the use of the dryer even more? We have reasons why you should air-dry your clothes, and methods on how to dry your clothes outdoors, and in your home.
Advantages of Air-Drying
1. Lower your hydro bill and save on your household utility costs
2. Reduce your energy usage to be more environmentally responsible
3. Prevent static cling
4. Your clothes will have that clean and fresh smell when air-dried outside or in the sunshine
5. Reduce pilling on fabrics
6. Prolong the life of your clothes by avoiding the wear and tear of the dryer. Active wear with lycra will lose their shape and elasticity from the heat and tumble of the dryer. Delicates like bras will last much longer if you air-dry them.
7. Naturally add humidity to your home during the cold dry winter months. No need for a humidifier!
Air-drying clothes can be done with these methods:
Outdoors is the most effective way to air-dry your clothes. You don’t need a clear blue sky - just 50% sunshine, without rain, and above freezing temperatures. Throughout Ontario, you can air-dry outdoors from March, as the snow melts away and the sun gets stronger, until November, as the daylight hours wane and the cold sets in. Just bring in the clothes to warm up before you wear them! There are many options - plant a clothing umbrella in the back yard, stretch a clothes line between two trees, or from the back of your house to a fence. If that isn’t available for you, just bring a dryer rack to your back porch or balcony for a temporary clothes-drying station.
There are many options for air-drying your clothes inside your home. Whether you are in a large house or a cosy condo, there are ways to avoid the dryer. If you have a south-facing room, hang your clothes there to get the advantage of the sunshine. There are many styles of clothing racks which ensure that air can flow freely around your clothes. There are taller stands, wider ones with flat racks, and ones with extensions for hangers. Look for wall-mounted options for your laundry room or a spare bedroom. Look for flat-drying racks that can sit in a bathtub. All these racks easily fold down and can be stored in the back of the closet, under a bed, or next to your washing machine. Shirts you’ve placed on hangers can hang from your shower rail, or on over-the door racks. When they are dry, just pop them into your closet. So easy!
1. Never hang up sweaters and knits, or they will stretch and lose their shape. Lay out flat on a drying rack.
2. Open up windows where possible - the fresh air breeze will dry your clothes faster.
3. Hang pants upside down, using the clothespin on the hems of the leg cuffs.
4. Shirts can go straight onto hangers. If line-drying outdoors, use the clothespin on the bottom hem and let the arms dangle down.
5. Hang socks in pairs to make matching easy once they are dry. Pin the clothespin to the toe.
6. Bras should hang from their hook ends. Push-ups are heavier when wet, and should lay flat on a clothing rack.
7. Avoid folding bed linens in half to save space - the air should flow freely. Hanging over a line will enable air flow.
While it may seem that air-drying your clothes is time-consuming and fussy, the advantages are worth it. Shirts and tops on hangers can be put away faster than pulling wrinkled piles of them out of the dryer. Your clothes will look better for longer, and not lose their shape as quickly. And you can use the money you’ve saved on the dryer to treat yourself with something special!