How To Dry Clothes Without a Dryer: 7 Methods To Get Dry Clothes Fast

With the average family washing 8 to 10 loads per week, it’s no surprise that laundry is one of those tasks you can’t put off for too long or it’ll end up costing you more time than you bargained for.

When you live without a dryer, laundry may feel even more bothersome — especially if you’re on a time-crunch. However, there are plenty of benefits of living without a dryer. Aside from the obvious advantage of saving energy, drying your clothes without a dryer improves the longevity of your clothing, reduces your carbon footprint and saves room in small apartments.

If you are living the dryer-free life, check out these quick and strategic methods on how to dry clothes without a dryer.

1. Wring clothes out with the high spin setting

The first thing you want to do when drying your clothes without a dryer is to wring them out. One way to do this is by using the fastest speed setting on your washing machine. The speed will help remove excess water from your clothes which will improve their drying time when you hang them up.

Pro tip: You can use your hands to help make the process faster or as an alternative to the high spin cycle.

2. Hang your clothes to dry

Clothes drying on rack

Most apartments don’t allow you to hang-dry your clothes outside, so you’ll have to dedicate some indoor space to dry your clothes. Try investing in a drying rack that folds up or hangs on a wall for easy storage. Otherwise, you can get creative and hang your clothes on things around your home like a shower rod, door frame or lay them flat on a towel.

Pro tip: Make sure to have good airflow by keeping windows open or the fan on to avoid humidity or a musty smell in your home.

How long does it take to air dry clothes?

Clothes can take an average of 2 to 4 hours to dry when drying outside or near a sunny window with a light breeze coming through. However, this time can change depending on many different factors including the material, size and drying environment. If you are drying strictly indoors, clothes can take anywhere from an hour to 24 hours to dry.

3. Use a hairdryer

Hair dryer drying clothes

If you are looking for a quick and intensive way to dry your clothes, a handheld hairdryer will do the trick! Take your wrung out clothes and lay it on a flat surface. Hold the hairdryer near the clothing and dry it spot by spot with hot or warm air. Rotate the garment frequently and make sure to dry it from the inside out.

Pro tip: Be careful not to point the hairdryer in one spot for too long. If a garment gets too hot, it could cause damage.

4. Roll your clothes into a towel

An easy way to help dry your clothes is by simply twisting your garment into a towel to absorb the water. You’ll want to lay your piece of clothing on top of a large, fluffy towel and neatly roll it up. Start at one end and roll up the article of clothing until the entire towel is tightly twisted.

Pro tip: For extra absorption, try placing tissue paper on top of your wet clothes before rolling it up in the towel.

5. The iron and towel trick

Person drying clothes by ironing with a towel

To use the iron and towel trick, lay your article of clothing on an ironing board as if you are going to iron it. Place a clean towel on top of your garment and iron the towel firmly on both sides using high heat. This trick helps channel warmth into the fabric which absorbs excess moisture.

Pro tip: Never put a hot iron directly on a wet piece of clothing. This may damage the fabric, making it unwearable.

6. Dry your clothes strategically

Whether you are using a drying rack or not, make sure you shake out garments and hang or lay them neatly to avoid wrinkles. Crumpled clothes can take longer to dry. Also, setting up your drying rack or hanging clothes near a heat source like a sunny window, fireplace, radiator or furnace will speed up the drying process.

Pro tip: Make sure to never drape clothes over a heat source as this can be a fire hazard.

7. Dry small articles of clothing in the oven

Yes, it’s possible to dry your clothes in the oven. However, this method is only good for small articles of clothing like socks or underwear and can take up to an hour to fully dry. If you still want to give it a shot, preheat your oven to 100 degrees and place your small items on a baking sheet. Once the oven is heated, turn it off and place the baking sheet in the oven.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that this method may not be the best for your oven, so make sure to wring out your clothing so it’s not soaking wet when you place them in the oven.

You don't need a dryer

Let’s be honest, dryers are a luxury and not a necessity. They are expensive, wear down your clothes and use tons of energy. So whether you wash your clothes in your apartment community or at home, try some of these methods on how to dry your clothes without a dryer to find your new go-to drying technique.

Alex Heinz Alex Heinz is a writer with experience in a variety of industries from tech to lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, TechCo and PopSugar. She's lived in a handful of large cities including New York and San Diego, giving her first-hand knowledge of the ins and outs of renting. In her spare time, you can find her exploring new hikes with her dog.

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