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How to quickly (and safely) dry your clothes indoors without a tumble dryer

By Matt Ayres, Appliance Expert at RDO Kitchens & Appliances

As the UK faces gales of 97mph today, Brits will have to face drying their clothes indoors or risk losing their laundry. But this can be challenging if you don’t have the convenience of a tumble dryer. 

However, with a bit of creativity and some simple techniques, you can efficiently and safely dry your clothes indoors during the stormy winter months…


Run an extra drain cycle

If you don’t have a tumble dryer at home, it’s still possible to use your washing machine to cut down on drying time. Most modern washing machines come with additional spin or drain options which can be run after the wash cycle to remove any additional moisture from your clothing.

While this option does require extra energy use – the costs of this would be minimal. Depending on the energy rating of the washing machine and the length of the cycle – this could cost between 12p and 20p per cycle.

Use towels to absorb moisture

Before hanging your clothes up on an airer – use a dry, clean towel to squeeze out additional moisture from your clothes. Simply lay the towel flat and place the wet items of clothing on top of it. Then roll up the towel and ring it out to remove excess water. This extra step can help significantly cut down the drying time of sopping wet clothing.

If there is a lot of condensation buildup in your home, place absorbent towels near the drying area to catch any excess moisture released during the drying process. This helps in preventing the accumulation of moisture on floors or surfaces and reduces the risk of mould growth.

Invest in a dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is extremely useful if you need to do multiple loads of laundry each week and find that your home always has a clotheshorse up drying clothes. Using a dehumidifier in the room where you are drying your clothes can help speed up the drying process.

Hang clothes strategically

The way that clothes are hung up can impact how long it takes for them to dry. While it may be tempting to pile on as many clothes as possible to get them all dry – this can be counter-productive.

Overcrowding can lead to prolonged drying times as there isn’t enough air circulation. To maximise air circulation around the clothing, leave enough space between them on the drying rack or clothesline. This allows the air to flow freely and ensures that each item dries evenly. 

Hang shirts and trousers on coat hangers to help free up additional space on the drying rack. Not only does this ensure that clothes aren’t overcrowded, but it’ll also save you the hassle of ironing these items. 

Maximise natural heat sources

Take advantage of natural heat sources in your home by placing your drying rack or clothesline near windows where sunlight can penetrate.  Position the drying area in a room that receives maximum sunlight during the day.

It’s also best to crack open the window to allow moist air to escape, especially if you are drying clothes in a confined space.

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Rotate your clothes

If you're drying a large batch of clothes, periodically rotate the items on the drying rack to ensure uniform drying. This allows each piece of clothing to receive adequate exposure to heat and air, preventing some items from staying damp while others dry.

Avoid the radiators

Drying clothes on radiators seems like an obvious choice as they are excellent heat sources but it’s best to avoid this trick for drying your clothes.

Leaving clothes to dry on the radiator can damage your clothes, especially if the heat is too high. This heat could cause clothes to shrink, especially if they are made of natural fibres like wool or linen. 


Drying clothes on the radiators can also create more condensation, which can lead to mould growth in your home.

Matt Ayres, Appliance Expert
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