Drying clothes in winter is always problematic no matter where you live. The dim sun, shorter days and cold weather are simply not ideal for drying laundry. There are however a few options available for drying your washing quickly in winter preventing that unwanted musty smell and ensuring that you always have clean clothes to wear.
1. Invest In A Dryer
This may seem like a pretty obvious solution to drying clothes in winter. However, there are some reasons that many people choose not to use a clothes dryer. Most importantly, the drying process damages the fibers of the clothing meaning that they simply do not last as long as air dried clothes.
Some clothing items and materials are not suitable to be placed in machine dryers. In these cases, the items may become stretched, shrink or damaged in some other way. Another problem is that clothes dryers sap power meaning that your electricity bill will show the additional load and that it is not exactly and environmentally friendly solution.
On the other hand, it can be used in a more economical fashion while preventing damage to your clothing. Simply place a load in the machine on a low heat setting for a short period of time and then hang out to dry the rest of the way.
2. The Early Bird
Due to the limited hours of sunlight in winter, you need to get an early start on the washing to make the most of the daylight hours for drying time. If you simply cannot face the cold that early in the morning, do your laundry the night before and hang it out as soon as possible.
3. Spin It
A spin function is part and parcel of most cycles found on automatic washing machines, whether front or top loading. Selecting an additional spin can remove even more excess water for faster drying in winter. Be aware that this could cause additional creasing.
If you are hand-washing, select a gentle spin cycle on your machine and allow the process to extract at least some of the excess water before hanging. Shorter spins are better for delicate items.
3. The Weather Report
Read, watch or listen to the weather report. If it is more than likely to be cloudy the next day, put your laundry off for a sunnier day. Also pay attention to the wind factors. Windier days are better for drying laundry than still days. In fact, wind will dry your clothes faster than sun in winter.
Although it rains less in winter in most parts, it is important to keep an eye on the weather. A short rainfall will require that the laundry be rewashed or at least go through another spin cycle.
4. Turn It
Turning your washing regularly throughout the day will speed up the drying time. Don’t just turn it from back to front but also from top to bottom for a more efficient drying process. Although this can be a time consuming, laborious task, it is the ideal way to reduce drying time.
5. The Dew Factor
Just because the air is dryer and colder, does not mean that evening dew will not set in. Make sure that your laundry is brought in before the dew hits. The dew in winter can significantly wet the clothing items to the extent that they will need to be rewashed and dried the next day. Keep in mind that as the sun sets earlier in winter, the dew will hit earlier.
It is advisable to hang your washing indoors over night if it has not had time to dry during the day. However, it is just as important to take it out again the next day to prevent the washing from becoming musty. A clothing horse or portable laundry line is ideal for this purpose as it reduces the amount of time and effort you need to spend hanging and rehanging garments indoors and outdoors.
6. Indoor Drying
This is the least recommended route to take for drying clothes in winter and should only be a last resort. If you simply have no option it is recommended to take the following steps:
– Make sure that the laundry is hung in a large, well aired space.
– Open all the doors and windows to allow the air to circulate naturally.
– Use fans and/or heaters to accelerate the drying time and further improve air circulation in the room.
– Hang laundry so that it is not touching and ensure that each item has enough room to dry effectively.
Although it might be uncomfortable to have this much air circulating through your house in winter, it is the ideal way to ensure quick drying and prevent bad odors.
If your laundry has picked up a funky odor from indoor drying, it is best to hang the affected items out in the sun as soon as possible. This should remove the odor and the last of the damp on the washing.
7. The Laundromat
Taking your clothes to be professionally washed and dried at a full-service laundromat is probable the most effective solution in winter. You can even choose to have them pressed or ironed for the ultimate convenience.
Self-service or coin-operated laundromats are also a good option. The machines as well as dryers are of a larger capacity meaning that you can wash and dry more laundry in one go. You can apply all the above tips like adding an extra spin cycle or partially drying your clothes in the dryer before hanging out. Alternatively, you can take your wet laundry and just use the large dryers at your local laundromat.
Remember to take along your own detergent and enough coins for the machines. Self-service laundromats are a cost-effective means for machine drying clothes in winter rather than going to the expense of investing in a dryer and paying for the electricity.
To find a full or self-service laundromat in your area, simply look in your local directories.