It is getting to that time of year where we no longer have the luxury of hanging our clothes on the washing line to dry.
I love nothing more than the smell of freshly dried washing and when I get the chance will still try to peg the laundry on the line for an hour of the sunshine. But there will come a point where we’ll no longer want to step foot in the garden because it’s raining, snowing, or simply just too cold.
Or maybe you do not have a garden or outside space to hang your clothes on a line and need new ideas to dry your washing.
So, the dilemma then is how do we dry our clothes, towels, bedsheets, and anything else we’ve taken out of the washing machine. Now unless you’ve got a combined washer dryer (and even if you have, with the rising cost of living you may be hesitant to use it too often) you’ll be wondering what the most effective and cheapest ways to dry your clothes indoors are.
That’s where we come in, whatever the reason or circumstance, below we give you some of the most economical ways to dry your clothes.
An Extra Spin Cycle
Let’s set the scenario – your load has been washed, rinsed, and spun. Just when you think you’re safe to hang it on the line and here comes the rain.
We’ve all been there, and as I stated earlier, I love the smell of freshly washed clothes that have dried on the line, but Mother Nature just has other ideas.
So, while the washing is still in the machine, it would be worth putting your garments through an extra spin. This will get rid of extra moisture that could prolong the drying process, especially now you’re having to find an alternative drying method.
Wring excess moisture from your laundry
If you find the above method isn’t getting enough moisture from your clothes or towels, or maybe you’re not keen on the extra cost that may add to the ever-increasing energy bills then you can try wringing the clothes yourself.
Now this is not a new thing – I’m sure our grandparents and great grandparents would have done this kind of thing on a daily basis, long before washing machines and tumble dryers.
This would be a good option to use for thicker clothing because nobody wants their laundry dripping all over the floor while it’s drying. As much as I enjoy cleaning, I wouldn’t be happy about the extra mess to clean up!
Traditional clothes horse
You’ve put on the extra spin or wrung the clothes out yourself, and now you need somewhere to put them.
A clothes horse is a really useful addition to any household and with so many on the market these days it will be easy to find one that best suits your needs (see our Best Wooden Clothes Horses article for more help).
You can buy different shapes and sizes, ones that fit to the wall or even hang from the ceiling. The one thing I like about a clothes horse is its convenience and portability – traditional horses fold away easily and can be stored away when not in use and those that fit to the wall are great for people with limited floor space.
If you do have a clothes horse, you have the scope to move it around too – for instance if your house catches the sun at a certain time of day then place it in the room that’s filled with the sun, your washing will dry in no time and make your room smell lovely and fresh.
Apart from the one-off cost of purchasing the clothes horse, this is one method that will not cost you every time you use it – they vary in price but are definitely a great investment for your home.
Heated Clothes Airer
This is one up from the traditional clothes horse and although it works in the same way, where you would hang your clothes over the bars, they have the added feature on heating up.
These are a little more expensive and while you may be wondering about the extra cost every time you use it, they are still cheaper than using a tumble dryer or your central heating. In circumstances where central heating is not available, a heated airer would be a welcome addition.
There is always that strange time of the year where it’s not quite cold enough to put the heating on, but you still need some warmth to start the drying process.
You don’t have to turn them on every time you use them either, so if you find the extra heat isn’t needed, you can just use it as a standard clothes horse.
As the months go by and the cold starts creeping in, there’s nothing I like more than closing the curtains and snuggling on the sofa with the heating on.
And what better way to dry your laundry than while you have your radiators on. Although some people may not be a fan of this method, I do tend to use this one quite a lot during the winter months.
I try not to put anything too thick or heavy on there because you do not want to block your flow of heat completely – which would be a complete waste of money!
If you are not keen on the thought of putting your wet clothes over the top, then you could use your clothes horse and put it close to one of your bigger radiators. Regular rotating will speed up the drying time.
Another option you have are dehumidifiers. These useful machines are great for taking the moisture out your clothes and the air.
Again, there is an initial cost to this method and you will need to use your electricity to operate the machine, but they are another piece of equipment that are really useful, so if you can afford the little cost that comes with them it is well worth looking at this option. When we say little, we mean little – it could around 24p per load of washing.
For more help see our article on Dehumidifiers for Drying Clothes.
Portable Dryer Pods
I love these! I had one a couple of years ago and they are such a good piece of kit. If you have the room for one of these then I’d recommend one. They can be a bit bulky and not easily moved when full of clothes, so it is best to put it in a place where you are not going to be squeezing past it or needing to move it too much.
When assembled you can hang your clothes up using coat hangers (not always included) and then you zip the whole thing up and switch it on. It is that simple. It will then fill up with hot air and dry your clothes quite quickly. Everything from your newborn’s sleepsuits to your husband’s denim jeans.
A couple of bonus features with the dryer pods are they warm up whichever room it is standing in and because the clothes are hanging in there, your ironing time is reduced – who doesn’t love the thought of that! And at around 90p per load we think it’s worth looking into.
We’ve given you a few options here, so from this list you should be able to find the most effective method to drying your clothes indoors, even combining a couple of ideas to quicken up the drying process. Perfect for those who need indoor drying all year round or just in the winter months.
With the cold days ahead and British weather being so unpredictable, this guide will hopefully give you an insight into all the different ways you can still achieve dry and fresh clothes without the need to spend a fortune.
Meet our reviewer – Michelle Vernon
Michelle is one of the lead writers at Washing Check and also holds an editor role. She is a busy parent who understands the needs of daily domestic life and the challenges it can bring.
She genuinely loves cleaning products and equipment, which although is quite strange to many, is a blessing to us here at Washing Check.