How to dry your clothes when it’s raining

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by Nigel

As the rain in the UK is forecast to continue throughout June, a dilemma for families and households in the UK is how and where to dry your clothes when you can’t do it outside.

Where to dry clothes when it’s raining outside is a dilemma for 55% of UK households who don’t own a tumble dryer, and for those that do, it’s expensive to use it all the time. Finding resourceful ways to dry clothes will use less energy, save money and get your clothes dryer faster.

Here’s why:
No one wants to put the heating on just to dry clothes: it’s summer, and it’s expensive to heat the whole house just for clothes.

Although 45% of us own one, tumble dryers are one of the most energy hungry appliances in the home* , using about 4 times as much energy as a washing machine.

When the air is damp, clothes can take ages to dry on indoor clothes drying racks, or if hung over radiators and doors, and if they take too long to dry, they smell.

Here are 8 ways to dry your clothes:
1. Use a fan to move the air around a clothes drying rack – clothes can dry in as little as a few hours instead of a few days.

2. A dehumidifier near the clothes rack helps. A dehumidifier uses electrical power to drive its compressor but it’ll use less energy than heating devices. Dehumidifers use about 750watts on average, which costs about 36p for 4 hours. (suggested by @helmerlowcarbon on Twitter)

3. An extra spin cycle on your washing machine can reduce drying time considerably by squeezing out the last bits of water from your washing.

4. Put your clothes drying rack outside – if it rains you just have to get that inside sharpish rather than lots of unpegging from a washing line! (suggested by @theresourceress on Twitter)

5. Thermostatic valves on radiators can isolate most of the central heating system leaving just the needed radiator. (suggested by @watercalluk on Twitter)

6. Invest in a low energy tumble dryer – one with an automatic drying sensor function so it doesn’t over-dry clothes, and switches off when it senses the moisture level is low.

7. Invest in a Sheila Maid clothes drying rack. They can carry 8kg of laundry, hoisted out of the way by the ceiling and clothes dry faster on one because they’re in the warmest part of the room, even when the heating’s not on (because warm air rises). They’ve been part of British households for over 100 years, and are a great alternative to a tumble dryer, or drying clothes on radiators or floor level drying racks.

8. 45% of households own a tumble dryer, if you do use one, use Dry Cubes – they’ll save up to 30% on drying time and cost by distributing the heat better in the dryer.

* Source Energy Saving Trust

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4 Responses to “How to dry your clothes when it’s raining”

  1. Flaf Says:

    What are your thoughts on the lakeland heated airer?

  2. Eliza Says:

    Love these! been using them for years :)

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