Sustainability made simple

Drying Laundry Naturally: An Alternative to Your Dryer

drying laundry
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / MabelAmber

Living a green life is all about living life intentionally. It often involves moving away from what is convenient in order to do what’s best for the environment – like air-drying your laundry. We’ll take a look at why you should ditch your clothes dryer and embrace drying laundry naturally.

Did you know that a clothes dryer is one of the most energy-consuming appliances in your home? It’s actually something that many of us could live without, but we’ve gotten so used to the convenience of being able to dry our laundry quickly that we often don’t even think about seeking an alternative.

Benefits of Air-Drying Laundry

Air-drying laundry is better for the environment and your wallet!
Air-drying laundry is better for the environment and your wallet! (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / stux)

There are so many reasons to consider making the switch, and not all of them are environmental. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of air-drying laundry.

  • Air-drying uses less energy, which has a smaller environmental impact and helps save you money.
  • When hung properly, clothes will have fewer wrinkles, meaning there is less ironing to do.
  • By reducing the wear and tear that often occurs in the dryer, you can extend the lifetime of your clothes.
  • When hung outside on a sunny day, clothes are whitened and disinfected.
  • Air-drying keeps your clothes fitting properly, without any surprise shrinkage.
  • When you have to make time to hang out your laundry, you’ll automatically become more aware of how often you’re washing your clothing.

Read more: How and How Often Should You Really Wash Your Jeans?

Hanging Clothes Properly

For best drying results, hang your laundry properly.
For best drying results, hang your laundry properly. (Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Ricardo Gomez Angel)

When drying laundry on the line, hanging it properly can help it to dry quickly and as wrinkle-free as possible.

Sheets: Fold sheets in half, and pin them to the clothesline by its corners. Add another clothes pin in the middle on breezy days to make it extra secure. Flip the sheet halfway through the drying process.

Towels: Pin the corners of the towel to the clothesline, and flip about halfway through the drying process.

Pants: Line up the inner seams of the legs and then pin them to the clothesline at the hem. The waistband is the heaviest part of the pants, so hanging them upside down actually helps to pull the wrinkles away.

Socks/Underwear: Since these items are small and not heavy, hang them however you’d like in order to make the most of the space. If you want to pin your socks in pairs, pin them together at the toe.

Shirts: Hang shirts upside down as well, and pin the corners on the line. The bottom of a shirt is far less likely to show pin marks than the shoulders are.

Drying Laundry: Dos and Don’ts

Remember to leave enough space between your laundry items.
Remember to leave enough space between your laundry items. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / mpkino)

It may be surprising, but there’s more to air-drying laundry than just hanging clothes out on a line. In fact, there are several tricks and tips you should pay attention to.


  • Keep the clothesline clean. This means checking it for bird droppings, dust, and dirt.
  • Start with the largest items, like bed sheets and towels, before adding clothing to the line.
  • Space your items an inch or so apart in order to facilitate proper airflow.
  • Shake your items before adding them to the line in order to prevent stiffness and winkles.
  • Hang your clothes properly.
  • Fold and put laundry away immediately after removing it from the clothesline.


  • Don’t dry your darks and bright colors in direct sunlight. This will break down the dyes on the fabrics and cause them to fade.
  • Don’t air-dry down garments. Things like duvets, jackets, and vests should be dried in the dryer along with a tennis ball or two. This is because down tends to clump when wet, and the tumble dryer will help bring the fluff back.
  • Don’t hang sweaters or heavy garments. These items should be laid flat to dry because hanging them will cause them to lose their shape.
  • Don’t dry your laundry in small or windowless rooms if drying it on a clothes rack indoors. The evaporating moisture may cause mold to grow on your walls. Always dry clothes in well-ventilated rooms.

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