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The ins and outs of hang drying laundry

Shift your routine and see what you could save

Did you know that a clothes dryer typically uses more energy per-use than any other major appliance? However, you can probably get by without it for many loads if you hang dry.

This might not be practical if you’re a family of four with lots of laundry, but on average, hanging four out of eight loads a week could save you up to $47 per year - and it’ll make your clothes last longer, too. Want to score those savings? First, there are a couple of things to be aware of.

By far the best way to hang dry laundry is to do it outside. But before you do, check with your municipality and/or strata. Many have restrictions on outdoor clothes lines or racks. If these don’t apply to you, then hang dry outside as much as possible during the summer.

However, if you do have to dry laundry indoors - especially during the winter - be aware that if you don’t do it properly, you can create moisture and condensation the same way you do with showering and cooking.

The best way to remove any moisture is with a fan that ventilates to the outdoors, like a bathroom or kitchen fan. For optimal drying conditions, follow our tips below.

Here’s how to hang dry indoors:

  • 1

    Identify the best place to hang your laundry: Try and always hang your laundry in the best ventilated place in your home. During fall and winter, this will be near a ventilation fan - most likely in your bathroom. In spring and summer, hang it right by a window (ideally a sunny one) that can be opened slightly.

  • 2

    Identify the WORST place to hang your laundry: If possible, try not to hang your laundry in the parts of your home you spend the most time in - like the living room or in an enclosed room, like a bedroom.

  • 3

    Wash earlier in the day: Do your laundry first thing in the morning so that your clothes can dry during the day when most homes are warmer.

  • 4

    Be strategic: Large items like sheets and quilt covers are often going to be too big to hang indoors. And bulky items like jeans and hoodies may take too long. So be strategic and hang dry all your delicates indoors and save large or bulky items for outside or in the dryer.

  • 5

    Make plenty of room: When you hang your laundry up, leave plenty of space between items. This will allow air to flow between items, and they'll dry quicker.

  • 6

    Don’t hang laundry on your heater or radiators: You’d probably think it makes sense to hang your clothes on or near your heaters or radiators. But don’t! It creates humid air that will condense on your walls.

  • 7

    Use coat hangers: Putting as many items as possible on coat hangers will help air to circulate around both sides of the fabric, prevent creases, and make it a breeze to hang them back in the closet when they’re dry.

  • 8

    Consider a small dehumidifier: Even if you do all the things we’ve suggested above, you may find your hang drying laundry still creates too much moisture. If that's the case, it's best to stick with hang drying outdoors in the spring and summer months. Or, you could consider getting a small dehumidifier. It’ll remove additional moisture, not use too much additional electricity and speed up drying times, too!