Woman's 'simple' hack to dry clothes faster: 'Good thinking'

·Contributor
·4-min read

Soaring power bills and the seemingly endless rain have led to many Aussies turning to indoor racks to dry their clothes.

But while it's certainly a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to running a tumble dryer, it can sometimes take days for a load to fully dry if your home is cold – not to mention the condensation problems it can cause.

Fortunately, one clever woman has found a nifty solution to help your clothes dry faster, and it takes no time at all to set up.

Sharing her handy hack to the Cleaning & Organising Inspiration Australia Facebook page, she explains that she uses a large item of washing to block off one side of her airer when she has the heater running in the same room, this way she's able to trap in some of the warm air.

A flannel shirt on a drying rack to trap hot air from a heater
A flannel shirt traps hot air in to help other clothes dry faster. Photo: Facebook

"The heat doesn't blow through as quickly, so the clothes dry faster and you stay warm without guilt!" she says.

A photo demonstrating her technique shows her clothes hung up in rows perpendicular to her heater while a large flannel shirt closes them in at the back. She adds, however, that she moved the airer closer to the heater to take the photo, and that it normally sits much further back.

Of course, caution should always be exercised around heaters and NSW Fire and Rescue recommends keeping at least one metre between a heater and anything else, particularly flammable items like clothing.

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The woman's post attracted hundreds of likes with a number of people commenting that they use the same trick to help their clothes dry over winter.

"Yes I second this! I find putting something on top works well too," one person wrote, while another commented, "Simple but effective".

"Good thinking 99!" a third said.

Other posters swear by placing a sheet over the top of the entire drying rack to trap in heat.

"I cover mine with a single fitted sheet... creates a tunnel of heat," one user writes.

Other ways to speed up indoor clothes drying

Woman's hands hanging clean laundry on drying rack in bathroom
Place your drying rack near an exhaust fan to help suck up the moisture released while drying. Photo: Getty

Run the exhaust fan

Unfortunately, hanging clothes indoors releases a lot of humidity into the air and can contribute to mould problems in the long run.

The best place to set up your indoor clothes rack is in a room designed to accommodate moisture like a bathroom or laundry (or even the kitchen), especially if you can leave the exhaust fan running while the clothes dry.

Another option is to place a portable fan a metre away from your indoor drying rack or set up your airer under a ceiling fan to help create better air circulation and speed up the drying process. If it's not too cold, you could achieve a similar result by moving your drying rack to a part of the house that has good cross ventilation, like from two open windows on opposite walls.

Use a dehumidifier

It's been one of the most sought-after appliances in rain-affected parts of Australia lately, and while it's a great way to help prevent mould from forming in your home, a dehumidifier can also speed up your indoor drying time.

Many dehumidifiers have a clothes drying setting that you can use, just be sure to empty the water bin regularly as a load of washing can release up to five litres of water.

Clothes hung on an indoor clothes drying rack
Spacing out your clothes so the airer isn't overcrowded will help everything dry faster. Photo: Getty

Spin, spin, spin

As long as your clothes can handle it, set your washing machine to a fast spin cycle to wring out as much moisture from your load as possible.

Not only will this help your clothes dry faster but it will reduce the amount of condensation released into your home as the load dries.

Hang carefully

It seems simple, but taking the time to space out your clothes so they're not packed in too tightly helps to improve airflow and reduce drying time. This may mean doing smaller loads of washing if you don't have space for a large airer. Rotating your clothes when they're semi-dry also helps speed things up.

If you're short on floor space, you could try using clothes hangers or installing a wall-mounted drying system to make the most of your vertical space. Something as simple as stringing a line over a bathtub is a temporary fix that gets your washing out of the way and allows you to suck up the added humidity with the bathroom exhaust fan.

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