How to Air Dry Clothes for Fresh & Flawless Results

Published December 3, 2020
Air drying clothes

Learn how to air dry clothes using by following simple instructions. Find out fast ways to air dry your clothing perfectly indoors and outdoors.

How to Air Dry Clothes Properly Outside

When it comes to how to air dry clothes properly, there are a few different things you want to remember to do before just hanging your clothing up.

  • Wipe down your line to make sure the line is free of rust or any debris. This can make sure that your clothing stays clean and fresh outside while drying.

  • Check the weather to make sure it's not going to rain and the pollen count. Pollen can be a bugger for those with allergies.

  • Give the clothing a shake before putting it on the line. This can fluff the fibers and avoid that retched stiffness.

  • Add ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of the wash as a natural fabric softener to help the stiffness of air drying.

  • When removing clothing from the line, give it a shake, and fold it right away.

How to Place Clothing on Line

Properly air drying your clothing means you need to have a plan. Why? Because bright colors can fade in direct sunlight, but this can be good for whites. Therefore, when it comes to putting your clothing on the line, you want to be strategic. Before you even start, you need to grab a few clothespins and hangers.

  • Start with the largest items first. This makes sure that you have enough space for everything on your line.

  • Put your bright colors and delicates in a shaded area out of direct sunlight.

  • Place your white directly in the sun to soak up all those rays.

  • Put bulky sweaters on a drying rack rather than on a line, so they don't stretch. Make sure they lay completely flat. Be sure to flip them every hour or so.

Clothes Drying On Clothesline

How to Hang Clothes Properly on Line

Now that you have a plan of action ready for placing your clothing on the line, it's time to exam how to hang your clothing correctly. Each different item requires a different technique to ensure it dries perfectly. Remember, start with the big stuff first.

  • Sheets/blankets - Fold these in half and pin the ends to the line with a clothespin. When they are about halfway dry, give them a flip to dry any trapped moisture.

  • Towels - Pull them taut and pin the corners to the clothesline. Give them a flip when the top is dry.

  • Shirts - Put the shirt on a hanger and hang it on the line. Use a clothespin to hold the hanger in place. You can also hang shirts upside down and pin the hem and cuffs. For t-shirts, pin the hem in place.

  • Pants - These are going to be hung upside down. Line up the seams and pin them in place. Allow the weight of the waist to remove any wrinkles.

  • Socks - When it comes to socks, make your life easier by pinning the mates together. Pin them by the toe to the line.

  • Delicates - Use the hook end to pin bras in place and the waistband of underwear.

What Is the Best Way to Dry Clothes Indoors?

In the wintertime or if you live in an apartment, you might not be able to dry your clothes outside. That doesn't mean you can't air dry them; it just means you have to be a little bit more creative. To perfectly air dry your clothing, you are going to need a few things.

If you can't get your hands on a drying rack, you can make do with hangers and curtain rods.

Clothes on a drying rack

How to Maximize Drying Indoors

For the most part, you need to follow the hanging rules for outdoor drying; however, rather than hanging your clothing on a line, you'll be hanging it on a drying rack or on hangers. However, there are a few things to remember to maximize your air drying.

  • Put your drying rack near a vent, window, or use a fan to speed up drying time.

  • Allow enough space between clothes for air to circulate.

  • Lay sweaters and heavy clothing on a flat surface to dry, and flip them every so often.

  • Use the sun to your advantage by hanging things to dry during the day.

How Long Do Clothes Take to Air Dry

Not all fabric is created equal; therefore, the drying time for every fiber is different. However, you can expect clothes to take about 3-6 hours to dry outdoors on a nice warm breezy day. Your delicates and lighter fabrics might take less time, while your bulky sweaters might take a bit longer. However, if you are drying things indoors, you can expect it to take anywhere from 18-24 hours. Fans and flowing air can speed things up, but that's the average.

How to Air Dry Clothes Fast

Air drying is not a fast process. However, you can do things to speed up the drying time if you are air drying your clothing.

  • Maximize airflow by putting clothing in areas where there is a lot of movement line in an area that gets a good breeze or near a window. You can also use fans to create air flow.

  • Rotate the garments around to keep air flowing.

  • Spin your laundry out well in the washer to make sure all the water is removed before hanging. You might even put it on a high spin cycle or put it through the spin cycle twice.

  • Lay the garment on a large absorbent towel and roll it up a few times to squeeze any excess water out.

Air Drying Your Laundry

If you are looking to save a little money during the summer or are just looking to be efficient, you can choose to air dry your laundry. Not only is it cheap, but it's super simple. Just remember, make sure clothing is completely dry before putting it away. You don't want musty clothes because you were impatient.

How to Air Dry Clothes for Fresh & Flawless Results