As a sustainable brand, we like to tout the importance of line drying your clothes. It saves you money, helps your clothess last substantially longer, and is much easier on the environment. Truly, if you want to be sustainable, line dry as much as you can! But one common question we receive is: How do you line dry your clothes in the winter?
How to hang dry during winter
If you ask an older person what their parents and grandparents did before dryers were common in households, they’ll likely tell you that they didn’t do anything differently – they just hung their clothes outside to dry, even when it’s cold outside. Even if it’s below freezing outside, you get the same result. But drying in the winter can be a little bit more complicated depending on the weather.
Just like in the summer, if it’s humid outside or if the sun isn’t shining, drying your clothing on a line is a little bit more difficult. Your clothes will need more time to dry when hung up outside. Consider looking at the upcoming weather forecast and try to coordinate your laundry days with sunnier, dry days. If you have to do laundry on a humid, wet, cold winter day, consider washing only what you need to (but preferably a full load) and hanging inside near a fireplace or in a warm, dry room.
If it’s cold and dry outside, your clothes will dry but they may be “freeze-dried.” The clothes may look frozen to you, contorted into all sorts of different shapes by the wind, but they are likely mostly dry. If they seem to have a layer of ice on them, an hour or two of drying inside may be necessary.
The best weather for line drying in the winter are dry, sunny days with a light breeze.
Tips for hanging indoors
Hang drying your clothing indoors is another option for the winter months. If space is a challenge for you and you can only dry a small portion of your clothing at a time, that’s okay! Hang drying your clothes doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing option. If you hang dry larger items, like hoodies and towels, and let smaller, thinner garments, like t-shirts dry in your dryer, you wind up reducing their dry time and saving energy.
Using your washing machine’s fastest spin cycle wrings more water out of your clothes, which helps reduce the drying time indoors. If your clothes seem to be taking a long time, you can try to place your drying rack near a heat source, like a vent, or by a wood stove or fire place.
And finally, a couple quick and easy tips: try timing your drying time for the hours that you’re asleep – that way, you’ll wake up to dry, or almost dry clothing in the morning. And when you place clothes on the drying rack, always leave a little bit of space between them. This will help them dry a bit quicker. Do your best to keep the clothes from touching each other as they dry.