Allow Your Hang-Dry Laundry To Dry Faster With This Simple Tip

Waiting for laundry to air dry is a lesson in patience. While many folks prefer a dryer to warmly perm-press their clothes, a majority of the world views hang-drying as the norm. While hang-drying laundry saves a significant amount of energy and carbon impact, it can leave our clothes overly wet and unable to dry quickly. Between addressing our laundry mistakes to unlocking hacks that leave our clothes smelling fresh, waiting hours for our laundry to dry shouldn't be an added task on our list. The solution? Shaking out our clothes.

When clothes come out of the washer — they're drenched with water. Immediately placing these items into a dryer forces a high degree of heat that doesn't efficiently dry clothes, sometimes leaving them damp with an unwanted lingering scent. To make matters worse, dryer sheets — which are used to eliminate static and soften clothes — are made up of a wax coating that can damage your dryer over time. Air drying is a much more environmentally friendly, efficient, and, ultimately, a better alternative. With a little bit of pre-treatment, you'll be ready for the next load.

The shake-out method

One of the most simple yet effective methods to dry clothes is by shaking out any excess water. After taking out clothes from the washer, individually remove items, shake them out, and place them on a drying rack or clothesline. If you prefer the smell of dryer sheets, place a few dryer sheets on the drying rack or clothesline and leave clothes in the sun. While dryer sheets typically need heat to activate their benefits, natural light could achieve a similar result.

When the sun isn't out every day, or you prefer to finish your laundry with a dryer cycle, individual items should still be taken out, shaken, and placed inside the dryer. Getting rid of any excess water or soap residue will benefit the drying cycle and leave your clothes dryer than you anticipated.

It will take approximately 2 to 4 hours for clothes to air dry, usually, depending on the size and material of each clothing item. One thing is for sure: once the drying time is complete, clothes will smell fresh and feel soft. You may follow up by ironing these clothes to get rid of any wrinkles from the air-drying process.

Effective tips for hang-dry laundry

Beyond the benefits of the shake-out method, there are also other tips to be mindful of to help effectively hang dry laundry. For example, different clothing items require a variety of hang-dry methods, such as knit shirts, button-downs, and dresses. T-shirts can be hung by the hem, allowing the bottom portion of the shirt to handle any imprints from the clothing pins, which can be tucked into a pair of pants. For delicately hemmed shirts, such as knitted tops, it's best to use several pins to support the weight of the shirt without affecting any of its stitches. 

When it comes to button-down shirts, the front and back should go together in the same manner the shirt is worn. While buttoning the t-shirt entirely will lengthen the dry time, simply hanging the item with 4 to 5 pins at each side seam will do the job. For thicker materials, such as towels or long dresses, shake out extensively before hanging to dry. If you're hang-drying a long dress, place it on a hanger before pinning the seams to ensure it stays in place. Be careful not to fold clothes over the hang line as it can cause an indent in wet clothes and a longer dry time. Instead, hang items on the edge so your clothes dry without wrinkles and indents.