Stories & Features

The surprising benefits of hanging your clothes to dry

Image of laundry on drying rack
Clothes lines are still a great option, but if you live in a municipality or strata that doesn't allow them, don’t limit yourself to the dryer. Get an indoor drying rack and save your clothes.

Hang-drying is easier on fabric and your wallet

In the warm summer months, no one wants to generate more heat by turning on your dryer, which is why we're bringing back your grandma’s favourite laundry trick: hang drying. It can be surprisingly easy, even if you don’t have a clothesline or drying rack, and has tons of added benefits. Not only that, but it means reducing your energy use – dryers can account for 12% of your home's energy. Dryers typically use more per use than any other appliance.  

Consider a clothes line, if you can

It's probably been a while since you've seen a clothes line in someone's back yard or hanging from their balcony. That's because clothes lines aren't allowed everywhere, so you'll want to check your bylaws or strata regulations before you string up. During spring and summer, when the weather is dry and sunny, you and your clothes can hang outside together and enjoy the free benefits of the sun, like naturally disinfecting and keeping whites whiter. Hanging your clothes outside is also a natural fabric softener – you'll get static-free, spring-scented clothes without the added cost or chemicals.

Dryers can also be hard on your clothes, causing them to wear out more quickly with each wash (and dry). Hanging your duds outside will keep them from getting over-heated or over-dried, meaning your kid’s favourite tee will keep going long after they’ve outgrown it.

Indoor drying is an option but beware of moisture 

We know that drying clothes outside doesn't always work in many parts of B.C. during our cold and wet winters. And even the sunniest spots can still be limited by space or local regulations.

Fear not – you can move your set up inside and still get many of the air drying benefits even when Jack Frost tries to get you down. You can pick up a drying rack from most local home stores, which will give you the space your clothes need to air out. Many of them even fold up, so you can easily store them when they aren't in use. This is a great solution for apartment-dwellers who are short on space and may not be able to string a clothesline from their balcony.

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. Or, you could consider getting a small dehumidifier. It’ll remove additional moisture, not use too much additional electricity and speed up drying times.