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Air Dry Clothes

Create a system for air drying clothing, which is good for both the environment and your clothing!

Hanging clothes to dry reduces electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions and makes clothes last longer. 

  • Wet clothes
  • Something to hang clothes on
  • Place to hang clothes
  • Things to hang clothes with
  • Good air flow
Cartoon of clothes hanging off of a bicycle
Clothes hanging off of a bicycle (© 2021 Let’s Talk Science)

You will need to choose a place where clothes will be able to hang while they dry. Keep in mind that the clothes will need to be there for a few hours. A bathroom or laundry room is good for indoor drying. A backyard or balcony is good for outdoor drying. A shady place will help keep clothes from fading.

Note: You may also need to check if it is okay to dry your clothes outside where you live.

Cartoon of clothes hanging off a clothes line
Clothes hanging off a clothes line (© 2021 Let’s Talk Science)

Clothes can be hung off anything from the back of a chair, to a string strung between two trees. You may want your line to be there for a short time. You may also want to have something set up all the time.

Cartoon of clothespins
Clothespins (© 2021 Let’s Talk Science)

The clothes will need to hang from the line. This may mean putting them on hangers or clipping them to the line. Clothespins are clips designed to help hang clothes on a line. 

Cartoon of washing machines
Washing machines (© 2021 Let’s Talk Science)

Use the fastest spin cycle in the washing machine. It will remove the most water and give the clothes a head start in drying.

Give the clothes a good shake. This will help take out wrinkles.

See the Learn More section for more drying hints.

Cartoon of laundry on a clothesline in the rain
Laundry on a clothesline in the rain (© 2021 Let’s Talk Science)

If you are going to dry clothes outdoors, ideally you want a day that is breezy. Be prepared to grab the clothes in case it starts to rain!

If hanging clothes indoors, pointing a fan at the clothes can help them to dry faster.