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How to Dry Clothes Without a Dryer? 9 Tips & Tricks

drying clothes outdoor

Everyone needs fresh, clean clothes. Whether you’re off to work, school, or to hang out with your friends, taking off in clothes that are a bit ripe isn’t the way to make a great impression. Fortunately, the time-saving washer and dryer combo have been around for ages. These impressive gadgets, which have evolved over the years thanks to modern technology, are common appliances in many homes in the United States. That doesn’t mean everyone has access to these wonders, especially a dryer.

For people who live in apartments or smaller dwellings, it’s not uncommon to have a washer without a dryer. Some may not even have a washing machine. Then again, there are also situations when your dryer may be on the fritz. The big question, for both those who don’t own a dryer and those who’ve watched their heating pal breakdown is, how can you dry clothes without a dryer? That’s what we’re here to help with. Read on below to get a few tips and tricks to make life easier when a clothes dryer isn’t an option.

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The 9 Tips & Tricks to Dry Clothes Without a Dryer

1. The Classic Clothesline

Hanging clothes
Image Credit: Liza Summer, Pexels

Before washers and dryers were in every home, it wasn’t unusual to see a clothesline out back using the sun’s rays to get clothes dry. On a hot day, a load of laundry could be ready to bring back into the house in only a few hours. While this method has dwindled a bit since the invention of the dryer, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a great way to get the job done. Even if you have a dryer in your home, on a warm, sunny day this is an ideal way to save energy and enjoy the fresh, clean smell of air-dried linens. Always remember when drying in the sun, too much exposure can make your clothes fade.

2. Spin Dry

Yes, when we use our washing machine, the clothes inside automatically spin out if the machine is working properly. Did you know, however, that some washing machines have higher spin settings to help rid your clothes of water? In times you don’t have access to a dryer, this spin cycle can even be used to get your clothes dry. Using this method may not result in bone-dry clothing, but it won’t take long for them to finish up once you place them on a hanger or a rack.

3. Hang Dry

old clothes on hanger
Image Credit: meaandcolors, Pixabay

We just mentioned this method above. Once your clothes are completely spun out with as much water removed as possible, it’s time to hang dry. This is another method people have used for years with a lot of success. Just keep in mind that when you hang your clothes to dry, the area you use in your home will help the time involved. Dry rooms with access to the sun or another heat source can have your clothes ready quicker.

4. The Towel Method

The towel method is a creative way to get your clothes dry, but it does take a bit of time and effort. Start with clothes that have been spun out well by the washer, or wrung out by hand, then lay a dry towel down on a flat surface. Lay your clothing item flat on the towel then roll. Once your piece of clothing is fully encased inside the towel start twisting both ends. As we said, this method may take a bit of time, but it will work in a pinch.

5. The Towel and Iron

woman ironing clothes
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

While we’re on the subject of towels, another way to get clothes dry using this item is the towel and iron drying method. Using your ironing board or another flat surface, spread your clothing item out flat, then place a towel over it. Using your iron set to medium or high heat, simply start ironing like normal. The towel will absorb the moisture while the heat dries your clothes. You may need a fresh towel now and then, but as long as you don’t place the hot item directly on your clothes, or leave it in one spot too long, this method will help get clothes ready to wear.

6. The Hairdryer

While most of us don’t think of a hairdryer when it comes to drying clothes, they will work in a pinch. To use this method, hang your clothes on a hanger or rack, then turn on your hairdryer. You can use your hairdryer on the setting you feel comfortable with but always hold it at least 6 inches away from your garments to avoid any damage or burn marks.

7. A Sunny Room

drying baby clothes
Image Credit: Piqsels

While it’s nice to hang clothes outside on a clothesline, if you don’t have one, the sun can still be your clothes-drying BFF. If you have a room in your house that has great sun access, utilize it. With or without drying racks, this method can be used. If you have no other way, simply spread your clothes out on a flat surface and let the sun do its job. Just remember, too much sun makes fading a possibility.

8. Use Heat

Space heaters are another way you can get your clothes dry when a dryer isn’t an option. Choosing an appropriate room in your home, hanging your clothes, then turning on the heat can help get your clothes dry quicker than air drying alone. When using this method, however, practice caution. Do not hang clothes on or too close to your heater and make sure the heater itself is in proper working order.

9. The Oven

man using an oven
Image credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Oddly enough, even your oven can help dry a few articles of clothing in a pinch. Now, this method doesn’t work for larger items but socks and underwear can easily fit on a baking sheet when your dryer goes out and you need undergarments quickly. Simply preheat your oven to 100 degrees and pop in your well-wrung small garments. Keep checking routinely so no damage is caused to your clothes.

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Tips for Drying Your Clothes Without a Dryer

Now that you have a few drying methods in mind, let’s go over a couple of tricks that can make life easier when you’re drying your clothes without the help of a dryer. Keeping these things in mind will make life easier and get your clothes ready quicker.


Until you are functioning without a dryer in the home, it’s nearly impossible to realize just how important it is that your clothes are spun out well. Unfortunately, not every washer has a high spin option. If you’re working with a washing machine that doesn’t feature this function, you may need to spin your clothes more than once. If your machine doesn’t have a setting for an extra spin cycle, you can always wring them out by hand. This is how people did it before washing machines. It may not be the most fun way of preparing your clothes for your chosen drying method, but it will move things along.

Strategic Hanging

Whether you’re using a clothesline, hangers, or a drying rack, knowing how to strategically hang your clothes for drying makes life easier. Smoothed out, non-crumpled clothes will dry faster than those tossed willy-nilly on a rack or line. Not only is this the fastest way to use hang-drying methods, but it will also help avoid wrinkles and tons of ironing after your clothes are dry.

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As you can see, life without a clothes dryer doesn’t need to be stressful. Whether you don’t have access to a dryer, have one on the fritz, or prefer not to use one to help with the environment, the above methods can step in and help you get your clothes ready to wear. Sure, you spend a bit more time with these methods, but once you find the one best suited for you and your laundry needs, it will feel like second nature. You’ll be looking your best while enjoying your day without the worries of clothes that are half-dried and uncomfortable.

Featured Image Credit: Piqsels


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