Laundry SOS: How to dry your clothes in winter

1 min read
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1 min read

No tumble dryer? No problem. Our tips will help you master how to dry clothes in winter, inside or outside

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The cold, damp winter months can make drying clothes in winter a challenge, particularly when you don’t have a tumble dryer. In summer drying clothes is much easier as your homes and garden are naturally warmer so clothes can air dry quickly. But drying clothes indoors in the winter can take up a lot of room and a lot of time, often leaving your clothes with that damp and musky scent. And drying clothes outside in the winter is even more challenging! With rain, snow and plunging temperatures to contend with, your clothes will be left feeling damp and in desperate need of being dried.

Tips for drying clothes in winter

But washing doesn’t stop for bad weather, so you need to find the best way to get your garments dry without those pesky, musty odors. Below is our guide with tips and tricks on the best way to dry clothes in winter, whether that’s inside or outside. Follow this full-proof advice and you’ll walk away with clean fresh clothes that feel and smell as good as new.

Tips for drying clothes indoors in winter

  1. Before you consider finding the best way to dry clothes indoors in winter, you need to start with looking at your load… Don’t overfill your washing machine. Squashing clothes in together will leave them damper at the end of the wash and, ultimately, they will take longer to dry.

  2. Give laundry a good spin and an extra shake when removing it from the washing machine to extract surplus water and damp. Make sure you check your laundry’s care labels before you spin them, as some clothes will be too delicate.

  3. Where possible, use your machine’s fastest spin cycle to help get rid of any excess water from your wash. Again, check the care labels on your laundry prior to washing as not all materials e.g. knits and delicates can tolerate an extra spin.
  1. Hang your clothes straight away. Don’t leave them in the machine or a laundry basket as this can cause them to smell musty and even grow mould. If you’re tight on space, you can create more hanging room by simply using curtain rods. Hang an extra shower curtain rod along the top of your bathtub/shower area, and you’ve instantly got a hidden indoor spot to do some drying! Then hang your wet clothes on plastic hangers on your rod and it won’t matter if they drip a little, thanks to the drain below.
  1. When you’re drying clothes indoors, try to position your washing near an open window or somewhere with good airflow. Avoid layering too many clothes on top of one another as this can delay the drying process. Instead, spread clothes evenly at least an inch apart and turn them over after a few hours to help them dry evenly.

  2. Wash your clothes with a fabric conditioner such as Lenor Outdoorable to prevent the build-up of damp odours and deliver unbeatable freshness for up to a week along with that heavenly softness that will make sure your clothes aren’t left with that ‘just dried’ stiff feeling.

  1. And always make sure items are thoroughly dried out before putting them away. This will help prevent mould and mildew from growing in areas with poor air circulation such as wardrobes and drawers – and help clothes stay fresher for longer.
  1. Rinse and repeat.

Tips for drying clothes outside in winter

Can you dry clothes outside in winter? The answer is yes, but if you opt for drying clothes outside in the colder months, consider the following tips to ensure you get the best possible results:

  1. Use the highest spin cycle setting on washing machine

    – Where possible and your clothing care label permits, use the highest spin cycle setting to wring out all excess water.
  1. Put clothes on for an extra spin cycle

    – and if your clothes can tolerate it, you can put clothes on an extra spin cycle. Your laundry will come out of the machine noticeably less wet and will consequently dry faster too. Again, make sure that you don’t spin your delicate items on a high cycle, as they may get damaged.

  2. Before hanging clothes up, roll them in a towel to soak up excess water

    - Before you start drying clothes outside in winter, roll each item in a towel and soak up as much of the moisture as possible. Squeeze together, and your towel should be able to absorb a fair bit of water.
  1. Use a drying rack outside

    - Rather than hanging your clothes on a clothesline, try putting them all on a drying rack outside that can be easily transported. That way, you can pick up all of your clothes and move them indoors or outdoors quickly in the event of rain, without the hassle of pegging and unpegging everything from a clothes line the moment it starts to rain.
  1. Put clothes outside early in the day

    – When you’re drying clothes outside in winter, it’s best to start as early as possible. The more sun you can expose your clothing to in the winter, the better and it will increase the chances of them drying faster.

  2. Plan your laundry days according to the weather forecast

    – Check the weather forecast before you wash and decide to dry your clothes outside. That way you can make sure you’re hanging your clothes out to dry at the best possible time. But remember, winter weather can be fickle and however much you plan, there’s always a risk of wet weather!

  3. Spread and shake your clothes out

    – Lastly one of the most important tips when drying your clothes outside in winter is to make sure you spread and shake them out. Shake each item out before you hang your laundry as it will help them dry faster and be less creased. Spread them out and this will help them to dry faster too.


  1. Can you put clothes out to dry in winter?

    The short answer is yes, but it can take up to 12 hours to dry clothes outside in the winter. This means that you may even need to bring them inside to finish the drying process and make sure your laundry isn’t damp.

  2. Can clothes dry indoors in winter?

    Yes, you can dry your laundry indoors in winter, but it’s worth taking a couple of precautions to prevent mildew and mould building up in your home as the clothes dry.

  3. Can clothes dry indoors in winters?

    Clothes can dry indoors in winter, but it can affect air quality, humidity and lead to mould. Try avoiding drying laundry in the rooms where you spend the most time e.g., your living room and bedroom. Instead, place the drying rack in the bathroom, the kitchen or hallway where you spend less time.

  4. How can I dry my clothes in winter without sunlight?

    Try and position your washing near an open window or somewhere with good airflow. Avoid layering too many clothes in the same part of the airer as this can delay the drying process. Instead, spread clothes evenly at least an inch apart and turn them over after a few hours to help them dry evenly.

  5. Why it’s difficult to dry clothes in winter?

    Well, it’s mainly about the weather and temperature. It’s challenging to dry your clothes outside in winter because colder and damper weather in winter often means that your laundry will take longer to dry and will be left feeling damp and smelling musky. Inside also takes longer and can pick up pesky musty odors, especially in small rooms and those with carpeted floors. However, follow our tips and tricks to dry clothes indoors in winter and outdoors in winter and you’ll be on your way to fresh, clean and dry clothes in no time at all!