clothes pegs on a washing line
How we dry clothes can have a profound impact on the health and comfort of our homes. Here we explore practical and cost-effective solutions during our laundry routine, while ensuring a dry and mould-free living space.

The hidden dangers of improper clothes drying

Drying clothes indoors, especially in confined spaces, can contribute to increased indoor humidity. This elevated moisture level, if not removed through effective ventilation, condenses on walls and other surfaces. Condensation can easily become a breeding ground for mould and can lead to various health concerns.

1. Outdoor line drying

If weather permits, harnessing the power of the wind and sun is a preferred method of drying clothes. Not only is it an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way of managing the laundry pile, but it also has the added benefit of fresh air and sunlight which give clothes a fresh, clean smell. Additionally, the sun’s natural disinfecting properties help prevent mould growth and the gentle breeze aids in moisture evaporation. Line drying also extends the lifetime of clothing by reducing wear and tear caused by tumble dryers. Aim to bring in your laundry as soon as it’s dry to prevent any potential moisture absorption as outside conditions change.

2. Ventilated indoor drying areas

If outdoor drying isn’t an option, choose well-ventilated indoor spaces. Space clothes well on an airer to enable good airflow for optimal drying. Heated airers provide a cost-efficient and effective way of drying clothes indoors. Use extractor fans if drying clothes in the bathroom and keep windows open during the drying process to effectively manage indoor moisture build-up. This reduces the risk of trapped moisture in a room, unwanted condensation and mould formation. For health reasons, it is best to avoid sleeping in rooms where clothes are being dried, as the air is saturated with moisture and detergent.

3. Use of dehumidifiers

Consider using dehumidifiers in the drying area to actively extract excess moisture from the air. This is particularly beneficial for indoor drying spaces where maintaining optimal humidity levels is challenging.

4. Tumble dryers with proper ventilation

If opting for a tumble dryer, choose an energy-efficient model with effective moisture disposal. Ensure that the dryer is either vented to the outdoors or makes use of a condenser, preventing the release of moisture into your home. Regularly clean your tumble dryer to prevent excessive accumulation of lint and moisture. This ensures optimal performance and reduces the risk of mould-attracting conditions. Please note that opting for a heated airer is way more cost-effective than running a tumble dryer.

5. Avoid drying clothes on radiators!

Although tempting to do so, drying clothes on radiators has many disadvantages. It creates excessive moisture and condensation which can easily lead to damp patches, stains and mould. Radiators that have clothes dried on them are also more susceptible to corrosion and rust.  Additionally, hanging clothes over the top of your radiator, albeit just small items like socks, will prevent it from effectively heating the room. This means the boiler will need to work longer than it needs to, therefore increasing running costs and utility bills.

6. Check for mould regularly

Regularly inspect your drying area for any signs of mould. Employ “See it! Clean it!” If signs of mould appear, promptly clean the mould away with a damp cloth to prevent it from spreading.

Not all of us have the luxury of outdoor clothes drying. If indoor drying is our only option, we need to consider effective drying options that are green and cost-effective. We also need to ensure optimal ventilation to keep our indoor spaces healthy and free of condensation and mould.

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