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The 7 Secrets of Outdoor Drying

by Household Essentials • March 01, 2017

We air dry our clothes for many reasons: it helps clothes last longer, it saves energy, it smells nice, our electric dryer broke . . . Regardless of why, we've got some hard-won secrets to help your air-drying adventures end well.

Outdoor Drying Secrets

Secret 1: The sun is whites best friend.

If your white clothes are looking a little dingy, air drying them in the sun can do a lot!  The sun bleaches out colors, making it the perfect companion for whites!

Secret 2: Dry colors inside out AND in the shade.

For the same reason that the sun helps white stay bright, it can be fierce on colors.  Keeps colors brighter longer by turning clothing inside out and hanging colors up in the shade.  The heat and breeze will still dry the clothing, but the direct rays of the sun won't bleach colors prematurely.

Secret 3: Find your cross-breeze.

Every area has air movement.  And that direction can change with seasons and weather patterns.  So, when you go to hang out the laundry, check for the prevailing wind!  Hang items so that they can catch some of the that breeze to reduce drying time.

Secret 4: Space out clothing. 

Obvious, yes, but essential!  Clothing dries best and fastest when it is not buried under other clothing or completely hidden from air flow (see secret 3!).  For outdoor clothes dryers, this means making sure lines are spaced far enough apart that air can get through.  It can also mean staggering clothing on the line.

Secret 5: Use umbrella dryers with purpose.

Hang lighter, thinner items on higher, outer lines.  Hang heavier items toward the center and lower.  It reduces strain on clothesline and maximizes airflow!  For long lines, similarly hand lighter items in the middle and heavier items toward the end to reduce bowing and line stretch!

Secret 6: Watch for birds.

It happens.  You can reduce how often birds christen your wash, though, by avoiding areas where they tend to congregate.  Avoid placing lines directly in front of reflective surfaces (birds like to check themselves out!), and avoid your bird population's favorite tree!

Secret 7: Bring in your laundry an hour before dusk. 

As the sun starts to set and temperatures drop, warm laundry can start to soak up moisture from cooling air.  This is super frustrating if you've left clothes out on the line that now feel damp instead of dry!  Bringing it in also avoids the insects and bugs that come out around dusk.  WIN.

Secret 8: Shake, shake, shake!

There's nothing like outdoor drying for freshness.  Still, give laundry a brisk shake before bringing it inside.  The occasional bug might have rested on a t-shirt, and a little shake is usually enough to dislodge it.

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