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The Benefits of Air Drying Clothes
by Household Essentials • April 29, 2019
The Benefits of Air Drying Clothes
There are numerous benefits to air drying clothes using clothes drying racks. Though it might seem old fashioned or complicated, once you try air drying your clothes, you might be surprised at just how many benefits there are. Here are just a few of the benefits of air drying your clothes.
Electric dryers, obviously, require electricity to operate, and are notorious for being energy hogs whether they’re actively in use or not. For most households, the dryer is the appliance that consumes the most energy overall, second only to the refrigerator. Depending on how often you do laundry, cutting out the dryer in favor of air drying your clothes could save you more than $100 per year on your electricity bill.
No more static cling or dryer sheets
The tumbling action of an electric dryer causes the fabrics inside to rub against each other, which is what creates the static electricity you usually find on your clothes after a spin in the dryer. To combat this, most people use anti-cling dryer sheets, which are full of harsh chemicals and artificial scents. Dryer sheets are coated in a fatty compound, such as silicone oil or ammonium salt, which holds a positive charge. This is what helps them combat static electricity. As the sheets warm up, the coating melts and positive atoms are released. This substance is what coats your clothes and makes them feel softer and smell nicer. However, over time, this coating can cause harsh build up on your clothes.
By air drying your clothes, this static electricity isn’t generated, and neither is the need for dryer sheets. If you like the feeling of your clothes after using dryer sheets, or use the sheets to help your clothes smell fresh, try air drying your clothes outside. You might be surprised at how soft they feel and fresh they smell, all without the use of harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances.
Better for the environment
In addition to saving you money, reducing your electricity use and the use of dryer sheets reduces waste and your carbon footprint.
Clothes will last longer
Have you ever wondered where the lint that fills your dryer’s lint trap comes from? A lot of that lint is from damage to your clothes caused by the drying process. The tossing and tumbling of the dryer, especially on higher heat settings, can cause wear and tear on your clothing. Air drying your clothes is a much gentler way of drying them, and it prevents shrinking as well. Taking better care of your clothes keeps them in good shape longer, which means you’ll save money on repairing or replacing them.
Air drying your clothes typically results in fewer wrinkles, which will save you time and hassle. The weight of water in damp clothes naturally pulls clothing into its natural shape, allowing it to dry (relatively) wrinkle free.
Reduces risk of house fire
According to the US Fire Administration, clothes dryers are responsible for starting almost 3,000 house fires each year, causing an average of 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. In roughly one third of these cases, the fire is caused by a failure to clean the dryer. Air drying your clothes removes this risk.
Whitens and disinfects clothes
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can disinfect damp laundry. The UV light reacts with oxygen dissolved in the water to produce reactive forms of oxygen that kill microorganisms. UV light also interferes with the reproduction cycle of bacteria. UV rays can also cause a mild bleaching effect—you’ve probably noticed this if your hair lightens after spending some time in the sun. This makes the sun one of the best ways to naturally bleach and disinfect your whites and keep them crisp and fresh looking. For optimal whitening, air dry your whites on sunny days when the sun’s exposure is the most direct, typically in the afternoon. If you’re worried about dark or colored clothes fading in the sun, dry these items inside, or outside during overcast days or in shadier areas of your yard.
Gets you outside
Air drying your clothes outside requires that you, well, go outside! Research has shown that spending a little time outside can be a boost to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Many people even find the process therapeutic. When was the last time you could say that about doing your laundry?
Improves the humidity levels in your home
Air drying clothes inside can increase the humidity inside of your home. While this probably isn’t something you’re eager to have in the humid summertime, unless you live in a very dry area, it can be a blessing during harsh and dry winters. You probably don’t want to dry your clothes outside in the dead of winter anyway, right?
These are just a few of the substantial benefits of air drying your clothes. Give it a try the next time you do laundry. You may find you prefer air drying clothes!