How to: dry your clothes in a flash (without a tumble dryer)

22 September 2021 | Rachel England

Tumble dryers use a lot of energy. So here are some neat tips and tricks to help get your clothes dry faster – without even having to switch it on.

  1. Using a high spin on your washing machine

Using a high spin setting on your washing machine gets rid of as much water as possible from your clothes, before they’re even ready to dry. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the energy used to do this is far less than the energy needed to run a tumble dryer.

  1. Two towel tricks to remove excess water

Once your clothes are out of the washing machine, try one (or both!) of these towel tricks to remove even more moisture:

Towel trick 1

  • Put a large towel down and lay the item of clothing on top
  • Roll up the towel into a sausage (garment inside)
  • Twist it tightly, starting at one end, working your way along, until the entire sausage is twisted. 

This squeezes excess water out of your clothes and into the towel.

Towel trick 2

  • Try putting your garment on an ironing board, as if ready to iron, but lay a thin towel over the top of it.
  • Try pressing the towel using a high heat, stopping to turn the garment over so both sides are pressed. 

This warms the garment without causing damage. 

  1. Giving your clothes room to dry

Line-drying outside is your best bet for drying items in a hurry. But that’s not always possible – if you don’t have outdoor space or it’s raining. Indoor drying racks are the next best thing.

Hanging items individually and leaving space for the air to circulate between them will allow clothes to dry faster. Another tip: placing items over 2 bars instead of 1 allows extra air flow, so they should dry quicker.

  1. Choosing the right drying location 

Placing your drying rack near a source of warmth (like a radiator or a boiler, for example) makes perfect sense. But putting it wherever there’s movement in the air – perhaps near an open window or by a fan – also works surprisingly well.

Taking items off the radiator as soon as they’re dry will also mean they don’t block heat from the rest of your room.  

  1. Rotating clothes for extra air flow

Rotating your garments regularly means the whole item will get contact with the air. And air flow is really important for drying, so this will help speed up the process. 

  1. Using a hair dryer

If time is really of the essence and you need to get one or two items dry really quickly, giving them a very quick blast with a hairdryer should help. Hang the item up and rotate it frequently, “airing out” pockets, sleeves, and collars as you go. You needn’t use a particularly high setting, either – warm is fine. It’s all about air flow rather than heat. Although you’re still using electricity, it’s far less energy than the tumble dryer. 

Using a tumble dryer more efficiently 

If you need to use a tumble dryer, here are a few tips for using it in the most efficient, energy-saving way:

  • Setting it to the most efficient setting – preferably the eco-option if your machine has one – means least energy will be used while running it. 
  • Getting rid of the lint from the vents, as this can reduce efficiency. 
  • Throwing in a dry, fluffy towel with your wet item helps speed up the drying process as it can absorb some of the moisture. 
  • Checking your clothes. They could be dry a lot quicker than you think and you could save energy by taking them out sooner. 

How can we help?

Here are some of the ways OVO Energy is helping its members to reduce their energy use and help fight the climate crisis: 

  • OVO Greenlight: our clever tool that gives free energy-saving insights and tips. Plus, live updates on the greenest times to use energy!
  • tado° smart thermostats: our partnership with tado° means you can get your hands on this nifty piece of kit for a discounted price of £120 (saving of £79.991). The wireless tado° Smart Thermostat can help you cut the energy your heating uses by up to  31%2

For more ideas on reducing your carbon footprint and being more energy-efficient, join OVO today. 

If you’re worried about your energy bills or you're struggling financially, we’re here to support you. Find out how you can get advice and financial support.

Sources and references

1 Saving based on manufacturer's recommended retail price of £199.99.

2 An independent study has shown that installing and correctly using a tadoº smart thermostat can reduce your energy use from heating by up to 31%. The study found that the tadoº device can reduce heating energy requirements by 14-26% through controlling the heat source (e.g. boiler or heat pump). You could also save another 7% by turning down the heating based on the weather forecast, depending on the window sizes. If the window surfaces are relatively large, the energy saving will increase.