Will Clothes Dry in Cold Air?
Most of us feel frustrated when we hang up a load of wash on the line, only to find that the cold air has left them damp when it comes time to take them in. So can clothes be dried in cold air at all?
The Science of Drying Clothes in Cold Air
When it comes to drying clothes, warm air is necessary for the evaporation process. Cold air holds less moisture which means there isn’t enough to evaporate the water from wet clothes. That said, there are a few tricks that can be used in order to try to air dry clothes in cold air:
- Use a Dryer Sheet: Adding a dryer sheet to the clothing will help break up the surface tension of the water droplets which will help the clothes dry faster.
- Increase Airflow: Increasing the airflow around the wet-clothes by hanging them in an area where the wind can reach will help speed up the drying process.
- Choose Light-Weight Materials: Lightweight materials like cotton and linen absorb and evaporate moisture quickly, so choose these materials with air-drying in mind.
Alternate Strategies for Cold Weather
If cold air isn’t an ideal situation for drying clothes, what other options are available?
- Indoor Drying Rack: If you don’t have access to a tumble dryer, an indoor drying rack can be a great solution. It will collect the moisture in the air and keep your clothes fresh and dry.
- Air-Dry Indoors: You can also hang clothes near a radiator or warm air vent indoors to help them dry. This will also help to remove the damp smell from your clothes.
- Use the Dryer: If you want the quickest and most reliable way to get your clothes dry, using the tumble dryer may be your best bet. Just remember to check the labels on the clothes first and always use the lowest heat setting possible.
It is possible to dry clothes in cold air but it is not always reliable, depending on the temperature and humidity of the environment. As an alternative, you can always dry clothes indoors, either over a drying rack or by the radiator. Or, when all else fails, the tumble dryer is always there as a back up plan.