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Brrrr, imagine winter is here! Yes, it’s really cold but you still need to do the washing. Thank goodness for washing machines and dryers. But, what if your dryer has broken down? How do you go about doing laundry and outside feels like the North Pole? You can't inevitably ignore your laundry basket. You will need to do the washing before your run out of what to wear. So, what to do? We’ve researched if clothes will still dry in freezing weather, and here’s what we found out.
Yes, your clothes will dry very well in freezing weather. In fact, many living in the remote rural parts of the Northern Hemisphere often dry their clothes outside during winter. The cold gives clothes a fresher scent. Laundry that has been put out to dry rarely needs ironing. The clothes dry because of the following factors:
- Sublimation (evaporation of ice)
- Winter sun
- Clothesline placement
As strange as it may seem, the above factors play a key role in ensuring that your clothes dry in cold weather. Have we gotten your curiosity? Keep reading to find out how your clothes will dry regardless of the cold weather outside.
Why Clothes Dry Well In Cold Weather
Everyday chores don’t have to stop in the cold weather. Nature has come to our aid with a very thrilling scientific phenomenon called sublimation. As we may remember from school, water has three states. These three forms of water are liquid, ice, and vapor.
Sublimation occurs when temperatures are very low. The moisture in the wind also needs to be minimal. This means that your wet clothes dry as the ice evaporates. In other words, sublimation is when ice changes to a gaseous state without becoming liquid. The clothes when hang outdoors freeze, into very interesting shapes, before the moisture evaporates.
Have you ever wondered why flags never freeze in the winter? The wind during the cold weather has less humidity. Be sure to take advantage of windy days. The moisture is shaken out of the clothes as they flap around.
The cold weather is usually less humid. The speed and dryness of the wind will determine how fast your clothes will dry. Therefore a windy weather forecast should not stop you from putting your laundry out on the clothesline to dry. Just make sure you peg your clothes well. This might be in the yard or on the balcony.
In the winter, you also get sunlight. It is sometimes quite warm. This is fantastic because the heat from the sun will help evaporate the ice on the frozen clothes quicker.
Sunny days in winter, more often than not, are bitterly cold. This is good for outdoor hanging. You may have to do your washing earlier and put your clothes to dry before the sun disappears. We're well aware that days are shorter in the cold season. Ensure that you take advantage of the sun to the fullest.
This is an important factor to take into consideration. Place the clothesline in such a manner so that it has access to the sun and the wind. This will help your laundry dry faster. You might use a wind vane to get the direction of the wind before you place your clothesline in your yard.
This won’t be necessary when you live in an apartment with a balcony. Although some apartment blocks have a common clothesline in the yard. There are lots of different types of clothesline. They range from retractable to fixed, wire or nylon, thick or thin. Shop for a clothesline that will be able to carry the weight of your laundry at all times.
There are several ways to place your lines. They could be free-standing or mounted onto the side of the house. Fix the clothesline well to avoid your laundry falling to the ground. Some indoor clotheslines have a heating device to dry clothes. Just take your pick the next time you go shopping.
How do you dry clothes in the winter?
It is important to understand that in whichever weather, laundry is always in the basket. When the warmer days are gone, you still need to do your washing. You could dry your clothes by:
- Putting them in the dryer
- Hanging them on a rack in the laundry room or balcony
- Hanging them on a clothesline outdoors
- Using a humidifier with an inbuilt rack
How long do clothes take to dry in cold weather?
This actually depends on whether the clothes are indoors or outdoors. We shouldn't forget that the weather conditions matter too. When you put your laundry outdoors to dry, it might take a day or two. Clothes drying indoors could take the same amount of time. That's if you don’t use a dryer.
The advantage of drying clothes indoors is the circulating heated air. An additional plus is when your clothesline has some sunlight falling on it. To significantly quicken the time your clothes take to dry, squeeze out the water as much as possible.
Is it OK to do laundry in freezing weather?
Of course, it is OK! You really have no other option in this situation. You can’t possibly keep dirty laundry for the duration of the winter season. If you don’t own a dryer, you can put the clothes to dry on a rack or a clothesline. Clothes that are hanging out to dry in the winter always have a crispy fresh scent.
Before you do your laundry, check the weather forecast. Ensure that your clothes are not rained on while hanging out to dry. Rained-on clothes have an unpleasant odor. The quality of your clothes will be affected. Once your clothes are almost dry, take them into the house if it looks like it's going to rain.
Is it better to air dry clothes or use a dryer?
There are advantages and disadvantages of using a dryer. Of course, dryers are faster and get the clothes dry the same day. But, they consume a lot of energy. Expect your electricity bills to be high. As you use the dryer, the moisture from the clothes is absorbed into the house.
This is evident when you see your walls are "sweating." This is as good as pouring 2–3 buckets of water on the walls and ceiling of your house. Air drying is a frugal way of sustaining your home even in winter. To save energy, air-dry your clothes.
Also, remember that not all clothes can be put to dry in the dryer. Before you put your laundry in the dryer, sort it. Don't hang your clothes in the basement of your house. This part of the house has poor ventilation and no natural light. The dampness may cause serious health problems.
We have seen how to dry our laundry in the winter. We now know which factors aid us and how they work together. When you put your laundry outside to dry, nature has a way of disinfecting and deodorizing your clothes.
Don’t hesitate to do the laundry and hang it out to dry because it also gets bleached naturally by the elements. Air drying clothes help us save our planet as well. Use eco-friendly detergents for a full circle. We can now take a break from the energy hogs in our homes with a clear conscience!