Mother nature offers a cost effective means to wrinkle-free clothes drying, one that can also help disinfect and remove odours. It’s… the sun, and its UV rays not only kill bacteria, but can also brighten your whites. Plus, if you dry your clothes outside you’ll get the real fresh-air scent your detergent and fabric softeners can only hope to imitate.
But not all items should be dried in the same way, and there are a few considerations that can help you air dry better. Here’s what to keep in mind the next time you’re hanging things out to dry.
Do check the pollen index
Drying your clothes in the spring can be a bit tricky; what with the more frequent rain and the high pollen levels, it can be hard to find the perfect time to hang dry. Because yes: Especially if you suffer from allergies, you should check the pollen index before deciding to dry your laundry outside. This site can tell you the current pollen level in your area so you can track your allergies and decide if it’s the right time to dry your clothes in the sun. The last thing you want to do is track ragweed pollen and other allergens into your home with your laundry.
Don’t put darks in the sun
The sun is great for bleaching your whites, but it will do the same to your darks. When drying outside, place the darks in a shaded area and keep an eye on the sun as it changes position; otherwise, they might end up fading faster than if you’d just thrown them in the dryer.
Don’t hang sweaters or heavy clothes
Sweaters are usually woven or knitted together, and hanging them on hangers or clotheslines can cause them to stretch and warp. Instead, set up a drying rack outside and place sweaters flat on top of it so they keep their shape. Just flip them over when the top side is dry.
Don’t air-dry down blankets and pillows
Down comforters might seem like a prime candidate for air drying, but it’s not a good idea to put your down linen out to dry. Their filling tends to clump when it gets wet in the wash, and air drying it will only keep those clumps in place. Worse, as mentioned, hanging heavier items like linens can stretch them out of shape. Instead, throw these items in the dryer along with a few laundry balls.