Nice smelling clothes

Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: July 10, 2019
Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer

Do you need a specific shirt for work tomorrow and it's still wet? Do want to impress someone, but your skirt is still damp to the touch? Are you having a clothing emergency, but the tumble dryer is on the blink? Or you never had a dryer in the first place? Don't worry, if you need to dry clothes indoors and quickly, oneHOWTO has some helpful advice to share. With these tricks to dry clothes faster without a dryer, we'll show you the household items and DIY techniques which will get you bone dry in no time. Whether it has just taken your clothes longer to dry than expected or because it started to pour with rain on your lunch break we've got you covered with these tips for faster clothes drying at home.

  1. Why aren't my clothes dry?
  2. The mangle method
  3. Dry your clothes without a clothesline
  4. Freeze dry your clothes
  5. Drying clothes faster with a hairdryer
  6. Drying clothes faster with an iron
  7. Dry your clothes faster with a salad spinner

Why aren't my clothes dry?

While you may not have the equipment for all of these tricks to dry your clothes faster, there should be something for everyone. Perhaps the weather isn't great and you can't hang your clothes in the sun. Perhaps your heating has gone off, so the clothes which normally dry quickly are now left soaking in the cold air.

Another aspect is the fact that many people can't afford a tumble dryer to dry their clothes. Not only is the initial purchase often quite expensive, running costs can create a hefty addition to your electricity bills. This is why alternative drying methods can be helpful to you in the short term, but are often better for everyone. Implement these tricks to dry your clothes faster, ensure you are dry and you may even save money in doing so.

The mangle method

Before electric tumble dryers existed, the best way to dry your clothes faster was with a mangle. This was a set of rollers with a hand crank which squeezed the wet clothes dry using pressure. If you happen to have a Victorian mangle knocking about, then this is a great way to dry clothes quickly. However, as this might not be the case, we have a handy method to help you out:

  1. Take a large towel, a bath or shower towel, and spread it out on a flat surface. Lay the wet garment on top of the towel.
  2. Fold the towel over the garment or material so that both sides are touching the towel.
  3. Start rolling from one end of the towel so that the garment is bound in the middle like jam in a sponge roll.
  4. Take the rolled up towel and twist it hard so that the clothing will start to leach its water into the towel fabric and out of its own. Twist it as tightly as you can. You can even step on it to get some extra pressure.
  5. Unwrap the towel, turn the clothing over and do again using the driest parts of the towel.

Another tip to help ensure the clothes dry more effectively is to leave the clothes in the bathroom while you have a hot shower. The steam will warm them up and get rid of more excess moisture.

Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer - The mangle method

Dry your clothes without a clothesline

If the weather conditions mean you can't hang your clothes outside, then creating similar conditions inside can help. You can do this by using a radiator or a fan. If you have central heating and your radiators are the metal kind which run water through you can set the clothes on top. Turn the heating on and the radiator should dry it relatively quickly. You don't want the radiator to be too hot, otherwise it may cause dirt or stains to harden. Equally, you don't want them too cold otherwise you won't be able to dry them very fast.

If you have a convection heater or an electric heater, you need to be very careful. Convection heaters heat up an element inside, making the air outside it heat up also. If you cover this with clothing, then the element can overheat and cause a fire. Similarly, if wet clothes drip into it, this can cause an accident. You should never put clothes over a convection heater, but they should be OK if you leave them a safe distance away.

You can dry your wet clothes faster with a fan. This will act like the wind if they were on a clothesline. If you have a heater, you might be able to use a combination of fan and heater, but this can be tricky to set up both effectively and safely. If it's sunny and not raining, it is always preferable to let you clothes air dry. However, remember that direct sunlight damages colored clothing so turn them inside out to hang them.

Freeze dry your clothes

Another very effective drying trick is to quickly put the wet garment neatly folded inside a plastic bag and put in the freezer. Leave it until it is completely dry, you can even leave it overnight. The next day, iron it to remove the cold and it's ready. With this you can dry your clothes in winter or when it rains.

You do need to be careful when drying your clothes in the freezer. Be especially careful when mixing clothing items with food. Firstly, if there is any dirt on the clothing, you run the risk of contaminating the food. Secondly, if you have food in the freezer which has a sauce or is made of something which causes stains, you might end up ruining your clothes. It won't matter that your clothes have dried faster if you have a big dollop of ragú down the middle.

Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer - Freeze dry your clothes

Drying clothes faster with a hairdryer

If you have to dry small items fast such as socks or underwear, a very useful trick is to use the hair dryer. This is especially helpful when drying clothes in winter. Dry your clothes with the dryer keeping a distance of a foot away. This will prevent damage, burning or hardening your clothes and they'll quickly be ready to wear. You also want to be careful of overheating the element of your hairdryer.

If it is a quality hairdryer, it should short itself and stop working. If it is not, it has the potential to catch fire. Either way it won't be fun. For larger items, such as shirts or pants, we recommend that you do this as a last resort as it requires more time to be completely dry. A good alternative that is equally effective is to dry your clothes with an iron, take a look below at how easy it is.

Drying clothes faster with an iron

Another easy way to dry your clothes fast without a dryer is to use an iron. The heat from the iron will help accelerate the process. Use an old towel to put on top of the wet garment and use the iron on top of the towel to apply heat indirectly. Make sure you use it on the correct temperature to ensure that none of the clothes are damaged. If you want to dry a shirt fast, it's not going to matter if you have burnt it first.

This is one of the most effective ways to dry clothes faster and one of the most used too. If the clothes are completely soaked through, then you might want to try some of the other techniques to dry your clothes faster before this one. You may find that a combination of two or more of these tips will get you the dry clothes you need.

Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer - Drying clothes faster with an iron

Dry your clothes faster with a salad spinner

There is another all-time favorite that may also work for you if you have the right material: using a salad spinner. This is a type of plastic basket where you spin and dry your lettuce to remove excess water. Put the piece of clothing in the basket, close it properly and spin as hard as you can. This will get rid of any excess water but will not completely dry it, which is why we advise you to combine this trick with another in order to dry your clothes faster.

The salad spinner acts as a manual centrifuge, much like the rotating drum in most washing machines. This reminds us of another point. If you are washing your clothes in a washing machine, make sure you put the spin cycle up to the highest speed. This will help you to dry clothes faster.

Make sure you hang clothes to dry properly as clothes may take longer to dry if you don't do so.

Put all of these tricks to the test and do not wait days for your clothes to completely dry. With these solutions you can wear your favorite clothes whenever you want, without using the tumble dryer.

If your home is very humid, and your clothes take forever to dry because of this, we recommend reading the article how to remove humidity from your home.

If you want to read similar articles to Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.


  • Many people ask themselves if leaving clothes on a radiator will helps dry clothes faster. Though it may be effective, you cannot use this method for a long period of time, as depending on the type of fabric you risk the radiator leaving a mark on your clothes. It is especially not recommended to leave them on electric radiators as your clothes may be a fire hazard.
  • If you want your clothes to dry faster, while washing your clothes in the washing machine, use a program with a higher spin. This way, your clothes will come out dryer and with less moisture.
  • If you live in a highly humid environment, we advise you to hang your clothes in a place where there is constant air flow and make sure you own a dehumidifier.
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Tricks to Dry Clothes Faster without a Dryer