How To Hang Dry Laundry

Clothes Drying Rack drying rack with towels Umbrella Clothesline Laundry Washing Kit

Guide to air drying different types of clothing

General Tips:

When using an automatic washer, be sure that your clothes are well spun out before hang drying your laundry. Using a fabric softener will help your clothes stay soft during air drying.

If you have hand washed a piece of delicate clothing be sure that you have removed as much water as possible by rolling the garment in an absorbent towel. See our Guide to Drying Delicate Clothing

For clothing pieces that are not stretchy, give them a good healthy shake prior to hanging to separate the fabric to reduce the drying time. A good shake also removes wrinkles and makes the clothes softer.


There are two ways to hang shirts. Shirts can be hung on hangers with the top buttoned and the collar positioned correctly. Or you can hang the shirt from the bottom at the two side seams with clips. You may also need to clip up the sleeves to keep them off the floor or ground. Shirts that have been hung on hangers usually can be taken directly to hang in the closet when dry. Hanging on hangers often allows you to skip the need for ironing.


It is very important that you shake those jeans out prior to hanging - it will keep them from stiffening up. When hanging on a laundry drying rack you will need to use multiple arms of the rack for the jeans so that the denim gets as much air circulation as possible. When you hang the jeans attempt to "open" the tops of the jeans as much as possible so that air can get into the pocket area to help speed up drying time. Jeans will dry best in the sun. When drying inside, locating the drying rack near a heating or air conditioning vent. A floor or ceiling fan will also help speed up the drying process. Air flow is important.


The fabric that the slacks are made with will determine how you dry them. Many polyester blends dry fast and these slacks can simply be folded over one arm of the drying rack. Cotton slacks should be treated the same as jeans.


Undergarments can be hung from your clothes rack in multiple ways. They can simply be slipped over the arms of your drying rack. You can hang them by one or two corners with clothes clips, or simply folded over the laundry rack.


If your skirt is short enough, hang with clothes pins from the waist line. If it is a long skirt of a fabric type that dries easily simply fold over the clothes rack the same as for slacks. If it is a heavy or denim skirt hang over two arms of your drying rack, like jeans. Crinkle Skirts should be twisted tightly to dry in the wrinkles. You may either lay the twisted fabric across the top of the clothes drying rack or you can clip the top and the bottom in a U shape to the rack to hold the fabric in the twist. Twisted skirts take a long time to dry, so turning them to keep them in the sun or to expose a new side to the breeze is helpful.


Most dresses can be folded over a couple arms of your laundry rack. The other option, which takes a little more work, is to clip the dress to the rack. If it is a slightly stretchy material you will want to use four clothespins - two near the neck opening and two near the outside shoulder. Then you will want to clip the bottom of the dress to one of the nearby drying rack arms. Depending on the fullness of the skirt this could take two to four clothespins. If the dress is very long and would touch the ground you can also weave the center of the dress over the top of a middle arm to hang the dress in a W shape.

Towels and Wash Cloths:

To get nice soft air dried towels simply follow these steps. Use a fabric softener or a water softener during your washing process. Shake towels vigorously prior to hanging. Then do not hang in direct sunshine where the towels will "bake". If you have a choice, wash towels on days when there is a breeze. If you wash on a calm day, then when you walk by your towels give them a little pat or shake as you go by to keep them from stiffening up. If you happen to end up with stiff towels, shaking them again prior to folding will help.

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Page last modified on 2017-10-29



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