We’ve heard the question countless times, but it still seems to confuse the majority of the population – does washing dry outside when it’s cold?
That’s the quick answer out of the way, but you’re probably looking for something a little more in depth, right?
Outdoor Drying In Winter
Of course, a nice warm summers day will be perfect for drying the laundry, but that doesn’t mean the winter means you’ve got to cram everything onto a clothes airer in the spare bedroom. YEs, the line drying time might be significantly longer in the winter, but it still works, and is also great for getting that fresher smell that line drying seems to get compared to risking the slight mustiness of indoor drying options.
The Evidence Is Already Outside
If you think about it, even in the coldest days of winter, you can wake up to a wet patio after a little overnight precipitation, yet by lunchtime the slabs are dry. That’s exactly the same process as drying clothing on the line. The sun (ideally) comes out and does its thing – evaporating moisture into the air. In fact, it is even possible (although unlikely) that you could get humid days in the summer that provide worse conditions for line drying than on a cold, crisp winter’s day. Let’s be honest though, that scenario doesn’t occur often in the British climate.
Wind Plus Sun Equals Drying
The best conditions in winter occur with at least a little breeze and the sun being out. Wind is important because it helps moisture move away from the laundry as it dries, and the sun provides a gentle heating effect, even when it feels cold to you and I. Naturally, you don’t want gale force winds, because you’ll likely find the clothing and even the line too have travelled down the road, but at minimum, a little movement of air is a very good thing for line drying.
Be Green And Save Money
Compared to tumble drying, using the line is a huge saving. Other then the time you spend hanging the clothes out and getting them in, there’s no real cost – assuming you’ve already got a line. If not, check out our recommendations for rotary washing lines, or other alternatives here. Tumble dryers use two of the most inefficient ways to use electricity – heaters and motors. Generating heat and spinning the drum of the machine are inevitably going to impact on your electricity bill to a greater extent than most other household appliances, and both effects can be achieved outside on the line.
Yes, that’s right, what we’re saying is you can be a secret skinflint, but hide your motivation as being an eco-warrior saving the planet instead!