Yet another wet day and your laundry pile is growing? Before you pile everything on to your radiators, here’s why you shouldn’t dry your clothes on your radiator.

It’s really important for us to save energy where we can. This is because the energy we use in our homes creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. If we can cut our electricity and gas use, we cut our carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change.

I am all about saving energy. And I want everyone else to be energy conscious too. Whilst big changes, like insulating your home, can make a big difference, I want to focus on the simple changes anyone can do, whether you own your home or not. For this series, I’m therefore focusing on the tips that don’t need any fancy equipment, nor do they require you to spend any money whatsoever. This is especially relevant as energy bills are expected to rise steeply in 2021.

So, my next energy saving tip is about drying clothes on your radiator. Specifically why you shouldn’t/

Why You Shouldn’t Dry Clothes On Your Radiator

Hanging wet clothes on your radiator makes your boiler work harder, to get your room to your desired temperature. This means it takes longer to heat your home. In turn, this uses more energy to heat your home and costs you more money.

Instead:

Why you shouldn't dry clothes on your radiator
Image c/o Visit Scotland

Use a clothes horse! Although perhaps not quite as literally as this photo of Shetland ponies actually wearing cardigans suggests…!

A clothes horse allows warm air to circulate freely around the room.  I know it’s not always easy. We live in a tiny house with barely any room for clothes horses.  Our tiny kitchen is rammed full of them, to the point where we struggle to get past them. Sometimes desperation does call for me to dry clothes on my radiators, but I try to keep it to the odd desperate occasion rather than an everyday thing. 

In our previous flat, we were lucky enough to have quite high ceilings. The flat even came with an original ceiling-mounted pulley for drying clothes.  It was amazing for drying clothes and sheets, and meant we didn’t need to dry our clothes on the radiator. If you’ve got high ceilings I cannot recommend them enough.  You can pick them up easily online from £12 (the cheaper ones come without the wooden slats for easy postage – you can then get wood cut to fit at your local wood merchants).  And they have a nice vintage look to them if you’re into that kind of thing.

Top Tips for Drying Clothes Indoors

If you don’t ventilate your home properly when drying clothes indoors, then you are building yourself up to have a variety of problems.

Not ventilating can cause dampness – where black mould grows on your walls or ceiling. The NHS says that this mould can trigger allergic reactions, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and/or a skin rash. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions, such as asthma.

If you can, dry your clothes in a room where you can open a window and close the door on it, to allow the air to circulate freely. If that’s not possible, opening your windows every day for at least fifteen minutes helps fresh air to freely circulate, reducing the chance of dampness occuring.

How Your Washing Machine Can Help

While we’re on the subject of clothes and laundry, your washing machine can help you dry your clothes faster.  

You see, I had a recent revelation. My washing machine’s standard wash cycle spins my clothes at 1200 rpm, but its maximum spin is 1400 rpm.  Upon realising this (just the other week!),  after the cycle finishes, I set it to do a 1400 rpm spin to get the last drops of water out.  I’ve found this significantly reduces the time it takes to either tumble dry my clothes (I know, I know, but I use it sparingly). Or I dry them on my clothes horse. This reduces the chances of that nasty “took too long to dry” smell.  Which makes me very happy indeed, and reduces the likelihood of me opting to dry my clothes on the radiator.  It’s the little things in life!

If you enjoyed this then I also have a load of eco-friendly laundry tips right this way.