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Your clothes are wet, and you need them dry. Ultimately, the goal is to quickly remove the water from the fabric by any means possible: heat, spinning, airflow, or pressure. Try placing a fresh, dry towel into a standard tumble-dryer to speed up the water-absorption process. Try ironing or blow-drying each garment to steam out the water with heat. Before you dry: use a high-spin wash, then wring your clothing out to remove any excess water and speed the drying process.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Wringing Out Excess Water
- 1Use a high-spin wash. If you're using a washing machine, you can prime your clothes to dry more quickly. Use a high spin setting on your washing machine to remove as much water as possible from your clothes before you even take them from the wash. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the increased energy used to do this is negligible compared to the energy that it takes to run a standard tumble dryer.XResearch source
- 2Wring your clothing out so that it will dry more quickly. Hold a garment firmly in both hands. Squeeze, twist, and knead the fabric to wrench out as much water as possible. Be careful not to pull too hard, or you might stretch the fabric. If you're inside, wring the water into a sink or tub; if you're outside, you can wring the water directly onto the ground.
- Wring your clothing before drying, whether you intend to tumble-dry or hang-dry. The more excess water you can remove before starting a dry cycle, the more quickly a garment will dry.
- 3Twist the clothing into a towel to absorb the water. Put down a large, fluffy towel, then lay the wet garment on top. Roll up the towel tightly with the clothing inside. Twist the bundle: start at one end, rolling methodically, and work your way along until the entire towel is tightly twisted. This squeezes excess water out of your clothes and into the towel.
- If this trick doesn't remove all of the water the first time around, consider using another dry towel to repeat the twist.
- 4Try salad spinning your clothes. Put your wet clothing into a salad spinner, if you own one. This device serves as a quick pre-dryer, or a low-energy version of a high-spin wash: it will fling the excess water from your clothes. You'll still need to let your clothing dry afterward, but the spinning should make the process substantially faster by ensuring that your garments aren't so waterlogged.XResearch source
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Drying Without a Dryer
- 1Use a hairdryer. If you have access to a handheld blow-dryer, you can use it to quickly and intensively dry your clothing. First, wring out the wet garment and lay it on a clean, dry surface. Turn the hairdryer to a warm or high setting – it's more about the air flow than the heat. Hold the blow-dryer near the clothing, and dry it spot-by-spot with quick blasts of hot air. Work your way slowly around the entire surface of the garment, front and back, inside and out, until the whole thing is dry. You have to pay attention to not overheat you hair dryer in order to avoid its damage.
- Rotate the garment frequently to dry any pockets, sleeves, and collars. Dry them from the inside and the outside to ensure that you do a thorough job.
- Be careful not to point the blow-dryer at one spot for too long. If some garments or surfaces get too hot, they might catch fire.
- 2Use a clothesline or drying rack. Hang your clothing on a line, if possible, or use a drying rack. A line is usually fastest, but it is not always practical. Make sure to hang each item individually so that it has the space and ventilation to dry quickly. Rotate and flip garments periodically to ensure an even dry.XResearch source
- Try setting up your line or rack near a heat source. Hang your clothing a few feet away from a fireplace, radiator, boiler, or furnace. Be very careful when placing flammable materials near heat; if you let your clothes get too hot or cover up a heat source, you may risk fire. Do not drape your clothes over a heat source.
- Try setting up your clothing to dry somewhere with a brisk airflow – anywhere air is moving. Hang your clothes by a window (or outside) if there's a breeze, or set up a fan to simulate the airflow inside the house.XResearch source
- If you use a drying rack with individual bars, try hanging must-dry items over two bars rather than just one. The more surface area you expose to the airflow, the more quickly a garment will dry.
- 3Use an iron and a towel. Lay your wet garment on an ironing board, as if you are going to iron it, but lay a thin towel on top. Iron the towel firmly and thoroughly using a high heat. Make sure to turn the garment over so that you press both sides. The iron-and-towel combination channels some warmth into the fabric, and the towel will absorb some of the moisture.
- Do not put a hot iron directly onto a wet piece of clothing. This may stretch and damage the fabric, rendering the garment unwearable. If you use an iron on wet clothing, always use a towel for protection.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Tumble-Drying with Towels
- 1Dry a wet garment with a few clean, dry towels. The towels will absorb some of the moisture from the wet clothing, and the whole batch may dry more quickly as a result. You can use as little as one towel or as many as five; in general, the more towels you use, the more quickly your clothes will dry.XResearch source Bear in mind that this trick works best when you only need to quickly dry one or two pieces of clothing. The more wet garments you add to the dry cycle, the less effective the towels will be – and the longer your clothes will take to dry.
- 2Put your garment in the dryer along with the towels. Do not add any other clothing. At most, add two or three pieces of wet clothing, but nothing too heavy. Be aware that towels are often lint-heavy, so there is a chance that lint will build up on your garment.
- If lint is a concern, you can use cotton T-shirts in place of the towels – although T-shirts will not be as absorptive as towels. Adding dryer sheets can reduce the chances of lint from the towels building up on your garment.XResearch source
- 3Clean out the lint trap. When lint builds up, it can prevent your dryer from moving air efficiently, making it work harder and use more energy to dry clothes. Depending on the design of your dryer, the lint trap will either be on the top of the dryer or located just inside the door. Locate the trap and pull out the screen. If it is covered in a layer of lint, it is already somewhat blocked. Pull the lint away, or scrape it from the screen using your fingernails.XResearch source
- Consider using a vacuum cleaner to quickly and efficiently remove the lint. You can do this to finish the job after pulling away the bulk of the lint. Don't worry too much about getting it absolutely clean – if the lint screen is mostly unobstructed, the dryer will run near top efficiency.XResearch source
- When you have cleaned the lint trap to your satisfaction, simply slide the screen back into the trap. Make sure that it fits neatly. You are ready to dry.
- 4Dry the clothes. Load the wet garments and the dry towels, and make sure that the dryer isn't overfull. Turn the dryer on to the highest heat setting that is safe for the garment you're trying to dry – this will vary from machine to machine, but you should generally use a lower heat for delicates and other thin clothing. Set the dryer to run, then do whatever else you need to do to get ready.
- 5Wait fifteen minutes, or as long as you can. Open the dryer door and pick your garment(s) out from the towels. You should find your garment mostly dry. If not, put it back in and run the dry cycle for a few more moments. Be patient, depending on your dryer, it could be +/- five minutes.
- Make sure to remove the dry towel (which may no longer be so dry) if the cycle takes 20 minutes or more. After this point, the now-damp towel may actually slow down the drying process.
- QuestionIs it better to air dry or machine dry jeans?Rani GorgisRani Gorgis is a Laundry and Cleaning Specialist and the Owner of Park Blvd Laundry & Dry Cleaners in San Diego, California. With several years of experience in the laundry and cleaning industry, Rani specializes in dry cleaning, wash-n-fold, shirt laundry, and servicing smoke-damaged clothes. He holds a BS in Accounting and a CPA certification.
Laundry & Cleaning SpecialistLaundry & Cleaning SpecialistExpert AnswerYou can either air-dry your jeans or use the lowest heat setting on the dryer.
- QuestionCan you put clothes in the oven to dry?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerYou can, but it is typically limited in effectiveness and can easily damage your clothes beyond repair. If you do try this for some reason, preheat your oven to the lowest possible temperature for about 10 minutes and then turn it off and put the clothes in on a clean baking or other type of tray, being careful not to let the clothes touch the rack or sides of the oven. Never put clothes in the oven while it is on! Dry as few clothes as possible to speed drying. The problem with using an oven is that most of the water vapor remains trapped inside the oven, which means clothes can take a while to dry, but if you open the oven door to vent some of the vapor, then the oven will quickly lose heat. Only use an oven to dry clothes if it's really your only option, you're only trying to dry one or two items that aren't very absorbent and you're ok with possibly losing the clothes!
- QuestionHow long does it take to air dry clothes?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerIt would usually take somewhere between 2-4 hours, though it could take much longer or shorter depending on the temperature, wind, humidity, the type of fabric and how thick it is.
- QuestionCan you dry your shirt in the microwave?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerIf you try to dry your shirt in the microwave there is a good chance you will burn or ruin the fabric and it is even possible to set many types of fabrics on fire!
- QuestionCan you hang clothes inside to dry?wikiHow Staff EditorStaff AnswerYes, though it may dry much more slowly if there isn't good air flow or the air in your house is very humid. Try not to dry too many clothes at once, allow for them to dry overnight or use a fan to increase airflow where you are drying.
- QuestionDoes putting wet clothes inside out in the dryer help them dry faster?Community AnswerNo. However, if you have decoration on the outside of your garment, such as the print on a t-shirt or sequins, washing and drying inside-out will keep the decoration looking nice longer.
- QuestionHow do wet clothes get dry when ironed?Community AnswerThe water evaporates onto the towel. This way, the towel is a bit damp, but the clothes aren't. Just make sure you use a towel you don't need at that moment.
- QuestionHow do you dry your blouse quickly on a drying rack?Community AnswerYou could try using a hair dryer; just make sure you don't hold it too close to your shirt and burn it.
- QuestionHow do I dry a wet spot on my khakis?Community AnswerIf you need to do it quickly, try blowing it with a hair dryer.
- QuestionCan I hang my clothing outside to dry them?Community AnswerSure, especially if it is warm, sunny and breezy.
- Do not put clothes in the microwave; they can catch fire.
- Make sure the lint tray is empty. Since the load is mainly dry, there is a high risk of the lint catching on fire due to static electricity.
- Use towels that you don't need immediately, depending on the dryer/garment the towels themselves may need a washing.
- Doing this wastes a lot of electricity, so instead you should be prepared, and get your clothes dried early.
Things You'll Need
- A wet garment
- Dry towels
- A dryer
About This Article
If you want to dry clothes quickly without a dryer, wring out the excess water with your hands or by using the high-spin setting on your washing machine. Then, lay the item on a dry towel and roll it up tightly and twist the entire bundle to wring the water into the towel. If that isn’t enough, place the item on an ironing board, cover it with a thin towel, and iron it on a high heat setting to warm the item while letting the towel absorb more moisture. Be sure to iron both sides. Keep reading for to learn how to dry clothes faster in the dryer!