This winter many of us are looking for ways to cut back on our energy use at home due to rising bills. Using a tumble dryer can be quite pricy — depending on your model’s energy rating it can cost up to €2 to dry an average load of washing in the dryer and if your dryer is more than six years old this price could be higher again.
Earlier this year, a woman’s drying tip went viral on Facebook when she shared how she cuts down on her drying time when using a clothes horse in her house beside a radiator.
Alix Byrne from Glasgow posted a photo of her clothes drying in the Facebook group Cleaning tips and tricks, which has over 1.5 million members. It showed a fitted bed sheet draped over a tall clothes horse, with a load of washing just visible on it underneath.
“If anyone needs a clothes drying hack,” she wrote, “tuck a bed sheet behind a hot radiator whilst your wet clothes are hanging on the frame. Thank me later.” Alix had discovered the trick one day when she was unsure of how to hang a large bed sheet to dry it effectively, so she draped it over the rest of the washing on the clothes horse and tucked it into the radiator. The sheet created a pocket of hot air and her clothes underneath dried within just two hours.
Members of the group quickly confirmed the hack worked for them too.
“It works quite well,” one person wrote. “I do this to help mine dry. Being in a small third-floor flat there’s not any room for a dryer so I use the radiator. The sheet hack really helps.” Another said: ”Tried this yesterday as don’t have a tumble dryer. Also helps stop condensation in the bedroom whilst drying washing I’ve found.” One person added a tip to make them dry even faster and reduce the risk of condensation in the room — a key cause of damp and mould in the home. “All you need now is a desktop fan plugged in, to circulate the air inside so it dries even quicker.”
Of course, there may be days you need to use your dryer and if this is the case you should do so sensibly. You might be tempted to put as many clothes into a load to make the most of the cycle but this is actually the opposite of what you should do. Instead, Bonkers.ie recommends separating your clothes into lighter and heavier loads and suggests placing some dryer balls into the machine with every load. They say these can save up to 25% on the drying time.
“Don’t overload your tumble dryer to try dry your clothes in one load. It’s a false economy. Two medium-sized loads will usually dry quicker than one heavy load,” Bonkers.ie says.
“And only put your clothes in for the minimum amount of time possible: if they come out a tiny bit damp, you can always place them in the hotpress to finish drying off overnight.”