Laundry 101: 3 Different Ways to Dry Your Laundry

Washing clothes today? Here are 3 different ways to dry laundry!

Everyone has laundry. And during your typical laundry routine, once you wash your laundry you need to dry it – someway.

As I lived without owning a washer or dryer for 12 years, I found that washing clothes was easy – but drying wasn’t always so convenient.

(Helpful hint: I quickly learned that if you cram your dryer full of wet laundry, it will take much, much longer to dry.)

When drying your laundry, you have 3 options:

  • Dry your laundry in a dryer,
  • Hang your laundry out to dry, or
  • Let it dry flat.

Each option has their own pros, cons, and details I’d love to share to help with your laundry routine:

Washing clothes today? Here are 3 different ways to dry laundry!

Drying Laundry in a Clothes Dryer

Drying laundry in a dryer is one of the easiest options because you just toss it in and turn the machine on. It’s also very quick.

But it does cost money to run the dryer. And if you’re at a laundromat, the money could add up pretty quickly.

Also, if you’re not careful to know exactly what you’re drying – and what setting your dryer is on – you could shrink your clothing unnecessarily.

As a quick lesson in drying, you may notice the settings Regular (or Heavy), Permanent Press, Delicates, and Air Fluff.

  • Regular or Heavy is for laundry that takes a long time to dry, like towels or jeans. They’ll tumble with high heat for longer.
  • Permanent Press is slow drying with low heat. This cycle can help wrinkle-free garments stay wrinkle-free, thanks to a cool-down period at the end of the cycle.
  • The Delicate cycle means a short, low-heat cycle for delicates and laundry that have the label “tumble dry low.”
  • Air Fluff has no heat. If you air dry or line dry your laundry, you can soften the fabrics with air fluff.

Washing clothes today? Here are 3 ways to dry laundry!

A word about fabric softeners

As you’re drying laundry in a clothing dryer, help your laundry and your health and skip fabric softeners. Skip both the liquid fabric softener during the wash cycle, and skip the softener sheets in the dryer.

Instead of adding fabric softeners, use dryer balls. (Unless you have a wool allergy, I highly recommend wool dryer balls. You can make them or buy them.) Dryer balls are an easy and safe way to help soften your laundry and speed up the drying time. (I love using mine!)

Hanging Laundry Out to Dry

If you have time – or simply don’t have a dryer – you can do what homemakers have done for centuries and hang your laundry out to dry. A clothesline will work – either outside or inside – or you can hang wet laundry over your shower curtain rod in the bathroom.

Line drying is a great way to dry laundry because it’s absolutely free. And, if you dry your laundry outside, it’s left with a great air-dried fragrance. (I love the smell of line-dried sheets!)

You can even air dry clothing – outside! – in the winter. It’s called freeze drying, and people have been doing it for years. (Just not necessarily in recent years!)

The downside to air drying is that it does take extra time to hang it out – and to take your laundry off the line once dry. Plus, this method depends a lot on the weather. You won’t do any line drying outside on a rainy day!

Washing clothes today? Here are 3 ways to dry laundry!

Drying laundry flat

Another option when it comes to drying laundry is laying it flat to dry. Depending on how wet your clean laundry is, you may be able to spread out your laundry over a dry bath towel on your bed.

I’ve set up a drying area in my basement laundry room – I spread my wet, clean laundry that shouldn’t dry in a dryer over plastic storage bins. I flip the drying over when I switch loads of laundry, and everything air dries in a day. For me, this method works great for sweaters.

While this method is free and easy, the downsides are that it can take a lot of space (depending on how much you need to dry) – plus, your laundry can have the tendency to stay damp longer than other drying methods.

Overall, I’ve found that all three methods to drying laundry work well. Typically, depending on my available time and what I’m washing, I use all three drying styles in my laundry routine.

Washing clothes today? Here are 3 ways to dry laundry!

How do you prefer to dry laundry?

Disclosure: Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I may make a commission on products purchased through these links. Thank you for supporting this website!

All images courtesy of Unsplash.

Latest posts by Hilary (see all)

Similar Posts


  1. An inside airer would dry your inside laundry more quickly than storage bins as the air would get to both sides of the garment. The downside of drying large numbers of items in this way is condensation. Many people here, in the UK, dry most of their washing in this way in the winter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *