How to Dry Hand-Washed Clothes – Stepwise Tutorial

Though you might be having a washing machine, you’ll at one point be required to hand-wash some of your clothes. Buying some beautiful dresses and reading the “hand wash only” label can be quite annoying to most people. 

hand wash only

hand wash only

To those used to getting it done by the machine, the chore may sound too messy, time-consuming and tedious. However, it is always safe to be used for this job once in a while; who knows? Maybe you might come across some beautiful but delicate garment that only requires hand-washing. Additionally, hand washing clothes make them last longer as compared to washing in the machine. So, you shouldn’t be too much obsessed with the washing device, but instead, you can be alternating from the latter.

Some people detest hand washing because they just don’t have enough space to hang their clothes. This is much understandable though not all items can be taken to the dryer. When not carefully handled during the drying period, some clothes may shrink, stretch or have their fibers weakened. More so, air-drying may save the money used in fuel bills and even prolong the cloth life.

What you require for air-drying hand-washed clothes

What you require for air-drying hand-washed clothes

What you require for air-drying hand-washed clothes

  • Drying rack, a flat surface or a clothesline
  • Clothes hangers
  • Clothespins
  • Laundered thick towels
  • Drying nets

You should buy this clothespin for air drying your clothes.

Here is some step by step techniques on how to efficiently dry your hand-washed clothes.

Step 1. Fling out excess water from the clothes

You might want the excess water to be removed so that the fabric may become lighter and dry out easily. However, this step applies to specific clothes and may be omitted in other cases. Squeezing the extra water on cardigans, fluffy sweaters and stretchers may stretch them further and result in an over-sized garment that won’t please you.

 If you are washing from the sink, you can simply lift the clothes and allow the water to drain out. With a bucket or basin, you can still lift up the cloth and let the water drip off.

Fling out excess water from the clothes

Fling out excess water from the clothes

A homemade alternative to this method is by using the salad spinner to at least remove the excess water. However, for jeans, cotton clothes and towels, you can wring and after that shake them off to prevent any wrinkles from forming. This is very important to note.


  • Do not wring, twist or squeeze the garment to drain the water, especially for cardigans and fluffy sweaters. The material would stretch and become over-sized.
  • Ensure the clothes have been rinsed with clean water so that they may not look soapy.

Step 2. Towel Off

This action depends on how heavy or light a given cloth is. For heavier clothes such as sweaters, you should place them on a well-spread thick towel like bamboo towels, roll it up and press gently.

The towel is meant to absorb water and would dampen depending on the heaviness of the cloth. If you think you haven’t done enough, you can repeat with the next dry towel so that more water is absorbed. For cotton material, you can wring the rolled up towel and later iron it.

For sweaters, you should press gently to avoid subjecting them to stretching. Another essential part to note.

Towel Off

Towel Off

Lighter clothes like lingerie need not pass this step as they can be hung immediately (preferably on a drying rack).

Step 3. Air on a Flat Surface, drying rack, drying net or on a clothesline

Laying your wet clothes flat on the ground is helpful since they will still retain their shape. The flat surface or a drying rack allows them to assume their natural way, especially for the stretchy ones.

You should remember to constantly turn them at least once so that they can dry evenly. Apart from reshaping, this method will prevent stretching and shrinkage. If you live in the neighborhood where outdoor clothesline is banned, the indoor drying rack is the ideal option.

They are portable, take up little space and can be used outdoors for drying delicate clothes or any other that can’t be thrown in a dryer. Cardigans, sweaters, and scarves should be hanged either on a flat surface, drying net or a drying rack. This is done to ensure that they don’t stretch while drying.

Most clothes can be hung on the clothesline using pins. Understanding the best ways of attaching each type which is safe for the material and flipping them once in a while will facilitate the drying.

When hanging the clothes, ensure that you leave enough space between them for efficient flow of air and quick drying.

  • Shirts and top should be hung to the line from the bottom hem by the side seams. You can also use the hangers for camisoles or garments for as long as they don’t slip off.
  • For the pants, the leg seams should be pinned to the line while the waistline hangs down. In case you are using the hangers, simply pin them by the waistbands.
  • Socks are to be pinned by the bottom hem and hung in pairs
  • Beddings and linens should be folded into half and pinned at each end

Important points to note

1.  Never place wet clothes to dry on direct heat or sun. When very hot, the sun acts as a bleaching agent and would damage or discolor the fabrics.
direct heat or sun discolor the fabrics

direct heat or sun discolor the fabrics

 2.If you want quick drying, consider placing them near a fan or a heat vent
use fan or a heat vent

use fan or a heat vent

3. Avoid using hangers on heavy clothes. This is because they might end up stretching or getting marks as a result of the weight.
Important points to note -heavy clothes

Important points to note -heavy clothes

4. Always read the label directions relating to drying.
clothes wash label direction

clothes wash label direction

There are two additional  information for you;
5. Unhung your clothes before nightfall in case there is dew formation
6. Avoid using metal hangers since they are susceptible to rusting and staining the wet clothes

Pros of Hand-washing and Air-Drying

  • It saves your money because the fuel bill and energy costs will reduce.
  • Prolongs the life of your cloth since consistent usage of the washing machine and the dryer promotes wear and tear.
  • No static cling, familiar with clothes from the dryer
  • Airing in the sun helps to kill germs, bacteria, and specific stains.
  • Updated a couple of years ago
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