Fretting over having to dry laundry indoors during the rainy season? When it starts to pour, laundry just doesn’t dry as well as it should, or smell as fresh as you would like.
Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent damp clothes smells from developing on drying laundry.
Read on for 7 simple laundry hacks to tide you through any rainy season!
1. Prioritise Your Laundry
It’s a good idea to have a separate laundry basket for clothes that need to be washed urgently. For instance, your kids’ school uniform and essentials such as undergarments.
For convenience, you can also sort these essential items into mesh bags directly so that they can be thrown into the wash at a moment’s notice! Mesh bags are also helpful in keeping fabrics safe from wear and tear. Leave non-essential laundry in a laundry basket for a sun-filled day instead.
Note: As soon as the washer is done, take the clothes out to dry or transfer them into the dryer. Leaving them sitting in a damp pile can create an unpleasant damp smell that lingers even when dry.
2. Add Natural Deodorisers To Washes
Common household items such as vinegar and baking soda are powerful deodorisers that’ll help with busting any bad smells!
The acetic acid in vinegar kills bacteria and viruses, and aids in neutralising even potent odours. For baking soda, its mild alkalinity adds extra power to your wash and also gives the inside of your washing machine a quick wash as well.
How to use vinegar in the wash: Simply add half a cup of vinegar to your laundry during its wash cycle to prevent bacterial growth on your clothes and bad odours when they’re hung up to dry indoors.
As an alternative, you can mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle in a 1:1 ratio to create a deodoriser. Turn the garment inside out and test the spray on an inconspicuous part of the garment. Spritz it over the clothing and hang the garment up to dry. The smell of vinegar will dissipate over time.
Tip: To permanently prevent colour from running from new clothing, soak them in a pail of undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes before washing to help protect and set their colours.
How to use baking soda in the wash: For the top loader washing machines, add ½ cup of baking soda into your cycle. For the front loader washing machines, add ¼ cup of baking soda.
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3. Remove Excess Water From Clothes
When you’re doing your laundry, ensure that your washing machine is set to the high spin setting – this will help remove as much excess water as possible from your laundry. It also uses less energy as compared to a dryer, so that’s a plus!
Alternatively, you could also use a towel to wring out any excess water. Lay out your laundry on a dry piece of towel and roll it up tightly. Grab 1 end of the towel and twist it methodically, working your way along until you reach the other end.
4. Boost Dryer Efficiency
When clothes tumble together in the dryer, they usually clump together due to static cling, hence taking longer to dry. A simple and cheap solution to this would be to make some aluminium balls out of aluminium foil!
Crumple and compress enough aluminium foil to create aluminium balls that are between 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Toss them in your washer, where they will discharge any static buildup, keeping clothes separated and allowing them to dry faster.
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5. Maximise Airflow In Drying Area
Before you hang your garments to dry, make sure to shake them out and remove any creases – crumpled clothes take a longer time to dry.
For your clothes to dry quickly and properly, it needs proper airflow and ventilation. Hang your clothes over 2 bars instead of 1 and arrange them according to size, with the smallest item at the bottom. This method utilises the best of airflow, encouraging your larger laundry to dry faster.
Tip: Hang your clothes on thicker hangers – it prevents the front and back of your clothes from sticking together, allowing it to dry faster.
6. Use Moisture Absorbing Items
If you’ve resorted to leaving your clothes in your living room or bedroom to dry, make sure to keep the room well-ventilated with a fan or open window.
To reduce moisture in the room so your clothes dry faster, expose a pack of unrefined salt or chalk in the room, or leave a stack of newspaper to absorb the moisture. These will work to lower moisture levels in the room so fungus and mould growth is inhibited.
7. Use Heat To Remove Remaining Moisture
If you need a certain article of clothing urgently and it’s just not dry enough, bust out your iron and ironing board to give the drying process a boost. You can also use a hairdryer to dry your clothes.
First, check the level of heat your clothes can take through its laundry care symbols.
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Keep the iron on a low setting and slowly move it over the wet garment, adding pressure as you go. Once dry, turn the heat up to do a final run-through and finish off.
Note: Don’t hold the iron or hair dryer in one place for too long, or it’ll leave a burn mark! You can create a barrier between your clothing and the hot iron with a piece of cotton fabric (e.g. a pillowcase).
In summary, always remember that after every storm, comes a rainbow! We hope these simple laundry tips have you feeling better about handling your laundry indoors. Do let us know what you found most useful, or what laundry care tips you want to share with others in the comments down below.
Feel free to explore ways to keep laundry clean with our useful laundry essentials as well!