Drying Clothes Outside: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Hang Laundry


Tired of stiff towels and misshapen sweaters fresh out of the dryer?  Drying clothes outdoors offers a gentler and more sustainable alternative. In this guide, we'll share tips for successfully drying your laundry on a washing line, from hanging techniques to understanding how the weather can affect the process.

Drying laundry in the winter: How to dry clothes outdoors in cold months

Winter brings its own set of challenges when it comes to outdoor drying. Here are some tips to tackle it:

  • Prioritise sunny days: Make the most of any sunny days, even if it's chilly. Sunshine will make a significant difference.
  • Indoor finish: Hang clothes outside for as long as possible, then bring them indoors to finish drying on a clothes airer.
  • Freeze drying (if temperatures dip below freezing): This might sound odd, but frozen water will sublimate (turn directly into vapour) even in freezing temperatures. Your clothes will dry, just more slowly.

However, if it is not possible to hang outside due to the weather, here are some additional recommendations:

  • Use the right tool - rotary clothes dryer, balcony dryer, tower dryer, drying rack or clothes line. Depending on the space and preference. Vileda is offering options for every circumstance or space.
  • Before the laundry is hung up, each item of laundry should be shaken out well. This prevents the fabrics from overlapping and individual parts from drying more slowly. At the same time, this has the positive effect that the laundry becomes less wrinkled and requires less ironing.
  • The laundry should be spread out or hung staggered so that the air can circulate better. The greater the distance, the better the circulation and the faster the laundry dries.
  • Laundry should always be secured outdoors to prevent it from falling. Either with clothespins or with clothes hangers.

How to hang trousers?

To minimise creases, the best way to hang trousers is to fold them over the clothesline at the waistband. This helps to reduce creasing.

You can optionally secure the hems with pegs for extra security on those windy days.

How to hang jumpers?

Avoid hanging jumpers by the shoulders, as this can cause stretching and misshaping. Instead, fold your jumper lengthwise and drape both sides evenly over the line.

How to hang sweaters?

Treat sweaters the same way as jumpers, folding them in half lengthwise and draping them over the line.

To prevent any stretching with heavier sweaters, you can lay them flat on a mesh drying rack placed over your clothesline or just lay them on top of the lines

How to hang jeans?

For faster drying and to reduce creases and fading, hang jeans upside down by the hems using pegs.

How to hang long dresses?

There are two options for dresses.

  1. You can fold the dress in half lengthwise and hang it over the line like a pair of trousers.
  2. Alternatively, with delicate fabrics, use a clothes hanger to avoid creases that form along a fold line.

How long do clothes take to dry outside?

Drying time depends on numerous factors:

  • Weather: Warm, sunny days with a breeze are ideal. Cold, humid, cloudy days significantly increase drying time.
  • Fabric type: Thin, lightweight fabrics dry fastest. Thick materials like denim take longer.
  • Sunlight exposure: Direct sunlight speeds up drying significantly.
  • Wind: A gentle breeze aids in quick and even drying.

In ideal conditions, many garments dry within a few hours. On less optimal days, it can take longer, sometimes even requiring you to finish the process indoors.


Let the sunshine and breeze be your laundry helpers! Experiment with these tips and find what works best for you as you rediscover the satisfaction of drying clothes outside.

Using a washing line or a rotary dryer might take a bit of adjustment, but its benefits are undeniable. Start small, perhaps by air-drying a few items at a time alongside your usual dryer routine. You'll be surprised at how quickly you see the savings in your energy bill and enjoy the fresh feel of your clothes.

If you are looking to improve your washing, cleaning, and drying experience, don’t forget to check our large range  at Vileda. We offer flexible solutions and accessories for individual needs such as clothes dryers and airers among others solutions.

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