There have probably been times during your laundry routine where you’ve wondered if there was a better way to do specific parts of it.
If you’re used to using a tumble dryer you might be thinking about whether that is really the best way to dry your clothes.
Of course, if you don’t have any kind of outside space at your disposal, then a tumble dryer is likely your only choice.
If you do have that luxury, though, air drying outside could potentially be your new got to method.
There are plenty of different ways to dry your laundry once it’s been washed. Each way has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Probably the biggest factor in drying your clothes is time, and that’s where the convenience of a tumble dryer comes in.
In this piece we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of air drying vs tumble drying and mention some items that just won’t work in the tumble dryer.
Pros and Cons of Air Drying
Air drying may look like a very attractive alternative to tumble drying and they couldn’t be further apart from each other in terms of how they work.
If you’re able to air dry outside on a washing line, this can reduce wear on your clothes compared to tumble drying.
As the clothes are just being dried by the sunlight, the fibres of your clothing will hold their shape better.
The biggest and most obvious advantage, though, is that there is no energy bill for using the outdoors to dry your clothes.
This means that drying your clothes outside can save you money and it is much better for the environment as it uses no energy.
It can even save you an up front payment if you don’t buy a dryer at all, which can sometimes be a fairly big chunk of cash.
It’s not all perfect though, as we’ll see now with the cons of air drying your clothes.
There are three pretty big cons to air drying that may prevent you entirely from using this method.
The first is time. Clearly, drying outside by air and sunlight will take a lot longer than using a tumble dryer.
It can sometimes take all day to get your clothes completely dry, even with bright sunlight the whole time.
Sometimes this is just not feasible to do so this may not be a suitable method of drying.
Space is another large issue. If you don’t have a garden or yard to hang your clothes in then this method is pretty much out of the question.
You can set up a line inside if you have the space there, but this is not ideal as it can cause moisture to linger in the air inside your home, causing issues to health and even damp on the walls.
Weather is then the third factor you need to take into account. If you live in a wet climate, then drying clothes outdoors can be near impossible, even in the Summer months.
For maximum effectiveness it really needs to be sunny for the majority of the day, or at least dry and warm.
This makes planning to dry your clothes pretty tricky as, obviously, you can’t choose the weather!
So those are the pros and cons for air drying, let’s now look at tumble drying.
Pros and Cons of Tumble Drying
Using a tumble dryer is the other most popular method of drying laundry, for good reason, but let’s look at the full pros and cons.
So the biggest pro for using a tumble dryer is that it takes far less time.
A decent dryer can finish a full cycle of clothes in the matter of a few hours, rather than taking a full day.
This is perfect for if you don’t have the time to commit a full day to drying a load of laundry.
Moreover, clearly a dryer doesn’t depend on the weather. You can easily plan into your day a slot to load the dryer and leave it going, rain or shine.
Tumble dryers don’t need a massive amount of space either.
If you have an extra appliance slot in your kitchen then this is ideal and they don’t require any kind of outdoor space.
There are some disadvantages that can make a dryer quite unattractive.
A dryer can potentially use a fair bit of energy as they generate a lot of heat.
This can impact your energy bills and increase them significantly in some cases, especially with really frequent use.
These aren’t the only expenses a tumble dryer can incur. Maintenance costs can sometimes be quite high if your machine develops a serious fault.
Because of the energy usage, tumble dryers are less environmentally friendly as well.
Tumble dryers are a lot harsher than air dryer, often using quite high temperatures.
This means that wear on your clothes can be a lot more severe, causing colour fading in some cases.
There are also some clothes that your tumble dryer just shouldn’t dry, mentioned in the next section.
Clothes and Items You Should Never Tumble Dry
If you decide to go for the tumble drying route, then there are some clothes that you should know to never put in the tumble dryer.
Anything delicate like lace underwear or lingerie should never be tumble dried. The heat is too much and the lifespan of these items will be reduce a lot, or they’ll just be ruined.
Suede items are another thing to avoid. The high heat can melt plastic, which will ruin any suede garment you have.
Tights can become laddered very easily in a tumble dryer, which reduces their lifespan very quickly.
Active sports wear is best avoided as well as the elasticity can be ruined by the heat.
Basically any piece of clothing that you wouldn’t iron is best to avoid putting in the dryer as the heat is really the main issue.
So that’s the comparison finished.
If you have the space, then air drying is really the way to go in my opinion as it is cheaper and better for the environment.
You also don’t have to worry about certain clothes being incompatible with this method.
Tumble dryers are very convenient if you don’t have this outdoor space, though. Just be prepared to pay slightly more in energy bills!
Is It Safe To Use A Tumble Dryer At Night
Can You Put Trainers in the Tumble Dryer
Can You Put Wellies in a Tumble Dryer?
15 Best Tumble Dryers Reviewed 2023 – An Expert Buyer Guide
8 Best Condenser Tumble Dryers UK 2023 – An Expert Buyers Guide
10 Best Heated Clothes Airers UK 2023 (An Expert Buyer’s Guide)