How to Dry Clothes in Winter Without a Dryer – 11 Clever Tricks You’ll Love!


The long hot summer days may have come to a crashing end, but that doesn’t mean our neverending piles of laundry have! In fact, winter tends to mean even more clothes to wash as we bring out the heavy jackets, cosy tracksuits, long-sleeved shirts, warm socks and winter blankets. 

While we are lucky in Australia and can rely on the magical drying powers of the sun all year-round, there’s an art to knowing how to dry clothes in winter. It’s not as easy as during our summer, when the days are warm and our Aussie sun is working overtime. 

While many households are equipped with a clothes dryer, many aren’t, and truth be told, it’s quite costly to run a clothes dryer. You can potentially save anywhere from $256 to $590 a year by avoiding the dryer and using a clothesline instead.

While sunlight exposure is the main method of drying clothes, don’t underestimate the drying power of a good breeze, and even humidity to dry your clothes in every season.

Here are our top tips on how to dry clothes in winter without a dryer. 

How to dry clothes in winter without using a clothes dryer

The majority of households have three different clothes drying options in place:


Ideal for sunny days, even in winter, this is a good option, but it can be frustrating when battling extra cold temps and rain! There are two main opinions here:

Portable indoor clothesline - how to dry clothes in winter
Source: Adobe Stock


As opposed to option 1, the benefits of a portable clothesline or indoor drying rack allows you to move it around the house and position it in prime drying areas of your home. Either by the heater, in a sunny posirion or just out of the way from everyday traffic (depending on your urgency to end up with dry washing).


I’m sure you can picture it now. A laundry war zone with clothes, blankets and towels hung on every chair, countertop and couch that you own. Great for kids’ forts. Not so great for drying. 

We do a combination of all three drying options depending on how much time I have and how badly my daughter wants a fort. 

How to combat winter washing blues

One of the biggest issues with winter in Australia is that the weather is a mood. Put your washing out when the sun’s out and 15 minutes later, it starts to rain. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve had this happen or how many times I’ve come home from work after hanging the washing out in the morning sun, to sopping wet clothes that need a rewash.

how to dry clothes in winter
Oh look, rain. Two minutes after I put the washing out. Source: Adobe Stock

Or, even better, when a flock of birds decide to do a synchronized poop right over your clean washing. Back to the washing machine we go! 

This can be an issue in every season but in winter, the cooler air makes it harder to dry if the sun or wind isn’t helping. Plus our winter wear is a lot heavier and takes longer to dry. Oodies and flannels, I’m looking at you! 

10 Clever Tips for drying clothes in winter (no dryer needed)

1. CONSIDER AN EXTRA SPIN:  After you’ve washed your clothing, put the machine on again for an extra spin cycle. This will draw out as much water as possible and mean a quicker dry! 

2. THROW IN A TOWEL:  Roll each item in a dry towel before putting them on the line. Gently squeeze the towel and you should be able to absorb the excess water each time.

3. POSITIONING MATTERS:  When using an indoor or portable clothesline, position it near a window to take advantage of the sun or under a fan to take advantage of moving air. Open windows for better air circulation. 

5. SPACE & ROTATE: Space your clothes out evenly and ensure no clothes are bundled on top of one another. If you are home, a quick rotate will ensure a quicker, more even dry. 

how to do laundry
Laundry really can turn into a strategic battle in winter! Source: Adobe Stock

6. EMBRACE THE HAIR DRYER: We don’t always need HOT air to dry our washing, just moving air (or wind). If you need to dry something in a hurry, pull out the hair dryer, put it on the low heat setting and high fan speed and off you dry. 

7. CONSIDER A DEHUMIDIFIER:  A great household product to invest in is a dehumidifier which has all sorts of health benefits but is also ideal for drying clothes and removing excess moisture from the air.  

8. INDOOR CLOTHESLINES: If you are looking for a heavy-duty solution for drying clothes in winter, consider an indoor electric clothesline. 

How to dry clothes in winter - Lifestyles Clothesline electric clothesline dryer
Source: Supplied 

9. BE MINDFUL OF HOW OFTEN YOU WASH:  Winter means heavier clothes but it doesn’t mean you need to wash every item after every wear.  PJs, undies and workout gear should be washed each time, but jeans, jackets and even towels don’t need to be (every 3 wears recommended). 

EXPERT TIP: Reduce your washing load by getting your kids in the habit of hanging their things up after use, especially towels and jumpers (stretch goal I know!) I find that my kids leave their items on the floor, next to their dirty soccer clothes or wet socks and I never know what is dirty and what can be spared a trip to the laundry. 

10. TRY A NIGHT LOAD: Recently I’ve started washing at night, and it works so well for us! I pop on a load when I get home from work, put it on the outdoor clothesline after dinner and take it off in the morning. This has many advantages including using power in off peak times, less sun bleach and fading, but also works well if you have a busy morning. 

11. CONSIDER OUTDOOR PROTECTION:  When it comes to drying your items outside, our best tip is a simple one – cover your laundry. A clothesline cover not only protects your items from the elements such as rain and even sun damage, but it also keeps them safe from bird poop, debris and airborne pollution. 

There’s no need to rewash your items if they are left out in the rain – the covers are 100% waterproof and designed to last year after year. They also instantly transform your outdoor area into a shaded and cool space to chill or play and hide your laundry at the same time. 

Lifestyle Clotheslines stocks a wide range of portable and outdoor clotheslines as well as Clevacover Clothesline Covers for both rotary clotheslines and fold down clotheslines. 

Clevacover fold down clothesline cover
These fold down clothesline covers are a winner! Source: Supplied

These fold down clothesline covers easily fit on most fold down clotheslines and take two minutes to set up. This brilliant fold down cover has a unique “A” frame feature that is specifically designed for water run off keeping clothes dry when the weather is less than perfect.

Lifestyle clotheslines fixed clothesline cover
Source: Supplied

Got a rotary clothesline?

For households with a rotary clothline, the rotary clothesline cover is about to transform your washing game. It’s made from tough UV-resistant and waterproof material to ensure your clothes will stay dry and protected.

We especially love how the rotary clothesline cover turns your Hills Hoist into a large umbrella in minutes – the perfect space for picnics and outdoor play.

Lifestyles clothesline rotary clothesline cover
The rotary clothesline cover in action. Source: Supplied

After all, why should your laundry get all the fun? Kids will love it, pets will love it and you will love it! Just add some wine, cheese and your favourite tunes and you’ve got the perfect shaded alfresco dining area or She-Space. Kids optional.

TIP: When using protective covers, make sure to choose a cover that is the right size and shape for your clothes drying rack.

Clevacover clotheslines covers
The perfect shaded area anytime of the year. Source: Supplied
Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Blossom

    If you have a wide trellis about 2 metres + wide that is mounted to your house wall and also goes close your fence is best attach a roof to it (old sheets of fencing iron or similar are ok) you can attach clothes wire to it and hung your clothes on it. Even on hot days it is ideal. The wind blows through them but they don’t fade or bleach at all. In a carport or garage if there is metal support structure you can put clothes line wire or a think to medium thickness rope through the frame and tie the ends securely. When mt brother and I were babies and there was constant rain Mum dried our nappies that way.

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