Are Dehumidifiers Good for Drying Clothes?

Are Dehumidifiers Good for Drying Clothes?

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In the cold, wet weather we are often forced to dry our clothes inside. Without the luxury of a owning tumble drier, radiators and airers are the only way to speed up the process. But this can still take a long time and it can lead to the build-up of dampness or excess moisture inside your home.

If there is no place for the moisture to go (particularly when your windows are shut in the very cold season) you could end up with a damp room. Your windows are dripping with condensation after you’ve done your washing? A build-up of moisture can cause damage to your soft furnishings, mold growth on walls, and even worse health problems.

So are dehumidifiers good for drying clothes? We will answer that question and help you to make sure the air in your home is moisture-free and those long winter washing days will become less of a hazard to your healthy home.

What Does a Dehumidifier Do?

A dehumidifier simply works by taking moisture from the air. It draws in the air from the room through a vent and passes it over a set of cooled metal coils. When the air hits the cold metal, the water in the air condenses and forms droplets which fall off into a collection bucket or are drained away.

There are several different types of dehumidifiers, which we will cover below, but they can be portable and fixed which means if you often move where your laundry is set out to dry you can move your dehumidifier with it.

Will Using a Dehumidifier Speed Up Drying My Laundry?

Will Using a Dehumidifier Speed Up Drying My Laundry?

A dehumidifier will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for your washing to dry. The dehumidifier will combat the additional moisture in the air which will prevent any mold or damp building up in your home. This is very important as prolonged use of an airer or clotheshorse to dry your wet washing indoors will lead to extra moisture in the air.

But as well as combating the extra moisture, a dehumidifier will also draw wetness from the clothes themselves and help them dry quicker. Some models of dehumidifiers also have a “boost” button which makes them work harder and can be really helpful to use just as your wet laundry comes out of the machine!

How Do I Use a Dehumidifier to Dry My Clothes?
Using a dehumidifier to dry wet laundry is really simple. If you have a portable unit this is even easier as you can move the unit to whichever room your wet laundry is hanging in.

If you have a permanent dehumidifier, it will work the same it just means that you will have to always hang your laundry in the room that has the dehumidifier. This is fine but it may affect your plans if you have to use that room for entertaining etc. As a rule, wet washing shouldn’t be placed in rooms with lots of soft furnishings, even with the help of a dehumidifier, so you should avoid hanging washing in your bedroom if possible.

How Do I Use a Dehumidifier to Dry My Clothes?

A great tip to make sure your dehumidifier is working as efficiently as possible and will dry your wet laundry in no time is to sit it in a fairly small room, dehumidifiers are set to work in different areas depending on their capacity. If you have a dehumidifier that works up to 1,300 square feet for example, and you put it in a room that is 600 square feet, then it will be working very efficiently and can draw more moisture out of the wet clothes quicker.

You should also seal off the room you are drying your clothes in. Close doors and windows to prevent your dehumidifier from working overtime to pull in air from all over the house. This way, it will just be dehumidifying the air in the room where the washing is actually drying.

Will I Have to Keep Emptying a Bucket or Water Reservoir?


In most of the portable dehumidifiers, you will get a water collection bucket. This can hold fairly large amounts of water and usually only need to be emptied once a day in normal operating conditions. However, if you’re using the dehumidifier unit to draw moisture from wet clothes in a room you may find this water collection reservoir fills up quickly.

If you are going to choose a model with a water collection bucket to help dry your clothes, it is worth getting one with a large reservoir. You should also make sure it has an automatic shut-off function if the water bucket gets full to prevent leaking and give you peace of mind.


There is another option. You can buy a dehumidifier unit which has a draining hose attached. These units drain the water away continuously – eliminating the need to empty a bucket. The only downside with these systems is they have to be near a drain so you’d have to hang your washing in a room with a drain or sink.

Dehumidifier vs. Tumble Drier

Dehumidifier vs. Tumble Drier

A tumble drier is the main way people would think to dry their clothes. But these can be very expensive to buy and even more expensive to run. Energy consumption for the average drier is very high and you can immediately see a difference in your energy bills. As most people will need to use their drier through the winter, when bills are already high due to using more heating and lighting, the cost can actually be prohibitive.

Another difference between a dehumidifier and a tumble drier is the way the clothes dry. Because the dryer uses heat, clothes can come out feeling stiff and rough to the touch. This is because they have almost been “baked” dry. Using an airer and a dehumidifier means your clothes won’t have this stiffness.


So in conclusion, using a dehumidifier to dry your clothes is not only easy but it will save you time and energy. Setting up your dehumidifier in the same room as your clothes will help them dry quicker and closing doors and windows means the power of your unit is concentrated and will work more efficiently.

Related Reading:

Benefits of Dehumidifiers

Are Dehumidifiers Good for Drying Clothes

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1 thought on “Are Dehumidifiers Good for Drying Clothes?”

  1. Hi Gavin, this is a really useful article. May I know if I should get a laundry-specified dehumidifier, or will a standard dehumidifier work just as well?

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