I tried the bed sheet hack to dry my laundry without a tumble dryer

Top tips for drying your laundry indoors

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Popping the tumble dryer on for an hour or two can cost a couple of pounds each time and for those who have a large family and a constant stream of laundry, it could become very expensive to get them dry. For savvy householders, there’s a new way to dry clothes using a bed sheet and a clothes airer, which comes with many claims to dry clothes quickly. Its simplicity and cost-effectiveness is what drew me in to try it out.

Browsing on TikTok I spotted a video of a woman, Alix Byrne, who found her tumble dryer too expensive to run and said her clothes smell less than fresh after using it. 

Living in a small one-bedroom flat with her partner, Andrew, she noticed they were constantly going through laundry and struggling with enough space to hang the clothes to dry, using multiple clothes airers at once.

When putting out her bedding to dry one day, she covered the clothes airer with the bed sheet, placing it near the radiator and found her clothes had dried within two hours. 

Unsure of whether this hack would effectively dry my laundry, especially the towels, I had to test it out for myself to see if there was any truth behind it.

We typically use a tumble dryer to dry our clothes on a regular basis but to be honest, the costs have been racking up recently on the energy bill and I’ve found that the tumble dryer doesn’t really leave my clothes smelling the best.

To give my clothes a fast chance of drying, after putting the clothes on my normal wash cycle, I decide to put them on an extra spin cycle after. 

I found this to be a crucial step as the dryer you can get your clothes to begin with, the shorter the overall drying time will be.

After the clothes went through a spin cycle, I shook out as many creases as I could before hanging the clothes to dry on the airer in my spare room. 

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Shaking the laundry before hanging it to dry is important as crumpled clothing will take longer to dry.

I decided to leave the clothes to dry in my spare room, as experts have claimed that this is one of the best places in the house to dry laundry as there won’t be the risk of exposure to damp because as the clothes dry and I could close the door to keep the heat in.

Once all the clothes were spaced out on the airer, I used a bed sheet to place over the top to cover the airer and tucked it behind the radiator. I made sure to use a double-sized sheet so that the airer and radiator would be covered, but there was still room for air to escape and heat up the room.

I then turned on the radiator by the valve on the third hottest setting and left the clothes to absorb the heat that was being trapped by the bed sheet.

I avoided using the hottest setting to ensure this drying hack was safe. However, for those who have electric radiator heaters, this hack should not be carried out as it poses a significant fire hazard.

For added help, homeowners can place a dehumidifier near the clothes horse to suck up all the added moisture in the air. This helps to prevent any extra warm droplets that can eventually lead to mould. However, this step is optional and not one I included in my drying process.

After one hour I decided to check on how the clothes were coming along – whether they had started to dry or not. To my surprise, most of the items felt so much drier than when they had come out of the washing machine.

Deciding that they only need a little longer to fully dry, I left the laundry on the airer for an extra 30 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes were up, I went back for a final check and found that all the laundry was bone dry and warm – even my thick bath towels.

My clothes also still smelled so fresh from the laundry scent boosters I added in the wash as the drying process was so quick.

This drying hack is definitely worth giving a go for people who have their radiators on to heat their home and want to cut back on their tumble dryer use. I can’t believe this trick got my laundry to dry so fast manually. 

Normally, a rack of clothes would take between six to eight hours, depending on their materials. This is when it’s placed in the kitchen or sitting room and not positioned directly beside an active heat source. However, using the bed sheet trick, it only took one hour 30 minutes.

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