How to Dry Clothes Fast: When You Are in A Hurry

Drying clothes
Written by Sean Nelson

So you want to get on with your day but your clothes are all wet and you have to get them dry quickly. Using various methods about how to dry clothes fast can help you get on with your day better.

You do not have to take the risk of wearing soaked or damp garments and in the process endangering your health. Use the following steps to get your drenched and soggy fabrics wearable in quick time.

Steps for Drying Your Clothes Fast

Wring out any excess water in the clothes

To get your clothing dried faster, you must first wring out any excess water in the clothing immediately after washing. Whether you are washing by hand or using a washing machine to do your laundry, wringing the excess water from your washed clothes will get them dry quicker than if you had hung them on the line or place them in the dryer to dry.

Use this method below to wring out your clothes after washing them.

  • Take hold of the garment firmly in your hand
  • Start twisting the fabric one way so that excess water can run out of it.

Try not to pull at the garment or twist too hard so not to tear or scratch the material.

If you are carrying out your drying cycle inside your house, you can use an inside sink or tub to catch the excess water. If you are doing so outside, you can just wring the water out of the fabric on to the ground.

Use a towel to help in the drying cycle

A large fluffy towel will do just well. This is because the water from the wet clothes will transfer into the waiting towel.

Here is how you can carry out the process of using the towel to get rid of excess water in the just washed clothes (see below).

  • Spread out the large fluffy towel on a clean dry surface.
  • Lay the wet clothing on it.
  • Tightly roll up the towel with clothe material inside of it.
  • Start twisting the bundle from one end going straight to the other end and then doing the same thing with the other end.

By carrying out the above method, the excess water in the clothe material will run out into the fluffy towel. You can repeat the process a second or third time as you like to remove more water from your clothe.

Salad spin your clothes

Using the salad spinning method is a great way to remove excess water from your clothes and have them dried quicker.

This method requires a low-energy machine that produces high spin-wash that will quickly draw excess water from your clothing.

Use the simple method below to take advantage of the salad spin technique.

  • First place your wet clothes inside the salad spinner.
  • Turn on the machine and leave the clothes to dry.
  • Turn off the spinner and remove your clothes.

The salad spinner will not completely dry your clothes. However, the main focus is for it to remove most of the water from the fabric so that when you hang out the clothes they will dry quicker.

How to dry clothes without using a hairdryer

Most people in the US use a machine dryer to dry their clothes. However, if your dryer should be broken and out of service, you can go about drying your clothes in another way such as using a simple handheld electric hairdryer.

Here is how to use the handheld hairdryer to dry your clothes (see below).

  • With your hand, wring out the excess water from the garment.
  • Lay the garment down on a smooth, clean and dry surface.
  • Turn on the hairdryer and put the setting at warm or high.
  • With your hand, hold the dryer near to the garment. Keep it steady at one spot at a time. Do the pockets as well.
  • Carry out the same procedure all over the garment, front and back as a well as inside out until you get the required dryness.

Try not to hold the dryer at one place too long. If you hold it at one place for a long time, the garment can become too hot and catch fire.

How to dry clothes using a hanging line

In most countries, people use a hanging line to dry their clothes. In fact, an outside hanging line is most preferred by some people because the sun can catch the clothes and dry them better.

Others use an inside line to dry their clothes without the sun.

Here is how to use a clothes line to dry your garments (see below).

  • Assuming you have your clothes line all set up already; hang each piece of garment separately on the line with clothes pins to keep them in place. If you have an indoor clothes line, it is better that you have it as close as possible to a heat source such as a radiator, furnace or fireplace. Make sure not to put clothes directly over the heat source lest you cause a fire. Make sure your clothes are not too close so they don’t get burned or catch fire.
  • Your clothes line can also be near a window where your garments will have enough breeze-flow to dry them quickly.
  • For quick dry clothing, you can turn over the garments so that the wet parts can get enough sun or breeze to dry them.

Dry clothes with a towel and hot iron

Some people on the run use a bath towel and hot iron to dry their clothes. While this technique is a good way to get your clothes dry quickly, still it is better for you to allow the sun and breeze to get the job done.

Follow the simple instructions below to dry clothes using a towel and iron.

  • Place the wet garment down on to the iron board. Spread the garment as if you are getting ready to iron it.
  • Place the towel on top of the wet garment.
  • Iron the towel on top of the garment just like you are ironing.
  • Make sure to turn the garment over the other side so that you can iron both sides.

Make sure the iron does not have direct contact with the wet garment. If you place the iron onto the wet garment with no towel to absorb the heat, you can end up stretching the fabric and thus making the garment impossible for you to wear.

Do tumble drying style

If you prefer, you can use more than one towel to absorb the heat that the iron gives off. This method of getting clothes dry using an iron and more than one towel is called tumble drying. You can carry out this technique on the iron board or in a dryer if you like.

See also: Best Quick Dry Pants: A Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best Backpacking Pants

Here is the technique to dry clothes using a dryer and towels.

  • Place light garment clothing inside the dryer. Say about two to three pieces of light clothing.
  • Put along with the clothing a few towels. You can use up to two to five towels if you like.
  • Turn on the dryer and start your drying cycle.

Since towels carry lint material in them, there is a chance that your garments might pick up a bit of lint in them. To avoid having any lint in your clothes, you can substitute your towels and use cotton T-shirts instead.

If your dryer has a buildup of lint, the air that usually passes through it can become blocked. Therefore, to get your dryer working efficiently, you should always take time out to clean the lint trap. You can use your fingernails to clean away the lint or a vacuum cleaner if you have one.

Below is a simple way of cleaning your dyer’s lint trap.

  • Locate where the trap is. It can be on the inside part of the door or on the top portion of the dryer.
  • After locating the trap, pull out the screen.
  • Examine the screen to see if there is a buildup of lint on it.
  • If the screen has enough lint on it, you can use your fingernails to scrape the lint away. If you choose, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove the lint from the screen.
  • After cleaning the lint, slide it back into where the trap is situated.
  • Place your clothes and towels inside the dryer and turn it on.
  • Wait for about 15 minutes or so then turn off the dyer and remove your garments. If your dryer is efficient enough, it may take less time to dry the clothes.

Drying Clothes When Out Camping

Often you might get wet when out camping and so you need to get into some dry clothes fast. Apart from bring a dry set of clothes with you to change off into; you can also use convenient methods of drying the wet clothes you just took off.

Wet clothes are bad for you because they can become tight and hinder the free flow of blood circulation to take place in your body. In addition, damp clothes worn on your body can trigger hyperthermia in you.

Therefore, always be prepared to dry your clothes quickly when you are camping outdoors so that you will have a set of dry garments to wear at all times.

Get a campfire going

One of the most convenient ways to dry wet clothes when you are on the camping trail is to start a campfire so that you will have a warm spot to work close to.

Apart from preparing meals on the fire, you can hang your clothes out to dry somewhere close by so that the heat from the fire can catch them. However, hang them far enough so that the fire itself does not touch them and burn them, worst of all cause a blazing fire inferno to happen. For tips on how to start a campfire, read our article to find out.

Below is a simple way to build a campfire so that you can have your clothes dried.

Things you need to build a campfire with:

  • Tinder such as wood shavings, cardboard, wax, dry lint, fire sticks and wadded newspaper.
  • Fuel wood
  • Kindling such as branches and twigs.
  • A cigarette lighter or matches.

For tips on how to choose the best fire starter kit, check out our article.

Start building your campfire that can dry your clothes

  • Find a safe area to build your campfire. This means that you have to obey rules laid down by the proper authorities in the area where you set up camp. To know where campfires are permitted in the area, you can start looking around to see if there are any posted signs prohibiting building a campfire in the area. If no sign, you can try to locate a ranger and ask him or her if building a campfire in the area is illegal.
  • Assuming that you have the proper go ahead for your campfire, the next step is for you to choose a suitable spot to build the fire. Choose a spot that is at a safe distance from tents, trees and shrubs.
  • Clear and dig a hole on the spot. If you are building the campfire on a surface that contains dirt, it is better for you to do a clearing first by removing any leaves, grass or other vegetations you might meet up on. Try to clear about 8 to 10 feet soil before you start building the fire site. If you like, you can insulate the fire spot by packing large rocks around it.

When you have a fire going at the spot, you can hang your clothes at a safe distance where the heat can reach it to dry. Of course, this method is only good as long as the weather permits. If it rains, consider using a make-shift line inside your tent to hang your wet clothes on.

Use a towel and stomp on it

A towel is a convenient tool to dry your wet clothes when you are out camping. The towel must be completely dry and one you can do without for a few hours.

Here is how to use a dry towel to absorb water from your wet clothes (see below).

  • Spread the dry towel on to the ground.
  • Place the wet garment in the middle of the towel.
  • Roll up the towel with the wet garment in it.
  • Start stomping on the towel to squeeze out the water from the wet garment into it.

Please see a tutorial video below:

Use hand warmers

Hand warmers are convenient and affordable ways to dry your clothes fast when you are camping outdoors. The hand warmers can produce warmth of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit maximum and are created to warm your hands within a closed area like gloves or pouches.

They are small enough so you can hold them in the palm of your hand. All you have to do is juts place them among your wet garments or on top of them and pronto, in a short time you will have your wet clothes dry as well as ready to wear.

Use your walking poles

Most hikers always carry a walking pole when they are enjoying the outdoors. If you carry along a walking pole, you can put to another use like hanging your wet clothes on it to dry. Of course, this can only work if you have dry weather outside. If the pole is adjustable, you can adjust its length and hang your wet clothes on it inside the tent.

Place wet clothes on a rock to dry

A rock can stand in for a clothes line to dry your wet garments on. All you have to do is to spread out the wet garment on to the rock and leave the sun to dry it. This method will only work if no rain is falling and especially if it is a sunny day.

To ensure you get clothes dry quickly, it is advised that you change the position of your garments when the need arises. For pants you should turn the pockets inside out.

In addition, you can set up a separate location near your sleeping tent where you can put your wet clothes to dry. A tarp will do just fine in this case and it would also protect your dry clothes from getting wet from rain.

Whether you are staying home or camping outdoors, make it your business to know have your clothes dried fast so that you can have them to wear quickly, especially when you are on the run.

Since there are so many different ways to get the job done, you should choose one way that is most convenient to you so that you will not always be at a loss. Having dry clothes to wear at all times is necessary if you want to be early on your appointments or if you want to enjoy the outdoors.

You will never regret you take the time out to learn to dry clothes quickly and efficiently.

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Sean Nelson

Sean was backpacking since he was 7. He was born close to the RMNP and his father was a ranger, so life surrounded by mountains and wildlife is a norm for Colorado. He likes to explore, but prefers to stay in USA. In his opinion, there are too many trails and options in US to go abroad.