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The sun is out, there’s a slight breeze in the air and the days are warmer. Spring days are the perfect time to start getting your clothes outside to dry. After all, who doesn’t love the smell of air-dried clothes?
However, if you’re not careful, they can become crisp and dry and lose their fluffiness. There’s an art to drying in open air – so here are our top 7 tips to drying your clothes outside.
1. Give the clothes space to dry
If you’re intending to put a whole wash onto a clothesline, try and remember that the air needs to be able to circulate around the items – to ensure a quality, even dry. Leaving an inch between each item will give them the space they need to blow in the wind and dry.
2. Clean your lines
Don’t forget to take a warm, damp, clean cloth with you when you take the washing out. Your washing lines have been out in the elements, sometimes for days or even weeks, and will have picked up all the dust and dirt in the air. Hanging your favourite white T-shirt on a dirty line will result in a devastating dirty mark. Using a warm cloth to wipe down the line will ensure that all dirt is removed, and it’s therefore safe for your freshly washed items.
3. Nostalgic wooden pegs
Don’t wooden pegs take you back to the 80s when mum or nan used to hang the washing out? They may well stir feelings of nostalgia, but they’re also the most eco-friendly of the peg world. They’re suitable for heavier items such as bed covers and towels, which is great. One top tip, however, is to keep wooden clothes pegs inside when you’re not using them. Allowing them to fester in the damp outdoors when not in use will cause them to begin to decay. This in turn could lead to unsightly stains on your favourite top or trousers.
4. Re–use household items to hang out your clothes
Rather than using huge wooden pegs to hang out small items like underwear – why not re–use items you can find in your home?
Paper clips – great to hang out your smaller items. They’re delicate, won’t rust and are usually readily available in your kids’ pencil cases. Great for pants or socks.
Plastic coat hangers – can be hung from your washing line to then hang smaller items, such as socks, from. Great when you have little – or no – space left on your line.
5. Treat whites and colours differently
If you’re drying coloured items outside – especially if you’ve just used your ACE For Colours to bring them back to vibrancy – make sure that they’re not in direct sunlight. The sun will fade colours quickly, creating uneven and unsightly markings that wouldn’t look out of place at a 60s party. A garden parasol, strategically placed, is a great way to keep the sun at bay. If you have a wall breaking the sun – put your whites in the sunlight and ensure your colours are protected in the shade of the wall.
6. Shuffle clothes around
Different materials will dry at different rates, so it’s important to move the clothes around. Check on the clothes every 30 to 45 minutes, removing any dry clothing and shuffle the slower-drying items into more effective drying spots. If you have a rotating washing line, it could be a matter of a 180-degree spin to get the other side into the sunlight – great for your whites.
7. Be aware of allergies – especially hay fever
If you suffer from hay fever you may already refrain from drying your clothes outside. It’s true that damp clothes will attract pollen blowing in the air, as well as other allergens. But here are a few tips on how to dry your clothes outside even if you have hay fever:
- Avoid 11am until 6pm if possible – this is the time most pollen particles are in the air
- Avoid hanging woollen clothes on washing lines as they’ll attract more pollen
- Check the pollen count: if it’s High to Very High, avoid hanging clothes outside
- If you’re concerned when bringing dry clothes in, a quick tumble–dry for 5 minutes will remove most of the pollen from your clothes
Spring really is the best time to revitalise your wardrobe and give your clothes a new lease of life. Don’t forget to stock up on your favourite ACE products to refresh your colours and get your whites whiter than ever. TOP TIP: always keep your colours out of the sunlight.
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