Winter months are normally cold and damp, making it impossible to dry your laundry outside.
Indoors tend to be warmer around this time.
Hence, you may be tempted to hang your clothes inside the home, most likely in the laundry room or bathroom.
Accordingly, Should You Air Dry Your Wet Clothes in The Bathroom?
Unless it’s very necessary, No. Residential bathrooms are not designed to dry moist pieces of garments dripping with water. Wet clothes release a lot of moisture in the air, leaving your tiny bathroom feel like a rainforest. If you don’t enhance the drying with, say, a space heater or a dehumidifier, you will report to work with half-dried clothes. They mess with air quality as well.
Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Air Dry Your Clothes
Here’s why you shouldn’t air-dry your laundry in the bathroom:
1. Mold And Allergy Issues
You don’t want to air dry your laundry in a closed room the size of your bathroom with limited ventilation.
Hanging wet laundry inside your home increases moisture in the air significantly
In the long run, the damp air may encourage mold growth on the walls and roof.
As usual with fungi, the mold will release spores in the air and spark allergic reactions in some of your family members.
Long-term mold exposure may progress from sneezing, red eyes, rashes, memory loss, insomnia, and lack of concentration.
2. Incomplete Drying
A typical bathroom in today’s small home measures anything between 36 – 40 sq. ft.
Such space is enough for essentials such as the shower, a toilet, a bath, and perhaps a sink but not an area to hang many clothes.
This space may be too small to dry everything completely.
Poor ventilation could also be a bottleneck for complete drying.
Most bathrooms stay closed most of the time.
Also, other than a tiny window close to the roof and crevice under the door, they don’t feature large dedicated openings for maximum ventilation.
Air drying heavy clothes such as sweaters and coats can be hard with poor ventilation.
3. Germs And Odors
The bathroom is the least clean room in your home regardless of how often you clean it although irregular cleaning may worsen.
It’s actually the germiest space in any home because of the numerous sources of germs:
- toothpaste/toothbrush holder
- toilet bowl/seat
- soap dispensers
All In One
The scariest thing about it is that you wouldn’t be dealing with just fecal bacteria but deadly viruses and fungi.
For instance, a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that such viruses as herpesvirus and HPV (human papillomavirus) are commonplace in bathrooms alongside Staphylococcus bacteria.
All these germs could easily stick on your clothes and let you spread them far and wide.
Odors That Stick
Depending on the level of cleanliness, your bathroom may produce just as many odors as your kitchen area.
Such odors as those emanating from your toilet seat, deodorants, toilet soaps, and shampoos can be strong enough to stick on wet clothes and stay there until you wash them again.
Clothes That Won’t Stop Smelling Damp
Besides the odors from the bathroom environment, your clothes may pick a damp smell from the trapped moisture.
If they don’t dry on time, the unpleasant stuffy smell (sometimes caused by fast-growing mold) may persist even if they dry completely.
4. Slippery Floor
Water dripping from wet clothes would form small pools on the floor.
Depending on the period the pools stay there, or whether they are soapy, the floor may get slippery enough to slip your feet.
Mopping your floor over and over is going to be increasingly frustrating.
How To Air Dry Your Clothing Indoors Successfully
You may hang your clothes in the bathroom if it’s very necessary, but only after you have mitigated the issues that come with it:
1. Wring Out Your Clothes Exhaustively
To reduce the amount of water dripping on the floor or evaporating into the air, wring your clothes harder before hanging them.
Put them in your washing machine and use the fastest spin cycle (this feature is faster in front-loading washers).
Certain materials may not be strong enough to withstand this vigorous process without damage.
Heavy and tough clothes such as sweaters and jeans are competent enough for the extra spin than light t-shirts.
2. Ventilate Your Bathroom
If you are seriously looking forward to drying your clothes in the bathroom more regularly, consider improving the room’s ventilation.
Try any of these 3 methods:
Open The Windows
It would be great if your bathroom had at least one sizeable window to increase the air exchange rate.
You don’t expect 2 windows in a bathroom, but the traditional 1 tiny window should be large enough to do the job. Maybe you should enlarge the tiny window.
If you can’t, consider a bathroom fan.
Get An Exhaust Fan
The most effective way of pumping out the excess moisture and odors is to install a bathroom fan.
Choose a energy efficient product with a high airflow rate.
Invest In A Dehumidifier
Most of them are portable, meaning you buy one for your family rood and only get to bring it in the bathroom when necessary.
Six Additional Tips For Air-Drying Your Clothes Indoors
- Balance the size of your bathroom with the number of clothes. Too many clothes in a tiny bathroom will saturate the air with moisture and drip more water to override the mitigation measures you may put in place. Hang very few clothes if you don’t have mitigation measures in place.
- Many people know that the best way to air-dry your clothes indoors is to hang them on a clean rod, but few understand that laying them on the floor can be better depending on the type of flooring.
- Separate your clothes to permit more air circulation for faster and more complete drying
- If you don’t have a bathroom fan in place, bring your space heater or regular floor fan to speed up the drying.
- Heavy clothes like sweaters, jeans, and stretchy garments release more water than lighter garments. Sweaters and stretchy garments tend to change shape. Consider laying them on a drying rack or bare floor to retain their shapes and prevent them from releasing much water into the air. Rotate them several times to ensure that they’ll completely dry.
- Use clothespins to prevent your clothes from slipping off and coming into contact with otherwise dirty bathroom walls.
To summarize everything, you shouldn’t air-dry your clothes in the bathroom unless it’s very necessary.
If it’s a must-do for you, install a fan or dehumidifier to get rid of the dampness in the air.
You may also bring in your space heater or regular fan to assist in drying.