AMID the cost-of-living crisis, the tumble dryer seems to be the first electrical appliance we are casting to the side in a bid to keep energy bills down, which is leading to a new burning topic of conversation for all - how exactly are you drying your laundry?


To use or not to use?

Debating over using one’s tumble dryer may seem like a bit of a first world problem, and perhaps it is, but the cost-of-living crisis is hitting all households and if you have a tumble dryer already that - whether rightly or wrongly in this climate conscious world - you have relied upon, you will no doubt have either simply stopped using it or reduced use as we all try to save money on utility bills.


Which leaves us with…

…the problem of how to dry clothes in the bleak, wet, chilly weather of winter. It’s a hot topic of conversation in real life and online, with householders and cleaning experts sharing their tips and tricks as to how to get the job done when hanging it on the washing line is fairly pointless.


The problem?

As one poster on Mumsnet states: “Nothing gets dry! We have a dehumidifier, we have a tumble dryer (which I will only use as a last resort) and already the laundry is piling up everywhere. We don't overdo it with laundry either - bedding every 2 weeks, bath towels once a week, tops usually do two wears, jeans and trousers probably six or seven wears. There's three of us living here. It's horrible when your bath towel isn't properly dry from yesterday when you get out of the shower. The hand towel in the kitchen doesn't get dry.”


So what are the tips?

Mumsnet is full of tips, including buying heated clothes dryers and microfibre towels, as well as “double spinning”, with one user saying: “Spin your washing twice. It makes SUCH a difference. I wash mine, spin it twice, then hang it to dry.” Many more use dehumidifiers. Another user writes: “I have a fan heater with a timer and a dehumidifier setting in the spare room. I do two loads at a time, hang on the clothes horse, hangers on hooks etc and set the heater with dehumidifier setting for an hour and have the window on vent so the moisture can escape and door shut.”


What else?

The topic is trending on TikTok. Cleaning guru Ann Russell, known as ‘TikTok Auntie’, posted a video - garnering hundreds of thousands of views - with her advice to dry clothes on an indoor drying rack, where “everything is folded neatly” and spaced out, and then using a fan pointed up from the ground to blast the laundry and “evaporate the water off”. “Clean with Jen” on TikTok suggests putting the clothes horse next to a radiator and using “a large king size sheet and loop it over and tuck it in to make a little drying tent…the hot air from the radiator gets trapped by the sheet and will dry your clothes quicker.”


What is the cost?

It depends on what type of machine you use, but on average, Uswitch estimates a tumble dryer uses around 4.5 kWh of energy per cycle and if each kWh of energy costs 14.37p, it could be from 67p per cycle or more. For three loads of washing a week, that could translate to £104.52 a year spent on tumble drying clothes.



Some advice online is blunt. One Mumsnet user, calling herself Queen Camilla, although undoubtedly this is not a regal problem, states: “Just use your tumble dryer for figs sake!”