Can a Dehumidifier Dry Clothes?

laundry being folded after being dried with dehumidifier

So here I am, without access to a tumble dryer in the British wintertime, trying to dry my clothes. I am thinking to myself, there has to be a better way to dry clothes than hanging them outside in the cold damp weather. You could always hang your washing to dry in the house?, but we all know this can cause excessive moisture in the home and potentially cause damp and mold. This caused me to do some research on alternative ways of drying clothes at home. The answer I stumbled across? The dehumidifier. Here is what I found:

Yes, you can dry clothes with a dehumidifier! It is an energy-saving alternative to using a tumble dryer. First, hang your clothes neatly in a room with space between the garments for airflow. Second, put the dehumidifier in the room, turn it on, shut the door and leave it run. In a few hours, your washing should be dry! We will have a look at how this works and the best ways to do it down below.

How Does a Dehumidifier Dry Clothes?

To cut a long story short, a dehumidifier uses the humidity of a room to dry clothes. The dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air, this causes the humidity levels in a room to decrease. As we all know, clothes dry much faster in drier environments. This is why your clothes dry so slowly on damp winter days outside. The dehumidifier lets you cheat nature and create a dry environment indoors. This is perfect for drying clothes inside! Moisture will evaporate very quickly from your damp washing in a dry room.

Is Drying Clothes Indoors Bad?

Many people resort to drying clothes indoors during the winter months. Some people do this year-round as a means to save energy by cutting down usage of the tumble dryer. Research in this article about drying clothes indoors says that this can be bad for our health! Drying clothes indoors can cause increased humidity throughout the home, this can spur the growth of mold and dust mites. These are bad for our health, particularly for those who suffer from Asthma and allergies. According to that article, the average load of washing releases up to 2 litres of moisture into the air! You wouldn’t dare pour 2 litres of water onto your walls and furniture, would you? So why would you allow it to happen by drying laundry indoors? The same applies to leaving things such as wet coats and damp gym gear and towels lying around.

Is it Better Than a Tumble Dryer?

Well, we did a detailed breakdown of the dehumidifier vs the tumble drier on our blog previously. We concluded that if you want a cheaper, more environmentally friendly and garment friendly drying method, then a dehumidifier is the best option. Don’t get me wrong, a tumble dryer is a great tool for many people but we believe the dehumidifier is the best alternative. A tumble dryer can be particularly annoying if you do not have a separate utility room or garage. It creates a lot of excess noise and vibration, plus it releases warm and humid air into the room if you do not have a piping system. These problems do not apply when drying clothes with a dehumidifier!

How do I Dry Clothes with a Dehumidifier?

To dry clothes with a dehumidifier effectively, you should do the following. First, designate a room of your home to use as a drying room for a few hours. It should be small enough where you can still hang all your clothes out with gaps in between each garment, but not so large the drying will take a long time. Once you have nicely hung all your washing, place the dehumidifier in the room and switch it on. You will need to leave it there for several hours, or until dry. Congratulations! You have just created your own drying room and can now efficiently dry clothes without using a tumble dryer! If you have a dehumidifier with laundry mode, this is when it is best used.

How Long Will it Take?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. 1 – The size of the load, obviously a larger load of washing is going to take longer to dry. As we mentioned previously, the average load of washing can release up to 2 litres of moisture. 2 – Size of the drying room, a room that is too large will mean the washing takes longer to dry. This is because the dehumidifier has to extract moisture from a larger volume of air than a smaller room. The room must not be so small that you can’t properly hang all the washing with gaps in between for airflow. A small bedroom, bathroom or storage cupboard will do the job nicely. 3 – Size and power of dehumidifier. A larger more powerful dehumidifier, for example, one with laundry mode will dry clothes faster. Smaller units or those without laundry mode still work well but will take longer. Really small units will likely take too long for it to be worth the time and energy.

Do I Need a Dehumidifier with a Laundry Mode?

Many higher-end dehumidifiers come with the option of a laundry mode. Is this really necessary if you want to dry clothes with a dehumidifier? The short answer is no, it is not necessary. The long answer is that yes, it can help dry your washing faster. Laundry mode increases the fan speed, putting the dehumidifier effectively into overdrive. As the fan speed increases, the dehumidifier dries the surrounding air faster. This makes laundry mode dehumidifiers the better choice for drying clothes. A dehumidifier without laundry mode will still dry clothes perfectly fine, just not as fast as a similar-sized unit with a laundry mode. It is worth noting that laundry mode uses more energy, this compensates for the faster drying time.

Best Dehumidifier for Drying Clothes

Meaco are the Cadillac of dehumidifiers and this is why we are proud to recommend the Meaco MeacoDry ABC Range 10L Dehumidifier as the best option for drying clothes at home.

Key features:

  • 12 Litre Capacity
  • Laundry Mode
  • Auto shut off when full
  • 10.5kg
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Timer mode
  • 2-year warranty


We hope you enjoyed this article on drying clothes with a dehumidifier. It really is a great option and better for many people than using a conventional dryer. This method is particularly effective in the winter months in areas with a milder climate. Many people don’t realise the problems associated with drying clothes indoors and the impact it can have on your health and property. Hopefully, this article has adequately answered any questions you have on the topic. Feel free to email us with any further questions or leave a comment below!

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