Expert warns drying washing inside could be damaging your home

Is your washing causing costly damage to your home? It might be time to reconsider where you hang your clothes up to dry

In winter the only option for drying the washing is usually hanging it up inside, however, an expert has revealed that this could be causing costly damp and mould damage to your home.

This time of year usually sees a spike in search for how to get rid of damp as we juggle the cold, wet weather and saving money on energy bills. However, Lee Devlin, MD at Homecure Plumbers (opens in new tab) warns you could be creating a serious damp problem for yourself by drying clothes indoors.

laundry drying rack

(Image credit: Future PLC/Sussie Bell)

'Recently washed clothes hold about three litres of water, which as clothes dry, evaporates and dissipates around the home,' he explains. 'This humid air can then come into contact with cold surfaces - such as walls and windows - and potentially lead to costly damage, hazardous mould growth, and an increase in dust mites in and around the home.'

If you don't have any option but to dry your clothes indoors without the aid of a tumble dryer, don't panic. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy fixes that will minimise any potential damage.

Tips to avoid damage when drying clothes inside

1. Dry clothes in warm and well-ventilated areas

Ventilation is crucial for reducing the moisture in the air and can be done by placing laundry near windows and extractor fans. 'If you have a spare room, with good ventilation and warmth, it can be an idea to utilise this and create dedicate a 'washing room',' suggests Lee. 'Ideally using a dehumidifier to help reduce the moisture in the air and help heat the room further.'

utility room with shelving and hanger

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Raeside)

2. Never dry wet washing on radiators

While warmth might help dry clothes quickly, Lee warns that this is actually one of the worst things you can do. It makes it harder for the heat to spread around the home, costing you more in heating, meaning washing can ironically take longer to dry. It can also increase the number of cold surfaces in the home which are perfect conditions for damp.

3. Spread out clothes on racks

'It's important to spread clothes out enough, and regularly move clothes around to prevent washing in the middle from staying damp for longer,' says Lee. So if you are tempted to cram a month's worth of washing onto one clothes horse - just don't.

Until the summer weather returns drying clothes inside is a necessary evil, however, if you spread the washing out, keep your home ventilated and warm, you should keep any potential damage at bay.

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.