Should you dry your clothes outside?

Drying is an important part of the cleaning process when it comes to washing clothes. Washing detergent and the temperature of the water kill most of the germs but drying is the last step in the process and many of us use tumble dryers to get this done and dusted as quickly as possible. But have you thought about the environmental impact of using these machines?

According to the Energy Saving Trust, drying your clothes outside in the summer can save you £30 a year on your electricity bill and 90kg of CO2 in emissions. If everyone in the UK line-dried their clothes in the warmer months it would save as much as £375 million a year and 1.125 billion kgs in CO2 emissions, cutting electricity consumption by 2600GWh. 

However, drying clothes outside isn’t without its perils. There is, of course, the risk of dirt being blown on to your freshly washed linens or birds making a mess on your clean sheets, resulting in a second go through the washing machine and negating your energy-saving efforts. However, as with most things, a little flexibility is required and the decision made depending on the conditions on the day. If the weather is dry and sunny, with a light breeze and you live in a smog-free area, surely it is worth taking a chance and putting the washing outside so that you can enjoy that unique sun-dried freshness?