How To Slash Tumble Drying Time and Use Less Energy

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byPenny
How To Slash Tumble Drying Time and Use Less Energy

Since electricity has become so expensive, I’ve been reducing usage of my tumble dryer as much as possible.

In the summer, I can put everything out on the line, so avoiding the tumble dryer is easy. But in the winter, it is quite a challenge to get things dry without the tumble dryer.

Over the years, I’ve been experimenting with ways to reduce tumble drying time and thus use much less energy. In this post I’m going to give you my very best tips, so you can reduce drying time too, with the aim to reduce it by half.

Before we start, let me summarize the things that reduced drying time the most for me:

Keep the lint filter clear, clean out the heat exchanger, don’t overload the drum and the biggest one, spin, spin, spin those clothes before you tumble!

Want to reduce your washing machine’s cycle time too? Read this next - how to reduce washing machine time and still get a great wash

Read on for lots more tips!

My 7 top tips for reducing tumble dryer time

1. Choose a washing machine with high spin speed

The faster your washing machine spins your clothes, the less damp they will be when you transfer them to the tumble dryer. So, if you’re in the market for a new washing machine, look for one with a high spin speed.

2. Do extra spins

If you’re not ready for a new washing machine, you can still reduce drying time by giving your clothes an extra spin in the washing machine. This will help to remove more water from your clothes, which means they will spend less time in the tumble dryer.

My washing machine spins at 1400 rpm. So not too bad. I find that two extra spins does the job perfectly and laundry feels damp but not wet when it comes out.

Pro-tip: Make sure you don't overload your washing machine, otherwise it will have trouble spinning optimally, and you will never get more moisture out however many times you spin.

If you are finding that not much more water is coming out, try spinning half at a time.

Spin dryers

As a side note, I used to have a spin dryer. It spun at about 2800 rpm, twice as fast as my washing machine. It was amazing watching all the water come out!

Unfortunately, it didn’t last long before it broke, and I got tired of it anyway, so I didn’t replace it.

Now I find that additional spins on my machine works just as well. However, if your machine doesn’t spin very fast, it could be a good option for you.

3. Add dryer balls (best for towels)

dryer balls

Dryer balls are a great way to reduce drying time and save energy. These small, rubber balls bounce around in the tumble dryer, separating your clothes and allowing hot air to circulate more efficiently. This means your clothes will dry faster, and you’ll save money on your energy bills. They are especially great for towels, helping to fluff them up and dry them much quicker. They can be a bit noisy though!

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4. Aluminium balls (great for reducing static)

Aluminium balls are another option for reducing drying time in the tumble dryer. These balls work similarly to dryer balls, to reduce drying time. They can also help to reduce static cling and wrinkles in your clothes.

5. Add a dry towel

Throwing a dry towel into the tumble dryer with your wet clothes can also help to reduce drying time. The towel will absorb moisture from your clothes, which means they will dry faster. Plus, the towel will come out dry, so you can use it again next time.

6. Avoid tumble dryer overload

It’s easy to overload your tumble dryer if you aren’t careful! You might think that you are getting more for money by adding more at once, but this isn’t true!

Overloading your tumble dryer can actually increase drying time. When the dryer is too full, there isn’t enough space for hot air to circulate, which means your clothes will take longer to dry. So, make sure you don’t overload your dryer and leave some space for the air to flow.

7. Partially dry instead

clothes drying on a drying rack

If you’re not in a hurry, I thoroughly recommend half-drying your clothes.

Take your laundry out of the dryer roughly half-way through the cycle, and then let them air dry the rest of the way.

This can save you a lot of energy, and it’s also better for your clothes. Plus, I find when I do this, clothes come out far less creased, so I don’t have so much ironing to do. Win-win!

I’m lucky to have an airing cupboard in my house. This is a small cupboard where the hot water tank sits, and hot water pipes come in and out, so it is always warm.

I lay my half-dried clothes inside and by the next day everything is completely dry.

If you have one too, don’t use it for storage, like I did for a while! But if you don’t, a drying rack will work just as well.

Finishing up

I hope that helps you slash your tumble drying time, like it did for me!

As a recap, the biggest help for me was doing extra spins, partially tumble drying, and then finishing off in the airing cupboard.

If you don’t have an airing cupboard a drying rack will work well too.

If you have any more tips or questions, let me know!

Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! SparklingPenny.com was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.


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My top tips for slashing drying time including extra spins, dryer balls and dryer maintenance. Save money by cutting drying time by half.