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Drying washing in winter?

60 replies

Notfeelingmeatall · 22/12/2019 09:52

I live in a smallish house - no conservatory or utility room, or anything like that. No dryer. Sad

Anyway, on sunny winter days, I try and peg out my washing, though it barely dries it at all. So I still inevitably need to finish it off indoors. When we have day after day of rain, I still have washing that needs doing! So I put it all on a clothes rack around a radiator.

Recently, I read that you shouldn’t really do this. It’s known to cause damp and condensation in the house. Since winter set in, I’ve already had problems with damp and mould (appearing on outside walls only!). When I flagged it with the letting agency, I was told it was due to condensation, and there was nothing that could be done. I’m convinced this is not the case, as the damp is on the outside wall of my bedroom, and nowhere else. Not even the kitchen where I dry my washing, and where there is steam from cooking.

AIBU to continue to dry my washing this way? I don’t know what else I’m meant to do when I don’t have a dryer!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Chloemol · 22/12/2019 10:18

I hang my blouses etc on hangers on the curtain rail ( below the window is a radiator) so they dry nicely, the rest go on a dryer, although the duvet cover tends to be hung over the bannister

Never had a problem with damp. They do say open the window a bit helps as well

TriangularRatbag · 22/12/2019 10:19

The agents are very likely to be right, and the mould in your bedroom will be caused by condensation. The water vapour in warm air condenses on the coldest surfaces in the house - single-glazed windows and exterior walls (especially in rooms that are not well-heated). The moisture then encourages mould.

It does usually happen in bedrooms and upper-storey rooms. Your kitchen will be relatively warm and won't be affected.

Shinyshoes2 · 22/12/2019 10:20

ALWAYS do an extra spin ...cuts the drying time right down

BreatheAndFocus · 22/12/2019 10:20

I think you should ask the letting agents to do a proper check for the source of that damp. I had awful damp problems in one rented house which were all put down to condensation but weren’t.

Don’t put any furniture against that damp wall and watch your clothes. Some of mine got ruined (in a chest of drawers) before I realised the damp issue.

Also, air your bedroom a lot.

I don’t have a drier and dry my washing on those radiator racks and a free-standing airer. I time my washing finishing according to when the heating comes on. No problems so far - which is down to the fact this house is in a proper condition unlike the previous damp-ridden hole! But I do ventilate rooms regularly.

Notfeelingmeatall · 22/12/2019 10:22


My house is definitely well heated, I’m not one of those central heating martyrs who has my thermostat set on 16! Grin I do need to have my windows open more frequently, though.

I don’t have a bathroom fan - it needs one though, as it’s the coldest room in the house. Always open the window when I shower, though.

OP posts:
Lovelylugs · 22/12/2019 10:25

I do 2 extra spins on a wash and the clothes dry over night on the radiators. Even duvet covers and sheets with no damp problems. Although we did have terrible problems with mould on outside walls until we drylined them. I didn't do extra spins on clothes at that time though.

Fluffycloudland77 · 22/12/2019 10:27

Could you put a dryer in the under stairs cupboard & power it off an extension lead?.

AntiHop · 22/12/2019 10:29

I've never had a dryer. Until recently we lived in a flat with no outside space. The double glazing meant the moisture was staying inside the flat and we got spots of mould on ceilings and walls, especially the outside the outside walls which are colder.

We used hydrogen peroxide to remove the mould, which is more effective than bleach. We used the detttol power and pure spray. Then we bought a dehumidifier and used it a lot, not just when we had washing drying.

ScrimshawTheSecond · 22/12/2019 10:29

You'll only get condensation when the temp of the walls fall below 12 degrees, so it's partly a problem of lack of insulation. Try heating those rooms a bit more to help ameliorate it.

Ventiltion, too, is important, open the windows 15 minutes a day.

Mould is not good. Wear a mask and gloves to remove it.

Have you got extract fans? Use them in bathroom & kitchen - and keep doors of those rooms shut when cooking or bathing.

Notfeelingmeatall · 22/12/2019 10:45

The trouble with the bedroom is that it’s very big, but the radiator is on the opposite side of the room to the outside wall. So it’s difficult to make that side of the room any warmer. I think there is an insulation problem, as I can tell within 30 mins that our heating has turned off. When I’m in the house I like it set to 22 degrees (and even then sometimes I’m still cold Blush )

OP posts:
Bagofworries · 22/12/2019 11:17

Definitely get a dehumidifier! It will help with the damp air regardless of what is causing it, your home will be easier to warm up when the air is dry and your laundry will dry much quicker.
A dehumidifer will alleviate most of the problems you have listed.
When you still have a damp problem after running a dehumidifier for 2 to 3 weeks, then you can tell your landlord that it is definitely not a condensation/airing/heating issue and you've done all you can to tackle the problem. It's up to your landlord from then on.

Gwenhwyfar · 22/12/2019 11:22

I live in a flat so I have to dry indoors. I have no space for a dryer and they're bad for the environment anyway. Spinning to the max will make your clothes really crinkled. I just accept this reality that I have to dry clothes inside. Leaving the window open a bit all night on the first night of drying means there's no condensation on the windows when I get up and, like you, I don't dry clothes in my bedroom.

PlomBear · 22/12/2019 11:49

I’m always surprised that landlords don’t get washer dryers - we have them in our rented properties!

Our current flat is in a building that dates from the 1780s. No damp at all but in the cold weather the (original sash) windows get loads of condensation. I open the windows first thing then close them and stick the dehumidifier on.

Alpacathebag · 22/12/2019 12:03

If you're getting mould problems then a heated airer will make it worse. Dehumidifier will help to reduce it.

peony68 · 22/12/2019 12:18

Dehumidifier is definitely the answer , I live in a similar size house to you so drying washing is a real headache . Bought a meaco dehumififier and its totally transformed my life ( i'm aware that sounds really dramatic ) but honestly I don't know what i'd do without it . I plug it in and put the airers around it , washing dries quick , no more damp washing smell or condensation . It is a big investment moneywise ( about £ 150 ) but honestly it really is money well spent.

maddening · 22/12/2019 12:25

Could you get a condenser dryer anywhere in your house - then you are not restricted on location of the dryer, they can go anywhere.

longearedbat · 22/12/2019 12:38

The mould from moisture in your bedroom is probably caused by your breathing at night. As it is an external wall where the problem is, condensation is forming when warm air hits it. How old is the property? The first flat I rented was Victorian and had solid walls. I had terrible condensation problems in winter (mouldy clothes in cupboards/mouldy books), and no clothes washing/drying was ever done in the flat - it was all from breathing, cooking and bathing. The only answer is more heat and more ventilation (and, of course, a properly insulated property) I'm afraid.

squee123 · 22/12/2019 13:11

if you use a heated airer you really need a cover for it. Doesn't have to be an official one, an old double duvet will do, but they don't dry things properly otherwise. With a cover they're great

justmyview · 22/12/2019 13:22
Nquartz · 22/12/2019 13:30

Not sure if anyone replied about the cost of a dehumidifier, ours costs 11p a day to run. We use it today washing but also overnight to prevent condensation.

We also put a Nu Aire in the loft, only get condensation upstairs on very cold nights now & it's only a bit.

MRex · 22/12/2019 13:39

Get in the habit of opening up windows every morning after you get up to freshen up the house. It's useful for working out what you want to wear. Also open windows for a nice blast of air if you've had a shower or dried laundry - but only when it's dry outside or you'll just get more humidity. It's tricky with the radiator on the opposite side, you need a heat source because damp will find the coldest place, your landlord should at least provide a dehumidifier for that wall.

Notfeelingmeatall · 22/12/2019 14:11

Thanks for all the tips.

It’s just a case of luck, really. There’s not much I can do except for opening windows (provided it’s not raining!), getting as much moisture out of clothes by doing extra spin cycles, and potentially investing in a humidifier. But as someone else pointed out, perhaps the landlord should provide that?

I’ve noticed the sealing on the window itself isn’t good. There is often a layer of water on it when it’s been raining.

OP posts:
Bagofworries · 22/12/2019 17:50

I've never had a landlord provide a dehumidifier for me Hmm but if your landlord does, you would definitely benefit from one from what you have said.

Beaniebeemer · 22/12/2019 17:57

Currently using one of these. First time so now sure how good it is.

Drying washing in winter?
Stickybeaksid · 22/12/2019 18:00

We had a jml drier buddy which was a tent with a heater which was brilliant for drying but you need a dehumidifier with any heated drier rail or drier buddy. I used to take a lot of big stuff to the laundrette and get it washed and dried when we were renting

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