Avoid mold: 6 drying tips for damp days
When the rain sweeps through the streets outside, we have to put the drying racks up inside. This is because not only do you need to wear more clothes when it's cold (and do more laundry as a result), the clothes are much slower to dry. And that's what leads to an increased risk of mold.
It's a real fear for anyone who doesn't have room for a tumble dryer, or who doesn't like using such an energy-hungry machine in the first place. But with a couple of tips we're sure our grannies knew back in the day, you can shorten the drying time of your damp clothes without using that barrel of hot air. You'll not only eliminate any incipient mold problems, but you'll also have more space for nice things in your apartment.
1. Wash less, more often
Whether the washer drum is half full or half empty, that's up to you to decide. It's just important that in winter, the washer is only filled to half its capacity. During the spin cycle, this means the water can better escape from your clothes. When it comes to hanging things up, the laundry is already "pre-dried."
2. Tennis ball
The spin cycle becomes more effective when you include a tennis ball with your laundry. It hits the clothes from the inside and stops the moisture from getting caught in folds of material. Anyone who doesn't have a tennis ball can pull a sock over a ball. That works really well!
3. Air and spacing
When hanging the laundry out, you're better off leaving too much space between individual garments, rather than too little, so that the air can circulate. When you've run the machine only half full (or half empty), there will be enough space for this. Furthermore, you can create a draft! Throw open all the windows in the apartment for five minutes. Warm air works like a sponge: it absorbs all the moisture and carries it out the windows. That way, mold has no chance of taking root.
4. Inside or out?
As long as it isn't raining, it's always better to stand the clothes airer outside, rather than inside, the apartment. Even at low temperatures, the wind works as a dryer which blows the wetness out of your clothes. A drafty attic is also a suitable place — so that's a possible upside if you have somewhere like that.
5. Not on the heater!
When they need clothes to dry particularly quickly, one person or another comes up with the idea to lay their damp laundry on the heater. But, in no circumstances should you do this — it increases the humidity around the heater so quickly, that it collects in folds and wrinkles. Because this concentrated humid air is already so beautifully warm, the mold spores love it even more.
6. Freeze drying
As soon as it turns icy, you can rejoice. Now it means you can put your laundry outside and leave it to freeze. Curiously enough, deep-frozen laundry dries much faster. This is because the frozen moisture in your clothes evaporates in dry conditions below freezing — without thawing first (technical term: sublimation). In this way, your washing will become dry(er) too.
Anyone using these tips will weather the damp and cold months without mold developing. This not only saves a lot of trouble in terms of aesthetics, but above all, when it comes to your health, you'll be doing yourself a massive favour.