Fresh air is good for the soul and your fabrics, too! Did you know that most garment damage occurs during the drying cycle? That’s because high heat and agitation from tumble drying can lead to shrinkage, fading, and weakening of fabrics. With the proper techniques, air drying will keep your garments—from keepsakes to everyday items—looking and feeling beautiful for longer. (Plus, sunshine is a natural bacteria-fighter and brightener.) Ahead, how to hang dry every type of item to ensure no damage or weird creases and a perfect finish, every time.
Blankets & Quilts
Keep blankets and quilts soft and fluffy by treating them to some warm sunshine! Shams and blankets that are lighter in weight can be pinned to a clothesline to dry out in the breeze. No clothesline? Try hanging items over a clean shower rod instead (give it a wipe down with our Scented Vinegar first to avoid dirt, rust, and musty scents).
Heavier blankets and knits can be laid flat to dry on a clean surface and flipped halfway through to speed up drying. Don’t have a drying rack or flat surface wide enough for your blanket? Try the “blanket fort” trick: Place two or three hard-backed chairs a few feet apart and drape the blanket across them, using the chair backs to prop up the fabric. Rotate the blanket periodically to prevent fabric puckering. Quilts and down comforters should be shaken out every 5-10 minutes throughout the drying process to keep filling fluffy!
Baby & Kids Clothes
First, banish stains from kids’ clothing and accessories using the Make Messes Kit and launder with the gentle but effective Baby Detergent. Ready to dry? These smaller items can be dried on the line or on a drying rack. While still slightly damp, remove wrinkles from kids’ uniform shirts, skirts, and pants by misting with Crease Release: simply spritz and gently tug or press out wrinkles using your hands. If you’re just seeing the wrinkles before you head out the door, don’t worry: Crease Release works well on items that are fully dry, too.
Activewear & Swimsuits
Keep activewear and swimwear in shape by air drying after washing with Sport Detergent, our special wash designed to preserve elasticity and remove sweat and odors. (Tumble drying performance wear on high heat can wear down its moisture-wicking properties and damage the elasticity of athletic wear, causing sagging and fabric pilling.) These stretchy, durable items can easily be hung up to dry on a line or laid over a rack to dry. No clothesline? Grab some clothing hangers from your closet and make use of your shower rod instead!
Delicates Like Lace & Silk
There’s a reason vintage lingerie items like slips and robes continue to be fashion staples—these stylish items can last for decades with the proper care. Reach for Delicate Wash and insert items into a protective Mesh Bag Bundle, select a cool water temp for washing, and always air dry. For best drying results, silk pieces should be turned inside out, then gently reshaped and smoothed by hand before laying flat to dry on a rack or clean, dry surface or towel. (Silk is a sensitive fabric that tends to show creasing easily, so flat laying is the best method. Generally, the heavier weight a delicate item is, the more it will benefit from being laid flat to dry as opposed to hang drying. This will take the pressure off the garment and prevent stretching!) Once dry, a few mists of Crease Release can also help to smooth out any wrinkles. Be sure to spray from 6-8 inches away to avoid water marks.
Lace garments can be hung up or laid flat to dry after washing. Be sure to take special care to avoid snagging this fragile fabric on wooden clothespins or drying racks. To give lace collars or napkins a crisper finish after air drying, give them a few sprays of Stiffen Up. Tip: Keep lacy things fresh post-laundering by placing a Lavender Pouch in your lingerie drawer or on your closet rod!
Knits & Sweaters
Knits are knot to be forgotten! We love how soft the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo keeps our cozy woolens and knits, but the key trick to caring for these items at home is skipping the dryer. Once knitwear pieces like cardigans and sweater dresses have been washed, lay them out on a clean, dry towel over a flat surface. Roll up the towel and knit together like a sleeping bag and gently press, allowing the towel to absorb the excess water from the item. Next, gently reshape the item and let dry, flipping halfway through the process to encourage airflow!
Never hang knitwear pieces by the shoulder area or over a hanger, as this places a lot of weight on the fabric and will cause unsightly stretching and puckering. Not wild about that “wet wool” smell? Grab Wool & Cashmere Spray and give items a few spritzes as they dry to infuse them with a soft, cedar scent. Finally, avoid static on knitwear pieces by misting with Static Solution.