How to dry clothes in winter: The ridiculously simple hack that will speed up the drying time

composite - man freezing in boxers next to drying laundry; pile of laundry
An Australian homeowner has shared a very simple hack that promises to significantly reduce the drying time of your laundry this winter. Photo credit: Getty Images

The damp, cold doldrums of winter don't exactly make ideal drying conditions; walking around my parents' home, there's a real possibility you may get tangled in trousers hanging near the heat pump, while navigating through doorways may come with a jumper dropping on your head.

Most of us will be familiar with how difficult it can be to get warm and dry clothes at this time of year, particularly amid the cost of living crisis. Not everyone has the cash to splash on constantly running the tumble dryer, and energy bills are already sky-high for many in a bid to heat the country's raft of subpar, uninsulated homes.

But smelly socks and drying clothes as home décor could now be a thing of the past, with an Australian homeowner sharing a very simple hack that promises to significantly reduce the drying time of your laundry this winter. 

Sharing her tip on the popular Facebook group Cleaning & Organising Inspiration Australia, the woman revealed how one easy step can transform your laundry from damp to dry in no time. 

The woman noted that her tip is the perfect solution for anyone who already dries their laundry inside the home or in front of their heat device. 

To start with, the woman advises hanging the wet laundry on a drying rack and placing it a safe distance from the heat source, whether it's a heat pump, fan heater, radiator or electric heater. 

Man in underpants waiting for clothes to dry
Photo credit: Getty Images

She then suggests hanging a larger piece of clothing on the far end of the airer - the side that's opposite the heater.

The method effectively traps the hot air and keeps it circulating around the laundry, drying the clothes more quickly, she explained.

"To help if you dry clothes near the heater, turn sideways and block the other end with a larger piece, adjusting as needed," she told the page. "The heat doesn 't blow through as quickly, so the clothes dry faster."

Photo of laundry drying set-up by Facebook poster
By hanging a large piece of clothing at the far end of the clothes rack, it helps to trap the heat and dry your clothes faster. Photo credit: Cleaning & Organising Inspiration Australia / Facebook

Many fans of the online cleaning community were blown away by the simple and common-sense hack, promising to try it out on their next load of laundered clothes. 

"Simple but effective. Have just bought a clothes horse to save on the dryer," one commented, with a second adding: "Drying clothes, staying warm, and saving money and resources. Just like our grannies did!"

Others offered a few twists on the simple tip to speed up drying even more, with one suggesting: "Wrap a sheet around three sides and the top. Instant dryer."

Another added: "Yes I second this! I find putting something on top works well too."

"I used to put a sheet over the lot to keep the heat in and dry them quicker, especially if you can put them over a heating duct," a third chipped in.

Of course, a mandatory safety warning: clothes should always be placed more than a metre from any heater or other device. Please for the love of God, don't start putting clothes on the heater; yes, it will probably warm them up, but you may find your home getting a little toasty too - with fire.