How to Dry Clothes Without a Dryer

Updated: Sep. 19, 2023

Whether your dryer is kaput or you're looking for ways to save energy, we'll show you how to dry clothes without a dryer. It's easier than you might think.

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Star-Shaped Drying Rack

This is the coolest looking drying rack we’ve ever seen, AND it’s completely DIYable! Ananda at A Piece of the Rainbow has complete how-to instructions with great pictures and a video.

She recommends a tablesaw for cutting the pieces of wood, but says a circular saw or jigsaw with a saw guide.

Photo: Courtesy of A Piece of the Rainbow

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Crib Spring Drying Rack

How clever is this?! Paint an old crib spring, hang if from the ceiling and use it as a rack for drying clothes on hangers. Simple and inexpensive.

Photo: Courtesy of A Diamond in the Stuff

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foldable drying rack

Heavy-Duty Drying Rack

This stainless steel rack folds flat against the wall when not in use, plus the length is adjustable from 43 to 59 inches. The extra length makes it perfect for drying comforters and blankets. If you’re not buying a dryer because of less space, then a portable dryer is here to resolve this issue.

Photo: Courtesy of GENE

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Laundry Care System

Pottery Barn offers a complete clothes and accessories organizing system based on a set of peg rails. You can customize the components based on your needs. One possible configuration for a laundry room is shown here, with the handy drying rack conveniently located near the washing machine.

Photo: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

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Keep It Simple

This braided stainless steel retractable clothes line takes only minutes to install and costs around $10. When it’s not in use, you’ll hardly know it’s there!

Photo: Courtesy of Luckin

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A Favorite in Great Britain

This is a Sheila Maid clothes drying rack and it’s been widely used in British homes for more than 100 years. It’s available in several lengths and with either four or six rails. The pully system, for raising and lowering the rack is included. Made in Scotland, the racks are shipped by a U.S. company that has a sister city relationship with the company that makes the racks.

Photo: Courtesy of Cottage Craft Works

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Drying Rack for Delicates

When its arms are open, this compact drying rack looks a little like an octopus! The top hook goes over a shower curtain rod and the clips hold light items. When everything’s dry, fold it up and you can use it as a regular hanger.

Photo: Courtesy of Feijun

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Double-Duty Radiator

Whenever it’s cold enough for radiators to be doing their job keeping your warm, they can also assist with drying wet garments. This isn’t a good way to dry an entire load of laundry, but damp mittens, hats and towels can be draped over most radiators for the sort term.

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Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Old Fashioned Sunshine and a Nice Breeze

On a clear summer day, a clothesline hung between two trees or posts and a bucket of clothespins is really all you need. Bed linens are well suited for outdoor air drying but don’t limit yourself. Be sure to fasten everything well and keep an eye on the weather.