Advice on Drying and Hanging Clothes

After washing your garments there's one more step before you can get to work with your new steam iron or steam generator iron - drying. So what are your clothes drying options? Depending on the garment's care label, you can tumble dry, hang on a washing line or dry flat. Here's what to do:

  • If a garment can be tumble-dried, make sure you give it a good shake first as this helps to reduce wrinkling.
  • When drying on the line, give clothes a good shake and hang using rust-proof pegs.
  • To avoid marks, place pegs in discreet places such as beneath armpits.
  • If clothes have been hand washed and can't go through a spin cycle because they are too delicate, then you need to either dry them flat (often the case with woollen garments) or drip dry them on the line.
  • Hang the garment on a rust-proof hanger without removing excess water.

  • Mop up excess water by gently blotting with a towel. Do not squeeze or wring the water out.
  • Fasten zips, buttons and other closures.
  • Straighten collars and make sure garment hangs straight.
  • Keep away from direct heat, including bright sunlight.

When Using a Tumble Dryer

  • Clothes should be left in a dryer just long enough to remove wrinkles and moisture, any longer can actually 'set' wrinkles with heat.
  • You should shake clothes before putting them in the dryer. Loose wrinkles are easier to dry than those wound tightly by the washing machine's spin cycle.

Hanging Clothes

Once clothes have been washed, dried and ironed don't ruin your efforts by storing them badly. Here are some tips on hanging clothes properly.

  • Hang bulky items such as coats and jackets on thick plastic hangers as they require more support to their shoulders than other clothes.
  • Rather than hang, you should fold and store t-shirts and knitwear items in drawers. Don't try and cram too many in though, as this will cause creases in those at the bottom of the pile.
  • Shirts and dresses should be hung up but try to avoid using metal hangers as their sharper edges can distort the shape of the shoulders. Plastic ones are far better.
  • Jeans and other thick trousers (eg. cords) can be folded in a drawer. But other trousers should be hung by their waistband or turn-ups using a clamp-style hanger.
  • However, if you only have normal hangers for trousers, roll something soft like a tea towel around the hard edge to avoid unsightly fold marks at the thighs.
  • If you are packing clothes away and they won't be used for a while, it might be worth getting some acid-free tissue paper to line the case and prevent moisture build-up.
  • Fasten all buttons and zips on your clothes before hanging in your wardrobe. They'll keep their shape much better.
  • Avoid hanging or storing clothes in bright sunlight as this can cause discolouration and bleaching.