Line Dry vs Hang Dry – What Are The Differences?

Clothing labels often indicate that drying must be done without using a tumble dryer in the best interest of the garment.

However, the laundry care tags can be confusing when they sometimes call for an item to “hang dry” and other times call for a “line dry.” When it comes to air-drying clothes, is there a difference between line dry vs. hang dry? 

Regarding line dry vs. hang dry, there are no major differences in how the clothes are dried. Both terms are used interchangeably to mean naturally air-dried clothes, which allow water to evaporate from the clothes slowly using only the surrounding atmosphere. 

Line or hang drying can reduce the heat damage that conventional dryers may bring on. This type of recommendation from manufacturers can usually be found on clothes made of wool or specialty fabrics that cannot take the heat from the dryer without becoming damaged. 

The dryer’s forceful tumble and hot air may cause delicate textiles, like those used in sportswear, undergarments, and jeans, to lose their form and fit. 

You can preserve your clothes’ fit and shape by air drying them on a clothesline or spreading them out to dry on a level surface.

Most clothes that need to hang dry must also be washed by hand. While this guide explains what manufacturers expect when it comes to drying specialty fabrics and materials, we have you covered if you’ve never hand washed clothing before.

What does line dry or hang dry mean?

Drying clothing and household linens on a clothesline saves electricity and extends the life of products since it is gentler on materials than a clothes dryer. The materials required are modest, and the greatest part is that the air and heat are free – whilst being more environmentally sustainable. 

When you line dry or hang dry clothes, you hang them up on a line with clothes pins or clips, allowing them to air dry naturally. 

Hanging clothes to air dry inside (e.g. if the weather conditions aren’t cooperating) is just as beneficial as outside, and space-saving tools like drying racks and wall-mounted clothes lines make this task easy.

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What are the benefits of air drying laundry?

If you are only hanging your laundry because there is a “hang to dry” care label on your clothing, you might be a little frustrated that you can’t use the convenience and speed of your dryer. 

Learning all the benefits of a good old-fashioned line dry might convince you to try it more often and make it a little less frustrating when required.

Here are our top 5 reasons why you should air-dry your clothes.

  1. It helps our clothes look new for longer. When clothes are tossed and tumbled in a dryer, the stress on seams and snags from buttons and zippers can cause wear and tear. Some fabrics can be ruined by too much heat in the dryer, and the damage can’t be fixed.
  2. It is better for the environment. Line drying clothes is the best way to do laundry when going green. It saves energy and helps protect the environment by reducing fossil fuels. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the average household’s carbon footprint can be cut by 2,400 pounds a year by letting clothes dry in the air.
  3. Saving money. It’s much cheaper to let your clothesline dry than to buy a dryer and fabric softener sheets. In fact, it’s free. You also save money on monthly utility bills because you use less energy.
  4. Line drying makes you more active. Hanging laundry to dry is a physical activity indoors or out. When you hang up or take down laundry for 15 minutes, you burn around 60 calories! This is equal to a 15-minute walk on the treadmill, so it is a great trade-off.
  5. It gets rid of wrinkles. Yes! This is the one we like best. Drying your clothes on a clothesline will help get rid of wrinkles. The water weighs down the hanging clothes, and along with gravity, they naturally stretch back to their original shape. This works best outside when it’s windy, but even hanging to dry inside will help eliminate wrinkles. 
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Can you hang dry laundry inside?

There are times when nothing beats the tried-and-true method of drying your clothing by hanging it outside in the sunshine and fresh air. However, bad weather, time constraints, and location often prevent this from happening. 

Air-drying your laundry inside can be more accessible, more convenient and will help all types of clothing to endure and look fantastic for years to come.

Aside taking up space the only negative is that clothes may smell musty even after fully drying. This is where a dehumidifier might come in handy to remove excess moisture from the atmosphere. 

In conclusion

Line dry and hang dry are the terms used to air-dry clothing. They both mean to air-dry without using artificial heat from the dryer. This helps keep the clothing from being damaged and is often on the label of delicates or items using specialty fabrics.  

It may seem like extra steps are added to your daily chores when you need to hang dry clothes, but the benefits outweigh the consequences. Preserving your clothing by drying it according to the manufacturer’s instructions ensures your outfits always look their best!