Drying clothes in the winter can be a problem, particularly if you do not have access to a tumble dryer. If you have your central heating on now, you may be tempted to use your radiators as impromptu clothes dryers so as not to ‘waste the heat’. There are several reasons why this really is not a good idea, though!
Drying clothes on radiators is expensive
You may think that draping your radiators with laundry actually dries it for free, as the heating is on anyway. Modern radiators are thermostatically controlled though, which means that you set a required temperature and the radiators aim to reach it. If you block the radiators with washing it will confuse the thermostat and the radiators will pump extra warmth into the room, giving you over-heated, crisp, creased clothes and a cooler room!
Drying clothes on radiators causes condensation and mould
Most of us are on a mission to keep our houses dry inside. Modern homes are built with good insulation and draught proofing which makes them efficient to heat, but it does mean that once moisture gets in it cannot really get out.
Draping wet clothes over the radiator means that moisture will be carried into the room on a warm air current and will stick to the first cold surface it hits, normally a wall. Excess moisture in a room can lead to patches of mould, which can cause damage such as staining and peeling paint. Even worse, it can lead to health problems, particularly in vulnerable people such as children and the elderly.
To help prevent and reduce problems with mould, use Little Knights paint on walls and furniture. It contains an anti-bacterial agent which will help suppress mould for a healthier home.
Alternatives to drying clothes on a radiator
The best solutions to winter laundry are a home tumble dryer or a launderette, but these are not practical answers for everyone. If your only option is to dry clothes indoors, then use a clothes horse to allow air to circulate and position it several feet away from the radiator. Unless there is a blizzard outside, it is also a good idea to open the window a fraction to allow moisture to escape.