Six tips for summer laundry success

When the sun’s out you can save a fortune on tumble-dryer costs by drying your laundry in the open air. Here’s how to avoid cardboard towels and distorted denim.

Your tumble-dryer may be one of the most useful items in your home, but there’s something really special about laundry blowing in a summer breeze. The fresh smell, the sense of cleanliness and using natural resources instead of expensive electricity.

But fresh-air drying is not without issues – whether it’s your jeans and towels coming out as stiff as a board or the pegs leaving puckered bits in your clothes. So we’ve pulled together our top tips to make sure your washing feels as good as it looks this summer.

Tip 1: use the right detergent

Do you ‘pod’ yet? If not, it could sort out your summer laundry, making sure those fabrics come out super clean and bright. Ariel 3in1 Pods contain the super-concentrated cleaning power of three types of liquid detergent – the very best Ariel has to offer – for a cleaner, brighter wash. And because they are pods, you don’t have to mess around with machine draws or dripping bottles – just keep the family-size box high up out of reach of children.

Tip 2: keep your clothes line clean

Drying your wash outside might seem like the cleanest way to do it, but remember that between washes your clothes line or rack may have been subject to rain, bird mess and insects, so before you hang out those gleaming white sheets, give the line a good wipe with a damp cloth. Also make sure you store your clothes pegs indoors to prevent them deteriorating.

Tip 3: hang tops from the hem not the shoulders

If you’re worried about your clothes pegs damaging or stretching your clothes, make sure you hang them upside down – no one will notice a stretch at the hem of trousers or a shirt, but it’s obvious on the shoulder or sleeve.

Tip 4: don’t wash a huge load

Not only does it increase the risk of wrinkles, but doing a really big wash can mean it takes longer to dry, because you may be folding and overlapping clothes, preventing air getting to them to dry them properly. It might also weigh the line down, leaving your sheets dragging. It’s much better to do small washes more often while the weather’s good.

Tip 5: fold your clothes as you take them down

With any luck, the act of hanging your clothes and sheets will have eliminated most of the wrinkles, so make your ironing even easier by folding them into the basket rather than just piling them up.

Tip 6: Check the weather

Yes, okay, this is a bit of an obvious one, but don’t underestimate it. This is Britain: it could be bright sunshine in the morning and hailing by lunchtime! And that’s your washing ruined. Equally, high winds could see your knickers landing in your neighbour’s garden! So to be on the safe side, check the hourly forecast online.

Do you have any tips for drying your clothes outside? Why not share them in the comments box below?