See How Long It Takes To Air-dry Clothes

Air-drying clothes has lots of benefits. It can help your garments last longer and minimize shrinkage. Although this method takes time, there are ways to speed up the process when you need to.

If you’re one of those who would like to know how long it takes to air-dry various fabrics like denim, wool, and cotton, you’re at the right place.

This guide will show you everything you need to know.

What does it mean to air-dry clothes?

Air-drying clothes means hanging them up to dry without using any artificial heat sources.

This can be done inside or outside. And it is a gentle way to dry most types of fabric. 

Although air-dried clothing will take longer to dry than if it were tumble-dried, this method is often safer for delicate items or those with special care instructions.

Many people also prefer the way air-dried clothes smell, as there is no artificial scent left behind.

How long does it take to air-dry clothes?

how long does it take to air dry clothes

This section covers the time it takes to air-dry clothes both inside and outside.

How long it takes to air-dry clothes inside

24 hours.

This also depends on how much airflow you have in your home and the humidity levels. But in general, it will take clothes 24 hours to air dry inside.

If you can hang them near a window or vent- they will dry faster. You can also invest in a small, portable clothes-drying rack to help speed up the process.

How long it takes to air-dry clothes outside

Around 30 minutes to 24 hours.

This also will depend on weather conditions like humidity, temperature, and wind.

If it’s a really hot and sunny day, it’ll probably take less time than if it’s overcast or humid. The best way to tell is to check your clothes periodically until they’re dry.

More so, clothes that are air-dried outside always have a fresher scent than those that are dried in the dryer. This is because they haven’t been exposed to the heat of the dryer, which can sometimes cause clothes to smell stale.

SEE: Washing Whites With Colors Guide

How long does it take to air-dry fabrics?

There are various types of fabrics, and they air-dry at different time frames. Here’s how long each fabric is likely to air-dry:


Cotton is made from natural fibers and very breathable fabric.

If you’re air-drying your T-shirts, underpants, and other garments made from cotton, it will take 2-8 hours.

Also, while leaving your cotton clothes to air-dry, keep in mind that they are likely to shrink in hot weather, so don’t keep them out in the sun for too long.


Linen is made from natural fibers as well, but it’s not as breathable as cotton.

As a result, linen garments will generally take 4-12 hours to air-dry.

If you’re looking to speed up the process, you can try hanging your linen clothes in a well-ventilated room or near an open window. Preferably, leave them to dry in the sunlight.


Wool is a bit of a different fabric, made from animal fibers.

It is also not as breathable as cotton or linen; it can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to air-dry.

Air-drying your woolen garments outside for too long is not recommended, as they are likely to shrink in direct sunlight or hot weather. So, take them in once they are fully dried.


Synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex are made from man-made materials. They are more durable than natural fibers.

Expect your synthetic garments to take 6-12 hours to fully dry.

And when you air-dry them outside, keep them out of direct sunlight, as the UV rays can cause the fabric to break down over time.


It is a delicate fabric, and it should be air-dried with care.

Silk garments can take 30-40 minutes to fully dry and should be hung in a shady, well-ventilated area.

Direct sunlight or heat can damage silk and make it appear dull. So it’s best to avoid air-drying your silk clothes outside longer than recommended.

SEE: Does Cotton Shrink When Washed In Cold Water?

Why should you air-dry your clothes?

If you’ve ever had doubts as to why you need to air-dry your clothes, these next tips explain the benefits.

1. Save money on your energy bill

If you’re looking to save money off your utility bills, air-drying your clothes can help your reach your goal.

The reason is that cloth dryers are some of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home, and running them takes a toll on your power bill.

By line-drying your laundry instead, you can see a significant reduction in the amount of money you spend each month on energy.

2. Prolong the life of your clothes

Cloth dryers can be tough on your clothes, causing them to shrink, fade, and break down over time. If you want to prolong the life of your wardrobe, air-drying is the way to go.

3. Get a little fresh air

Line-drying your laundry allows you to enjoy some fresh air and Vitamin D (if you’re doing it in direct sunlight).

If you’re stuck indoors all day, taking a few minutes to step outside and tend to your laundry can be a great way to break up the monotony and get some much-needed fresh air.

4. Avoid wrinkles

Clothes dryers are notorious for causing clothes to wrinkle, especially if they’re left in too long. Air-drying is your best option if you’re trying to avoid wrinkle-prone clothing.

5. Save space in your home

A clothes dryer is a bulky appliance that can take up a lot of space in your home.

If you’re tight on space or looking to declutter your home, getting rid of your dryer and line-drying your clothes can be a great way to free up some space.

SEE: Essential Clothes You Need to Become a Minimalist

6. Reduce your carbon footprint

Clothes dryers use a lot of energy, which means they produce a lot of carbon emissions. Line-drying your clothes is a much more eco-friendly option than using a dryer.

So, if you’re looking to reduce your impact on the environment, line-drying your clothes can help you do your part.

7. Experience the outdoors

If you live in an urban area, line-drying your clothes can be a great way to get out and enjoy some time in nature.

Taking your laundry to a nearby park or green space can give you a chance to appreciate the outdoors while you work.

8. Meet your neighbors

Line-drying your clothes in a shared space like a laundry room or courtyard can be a great way to meet your neighbors and build community.

What factors affect how long clothes air-dry?

1. Temperature

If it’s scorching outside, your clothes will take less time to air-dry.

In very cold weather, your clothes may freeze on the line, which will make them stiff and difficult to dry completely.

2. Humidity

Humidity levels affect how long it takes your clothes to air-dry. If the air is very dry, your clothes will dry relatively quickly.

However, if the air is saturated with moisture, your clothes will take much longer to dry completely.

3. Sunlight

Sunlight can help speed up the drying process, so if you have the opportunity to hang your clothes in direct sunlight, they’ll dry more quickly.

The downside to this is your clothes are likely to shrink, in the case of cotton, or fade more quickly if it’s made from silk.

4. Wind

Windy conditions can help your clothes dry more quickly. If it’s a very windy day, your clothes may even dry completely within an hour or two.

5. Fabric

The type of fabric your clothes are made from affects how long it takes them to air-dry. Heavier fabrics, such as denim or wool, will take longer to dry than lighter fabrics, such as cotton or linen.

6. The arrangement of the clothes on the line

How you arrange your clothes on the line will impact how quickly they dry. If you bunch your clothes up together, it will take longer for them to dry completely.

However, if you leave some space between each item, the air will be able to circulate more freely, and it’ll dry more quickly.

SEE: Best Evergreen Gift Ideas for Women

Can you air-dry clothes in the dryer?

Yes, you can. 

This method is also known as air-fluff. It uses a no-heat technique whereby it draws room-temperature air from the surroundings as the basket in your dryer tosses your clothes.

To use, simply choose the air-dry or air-fluff setting on your machine. Then place your wet clothes in to air-dry.


How long does it take to air-dry clothes at night?

24 hours.

Clothes like denim need up to 24 hours to air-dry completely. Which means you may have to leave them out overnight.

How long does it take to dry clothes on air fluff?

It depends on the fabric.

Denim takes between 20-30 minutes to dry on air-fluff.

How long does it take to air-dry wet clothes?

Again, it depends on the factors mentioned earlier. As a recap, this includes wind, fabric type, and temperature.

Does it take long to air-dry clothes with a fan?

Between an hour and a day.

A fan can speed up the air-drying process, but it will still take longer when using a clothes dryer.

SEE: Does Dry Cleaning Remove Stains?


Air-drying clothes can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. In recap, this depends on several factors, such as the type of fabric, the weight of the fabric, the humidity and temperature of the air, and the amount of airflow. 

Heavier fabrics, such as denim or toweling, may take longer, while lighter fabrics, such as silk or cotton, will dry more quickly. Also, clothes take longer to air-dry in very humid conditions than in scaly conditions.

Overall, give your clothes plenty of time to dry completely before storing them away to avoid any unpleasant odors.

Thanks for reading.

Found this helpful? Read more laundry guides here on Africana fashion.