Drying clothes indoors can make you ill, says expert – but a 79p item can help

Air quality experts have claimed drying your clothes inside your home could make you ill – but there’s a simple fix that can cost as little as 79p

Woman hanging laundry to dry at home
Drying clothes indoors saves money but can be bad for your health (stock photo)

With energy prices Having skyrocketed, many of us have abandoned our tumble dryers in favor of air drying our clothes.

But while we wait for the weather to improve enough to use ours regularly clotheslinethe only remaining alternative is to hang our damp clothes in room air dryers – which unfortunately has its own downsides.

Air Quality Experts spoke to Hull Live about the dangers of keeping damp clothes indoors, as the dampness of your laundry can lead to mold growth in your home, which is both dangerous to your health and can cause costly repair damage to walls, ceilings and window sills.

In buildings, mold is usually caused by a lack of ventilation and increased humidity, and begins life as fungal spores naturally floating in both the indoor and outdoor air.

The excess moisture can worsen mold problems (stock photo)


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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While fungal spores are not usually a problem for most adults, they can be dangerous for children and babies if they inhale them, as well as for people with respiratory problems or weakened immune systems.

However, when these spores attach themselves to surfaces and become mold, it can trigger and worsen allergies, chronic colds, skin irritation and asthma eczema.

The best way to combat mold in the home is to tackle the humid conditions you may find in particularly troublesome areas like the bathroom — and drying your clothes indoors isn’t going to help the situation.

Jenny Turner, Property Manager at Isolation Express warned that drying wet clothes indoors allows moisture to evaporate from the clean laundry and settle on ceilings and walls, making existing mold problems worse.

She said: “To minimize the risk of mold growth when drying wet clothes at home, always keep a window open in the room to allow excess moisture in the air to escape.

“Since mold can quickly build up on walls and ceilings, another way to prevent this from not using a tumble dryer is to use a dehumidifier.

“An average sized home dehumidifier can effectively remove moisture from the air in your home and collect up to 7 liters of water over a day in a humid environment.”

Electric dehumidifiers work by sucking in the air, extracting excess moisture into a tank of water, and then releasing the air back into the atmosphere.

One dehumidifier found by Hull Live is the Duux Bora smart dehumidifier, which is controlled via an app and can hold up to 20 liters of moisture. It has a night mode and an automatic timeout, and costs around 13.2p an hour – and that’s currently 25% discount on Amazon with a price tag of £225.

But you don’t need an expensive electric dehumidifier to combat moisture in your home as you can also buy dehumidifier pots at supermarkets and retailers like B&M and The rangewhich sells one for just 79p.

You can also pick up a pack of five Amazon for €7.49but these pots typically only hold three times their weight, meaning you’ll need to replace them far more often if you regularly dry clothes indoors.

Better yet, Jenny suggests opening your windows and creating a flow of air through your home — and putting salt on your window sills.

She said: “For a dehumidifying effect without the use of electricity, try a combination of open windows and plastic window dehumidifier pots, which can trap and collect moisture in the air. These inexpensive plastic pots can help eliminate the risk of condensation on windows caused by drying wet clothes inside and adding to the humid atmosphere.

“Another cheap trick to draw moisture away from walls and windows is to place bowls of rock salt on the window sill when drying clothes, as this will help absorb excess moisture in the air.”

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