You can either dry your clothes in the sun or use a dryer. Each method has its benefits and disadvantages.
Some people go for the tumble dryer as it’s quicker more convenient. It’s also a great option when it’s cold, dark, or raining outside.
If you live in a flat, you might not have the option of drying clothes outside. But if you have a garden with a washing line, drying your clothes in the sun can be a very effective and free way to dry your clothes.
Benefits of Drying Clothes in the Sun
Sun drying your clothes is way cheaper than using a tumble dryer. You won’t need to buy a tumble dryer or pay high costs. It helps conserve energy and protect the environment.
The sun also eliminates odours, so your clothes will smell fresher without having to use laundry freshener.
Another advantage of sun drying is that it’s gentle on your clothes. The dryer rolls and stretches clothes, so they are likely to lose their shape over time.
The extreme heat in the dryer can also permanently damage the fabric. Clothes can develop holes, fade and even shrink. Sun drying can help whiten towels, bed sheets and other white fabrics.
How the Sun Fades Your Clothes
Although the sun is great at brightening your white clothes, it can fade coloured laundry. It contains ultraviolet radiation, and once it hits a coloured material, a chemical reaction occurs, fading the fabric.
Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of the sun fades on your clothes.
During summer, your clothes are more likely to fade while in the sun. The rays are usually stronger in this period. If you wear coloured clothes in the sun, they will gradually fade as well.
Although the sun fades clothes, it’s not an instant process. Your clothes won’t fade after hanging them outside for a few hours. Fading also depends on the type of fabric and the period of exposure.
Also, cotton fabric tends to fade easily in the sun, while polyester won’t. Other materials that easily fade include synthetic fabrics like acetate. Silk is also very sensitive to direct sunlight.
How to Minimise Sun Fading on Your Clothes
While you can’t prevent your clothes from fading while wearing them, there are some tips to help maintain their colour as you dry them in the sun.
First, turn your clothes inside out before drying. If the fabric fades on the inside, it will be less noticeable.
If you have the rotary cloth lines, hang coloured clothes on the middle lines and the white ones on the outer lines. The clothes in the outer lines will shield the coloured ones from excess sunlight.
If you have fixed clotheslines, determine the sun’s direction and position brighter clothes between the sun and the coloured ones.
Another helpful tactic is to remove your clothes from the line as soon as they dry. Leaving them out for longer than the required time increases the risk of discoloration.
When buying clothes, it’s a good idea to check the fabric type. Choose fabrics that are designed not to fade since they have a higher resistance to UV rays. Red fabrics fade more, followed by black, so dry them in the shade.
If more people worldwide choose to sun dry their clothes, it will help reduce fossil fuel usage. However, continuous exposure to direct sunlight can fade your coloured clothes, so you need to take precautions.
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