Should You Dry Your Clothes Inside Out?

Most people throw their clothes into the dryer without a second thought about what the best way of drying them is.

Turning clothes inside out when they are wet can be a little unpleasant, but should it be a step that you’re taking?

It’s a good question and one that we’ll answer here. We’ll not just look at drying in general but also the difference between air-drying your clothes and machine drying them. 

By the end, you’ll have all the info you need on how best to dry your clothes. 


Should You Dry Clothes Inside Out After Washing?

Firstly, it’s good to point out that how long it takes your clothes to dry is not affected by whether the clothes are turned inside out or not. 

The issue instead is about how best to protect your clothes when drying. Often, drying them inside out will help protect them. 

Turning clothes inside out when air drying can prevent colour fading and keep the outside clean. 

Doing so in a dryer can also keep colours locked in but also reduce lint build-up. 

There are a few more reasons too and next we’ll go into them in a little more detail.


Benefits of Drying Clothes Inside Out When Air Drying

air drying clothes inside out

If want to hang your washed clothes on an outside line for them to dry, it is strongly advised that you turn them inside out to prevent colour fading from UV rays and to protect them from dirt.

1. Protection from UV rays

Air drying simply means spreading or hanging washed clothes outside so that the combination of sunlight and air movement will dry the clothes. 

Generally, the more the sunlight hits the clothes, the faster they dry.

Unfortunately, besides heat energy, the sun also emits ultraviolet rays, and these rays can damage clothes by causing colour fading. 

Ultraviolet rays cause fading because they break down the chemical bonds in the parts of dye molecules responsible for the colour of fabrics. 

A breakdown of these colour-giving bonds leaves the fabric significantly lighter in colour.

The longer clothes are out air drying, the more UV exposure they receive, and the more photodegradation (colour fading). 

Turning clothes inside out when air drying them is a simple trick to preventing colour fading and ensuring that your clothes remain bright for longer.

By turning the clothes inside out, it is the inner surface of the clothes that are exposed to the bleaching UV rays from the sun. 

While the inner surface will experience colour fading and be lighter, the outer surface maintains its colours for longer.

2. Protection from dirt

Air drying relies as much on air movement as it does on sunlight. Unfortunately, there can often be pollution or dust in the air. 

As air gently caresses the clothes to facilitate their drying, it also rubs on that dust and whatever pollutant it carries. 

Stains can also come from the line that the clothes are on, or the pegs that you use to keep them from falling off. These factors are often not significant but it depends on the area that you live. 

However, drying your clothes inside out means that you won’t have to worry about any of these issues.

While this applies to air drying outside, it doesn’t apply to air-drying clothes inside. If you want to dry your clothes on an airer inside a warm room, then they will be no real benefit in turning your clothes inside out. 


Benefits of Drying Clothes Inside Out When Tumble Drying

tumble drying clothes inside out

If you are drying clothes in a tumble dryer, then you’ve probably already worked out that you won’t need to worry about photodegradation from the sun’s UV rays or pollution from the air.

However, drying your clothes inside out may still be the best way to go even when using a tumble dryer. The two main benefits are outlined below.

1. Reduces the risk of damage to clothes from zips and buttons

A tumble dryer can be fairly brutal on your clothes and turning them inside out reduces the chances of damage and also helps to better protect your machine. 

That’s because when your turn clothes inside out, the likes of zips and buttons won’t be exposed.

2. Protects your dryer

You may have noticed that when you turn on your tumble dryer there can be horrible clanging sounds from the metal and plastic hitting the walls of the dryer. 

Having clothes inside out can extend the life of your tumble dryer while also protecting them. 


Should You Wash Your Clothes Inside Out as Well?

woman turning clothes inside out

Yes, the optimal wash technique is washing your clothes turned inside out. This prevents colour fading, protects your clothes features, keeps the outside of your clothes lint-free, and keeps your clothes feeling fresher.

If you follow the inside out washing technique it’ll be a great inconvenience to have to turn the damp clothes back out before packing them into the tumble dryer or putting them out on the line.

It, therefore, makes sense to dry your clothes inside out as they’ll already be that way. You can just throw them on the line or in the dryer and then turn them back the right way when they are fresh, dry and clean. 


Final Thoughts

Drying your clothes inside out makes a lot of sense. It’s better to wash them that way in the first place to protect them and lock in the colour. It’s the best idea to keep them inside out through the whole washing and drying process.

Drying them inside out is not something you have to do but it’s a good idea. It’ll keep your clothes looking better for longer, lock in that colour and prevent them from getting easily stained.