Idea #6: Air-dry your clothes and dishes

Thanks to Meng Gao ( for suggesting this blog topic!

Now that humanity has gone to the trouble of inventing washing machines and dishwashers, it can feel like we’re obligated to use them to the fullest-featured extent possible. But when you think about it, the drying cycle is completely superfluous.

Let’s talk about laundry first. It may seem like extra work to hang your clothes to air dry, but consider this: nicely hung clothes don’t need to be folded. Even if you do fold your T-shirts to save space, you’ll notice that folding a T-shirt from a drying rack is much faster than folding one from the tumble dryer, since it’s hung in basically the same shape as it will be when folded. Given that running the dryer takes about twice as long as running the washer, I’d say air-drying is more likely to save time than waste it. Not to mention that heated drying is actually bad for a lot of fabrics.

As for dishwashers, heated drying doesn’t work for plastic food containers anyway. Puddles. Puddles everywhere. Much easier just to open the machine after the rinse is done, dump out the puddles, and wait for evaporation to finish the job. It doesn’t take long.

How much energy does this actually save? Probably about 1-2% of your monthly electricity bill. Not earth-shaking, but given the lack of a downside, it seems like a no-brainer.

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