Use A Dehumidifier To Dry Clothes: A Complete Guide

Many people want to get the most out of their dehumidifiers. Aside from preventing mold growth, many people wonder if it can be used to dry clothes.

Yes. You can use a dehumidifier to dry clothes since it can extract moisture from them. In addition to that, it has many advantages over a tumble dryer.

But why can a dehumidifier dry clothes, how does it work, and what are the benefits? I will go over these questions in this post. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Why can you use a dehumidifier to dry clothes?

To make your clothes dry, the machine should be able to remove moisture from your clothes. While a dehumidifier works on a different principle, it can achieve a similar result to a tumble dryer. 

The dehumidifier is not intended to dry clothes, but it can help them dry faster by absorbing the moisture that surrounds them.

The air is drawn into the machine by a built-in fan, regardless of the type of dehumidifier. Then the air will pass through a chilled coil ( refrigerant model) or a wheel ( desiccant model) to get the excess moisture removed. Before returning to the room, the air will be reheated, causing the room to become drier and slightly warmer. 

While a dehumidifier can make the room “feel” cool by decreasing the humidity level, it blows hot air and can increase the room temperature to some extent. 

In a word, the moisture of your clothes, along with moisture in the air and coming from other objects in the same room, can be removed by a dehumidifier. 

Is dehumidifier laundry mode necessary?

Some modern dehumidifiers come with a laundry mode that is especially for drying clothes. The drying process can speed up by increasing the fan speed.

While this mode is beneficial, it is not necessary. You can use a standard dehumidifier to dry wet objects without any problems. The only downside is that it may take longer to work.

How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry clothes?

how long it takes for a dehumidifier to dry clothes

A dehumidifier takes three to four hours on average to dry clothes. However, it is dependent on a number of factors.

How many clothes to dry

The larger a load of washing, the longer it will take to get them dry. This is because the moisture will increase as the number of wet clothes increases, but a dehumidifier can only collect a certain amount of water per day.

Level of humidity

Wet washing will dry slower in a humid environment. When the room is wet, the dehumidifier must work harder and for a longer period of time to reduce the humidity level. As a result, removing moisture from clothing will take longer.

Room size

The amount of moisture in your laundry room is also affected by its size. If you run a dehumidifier in a large room, it will take longer to dry your damp laundry because a larger room contains more moisture, assuming the moisture level remains constant.

Putting clothes in a small room, however, is not always a good idea because you must ensure that there are enough gaps between each cloth for airflow.

Dehumidifier capacity 

We often use the dehumidifier capacity to decide how powerful the machine is. If you have a powerful dehumidifier, you can expect your damp clothes to dry quickly since it can collect more water in a day.

How to dry clothes with a dehumidifier?

There are a few steps for you to follow when using a dehumidifier to dry clothes.

1. Pick a relatively smaller room.

Wet washing adds to the dehumidifier’s workload. With that in mind, you’d better run your dehumidifier in a smaller room when drying clothes.

Since smaller rooms have less moisture, the moisture of your clothing can be sucked up faster. 

2. Hang the cloth above the outlet of your dehumidifier

If you want your cloth to dry faster, place it close to the device because it will extract moisture from the surrounding environment first.

Aside from that, the warm air emitted by the dehumidifier can promote moisture evaporation, speeding up the drying process.

3. Keep the door and windows closed

When the door or windows are open, moisture from outside will constantly enter the room. This will have an effect on the performance of your machine because it will have to deal with more water vapor than usual.

As a result, keep them closed while running a dehumidifier.

4. Drain the water timely

The water tank can fill up faster when there is more moisture in the environment. These days, the machine will turn off automatically once the tank is full. 

Emptying the tank is necessary to ensure the machine continues to collect water. If you think it is a chore for you, you can opt for other drainage methods, like using a drain hose to direct water to go down the drain. 

Advantages of using a dehumidifier for drying clothes

Although clothes dryers are effective for drying clothes, there are many benefits over them you can reap from using a dehumidifier.

Save more money 

According to theSpruce, running a clothes dryer will cost about $0.34 per load, whereas using a dehumidifier for 4 hours will cost about $0.24.

While the difference may not appear to be significant at first, it may become noticeable over time. Aside from that, a clothes dryer is usually more expensive.


Using a dehumidifier to dry clothes will consume less electricity, which is better for our environment. 

If you live in a humid area, running a dehumidifier can benefit your house and your health at the same time.

Protect your clothing

Some fabrics are delicate and can be ruined by using a tumble dryer. Because the air coming out of the dehumidifier is gentle and warm, it is much less likely to damage your favorite shirts or jacket.

Don’t increase the indoor humidity level

A large amount of water vapor will escape from your clothes dryer when you open the door. When you dry your clothes on a radiator, the moisture will also cool and condensate on the wall.

These methods can dry clothes, but they also raise the humidity level. A dehumidifier will extract moisture from clothing and absorb it in the machine, gradually lowering the indoor humidity level.


It is a good idea to use a dehumidifier to dry clothes. It can not only save you money but also keep your clothes in good condition.

It usually takes three to four hours to complete the task. You should close the doors and windows and drain the water frequently when running it.

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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