How to dry laundry with a dehumidifier (+ best drying conditions)

A dehumidifier is effective at drying laundry. It works most efficiently at temperatures above 60 °F (15 °C). Choose a small room and close all doors and windows. Place the device safely and turn on the laundry mode or continuous mode. This will dry your laundry most effectively.

To dry your clothes with a dehumidifier, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a small room, the smallest you have access to
  2. Close all doors and windows
  3. Make sure the temperature in the room is at least 60 °F (15 °C)
  4. Hang your clothes on a rack or line
  5. Place the dehumidifier close to your clothes, but prevent water from dripping onto the device
  6. Run the dehumidifier in either laundry mode, or continuous mode with maximum fan speed

How to get the best conditions for quick drying

There are several things you can do to optimize the drying process. These are

  • Turn on the heating in the room. Warmer air means quicker drying
  • Hang your laundry such that they do not touch each other
  • Make sure the dehumidifier is placed with at least 12 – 14 inches (30 – 35 cm) of space around it. This will ensure optimal airflow so the device can run most efficiently
Dehumidifier drying laundry
My dehumidifier drying laundry

Laundry mode might not be the best option for drying laundry

Not every dehumidifier has a laundry mode. However, laundry mode might not even be the best option for you. When I looked through my dehumidifiers manual (I have two dehumidifiers from Meaco), I was surprised to find that they recommend using continuous mode and high fan speed rather than laundry mode for drying laundry.

So I asked Meaco why they recommend continuous mode rather than laundry mode. And this was their reply:

The reason … to have the machine set to [continuous mode] and High fan speed for drying laundry [is] … if you have the machine set to laundry mode this will turn off after 6 hours. Whereas if set to [continuous mode] … the machine will [only] turn off when you manually turn it off. As the laundry may not be dry after 6 hours, or that clothes may be dry before this.

Jordan, customer service Meaco

Laundry mode is usually a timer of several hours at maximum fan speed. For Meaco products, this will be 6 hours. Check your device’s manual for how long your dehumidifier will run in laundry mode.

They recommend using continuous mode plus maximum fan speed instead because:

  • It will run as effectively as in laundry mode
  • You have control over how long the machine runs. You can set a different timer or let it run until you want it to stop. (or until the container is full and it stops automatically)

How to use a desiccant dehumidifier for drying laundry

I made the assumption that you own a compressor-type dehumidifier because they are by far the most common. If you are unsure what type of dehumidifier you have, you can be sure it is a compressor type.

If you have a desiccant dehumidifier, you should know it works a little differently.

A desiccant dehumidifier uses a sponge-like material to absorb water vapor from the air. Its dehumidification efficiency is therefore not affected by the temperature of the air. Therefore, you can run the device in cold temperatures. A desiccant dehumidifier can be operated anywhere above freezing temperatures.

Desiccant dehumidifier drying laundry
My desiccant dehumidifier drying laundry