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Why Drying Clothes on a Radiator is a Terrible Idea

Is drying your clothes on the radiator a bad idea? Yes, it is. But then you say, "Cmon, this is just health and safety gone mad, right? It's probably ok to dry clothes on a radiator really". And yet you would be wrong. More about that later on in the article. But, the big reason you shouldn't be drying clothes on a radiator is because it's super expensive. It will actually cost you a real amount of money each time you dry your socks on the radiator. So, if you're drying your jeans on the radiator every week then listen to this article and literally save yourself hundreds of pounds. Which, as a suggestion, you can spend on a great new heated towel rail!

Why Do I Need a Heated Towel Rail Instead of Drying Clothes on a Radiator?

When you're drying clothes on a radiator, you're really just blocking the radiator from heating the room. The plug - your wet clothing - gets a huge amount of heat but your room stays cold.

Your radiator, even without a thermostatic valve, is trying to reach a certain temperature. Yet you're plugging the upstream heat of your whole system. Your boiler then has to struggle to heat the room using a radiator whose convection cycle is blocked. Your radiator is rendered completely inefficient and it's costing you mega-bucks. The central heating hates it and your bank account isn't any better off either.

Mould Loves it When You're Drying Clothes on a Radiator

Drying clothes indoors involves releasing a very surprising amount of moisture into the air. After all, once that water evaporates it has to go somewhere. And the weight difference between freshly washed clothes and freshly dried clothes adds up to litres of water. So all that water is taking a ride along an air current until it ends up sticking to the first cold surface it meets. So, the moment your moisture leaves those clothes, it's the same moisture that is adding to, or causing, your mould problems.

Drying Clothes on a Radiator Means You'll be Tired All the Time with Flu-like Symptoms

Have you felt tired recently? More tired than usual? Has your nose been running or not running? You could have mould-induced-ASPERGILLOSIS hiding inside your respiratory system and NOT EVEN KNOW. That is genuinely terrifying.

Take those jeans off the radiator already. The effects of mould can be minor allergic responses to a severe case of never-breathing-again, all thanks to invisible patches of mould growing inside the foundations of your home.

So a Heated Towel Rail (Near a Window) is Way Better than Drying Clothes on a Radiator

Drying clothes with a heated towel rail is the fastest way to dry clothes in a pinch. It's:

  • Cheaper than running a tumble dryer
  • Holds more than a radiator
  • Easy to install by a window
  • Probably in your bathroom by a ventilator

Aren't Heated Towel Rails Just For Bathrooms?

Are heated towel rails just for bathrooms? Nope. They're also great for laundry rooms and utility rooms. In fact, why not take a peek at some of our greatest hits below?

A Laundry Room with a Heated Towel Rail is the Best Indoor Drying Method

Using a heated towel rail, or a heated clothes drying rack, in a well-ventilated utility or laundry room will instantly heat clothes hung from it. Plus the towels on top of it; and also heat the room it's in. So, if you're wondering how to dry clothes indoors, then a heated towel rail in a laundry room is your best answer. You could pop a few clothes maidens or even an indoor washing line in there and never have to rush to Google to find out the fastest way to dry your clothes again. E.g "How to dry clothes fast with a hair dryer", which is a terrible idea.

In all honesty your options are really slim when it comes to successfully drying clothes indoors. The only real way to avoid potentially enormous costs in the long run - in the form of ruined clothes or even a ruined house - is to use a heated towel rail to dry clothes indoors. A standard radiator isn't going to cut it, and neither is no heat at all.

Condensation is the Enemy When You're Drying Your Clothes on a Radiator

You might have noticed energy prices in the news a lot. You've probably also heard about global warming a few times too. The combination of those two factors is sufficient reason to just pack all this 'being warm' business in and set up camp in a mountain cave. But, before you go swearing off using central heating at all, just know this - using NO heating at all while drying clothes indoors will cause MORE problems for yourself.

Can Condensation Actually Ruin My Home and Give my Family Pneumonia?

The most common cause of death among the homeless population is pneumonia. Respiratory problems caused by living in moisture-rich and cold living conditions which are a breeding ground for mould and bacteria. Which those poor souls breathe in.

You don't have the issue of being homeless (unless you keep spending money on blocking your radiators with wet jeans, anyway) but pneumonia is still a very real risk. Asthma can develop from mould that is invisible to the eye. By the time you can see it creeping from the corner of a room in your home, it could have tendrils of rot already creeping in your wall cavities. Sure, keep painting over it with mould-killing paint, but there's a reason it keeps coming back. (Answer: it never left).

How to Prevent Condensation with Good Ventilation

Ventilation is important in every room with high amounts of moisture. In reality, every room gets filled with a lot of moisture just from the air you breathe out constantly. In practice, we tend to install dedicated ventilation in the bathrooms, kitchen, and any utility or laundry rooms. We'll talk about those electric ventilators in a moment. But first, windows.

Open Your Windows

You don't have to throw them open. Many windows will be able to be locked in a position where a thin crack still allows some airflow. The window itself will still be locked, but moisture and dust can escape and fresh air can filter into your home. There's nothing worse than a stuffy home, but windows are also your first line of defence against condensation and mould. If you absolutely must dry your jeans on your radiator then make sure the radiator is under an open window. If it's a particularly cold day, then only open it a crack. And keep the door to that room closed so you're only messing with the atmosphere in a single room.

Clean Your Extractor Fan (Or Buy One)

If you don't have an extractor fan in your bathroom then I'm sorry but you need to call a professional. Properly maintained and cleaned extractor fans will ventilate a room beautifully. They are also very common in kitchens, depending upon your design and whether or not your cooker hood can do the job. But you can fit them, and similar methods of ventilation, into any room. Again, you probably should call a professional to help you out here.

Buy a Heated Towel Rail

You thought we were done talking about heated towel rails but no. Sorry. We're back with all the pressure we can muster to convince you that a heated towel rail is your absolute best answer here. It couldn't be simpler. Stop drying clothes on a radiator. Even if it's an emergency. Dry them with a heated towel rail or shelf instead. With proper ventilation, it's the only way to completely avoid mildew-smelling clothes, asthma, and rotting building foundations, all just for dry JEANS. Plus, warm fluffy towels whenever you want them. That's enough reason alone.

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