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Drying clothes on a radiator – Should you do it?

drying clothes on a radiator

Being in the UK means that we rarely get warm weather so hanging your clothes to dry on the line isn’t an option. Most of us then turn to drying clothes on a radiator, but is it a good idea?

In this article we will take a look at some of the reasons why drying clothes on a radiator is a bad idea because it can cost you more money and can even have health implications.

Is drying clothes on the radiator bad?

In short, yes. Drying clothes on your radiator is bad.

Firstly trying clothes on your radiators is going to increase your heating bills. Your clothes will act as an absorbent and as a result, the heat from your radiators will be sucked into the clothes and it won’t be dispersed into your home.

The moisture from your wet clothing will also be pushed out into the air and as it is cold it will drop the temperature of your room. So not only are you not getting the heat from your radiator but you are cooling down the room too. In essence, you are paying for heating but making your home colder.

When your home feels colder you will then turn the thermostat up which causes your boiler to work harder than it needs to and as a result, your heating bills will increase and you will also decrease the life span of your boiler which will either lead to more boiler repairs or eventually you will need a new boiler installed.

On average a new modern boiler should last between 10-15 years if you have it serviced and don’t overwork it, so by adding clothing to your radiators will mean over time you will have to replace your boiler more often.

You may think that hanging your clothes on a radiator that’s on will save you money but choosing not to dry your clothes on your radiators will have a huge impact on your heating bills every year.

Why you shouldn’t dry your clothes on a radiator – Mould and Condensation.

mould on wall from hanging clothes on radiators.

When you put your wet clothes on a radiator the moisture is going to evaporate and then condense on the walls and ceilings in your home. This moisture can then turn into mould which is dangerous for you and your family to breathe in.

Moisture in your home not only causes health issues but it can damage your home too. Damp in your home can cause wallpaper to peel and cause plaster to crack and fall off.

Most people will dry their clothes on a radiator because they think that using a tumble drier is expensive but replacing your wallpaper and plaster while having higher heating costs is going to cost much more.

How can you dry your clothes indoors without using a radiator?

Unfortunately drying your clothes indoors without using a radiator doesn’t give you too many options. Using a tumble drier in a well-ventilated room that can get rid of moisture easily is going to be your best option. An energy-efficient tumble drier isn’t going to be too expensive either.

If you don’t have space for a tumble drier and can’t hang your clothes up on the line your next best option is to get a clothes horse that you can hang your clothes on in the home.

If this is the option that you take you should make sure you are in a well-ventilated room and that the clothes horse is positioned away from any radiators.

Do not be tempted to use an electric radiator to dry your clothes either as this can cause a fire.


Hanging your clothes on a radiator is an expensive way of drying them, it can also ruin your home and cause health issues. If you do have to dry your clothes inside use a towel horse and make sure it isn’t positioned by a radiator or use an energy-efficient tumble drier in a room that has adequate ventilation.  

We do not recommend drying your clothes on a radiator.

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