Expert warns how drying your laundry this way around the house could cause serious damage

A home improvement specialist reveals how this common drying method could cost you hundreds in the long run

 picture of dry laundry in a basket on top of a washer dryer to suggest a laundry drying mistake
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Battling the weekly wash is difficult enough, but trying to find somewhere to dry it all is where the real challenge is. And whilst the weather may limit you, there's one spot in your home you should definitely avoid repurposing as an airer. 

When it comes to how to dry clothes indoors, most of us are limited on space and more often than not a dryer. With an arm full of damp washing we often turn to any raised surface for help, whether that's a door, bannister or dining chair. 

However, the experts are here to warn you of this spontaneous drying strategy and share the dangers that can come from it. So if you want to save yourself from a potential homeowner tragedy, keep reading.

Are you guilty of this Laundry drying mistake? 

You might be thinking there surely aren't many laundry mistakes you can make in your home but you might be surprised. Whether you've run out of small laundry room ideas or have been faced with a particularly overwhelming large load of washing, you've probably had to get creative with your drying options. 

Aside from filling a room with airers, most homeowners won't have the space indoors or outdoors to be able to hang their washing to dry effectively. And that's where the danger arises. 

Paul Strong, the store operations Manager at Magnet Trade, says, "Whilst doors and bannisters may seem like a practical, cost-effective solution to drying bedding and laundry, this could be causing detrimental damage to your property especially if your doors and bannisters are made from wood." 

picture of white and black wooden bannisters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whilst your wooden bannisters may seem like the perfect additional airer, using them for such a task can cause your home more damage than it's worth. 

"Placing wet washing onto wooden surfaces could lead to long-term structural damage. Wood is an extremely porous material so when wet laundry is left on it, especially repeatedly, the wood can warp and even rot over time," explains Paul. 

It's not just wood rot that can come from drying your clothes in these places, there's also the issue of mould growth over time. Paul says that wet wood is a breeding ground for mould growth as moisture can get trapped between the wet fabric and the wood surface. Your bannister just became one of the unexpected places you can find mould in your home

clothes on a radiator

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And if that's not shocking enough, Paul also warns against using your radiators to dry your clothes too. Maybe it's time to invest in one of the best dehumidifiers after all.

"On the topic of mould, drying laundry on radiators should also be avoided. Drying clothes on your radiators will trap moisture against your walls, promoting mould growth. With all of this in mind, instead of placing wet clothes directly onto your radiators, doors and bannisters, it’s best to invest in a tumble dryer or a heated clothes airer paired with a dehumidifier," says Paul.

Whilst you may be wondering if a dehumidifier is good for drying clothes, it can make a huge difference to not only your clothes' dampness but also the moisture emitted into the room from the drying fabric. 

So if you want to ensure your doors and bannisters stay structurally sound for as long as possible it may be time to pick up that extra airer. 

Alternative indoor laundry drying solutions

Now your bannister and door are out of action, you may be wondering what the alternatives are. We've put together some of our most loved and highly recommended clothes drying solutions with a price variety to suit all budgets. 

Now you can dry your clothes indoors with ease why not try out some laundry room organisation ideas and get your space ready for your new airer? 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.