Sustainable Fashion

How to Dry Jeans Fast (5 Quick and Easy Methods)

Learn 5 quick and easy methods to dry your jeans quickly, efficiently, and sustainably.

How To Dry Jeans Fast Featured

There’s nothing worse than realizing your favorite pair of jeans you’re planning on wearing are still wet from the wash.

To dry jeans fast, use rolled towels inside to soak up moisture and make use of sunlight and outdoor air flow. You could also use other heat sources like hair dryers, heat vents, and irons. Do not machine dry denim, as this will cause them to shrink and lose elasticity.

By avoiding the tumble dryer will help keep your energy use, clothes budget, and unnecessary waste down. Let’s take a look at these methods in more detail:

1. Use Sunlight

The heat of sunlight helps evaporate water, so your jeans will dry very quickly. It also sanitizes clothing by reducing fungal contamination, so it’s a great boost to your laundry routine.

If you have access to an outdoor space, hang your jeans somewhere with a lot of sun exposure. Be mindful of how shade might change as the Earth rotates during the day. Hang them on a clothesline or on top of a towel.

The natural way of drying clothes is still best!

If you’re confined to drying your jeans indoors, simply hang or place them in front of your sunniest window. The best window might change throughout the day, so pay attention to where you’re getting the most sun and move them accordingly.

Both indoors and outdoors, it’s important to turn them around and inside out every 30-60 minutes throughout the drying process.

2. Use Towels to Help Jeans Dry

Towels are second only to the Sun as the most helpful tool for drying jeans quickly. You’ll want to use a large, absorbent towel for the most effective drying.

There are three main ways to use towels to dry jeans quickly:

Use a towel to squeeze out excess water. 

Lie your jeans flatly on top of the towel, then, roll the jeans and towel together starting at your waistband until completely rolled up. No denim should be visible, so tuck any hanging pieces inside of the towel.

Finally, you’ll wring as much water as you can from the pants. You’ve removed all of the excess moisture, so you can air-dry jeans quickly. 

Use a towel as an absorbent drying pad.

If your jeans aren’t soaking wet, but just damp, using a towel as an absorbent pad is a great way to quickly dry jeans.

All you have to do is lay a towel on the ground and place your jeans on top. Try to place them in a sunny area, even if it’s just in front of a window, for the quickest drying. Flip and turn inside every 30-60 minutes for even drying.

Stuff your wet clothes with towels to absorb moisture

Another method for quickly drying jeans is stuffing the pair with rolled-up towels. This helps dry the inside as the outside is dried by the sun or breeze.

Simply roll towels into roughly the width of the jean legs. Then stuff the legs with the towels until the entire inside is filled. Make sure to have towels for the crotch and waistband as they tend to be the slowest drying areas.

Do not stuff your jeans too tightly. Because denim is more elastic when wet, you risk stretching them out. Stuff just enough to fill the jeans about 75% full.

3. Air Dry Outside

Even on a cloudy day, jeans will dry a lot quicker outside than inside. Pay attention to the weather to avoid rain or high humidity as that will increase drying time.

Hanging them on a clothesline will help bring air flow to all parts of the pants, which helps them dry quickly. Make sure to turn them inside out about halfway through.

If it’s too rainy to set them out, you can always hang them in a room with a fan or open windows (temperature permitting) to recreate the outdoor breeze.

4. Use Other Heat Sources

If you need your jeans to dry in minutes rather than hours, turn to sources of heat other than your dryer. All of the following heat sources use less energy than a full-size dryer.

However, you should limit using them to only when you need your dry jeans quickly in an emergency. Applying intense heat to denim can shrink it or make it lose its elasticity. Do not use these methods on raw denim jeans, it could permanently ruin them.

Use a Radiator or Vent

If you have the heat going in your house, make the most of it by placing your jeans near your radiator or vent. Avoid placing directly on the heat source. Hanging them above a vent or next to a radiator will dry your jeans quickly and easily.

This is an awesome method for sustainable quick jeans drying because you’re using your heating system for two different things at once.

Air drying with a hair dryer

Most hair dryers use about 1800 watts of energy, while a tumble dryer can use up to 6000 watts. Plus, dryers take a lot longer to dry jeans compared to the direct airflow of a hair dryer. You can lower your energy consumption and drying time by using a hair dryer.

If using a high heat setting, don’t place the hair dryer directly onto your jeans. Otherwise, it can warp or burn the denim.

Instead, hang your jeans and then take your hair dryer and in long, steady up-and-down motions, blow hot hair along the entire length of your jeans. Once you’ve gone completely around them, flip your jeans inside-out and repeat.

This works best with damp rather than fully wet pants.

Use an Iron

Using an iron to quickly dry jeans might leave you feeling like a mad scientist from all of the steam that will surround you. It’s a great method to use in a pinch, but only for damp, rather than soaking wet jeans.

You can simply lay the jeans flat on your ironing board and get to work, but if you combine it with the towel stuffing method, you’ll be able to dry your jeans even more quickly.

Use the highest heat your jeans allow – usually 150-200˚F (65-90˚C). Move the iron around slowly while pressing down with moderate pressure. Keep ironing until your jeans are completely dry.

5. Use a Tumble Dryer Sparingly

While you should avoid drying your jeans in a tumble dryer, sometimes it’s necessary to avoid having to wear wet jeans. Instead of throwing your jeans in the dryer, throw some cotton towels in. Then, use those heated towels in any of the methods above. Stuffing your jeans with heated towels will quicken the drying process even more.

If you absolutely have to put your jeans in the dryer, use a low or no-heat setting. Instead of using heat, dry them on a high spin cycle for maximum air flow. This will help dry them without having your jeans shrink.

Use eco-friendly dryer balls to keep your jeans from tumbling around and stretching. They’re made of organic wool, are hypoallergenic, and are reusable for up to four years. Plus, they cut drying time by 25%, saving time and electricity.

Conclusion: How To Dry Jeans Fast

So, how do you dry jeans quickly? Using towels, sunlight, and outdoor air are the best sustainable ways to reduce jean drying time. In a pinch, you can use other heat sources like your house heating system, hairdryers, and irons to quickly dry jeans. If you absolutely have to, you can pop your jeans into the dryer with eco-friendly dryer balls to reduce drying time.

If you’ve already lost your favorite pair to too many sessions in the dryer, grab a new pair from one of the best sustainable denim brands to keep your closet eco-friendly and fresh.

Megan Lemon

Megan Lemon

Megan is a sustainability writer based in Fiji, where she lives with her partner in the house they built themselves. In her free time, she free dives, spear fishes, and takes long walks on the dirt roads.