Sanitizing Clothes Using The Sun

With so much talk on sanitizing everything from your hands, phone, shopping cart and even down to your clothes, it only makes sense to know your options nowadays. Sure, there are plenty of ways to sanitize your clothes, towels and bed sheets using a variety of methods, water temperatures, products and high heat. And, they all work. We, however, would like to “shed some light” on how to naturally sanitize your clothes after a proper wash, using the sun.

How does the sun kill bacteria on your clothes?

The ultraviolet light, says, from the sun has disinfectant properties and can help kill bacteria. Direct sunlight, not through a window, is required.

What should I know?

Your clothes must dry COMPLETELY in direct sunlight to actually kill the bacteria. To make sure you got every nook and cranny be sure to flip items over. Leaving clothes outside for too long can fade colors, and depending on how wet your items are to start with, 30-60 minutes should be all that’s needed for the sun to do its job.

What are the benefits to drying in the sun to sanitize?

  • It’s less expensive to dry clothes outside vs run the dryer
  • It’s a natural solution and environmentally friendly
  • It helps deodorize smells
  • It’s easier on your clothes and extends their longevity, especially those that require repeated washes

Are there any cons?

  • Drying outside can leave pollen on your clothes, so those with severe allergies may not appreciate that
  • The sun will sanitize, it will not sterilize. So, if you’re looking for complete elimination, the method of chemicals/products and high heat may be better for you.

Should I use a drying rack outside?

The short answer is absolutely YES! Drying racks provide options and space to layout clothing, so they dry faster. The faster they completely dry, the shorter amount of time they spend outside. For outside use, we recommend our Ultralight Laundry Stand, made from rust-resistant aluminum and many features from clips to hang from, multiple rods, indents for hangers and even wheels for easy transport. We also recommended the Expandable Drying Rack, offering an amazing 50 feet of drying space, this rack is perfect for larger items like towels, sheets and blankets.

towels outside on drying rack
So, try going easy on yourself, your clothes and your electric bill and let the sun do all the hard work for you.


Polder offers many drying rack solutions based on your needs. Shop them all HERE.