electric towel rails

How to dry towels in humid weather

Rolled up towels

While the southern and some parts of the eastern states of Australia have difficulties drying towels in cold weather, for people in northern climates it’s humidity that is our biggest bugbear. Why are towels – and clothing – so difficult to dry in humid weather and what can you do about it?

Why is humidity such as issue for drying towels?

Humid weather is hot weather, right? So, you would think that in humid conditions your towels would dry quickly. Wrong!

Humid conditions can make it virtually impossible to dry towels and other clothing. To make matters even worse, it can create perfect conditions for mould. This can mean your towels become smelly and can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and respiratory infections. Mould is particularly worrying for people who are susceptible to these types of issues, such as asthmatics and those with weakened immune systems.

Here’s why humidity can leave your towels wet:

Humid conditions slow down the process of drying towels, simply because there is too much water in the air. The more water in the air, the less water will be removed from your towels.

In very humid conditions, your towels can actually get more wet. In these conditions, drying them without help between showers is simply not possible.

Hanging towels on standard rails and hooks can trap moisture and increase humidity, therefore making drying time even longer.

condensation on shower window

How to dry towels in humid environments

If you live in a humid environment you’re going to need some help to get your towels dry and the best way is to install a heated towel rail. Yes, heated towel rails are particularly good for drying towels when the weather is cold, but they do an equally good job in summer, in areas of higher humidity.

There are other options. For example, you could always put your towels in a clothes dryer between showers. Or you could invest in a dehumidifier and place it in a room where you can dry your towels and other clothing. However, these options are generally not the best. Apart from purchase costs, clothes dryers and dehumidifiers use considerable electricity, so running costs can be high. They can also make quite a lot of noise. Dehumidifiers need regular maintenance and can be quite large.

Of course, purchasing and installing a heated towel rail for your bathroom also comes at a financial cost. However, they don’t take up a lot of space, make no noise, look great and are very cheap to run (particularly if you choose Eskimo’s Gordon heated towel rails – see below).

How much does a heated towel rail cost to run? While energy outputs between models could differ, if you ran your heated towel rail all day you could expect to pay less than $2 a day. If you ran it for much less, which is recommended – you could end up paying less than 20 cents a day in running costs.

A few more tips for humid environments:
  • When humidity is higher it’s a good idea to wash your towels more regularly and at least once a week.
  • Never use fabric softeners when you do a wash as they can make your towels retain moisture for longer.
  • While less luxurious, you may also want to use towels that are less absorbent during the humid months.
  • If you have a bathroom fan, run it for longer periods. For example, turn it on a few minutes before your shower and leave it running for around 20 minutes after you finish.
  • Add a plant or two to your bathroom. Some plants, such as ferns, absorb moisture through their leaves.

 heated towel rail drying a towel

Get a Gordon Heated Towel Rail

While any heated towel rail will help to dry towels in cold or humid conditions, the Gordon heated towel rail is your best choice.

Like standard towel rails, traditional ladder-type heated towel rails don’t provide enough airflow around towels and they also trap a pocket of damp air underneath. This can leave parts of your towels damp, even though the remainder can be dry.

Gordon is different because it uses long vertical fins, which towels are draped over. This helps ensure free air galleries are maintained around towels. This allows humid air to be constantly exhausted and replaced with dry air from underneath the towel warmer.

Is the Gordon better at drying towels in humid environments? Absolutely. Although to be fair, it’s better at drying towels no matter what conditions you are faced with.

Research has shown that Gordon reaches operating temperature and dries towels in one-third of the time of traditional heated rails. At the same time, it is one of the cheapest heated towel rails on the market to run. A very important factor considering today’s high cost of living issues.

Reading next

White heated towel rail
Three wall mounted heated towel rails