12 Clothes Wringer Alternatives – Eco-Friendly, Weird and Clever Options

Did you know that laundry dryers are more than 200 years old? According to Reader’s Digest, the first hand-cranked clothes wringer came from France in the early 1800s. Other accounts state that an African-American woman named Ellin Eglin invented the manual clothes wringer in the late 1800s.

Inventor aside, clothes wringers have long stood as the best method to drying clothes. They’re practical, they don’t damage your materials, and, although they’re sometimes labor-intensive, they’re eco-friendly.

But what do you do if you don’t have one? Here are 12 convenient clothes wringer alternatives that you can try.

12 Simple Clothes Wringer Alternatives:

Quick Look

1. Wring By Hand
2. Hang ‘Em Out to Dry
3. Hair Dry Over Air Dry
4. Or, Use an Iron (With a Towel)
5. Heaters are Effortless
6. Use an Old School Crank
7. Rolling Pins Work Too
8. If You Have a Towel Warmer, Use It
9. Get a Mop Bucket With a Built-In Wringer
10. Use a Salad Tosser – Or Make Your Own One
11. Use the Spin Dry Hack
12. Or, Invest in a Tumble Dryer

1. Wring By Hand

wring by hand

I know, I know, wringing clothes by hand can be tiring, but the fact remains that it’s the best clothes wringer alternative for one simple reason: it’s the handiest of them all. You don’t have to pay a cent, you don’t need to buy equipment or set anything up, it uses zero electricity, and it works well.

There are only two drawbacks to this method. One, heavy items— like denim— will require some elbow grease. And two, sensitive materials satin should never be hand wrung because they might warp or deform.

That said, so long as you are mindful of your clothes and care for them as suggested, hand squeezing is a pretty convenient method that’s bound to get the job done. And hey, as a bonus, if you hand wring your clothes regularly, you might just grow some guns!

2. Hang ‘Em Out to Dry


Clothes wringers are excellent, but they are not essential, to be honest. While they preserve your clothes’ condition, most people use them because they will dry faster (and crisper). So, if all else fails, you could always skip the wringing entirely and let time handle everything for you instead.

Understand that in doing this, your clothes will take much longer to dry— especially if it’s mild (or cold) out. You should also keep in mind that your clothes will drip more, and you may have to mop up after yourself.

As for the pros, like with hand wringing, it’s a super convenient way to get your laundry done. You don’t need any tools or electricity, and it’s not labor-intensive. It’s a great go-to if you’re really in a fix. No harm will come of it, I promise!

3. Hair Dry Over Air Dry

hair dry over air dry

Let’s face it; we’ve all used hair dryers for reasons other than blow-drying hair. From drying wet canvases to defrosting food, to warming up sheets in winter and removing dust from keyboards— these little guys are versatile, and you can use them for laundry too.

All you have to do is hang your garment up with a clothes hanger and blast away at it. It’s that simple, though there are still a few considerations.

Firstly, it’s a slow process, so make sure you have some time to kill. You’ll have a rough time if you intend to use a hairdryer for an entire load of washing or clothes that are soaking wet. In fact, it’s best implemented after hand-wringing your clothes, or, better yet, for clothes that are damp and need a drying boost to help them along.

Also, you may want to be mindful of your electricity usage.

All this aside, hairdryers are a great clothes wringer alternative because they’re powerful. No elbow grease necessary.

4. Or, Use an Iron (With a Towel)

use an iron

Irons make this list for the same reason hairdryers did: their job is to generate heat, and that heat can be applied to your wet laundry. There’s also a big chance that you already have an iron, and even if you don’t, they’re reasonably affordable.

The most important consideration here is technique. This method isn’t recommended for silk and other sensitive garments because it will damage your material. Overusing the iron-dry hack for cotton and linen could damage your clothes over time, so take it easy.

With that in mind, here’s what you do:

  • Lay your clothes flat on an iron board
  • Place a towel over them (the fluffier, the better)
  • Set your iron to a high heat
  • Iron over the towel, stopping every now and then to turn your clothes over for even heat distribution

This method is highly effective, but one of the best things about it is getting two chores done in one. Your clothes will be dry and crease-free!

5. Heaters are Effortless


Your heater can help things along too. Before I tell you how, I must add a quick disclaimer: DON’T put your garments on your heater. Firstly it’s a fire hazard, and secondly, you run the risk of scorching your clothes.

What you want to do is set your heater up and hang clothes near it. Using a laundry rack or hangers is your best bet. Place the heater close enough for the warmth to reach your clothes, but not so close that they’ll burn. Then, simply leave them to dry.

This is a perfect clothes wringer alternative for the cold months. You’ll be warm, and your clothes can dry indoors.

6. Use an Old School Crank

old school crank

Many people still use manual clothes wringers today, so if you can get your hands on one, they’re a great alternative to motorized wringers. Think of these gadgets as a faster, more efficient way to hand wring clothes.

They’re easy to use too. Place your garments in between the rollers, and turn the crank to press them. This will force excess water out so that your clothes will dry faster and better. You’ll reduce the wrinkles in your clothes too.

Keep in mind that heavy items may not fit in your crank, depending on their size, and that you might have to put some more force into turning them to get all the water out.

Still, this is an excellent, super-effective way to wring light clothes and smaller loads.

7. Rolling Pins Work Too

rolling pins

If you don’t feel like fighting with your heavy items, you can recreate the effects of a wringer— manual or motorized— with a rolling pin.

Lay your clothes out on a flat service. I’ve found that plastic garden tables work well for this. Then, simply run a rolling pin over them, just as you would if you were rolling out dough. It will squeeze excess water out quickly because it’s the same mechanics as pressing clothes between rollers.

I urge you to buy a separate rolling pin for your clothes if you want to try this method. Humans are a lot grosser than you may think, and our clothes carry bacteria. If you must re-use your rolling pin in the kitchen after using it on your clothes, be sure to sanitize it well first.

8. If You Have a Towel Warmer, Use It

towel warmer

You may be one of the lucky ones who has a heated towel rack in their bathroom, but have you ever thought that you can use it to dry your clothes too?

Think about it: towel warmers are designed to heat fabrics, so there’s no risk in hanging other garments to dry too— within reason, of course (always follow the care instructions for your individual items).

You’ll have to double-check your specs, though. Some manufacturers specifically warn against placing wet items on their towel warmers. If your clothes are damp (for example, if you’ve wrung them out already), it’s unlikely that you’ll go wrong with a towel warmer.

Follow the safety precautions, keep an eye on your clothes, and take care not to burn your fingers!

9. Get a Mop Bucket With a Built-In Wringer

mop bucket

For smaller items or lighter loads, you can use a mop bucket to get the job done. If you have a mop bucket with a built-in wringer, place your clothes in the basket and hit the pedal to spin them.

If you want to save time and are washing by hand, you can wash your clothes in your mop bucket as well. You’ll have less of a mess to clean up! If you have a spin mop with a removable head, you can use it as a plunger too.

As with the rolling pin idea above, you may want to use separate mop buckets for your clothes and floors; otherwise, clean them extremely well between uses to prevent the spread of germs.

Take a look at how it’s done.

10. Use a Salad Tosser – Or Make Your Own One

salad tosser

If you want to use a salad tosser (bearing in mind that these come in direct contact with food, so hygiene and sanitization are non-negotiable), it will work well on smaller items. Use one for your socks, undies, kids’ clothes, or single items like light tees.

Salad tossers use centrifugal force to remove excess liquid from salad greens. That force can be applied to your garments as well. It’s unconventional, but it works!

However, since salad tossers are so small and may not be sufficient to wring entire loads of laundry with one, you can make your own large-scale makeshift one, and it will work just as well.

  • Find, or get a container with holes in it. Laundry baskets are perfect for this.
  • Attach a rope to the top or edges of your basket. Take care to fix them in place well.
  • Hang your basket up somewhere outside. From a tree branch should do the trick.
  • Place your clothes inside the basket.
  • Twist it as far as you can, and release it to spin

Repeat this a couple of times or as necessary, and be warned, you will get wet if you try this!

11. Use the Spin Dry Hack

spin dry hack

If you have a washing machine, you can use it to dry— or at least wring out— your clothes. There’s no magic involved, and you don’t need a super-advanced model either. All you have to do is run a spin cycle. That’s literally it. You can set your machine to spin after its washing cycle is complete, or you can run a spin cycle right off the bat.

Washing machines, like salad tossers, use centrifugal force. This is why your clothes will be sopping if you don’t spin them, but come out of your machine dry when you do.

This is one of my favorite hacks because it’s effortless. Most spins run for 10 or so minutes, so your clothes are wrung in no time.

12. Or, Invest in a Tumble Dryer

tumble dryer

And finally, if you’re looking for the fastest, easiest way to dry your clothes, take the leap and invest in a tumble dryer. Sure, they cost a bit of money, and you’ll have to account for electricity usage. Still, they’re designed to dry your clothes perfectly with no effort, elbow grease, or MacGyvering makeshift tools together on your part.

Tumble dryers are convenient if you need dry clothes in a hurry, in winter, or at night when you can’t rely on sunshine or time to dry your clothes efficiently.

My recommendation is to invest in a tumble dryer if you can, but to use greener, energy-efficient methods as and when you can. You’ll save so much on your power bill if you do!

Honorable Mention: Laundromats


Perhaps the easiest way to dry your clothes if you don’t have a machine at home is to use a laundry service. Sure, you’ll have to pay, but it’s fair considering how convenient they are— since they’re equipped with everything you need.

It’s not so much a hack as it is an option, but laundromats are definitely a valid clothes wringer alternative.


Clothes wringers are sought after because they’re effective at both drying and conditioning your clothes, but they’re not exactly commonplace. Don’t worry if you don’t have one though, there are many clothes wringer alternatives you already have at your disposal.

Which of my hacks is your favorite one? Have you tried any of these methods? Let me know your thoughts, experiences, and any ideas I may have missed in the comments!

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