Science Fair Projects on Why Clothes Dry Faster When It Is Hot Than Cold


Wet clothes dry more quickly in the heat compared to the cold due to evaporation. Evaporation occurs when water turns into a gas. As the temperature in the air increases, evaporation of water increases. Therefore, clothing exposed to higher temperatures will dry faster, as water will evaporate in the heat faster. There are several projects that can be conducted in order to illustrate how clothing dries in heat versus cold.

Clothes Drying in Heat Versus Cool Temperature

  • Investigate in a science project the time difference between drying clothes in a heated environment versus a cooled environment. Find two different locations with differing temperatures. Use a thermometer and note the temperature of each location before beginning the experiment. For instance, depending on the temperature outside, use the outside of your home as the cool or hot temperature. The inside of your home can also serve as a location. Wash a piece of clothing in a washing machine. Place it in the first location and record the time. Be sure to continually to check the clothing on an hourly basis. Record the time when completely dry. Rewash the clothing and place it in the second location. Record results. Make sure the lighting and time of day is the same in order to not have additional variables that could affect results. The clothing placed in the higher temperature location should have dried faster.

Clothes Dryer

  • Clothes dryers use heat to dry clothing materials. Try testing the difference in drying clothes using heat versus air or room temperature drying. Soak an item of clothing in water. Place wet clothes in a dryer using the "High" heat setting. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Check the clothes. If they are still wet, continue to monitor the clothes every five to 10 minutes. Record your results for drying time. Let the dryer cool down for a couple hours. Re-soak the same clothing items. Place the wet clothes in the dryer. This time, set the dryer setting to "Air" dry. Set the timer for 15 minutes and continue to check the clothes every five to 10 minutes until dried. Record and compare results between the heated dry and air dry.

Test Different Fabrics

  • Explore which types of fabrics dry the fasted in a heated environment versus a cool environment. Use different types of fabrics and discuss which fabrics you think will evaporate the water the quickest. Compare results in the heated environment -- like outside in the sun -- or in a cool environment, such as inside at room temperature. For instance, nylon is a thin material and the amount of water that is absorbed may be less than a fabric like cotton. Therefore, cotton may take longer to dry. Soak the different materials in water. Hand dry the materials and record the time. Monitor for dryness and record results. Be sure to discuss results and include an explanation for the evaporation of water under the different conditions.

Sunshine Versus Dark Room

  • Illustrate how clothes dry more quickly in the sunshine as opposed to a dark room. Heat from the sun will increase evaporation. Soak clothes in water and place them in the respective locations. Record the time and monitor the drying process. Record the time for drying of clothing items in both locations.


  • Photo Credit Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images
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