Could you use a vacuum to dry clothes?

11 March 2007

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Question

Would it be practical to build a large vacuum chamber, put the clothes inside, pump the air out and therefore lower the pressure, and that makes the water in the clothes boil or evaporate off? Would the clothes survive the experiment? And would it be energy efficient?

Answer

It would certainly work. Drying things by evacuating them definitely works, its how chemists dry chemicals quite often and its how you freeze-dry things like coffee. To be honest I don't know quite how the thermo-dynamics work or whether you use more energy or less energy than you would by just burning gas and heating it up.

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