Author Topic: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?  (Read 8437 times)

InsourceEverything

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Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« on: October 08, 2014, 06:50:58 PM »
We have been hanging up most of our clothes on a rack outside to dry over the summer.   However, now that it is wintery, it is consistently rainy or at least chilly where I am  (Seattle)

I have tried hanging the clothes on the rack under an awning, but without the sun in the damp weather, they don't really get dry and become musty

I am considering building some kind of "Greenhouse" for the clothes.  Something where I can hang them and they will get sun, but no rain.

Has anyone done this, and do you have plans or pictures?    What would be the right ratio of plastic to keep the heat in vs. mesh to let a breeze in and take the humidity away?

kaetana

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 06:57:26 PM »
Hmmm, this is a great idea! I'm afraid I don't have any answers, as I also have this problem. But I'm chiming in as I want to hear the answers too!

NaturallyHappier

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 07:00:09 PM »
We simply use wooden drying racks in our laundry room.

Holyoak

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 07:26:34 PM »
I'll hang the clothes on one of those drying tripods, with an electric space heater aimed close by...  Heats the room, dries the clothes, adds much needed wintertime humidity.

deborah

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 07:42:15 PM »
Three extra solutions (depending on your situation):
  • Wait until winter really gets cold and use the outside line. Evidently, washing quickly freezes on the line. After a couple of days, the water vaporises and the clothes are dry. My German teacher told me that was the way she dried clothes in Germany.
  • The Irish and English often have a drying rack attached to the kitchen ceiling (a frame the size of the floor of the room) by pulleys. It sits against the ceiling and when they need to dry clothes, they lower it, add the clothes, and hoist it to the ceiling again. As warm air rises, this has the advantage of putting the clothes in the warmest part of the room. This method works best in rooms that are warm and have high ceilings or won't cause problems with hanging washing.
  • Often the return vent for central heating is a big enough area for a drying cupboard.

InsourceEverything

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 08:27:06 PM »
We simply use wooden drying racks in our laundry room.

We hung clothes in the laundry room in our previous house  (this one has a smaller laundry room), but then had to run a dehumidifier for the clothes to dry.    And I suspected, without measuring, that there isn't much energy savings in using the dehumidifier rather than a clothes dryer.  (Although the clothes will still last longer since the dryer seems to be what wears them out the fastest)

Do your clothes dry in your laundry room without a heater / dehumidifier ?

MsRichLife

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 08:41:50 PM »
We hang clothes on a drying rack inside during winter. We have central heating, so the clothes dry nicely overnight and add some much needed humidity to the air inside the house.

Goldielocks

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 11:12:13 PM »
I was going to post the same question.  No wind and rain or misty weather  means that clothes take a long time to dry.. Up to three days inside.  Partly because the heat won't come on until mid November.  The whole house is staying between 65 and 72 without added heat, so is coolish and humid.

When I use the wood stove the radiant heat dries clothes on a rack in about 1 hr.  But for 5 months of the year I just don't see how to do this(no dryer)  successfully here.

Any other Seattle/Vancouver/prince Rupert solutions?

Spruit

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2014, 02:32:50 AM »
Living in a house with moist issues so just wanted to say: I feel your pain. You do not want to add moist to the inside air here, even with central heating. However I thought long and hard about it but can't find a way to dry clothes outside when humidity is over 80%, as they get an iffy smell and possible mold stains. Without intens sunlight in autumn and winter there is no way you can get the clothes to heat up sufficiently to let the water vaporize. I concluded I just have to suck it up and use the dryer in wet winters (basically every dutch winter) and praise my blessings for the low heating costs of mild weather.  If it is freezing, the humidity outside drops and your clothes freeze and sublimation slowly "freezedries" your clothes. It's a long time before any frost is due, though :(
If someone finds a solution, I'd love to hear it!

GuitarStv

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2014, 06:01:06 AM »
Clothes will dry outside when it's freezing cold.  The part that sucks though is that you've got to go outside to hang them.

We dry clothing inside.  Our basement laundry room doesn't get much circulation and would dry slowly/make it too humid in the basement, so we bring the drying racks upstairs where it's warmer.  Our winters are cold though, and with central heating it gets very dry in the winter.  Humid, cool, and damp there may not be a good hang drying solution.

MayDay

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2014, 06:19:01 AM »
We have humidity issues in the summer here.  I can't dry indoors very effectively, the clothes get musty before they dry.  In the winter it is so dry indoors that they dry overnight. 

My mom used to hang outdoors in Iowa in the winter- 3 babies worth of cloth diapers plus all the household laundry.  But I think you need a sunny day, rain is no good. 

deborah

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2014, 06:36:24 AM »
We have humidity issues in the summer here.  I can't dry indoors very effectively, the clothes get musty before they dry.  In the winter it is so dry indoors that they dry overnight. 

My mom used to hang outdoors in Iowa in the winter- 3 babies worth of cloth diapers plus all the household laundry.  But I think you need a sunny day, rain is no good.
We have a clothes line under our outside verandah. Because it gets lots of wind, clothes dry even when it rains. Sun is good, and wind is good too. Is there anywhere you can harness the wind?

Beardog

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2014, 07:03:24 AM »
Here in the Boston area, I have a covered porch in the back and dry my clothes on it year 'round.  In the winter, I try to wait for sunny days to do a wash.  My basement is really dry in the winter so sometimes I put clothes on a rack in my basement or even bring the rack upstairs.  For large items that are imperfectly dried outside, such as sheets, I spread those out over my bed to dry completely.  My dryer has been sitting disconnected in my basement for about 8 years.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 07:57:29 AM »
Have you tried double spinning each load? After my washing is done, I flick it on to 1000 Spin for a quick second spin, and this seems to really help for the speed of line drying. Worth a try? :)

2ndTimer

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 09:51:51 AM »
When we were living 100 miles South of you I had a clothesline which I used in Winter.  The Hub used to refer to it as my "moss garden."  I would have to leave them out several days and even then sometimes finish them in the dryer.  An unexpected benefit of this is that clothes that have been rained on a couple of times smell WONDERFUL.  Now that I am back in the PNW, I would have a clothesline in a minute if it was allowed here.

CryingInThePool

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Re: Drying Clothes Outside In Winter Weather ?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2014, 09:58:25 AM »
Same question - same neck of the woods.   This is generally the time of year that I use the dryer the most.  Once the heat comes on in December I hang clothes on hangers from my drape bar throughout my bedroom.

I'd never considered putting them out to freeze, in Seattle below freezing can quickly turn into above freezing rain, but I'm willing to experiment.