Author Topic: Hanging laundry to dry  (Read 4385 times)

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
Hanging laundry to dry
« on: March 07, 2015, 08:43:46 PM »
I decided to hold off replacing the broken clothes dryer and am hanging the clothes to dry. I do find hanging the clothes a pleasant task. That is working well for delicates, perma-press, synthetics, and most pants. Towels and underwear, not so hot. The towels come out pretty awful: stiff, scratchy, very unpleasant. I saw an article online that recommended adding a half cup of white vinegar to the wash to soften the clothes. I see a small improvement in the towels and cotton underwear when using the vinegar, but they're still pretty bad.

Instead of using laundry detergent, we use a couple of good squirts of dishwashing liquid in each wash to save money, a recommendation in an AARP article that appears to be working well. When I told DH about adding the vinegar when he does the wash, he said, "The dishwashing liquid (we use Ivory Liquid) is base and the vinegar is acid, so does that mean the clothes aren't going to be as clean?" I don't know, do you?

Aargh! Doing the laundry has gotten complicated! Do you have any suggestions, short of buying a new dryer, for getting clothes clean and soft?


kib

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2015, 09:08:33 PM »
Get one of those little downy balls and put the vinegar in that.  The idea is to rinse with the vinegar.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8289
  • Location: Australia or another awesome place
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2015, 11:47:21 PM »
Generally washing machines have a pre-wash dispenser marked with one line, a wash dispenser marked with a double line and a rinse dispenser marked with a flower. Or the manual tells you where to put each of these, so they are dispersed at different times in the washing cycle. Put the vinegar in the rinse dispenser.

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2015, 11:49:09 PM »
I find that if you scrunch up the towels after they're dry, the stiffness goes away.

lovesasa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
  • Age: 29
  • Location: The Wild Wild West
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 01:47:58 AM »
The soap might be contributing to the "crunchiness"... I hang dry everything (by necessity, we don't have a drier) and I don't seem to have that problem. Maybe I've just gotten used to it, though.

Our washing machine isn't fancy enough for the multiple dispense sections, but I agree with the above posters that I'd try that. The vinegar should go in with the rinse cycle, if you have that option.

lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2015, 06:14:57 AM »
A lot of times the crunchiness is from a buildup of soap over time.  This is especially true with cotton fabrics as they are most absorbent.  Try washing a load of towel/undies without soap and use your longest wash cycle (heavy duty/extra rinse on my machine) and the hottest water the items will take (hot if you can or warm).  This should help wash out the excess soap.  Another trick that helps when hanging cotton and other natural fibers is to lift them from the basket and give them a vigorous, sharp snap or two before hanging.  Repeat when taking down.  I always do this with my towels and a lot of shirts/jeans as well.  It really helps cut down on the stiffness.

pancakes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1424
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2015, 06:23:41 AM »
I line dry everything and while towels come out a little stiff, scrunching them up quickly improves the situation and within one use they are fine. I suppose if you are the kind of person who washes towels after a single use it might be an issue.

I always use about 1/2 to 1/4 of the powder recommended too, no idea if this makes a difference.

I grew up line drying so maybe I just don't know any difference but conceded it is a huge pain during winter.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4786
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 07:13:49 AM »
The following helps: 
-use less detergent or make your own
- stop using commercial softener - just adds grease to the towels
- give the towels a good shake before hanging.
- towels tend to be stiffer if they dry very quickly, and a bit less stiff if the day is not such a good drying day. Bit out of your control though.

No matter what you do  the towels will not be  soft and fluffy like they were  dried in the dryer.  You could leave them til nearly dry and then finish them off in the drier, but its more work.

The best thing is to just stop worrying about it. They still work as towels. There are more things to worry about in life than soft fluffy towels.

BooksAreNerdy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2015, 07:34:55 AM »
I just let DH use the towels fresh off the line and I make sure I have the second go with them. Nice and soft after that!

Or, I just grow a set and use a nice rough, exfoliating crunchy towel. And I like it.

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2015, 05:05:16 PM »
Thanks, all! It sounds like we are on the right track with using just a little dishwashing liquid instead of a lot of detergent. The vinegar has to go in the rinse, not the wash, cycle. We do have a dispenser for that. I'll try snapping out the towels before hanging them. It sounds like soft, fluffy towels are a thing of the past. Does anyone have luck with any particular fabric softener?

Zikoris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3341
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Vancouverstachian
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2015, 07:00:32 PM »
I use a towel for a week before it goes in the laundry. After the first use it would be hard to tell the difference between a line-dried and machine-dried towel.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but having scratchy towels for only 10-15% of showers, or one shower a week, doesn't seem worth spending mental energy and time to fix.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8759
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2015, 07:07:18 PM »
Thanks, all! It sounds like we are on the right track with using just a little dishwashing liquid instead of a lot of detergent. The vinegar has to go in the rinse, not the wash, cycle. We do have a dispenser for that. I'll try snapping out the towels before hanging them. It sounds like soft, fluffy towels are a thing of the past. Does anyone have luck with any particular fabric softener?

I say do away with the softener. It reduces absorbancy of the towels, and static isn't really an issue if you're not putting it in the dryer.

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8289
  • Location: Australia or another awesome place
Re: Hanging laundry to dry
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2015, 07:31:31 PM »
The vinegar IS the fabric softener