Author Topic: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?  (Read 15193 times)

Maigahane

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Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« on: July 18, 2013, 09:56:41 AM »
So I'm thinking about experimenting with line drying clothes inside (tiny yard + 2 big dogs = no place to do it outside) but my husband swears we would need a dehumidifier if I did it. Our laundry room is in the basement in the same room as the furnace which has concrete floors and walls but a large opening to a carpeted area (maybe 4 feet across with no door). We live in the midwest so summers are pretty humid.

Do we need a dehumidifier?

Miamoo

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 10:07:28 AM »
Do you have an attic?  Midwest here too - have a yard with clothes line and a nice back porch but dry the clothes inside when it's rainy or winter.  No humidifier for me.

jfer_rose

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 10:10:56 AM »
Probably not. But I recommend giving it a try and see what happens. I always line dry much (but not all) of my laundry and I don't have access to a yard. I live in humid DC and have never once had a problem.

When I was in China last year I noticed that everyone line dried their laundry. Folks who didn't have access to an outdoor area would put their drying laundry by the window. Since that trip I've begun drying my laundry by my sunniest window and it does dry faster that way. But it worked when I was doing the drying in my windowless bathroom too.

anastrophe

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 10:11:07 AM »
Can you dry your clothes in a different room besides the laundry room? I do mine in the living room, because it has good air circulation, on days when I don't expect company;)

renbutler

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 10:13:57 AM »
I would suggest a dehumidifier in your basement regardless of whether you are line drying. It does increase your electric bill, but I think it's a fair tradeoff for preventing potential mold/mildew and having a basement that doesn't smell musty.

And considering that the laundry room is open to the other area, you wouldn't be able to consider the areas separate. The dehumidifier will necessarily need to be able to dehumidify the entire connected space.

Zaga

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 10:16:59 AM »
We are also in the Midwest and have a dehumidifier in the basement running in the summer.  Without it our whole basement and anything stored down there smells musty, which is NOT okay with my DH's allergies and asthma.

oldtoyota

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 10:19:35 AM »
My clothes got smelly in the basement.

However, we found later we had a leaky pipe (which is now fixed) and that was probably making the air especially wet. I have not noticed the funky smell since then when using the line in the basement.

velocistar237

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 10:21:25 AM »
We line dry some of our clothes in the basement. Even after using a spin dryer (removes more water than the washer spin cycle), I've had clothes that just wouldn't dry. That's okay in some cases; ironing finished the job for dress shirts.

If you create a small enclosed area, the dehumidifier would work better. It's hard to say whether it would add more heat to your house than a dryer, since some of the dryer's heat gets vented outside.

Drying rooms are more popular in Europe.
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/alternatives-clothes-dryers

Maigahane

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 10:25:02 AM »
We don't have an attic that we can get to easily...teeny tiny entrance in a closet

Due to having a roommate we can't really hang them anywhere else to dry. That and the animals....they have free run of the main floor and that is far too much hair to have around wet clothing

The house was built in the 50's and we had a mold inspection done when we bought it 5 years ago and it came back clean so I'm not worried about it normally. It does smell a little musty down there but that's because we're only down there about twice a month besides quick run throughs to switch over laundry. And the musty smell seems to go away quickly once we're moving around and leaving the basement door open (though admittedly I might just quickly get used to it)

onehappypanda

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 10:58:29 AM »
We have a dehumidifier- also in the Midwest and our basement is already damp. If you want one, they're decently easy to find used I think.

That said, I have air-dried clothes for years on a rack without a dehumidifier, and nothing has ever happened. But usually I try to keep them in an area with decent air circulation, if anything because they'll take forever to dry otherwise. If you're worried, set the rack up in your bedroom and stick a fan in front of them. Or line-dry in the bathroom by hanging clothes off the shower when your roomie won't be home for a bit. I did this with roomies and they actually ended up joining me and pitching in for a rack- run it by your roomie, they may not care.

jfer_rose

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 05:15:33 PM »
I'm posting again because I'm surprised at the responses. If I understand correctly, Maigahane hasn't ever tried line drying clothes, at least not in the current home. Some of you are recommending that Maigahane spends money to buy a dehumidifier to solve a problem that may not even exist. What forum is this?! Doesn't it make sense to give line drying a try once to see what happens?! What's the worst that could happen? The clothes smell musty and need to be washed again? Wouldn't that be cheaper than buying an unnecessary dehumidifier?

That's my first group face punch. Will I actually be brave enough to click "post"?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 05:18:12 PM by jfer_rose »

renbutler

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 05:25:57 PM »
Maigahene said the basement smells a little musty. That is a small existing problem that could become a major problem.

Buying a dehumidifier now is certainly smarter than getting a mold treatment later.

Maigahane

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 08:10:28 PM »
The musty smell is really minor and I think more of a dusty/cobwebby/old book/underused area smell since we're really not down there often and I fail at keeping it vacuumed/dusted/de-cobwebbed

Is there a way to monitor the humidity level in the basement so I can test it out without a dehumidifier?

Also, if it matters for anyone's opinion: it's just the DH, roommate and me, and the roommate has his uniforms washed at work so we only do at most 4 loads of laundry a week, usually 2-3 so it's not the never-ending battle of households with kids

velocistar237

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 08:16:07 PM »
So far in this thread, we have

Try to find somewhere other than your basement
Go ahead and try it out
Consider a dehumidifier for the basement anyway
Some people have had problems line drying in the basement
An enclosed area would be better for drying with a dehumidifier
If you want one, you can buy one used
A face punch for the above suggestions?

velocistar237

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 08:20:26 PM »
Is there a way to monitor the humidity level in the basement so I can test it out without a dehumidifier?

You can get a hygrometer, but it wouldn't be obvious how humidity levels would correlate with drying times unless you did it a few times and figured it out yourself.

Is there something keeping you from putting some wet laundry on a drying rack and seeing how long it takes to dry? I did that, and after 2 days, it was still damp, but you might have better results.

badamsa

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 01:00:30 AM »
One thing that helped me with line drying was putting a fan blowing parallel to the line (or rack). I usually do 2 loads at a time (apartment complex) and put all the large items on the rack. I then combine the smaller items from the two wash loads into one dry load. The rack clothes are usually dry within 1-2 hours of the dryer clothes.

The fan makes all the difference.

markbrynn

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 01:46:13 AM »
I live in the Netherlands and it's pretty standard for people to not have dryers and do line drying inside (it rains too much to reliably dry outside). Most of the country is below sea level and nearby the sea, so dampness is pretty common. Yet still it works to dry your clothes on a rack/line indoors. As others have mentioned, the key is to avoid putting them in a closed off space. Given the relatively small apartments which are typical here, it may surprise you that people find a place in the normal living space to do the drying (basements and attics are rare). I would hesitate to try to convince the average American (or person from another country where big houses are the norm) to get over these issues and just dry the clothes in a corner of your living room or in an extra bedroom/office, but hopefully on MMM you guys are up for the challenge.

If you want to save money and/or be gentler on the environment you're going to always run into behaviours that will raise people's eyebrows. In my life it's no different. Trying to convince my mother that using cloth bags at the supermarket is better than throwing away 15 plastic bags a week is no easy task, but I just do my thing and let her follow or not.

cerberusss

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 04:02:41 AM »
Another Dutchman here, and of course I'll support whatever he says :-)

Seriously, I've been line drying my laundry like forever and have never ever heard anybody about needing a dehumidifier. My lines hang in the attic. About half of the time, I open the attic window. The other half I don't.

Rural

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2013, 05:03:47 AM »
We have had humidity issues here (new concrete is still curing in our underground home), but none of the problems were in the laundry area where I dried everything on racks. I'd give it a try.

That said, if it will help with marital harmony, you can get a thermometer with a hygrometer on it for $10 or so.

Or just switch to drying your laundry on lines inside in the winter when the humidity is low in the first place. It would save half or more of what you're spending on a dryer,

basd

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2013, 05:33:35 AM »
Another Dutchman here, and of course I'll support whatever he says :-)

Seriously, I've been line drying my laundry like forever and have never ever heard anybody about needing a dehumidifier. My lines hang in the attic. About half of the time, I open the attic window. The other half I don't.
Same here, although I don't have an attic, but I dry laundry in a separate room upstairs.

Then again, I'm Dutch as well. I see a pattern emerging..

anastrophe

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2013, 06:47:59 AM »
Due to having a roommate we can't really hang them anywhere else to dry. That and the animals....they have free run of the main floor and that is far too much hair to have around wet clothing

Your roommate doesn't do laundry either? And what I meant was that you can actually install a retractable clothesline near the ceiling in your living room or kitchen or wherever, above pet-level. But if you really don't have a space with better air circulation, I say just try it in the basement with a small load of something and sniff often to make sure you don't have mold or mildew. But if you smell even the tiniest bit of either, treat it as a serious problem that can spread--a dehumidifier is a pretty good idea. You can use the water from the tank to fill up your washer too.


GuitarStv

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2013, 06:54:12 AM »
We line dry in our basement all winter because the winters are very very dry, and it adds some much needed humidity to the house.  I wouldn't do it in the summer at all though, because there's high ambient humidity which works its way down to the below ground area and can cause mold.  It's cooler in the basement, so it can handle less humidity in the air than the warmer parts of the house.

During the fall/spring if it's dry in the house we dry the laundry in the basement, if it's getting humid (higher than 60%) we bring the racks up and dry it upstairs.

Zaga

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2013, 06:55:31 AM »
The musty smell is really minor and I think more of a dusty/cobwebby/old book/underused area smell since we're really not down there often and I fail at keeping it vacuumed/dusted/de-cobwebbed

Is there a way to monitor the humidity level in the basement so I can test it out without a dehumidifier?

Also, if it matters for anyone's opinion: it's just the DH, roommate and me, and the roommate has his uniforms washed at work so we only do at most 4 loads of laundry a week, usually 2-3 so it's not the never-ending battle of households with kids
Musty is one smell, and activates the hell out of my husband's allergies, Dusty is another smell and is not allergic for my husband.  Obviously different people have different allergy triggers, dust may be a problem for some people.  Our basement used to actually have mold growing on anything wooden down there, including the wood panel walls, it was a big problem!

And yes, there are cheap little humidity sensors that can give you an estimate.  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hygrometer  There are several less than $10 on Amazon.

starbuck

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2013, 08:03:14 AM »
You can use the water from the tank to fill up your washer too.

omg I NEVER thought of doing that with the water from our dehumidifier. Thank you!

During the humid summer here, clothes in the basement often won't dry fast enough and start to smell strange. Sometimes I'll dry clothing outside if it's sunny/low humidity, but I think I'll try moving the drying rack upstairs to the 2nd floor. Thanks for the ideas, folks!

renbutler

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 08:09:54 AM »
You can use the water from the tank to fill up your washer too.

Quote
omg I NEVER thought of doing that with the water from our dehumidifier. Thank you!

I've poured water from the dehumidifier onto the dry grass before. But it's quite a slog up the stairs, and it's hard to do it without spilling water on the carpet or floors.

I got tired of emptying the tank daily in the summer, so I've run a hose from the dehumidifier to a drain in the utility room. Sweet relief!

starbuck

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2013, 08:51:52 AM »
I've poured water from the dehumidifier onto the dry grass before. But it's quite a slog up the stairs, and it's hard to do it without spilling water on the carpet or floors.

Yup, that's what I've been doing. PITA! But it always seemed silly to let the water go to waste.

oldtoyota

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Re: Line drying clothes inside - Dehumidifier?
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2013, 08:05:56 AM »
You can use the water from the tank to fill up your washer too.

Quote
omg I NEVER thought of doing that with the water from our dehumidifier. Thank you!

I've poured water from the dehumidifier onto the dry grass before. But it's quite a slog up the stairs, and it's hard to do it without spilling water on the carpet or floors.

I got tired of emptying the tank daily in the summer, so I've run a hose from the dehumidifier to a drain in the utility room. Sweet relief!

I've tried using the water for the plants. It really is a pain though to slog it up the stairs. Ugh.