Author Topic: Six months with no clothes dryer.  (Read 5432 times)

Frugal Lizard

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Six months with no clothes dryer.
« on: September 07, 2016, 12:10:28 PM »
Way back in  early March the clothes dryer we bought used for $100 six years before bit the dust.  Motor was shorting out.  We were just ramping up our mustachian inclinations so we started the clothesline experiment.  How long can we go without buying a new dryer. 

We back onto a forested ravine and that is where our clotheslines were located.  It is very shady and damp back there.  Last part of the garden that snow melts in.  On Saturday some of the heavier towels and fitted sheets didn't get dry in a day so I was starting to get really worried that I am going to cave in and buy another used dryer.  Then I asked - what would MMM do? 

I dug a hole in the sunny front garden and installed a tube with a lid and relocated the umbrella clothesline to the front lawn.  This morning I hung one load out on the long line in the back and one on the umbrella line in the front.  The clothes in the back aren't dry yet.  The ones in the front are folded.  I think this is going to work out just fine.  The front yard gets morning sun so my fingers won't be as cold as standing next to the north wall of our house to hang the clothes out. 

johnny847

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 12:24:31 PM »
Nice!


I've had this idea in the back of my head for a while now - make an attachment to a bike to wash my clothes, and hang dry.
I've hand washed clothes before but man did I learn - the spin cycle of your washer is important! It gets out far more water from your clothes than you can hand wring. Otherwise my clothes take forever to dry. That's part of the motivation of a bike powered washer - to be able to do a spin cycle as well (I wonder though if I'll get enough speed to really wring out water from the clothes...)

There is this thing: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/27/bike-washing-machine_n_7136196.html but I don't think it's in production.

WildJager

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 12:35:31 PM »
For dealing with winter and rainy days, we use the space where the dryer would normally be to hang clothes to dry.  We got a wall mounted clothes rack for smaller items (first link below), and a collapsible clothes rack for larger items (second link).  They usually dry fine in the laundry area, but if need be we move the clothes rack under a ceiling fan for quick drying.  Works great!

https://www.amazon.com/Polder-Wall-Mount-24-Inch-Accordion-Clothes/dp/B000GBK2WO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473273197&sr=8-2&keywords=wall+mounted+clothes+rack

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Foldable-Drying-Rack-White/dp/B00H7P1GPO/ref=sr_1_8?s=storageorganization&ie=UTF8&qid=1473273205&sr=1-8&keywords=clothes+rack

tonysemail

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 12:43:03 PM »
awesome!  you guys are inspiring me to try it out too.

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 12:54:07 PM »
I live out in the middle of the California desert.  I used a dryer for the longest time because it's how I was raised.  This past year I started throwing some rope out back and air drying my clothes.  Best thing ever.  Smaller power bill.  No extra summertime heat in the house.  I just try to hang them in the shade so the sun doesn't beat on them endlessly is all.  I might be using the dryer more in winter but that's because it'll just help heat the house again.

Landlady

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 12:56:51 PM »
Nice! I've been line drying for 3 months after we moved out of the city. I am curious if I'll be able to continue through the fall rainy season. I think when the rain changes to snow it'll be dry enough to keep hang drying. It's the best! My energy bill last month was $22!

meghan88

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 02:20:47 PM »
We are condo dwellers.  We have two folding clothes racks and we just set those up in the middle of the living room on Sunday when we do our weekly load of laundry.  By Monday morning everything is dry.

NV Teacher

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 08:18:42 PM »
Good for you.  I've been hanging up clothes to dry most of my life.  I grew up in a family of ten in the high mountains of Utah.  We had a double clothes line in the back yard that we used and in the winter my dad would hang lines in the basement.  It seems like there were always clothes hanging on the lines.

Caoineag

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2016, 08:30:58 PM »
My mother was fond of hang clothes out to dry in the warmer months but had a dryer for the winter. I have never owned a dryer as I never saw the point. We have a clothes line in our basement and we don't bother to hang clothes outside even in the summer since that would be more work than hanging them up in the basement (where the washer is). I do think the metal clothes racks combined with putting clothes immediately on hangers is awesome for saving time and space but the clothes line is there for bedding and anything that goes into a drawer.

expatartist

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2016, 08:45:43 PM »
It's a great idea to go without for a while. But for me, after 13 years of dryer-free living, and now in a hot humid climate, I am SO happy to have (a shared, and free) one. Fluffy sheets and towels ftw! Since flats in our building average 150sqf, there's no room for the usual drying racks.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 08:13:52 PM »
Kudos to you! We don't put our clothes in the dryer too! I love hang drying clothes because it saves electricity and clothes last a heck a lot longer.

gggggg

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 09:10:46 PM »
The only items I dry in my dryer are bath towels, and I only dry them for 15 min to fluff them, before air drying the rest of the way. Everything else gets dried on racks in the spare bedroom.

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 10:26:37 PM »
For dealing with winter and rainy days, we use the space where the dryer would normally be to hang clothes to dry.  We got a wall mounted clothes rack for smaller items (first link below), and a collapsible clothes rack for larger items (second link).  They usually dry fine in the laundry area, but if need be we move the clothes rack under a ceiling fan for quick drying.  Works great!

https://www.amazon.com/Polder-Wall-Mount-24-Inch-Accordion-Clothes/dp/B000GBK2WO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473273197&sr=8-2&keywords=wall+mounted+clothes+rack

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Foldable-Drying-Rack-White/dp/B00H7P1GPO/ref=sr_1_8?s=storageorganization&ie=UTF8&qid=1473273205&sr=1-8&keywords=clothes+rack

I think we have the second dryer rack listed, and I will warm you that it's hard as heck to collapse it. You have to push a tiny button in so hard it hurts. It's rare we can push the button in to collapse it. Our wooden drying rack poses no such problem and is my fave of the two.

Congrats to OP on going without a dryer. =-)


Frugal Lizard

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2016, 03:02:10 PM »
Seven loads of laundry today because it was the first day in many without rain.  Got all lines, racks and clothes pegs going.  I have two teens and both son and hubs play sports.  We make an astonishing amount of laundry.   Here are some picks of my system.  The latest refinement is the white rack from ikea.  Love the octopus hangers also from ikea.

warmastoast

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2016, 08:42:13 AM »
this thread makes me smile....

As a European I barely used my clothes dryer.  I didn't own one until I had kids and lived in Scotland ( hardly ever a completely dry day!).  In France, everyone hangs out their clothes to dry, when it's not suitable then a well ventilated "cellier" does the  trick.   

I got a bit side tracked when I moved to Texas (consumer "suckered" perhaps) when I was told NOBODY hangs their laundry out to dry. Anyway, I still had my 14 year old Leifheit rackdryer which is pretty inconspicuous in the back yard, so I use that and I have barely used the electricity guzzling dryer since last Christmas.  it is amusing to note that on my fairly international street all the Europeans have their clothes dryers out....

On a side note, if you ever go to Barcelona,  the Gaudi house is pretty famous for it's laundry room on the top floor - complete with very well designed ventilation for getting rid of the humidity.  If it's good enough for Gaudi!




Frugal Lizard

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 02:10:14 PM »
Must post an update:  Made it through October but just barely. 
Last week was pretty cold on the only sunny day but not cold enough for the furnace to turn on.  I was pretty unhappy hanging out the 4 loads that needed doing.  I feel so much of my life is spent planning how to get the laundry dry.  I think the next step is to train the kids to not make so much laundry. 

hops

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2016, 03:11:46 PM »
The dryer that I inherited from my grandparents died over five years ago and I've not yet bothered to replace it. Drying indoors on racks or on a basement line was never much of an inconvenience until my fiancee moved in. Each week she generates quite a bit of dirty laundry (formal work clothes, casual home clothes, sweat-drenched exercise gear) and hanging it all up at once became a tedious chore, so now I'm experimenting with washing a load or two over the weekend and another in the middle of the week. Getting this for socks was quite helpful in freeing up rack space:

https://www.amazon.com/Whitmor-Clip-Laundry-Hanger-Clips/dp/B0001E839U

pbnj

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2016, 04:09:08 PM »
I have gone about 15 months without using the dryer.  During the winter months I move the drying rack in front of heater vents.  Love the lower electricity bills!

WildJager

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2016, 06:25:16 PM »
Must post an update:  Made it through October but just barely. 
Last week was pretty cold on the only sunny day but not cold enough for the furnace to turn on.  I was pretty unhappy hanging out the 4 loads that needed doing.  I feel so much of my life is spent planning how to get the laundry dry.  I think the next step is to train the kids to not make so much laundry.

I mentioned this before in the thread, but for cold weather harness indoor drying techniques.  Use a freestanding rack that can be folded away when not in use.  You can put it in a room with a ceiling fan, or simply just let the clothes dry due to the dryness that AC (and heating) provides.  Yes, you have to do laundry more frequently and develop a system, but the smaller loads means less time folding too.  It just becomes routine over time.  A natural breeze during the fair weather periods is obviously nice, but it's not the only option available.

Cranky

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 03:12:31 PM »
This is actually the hardest time to hang laundry, IMO - a bit too cool outside and not a ton of early daylight, but the furnace isn't really running yet. We've had a couple of beautiful days this week and I rounded up a lot of stuff that gets washed occasionally (like the decorative cloth on the back of the piano), because this is about it for outside laundry. It's going to really turn into November!

But once it's cold enough for the furnace to come on every day, I put the laundry under the heater vents downstairs, and it dries really, really fast.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 05:36:10 PM »
This is actually the hardest time to hang laundry, IMO - a bit too cool outside and not a ton of early daylight, but the furnace isn't really running yet. We've had a couple of beautiful days this week and I rounded up a lot of stuff that gets washed occasionally (like the decorative cloth on the back of the piano), because this is about it for outside laundry. It's going to really turn into November!

But once it's cold enough for the furnace to come on every day, I put the laundry under the heater vents downstairs, and it dries really, really fast.
+1
that is my issue - the windows have condensation inside them - last thing I need is anymore moisture in the air inside. 
Tons of room in the basement around the furnace but unless it goes down below freezing overnight it doesn't come on.  I figured that October and November would be really hard with the dampness and lack of sunshine.  If the clothes aren't out on the line by 10 they don't get dry by nightfall.  We have a very heavy dew at this time of year.   We are four people and a couple of us generate a disproportionate volume of laundry. 

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2016, 02:03:13 PM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2016, 03:33:06 PM »
^ Maybe try a fan to circulate more air for musty smell?

I've been line drying inside for past 2 months. Have the Whitmore clip rack and this X frame drying rack, which are working out great.

Still haven't figured out how to get non-scratchy towels...tried Zum laundry detergent (which was supposedly the best for air drying softness, but nope, didn't work for me). Gonna try vinegar rinse next. Anyone have other towel tips?

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2016, 03:52:11 PM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

I gave up on all but my work clothes (which tend to be rayon or polyester), once the rains hit in PNW and the furnance is not yet on....   I guess taking them to the laundromat to wash and dry for a couple of months would be fine, but our dryer works well, so I just use that.

Why I gave up ==>  my clothes would not dry for days, and actually would get moldy.

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2016, 04:01:25 PM »
My German teacher at school many years ago told me that winter is the best time for line drying. You put the clothes out, they go hard, and after a few days they are really soft and dry. We don't get it that cold in Australia, but We have an outside porch which has a clothesline on it so the clothes get the wind without the rain, and dry whether the sun is shining or not.

tccoastguard

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2016, 11:56:55 AM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

It could also be the washer.  If it's not a decent HE model, the clothes will be pretty wet.  The decent HE models spin dry much better, use less water and leave your clothes mildly damp.  Easy to hang dry in almost any environment.  If it's an older agitator model though... those suckers leave your clothes pretty wet.

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2016, 12:21:58 PM »
5 months with no dryer here. We moved to a fifth wheel trailer and bought a $90 mini wash machine with a spinner so the clothes do get most of the water spun out. We bought a rack that sets up nicely in front of our electric fireplace. Our bedding or large heavy items will likely still need washing in a full size machine (likely at an RV Park) so we will pay to dry them in that case.

For now bedding/heavy clothes are done at our parents home. The parents love to see us!

Once we are in a warmer climate we might get away with hanging the bedding outside to dry. But we will be in an RV park so need to work through the nuances of acceptable behavior. Each park will be different.

that little wash machine is quite the adventure. All it does is agitate, it doesn't let the water our and refill it for you for rinsing. YOU are the cycle changer every step of the way. We get a load done in about 18 minutes. One 6 minute wash with 2 6 minute rinses.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2016, 10:44:37 PM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

It's not too bad that way.  I'm trying to hang more shirts on hangers in the bathroom spaced out.  Seems to work and I put the rack with the rest on the radiator. 

It could also be the washer.  If it's not a decent HE model, the clothes will be pretty wet.  The decent HE models spin dry much better, use less water and leave your clothes mildly damp.  Easy to hang dry in almost any environment.  If it's an older agitator model though... those suckers leave your clothes pretty wet.

Optimiser

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2016, 03:43:22 PM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

I use that IKEA rack in the PNW too. The biggest thing that helps is I set it up in the same room that we have our dehumidifier in. Yes it uses more energy, but it makes the house warmer too, so we don't have to use the heat as much. Makes much more sense to me than using the dryer and blowing all the hot air out the exhaust vent.

It's also important to make sure the clothes come out of the washer as soon as it is done and onto the rack. Sometimes if I forget to take the clothes out right away, and it's a load of towels or something that I know will take a long time to dry and may end up smelling, I'll dry them for 15 minutes and then hang them up to dry, so you might try that. You won't be able to get rid of your dryer, but you'll save some energy.

frugalsurfer

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2016, 09:13:20 PM »
I live in Australia and clothes dryers are still quite uncommonly used, even by people who own them. Most people I know will only use them when it's been really damp and cold for a good while. Otherwise we just hang our clothes out to air dry outside or on one of those fold out units. Personally I've used the clothes dryer once in six months, and that was a special circumstance. Dishwasher machines are also quite uncommon, especially with rentals and low-middle income folk. I had one in my last apartment and we didn't use it the whole two years we lived there. Easier, more effective and faster hand wash.

Frugal Lizard

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2016, 06:37:23 AM »
I live in Australia and clothes dryers are still quite uncommonly used, even by people who own them. Most people I know will only use them when it's been really damp and cold for a good while. Otherwise we just hang our clothes out to air dry outside or on one of those fold out units. Personally I've used the clothes dryer once in six months, and that was a special circumstance. Dishwasher machines are also quite uncommon, especially with rentals and low-middle income folk. I had one in my last apartment and we didn't use it the whole two years we lived there. Easier, more effective and faster hand wash.
Would not be able to give up the dishwasher - I hate washing dishes. 

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Re: Six months with no clothes dryer.
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2016, 01:30:37 PM »
I have been trying to hang dry all my clothes but I have had a few instances where they get sour.  That smell is not worth it.  I use the white Ikea rack shown in the pictures above and hang them in my bedroom. 

Does anyone have any tips on how to prevent that god awful smell...

I think I will move the rack onto a radiator because the heat is now on.  I live in the PNW so the air is generally damp and that may be contributing to a slow dry.

I use that IKEA rack in the PNW too. The biggest thing that helps is I set it up in the same room that we have our dehumidifier in. Yes it uses more energy, but it makes the house warmer too, so we don't have to use the heat as much. Makes much more sense to me than using the dryer and blowing all the hot air out the exhaust vent.

It's also important to make sure the clothes come out of the washer as soon as it is done and onto the rack. Sometimes if I forget to take the clothes out right away, and it's a load of towels or something that I know will take a long time to dry and may end up smelling, I'll dry them for 15 minutes and then hang them up to dry, so you might try that. You won't be able to get rid of your dryer, but you'll save some energy.

+1 on getting clothes out of the washer ASAP. 

I started line / rack drying this summer.  The fall is challenging because the back of my house faces north and the house shades my porch by 10am.  I've been known to have clothes in washer ready to start at night.  Then at crack of dawn when I need to get up to go to the restroom I add the detergent and flip the switch.   I go back to sleep until the washer finishes and proceed to hang clothes outside to get their glimpse of sunlight.

I prefer sun because of the disinfecting properties, but I believe the main thing is to minimize the amount of time clothes are wet and at a high temperature.  I.e.  the Mildew smell occurs from little living things (That have little effect on us in this situation other than the smell.)  For the most part, living things have an ideal temperature range. 

This winter, I'm going to give drying outside a chance to see the results.  Will mostly dry inside.  Front bedroom will get a glimpse of sunlight.  (But not really heated.).  Bedroom and Bathroom are ideal places since they are heated to some degree.  Bathroom also has an exhaust fan if I wish to get rid of excess moisture, however I do not yet have any issues with moisture.  (If I get my house / attic air sealed well enough, I may want to run my bathroom fan on afternoons anyways to help exchange fresh air.)