life without a dryer
get tips for those who are dryer-less..I am considering going without again. My parents got me a second hand one, but after seeing my very high light/heat bill. I want to sell it and go without.
1. Your Soap Matters: In previous posts about laundry we've talked about adding white vinegar rinses to your wash load for softer clothes, but in the last 6 months, my husband and I have even stopped doing that. Why? Because we've found something better. Sure vinegar works great (it really does), but all we had to do was switch our soap (check out our review of Zum's laundry soap here and take a tour of their factory here!). Now clothes dry in less time and are snuggle soft (seriously)!
2. The Sooner the Better: It doesn't matter where you wash your clothes (at home or laundromat), the sooner you can get them hanging to be dried, the better. Make sure you leave a basket, a note (in case someone decides to rotate it for you) or set a timer to make sure you get back on time. For some, immediately putting them on hangers works, for others drying racks and the backs of chairs will do just fine. All that matters is that your clothes receive the most amount of air circulation as quickly as possible. Make sure to rotate your items (wherever they hang) half way through drying to avoid pulling corners and lessen the amount of time it will take for things to fully dry.
3. Clothes Line vs. Drying Rack: Yes we own a drying rack. Two of them in fact, but when it comes right down to it, they might take up a small footprint on the floor — but they don't dry clothes as fast as other options (unless you have a nearby box fan). In our last loft we ran a double decker clothesline and things were usually dry in a few hours. In a smaller space, the same thing is possible, just look at where you could put anchors in your home. You don't see them when the line is down! Here's a quick tutorial on making your own.
4. You Don't Have To Give a Hoot About the Environment: The first question we always get is, "Are you guys trying to save the planet or something?" Although that's a nice bonus, that really isn't our logic. For starters, we just don't need one. Second of all, our spaces haven't allowed us to own one very often for whatever reason and we've adapted. It's really not that difficult, just try it a few times so you build a routine and you'll be good to go!
5. But What About the Towels?: When most people think about life without a dryer, it's easy to imagine hanging all your shirts and pants, but the thought of line drying towels (unless it's summer) might give people the heebie jeebies. But they could be scratchy? And won't they dry stiff? But I might chafe something post-shower, uncool! If you've switched your soap like mentioned above, or use vinegar rinses and you have good air flow, we promise your towels will dry just fine. Sometimes a box fan can help, or making sure they're hanging over a heater vent in winter!
I don't know a whole lot about modern day drying without a dryer- love the hint about vinegar though! I do know a bit about how clothes were dried in the winter before there were such things as washers and dryers.
In my spare time I am a Regency Historian and several of the other female enactors I work with are laundress' when they are are enacting. They would hang clothes to dry in the winter much the same as they do in the summer- on a line. The clothes would of course freeze but then they'd take them inside and pick the ice off of them. Imagine how stiff the clothes would have been!
Of course reenacting usually only happens in summer months as you can't really get a crowd out to see a bunch of people in funny costumes freezing their butts off in the middle of winter. Our reenacting month ends in November (we do one night reenactment a year and its in Nov) and then we start up our year at the first of April which can also be very cold. I've been known to sport a pair of jeans under my dress in cold months. So sadly we haven't really had the chance to try out the cold air drying on any clothes.
But there are a few historical films out there that have shown scenes of clothes drying out in the winter. I think Girl With a Pearl Earring is one of them.
I grew up in newfoundland, we hang out our clothes year round, but in the winter usually hang dry in the house
when I lived in china I would hand wash, rinse and squeeze dry my clothes, then hang over chairs to dry
I never use a dryer, I hate the way they make clothes feel, and the dryer sheets make me sneeze
I hang clothes out in summer and dry them round the fire or over radiators when it's wet.
In the warm summer days, you can hang them on a clothing line to dry, I find it leaves a fresh and earthy smell that I personally enjoy. During the winter,you can hang your clothing near the radiator as CO+K stated, or in a handy mudroom.
For those who are reading who have a drier~ here is a fun tip. For delicate clothing with wrinkles, take a wet washcloth and wring it out so its damp. Throw it in the drier along with your wrinkled clothing and all the wrinkes are automatically ironed! This saved me a lot of iron burns on my fingers for first time ironers.
Hope this helped!
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