Air Drying Clothes Without A Clothesline
By Jill Cooper
We all know that if we don't dry our clothes in the dryer we save
on electricity, but many of us don't think about how the dryer reduces
the life of our clothes. For a long time I couldn't understand why so
many people were buying scads of socks and underwear for their
families every few months. When my children were growing up, they
almost never wore out their underwear and socks and we owned only
about a quarter as many pair as most people. No I didn't buy some name
brand known for its child proof quality. I usually bought the least
expensive ones I could find.
Fast forward a couple decades. One day after folding my
grandson's new underwear, I noticed that the waistband was terribly
rippled. After doing some research, I discovered the answer: The dryer
was destroying the rubber elastic in the socks and underwear. I rarely
dried my family's clothes in the dryer, so the elastic never broke
down. It doesn't just happen with underwear - Have you ever noticed
pilling (those little fabric balls) on your clothes and linens and the
resulting lint in the dryer? That is the result of the fibers being
rubbed thin. The dryer also shrinks clothes and sets in stains.
The two reasons I think most people don't line dry their clothes
are that they think it is inconvenient or they're just not sure how to
do it. Here are some of the best tips I have found to air dry clothes
without a clothes line.
Though I don't use the dryer to dry my clothes, I do use it for
five minutes or so with some loads (just long enough to fluff the
clothes). I put one load in the dryer and only leave then there as
long as it takes me to load the washer with the next load.
If you have no clothesline, you live in an apartment or your
homeowners association won't allow clotheslines, here are a few ways
to dry without a clothesline.
Using a clothesline to dry your clothes can save lots of money!
You need at least one drying rack and some type of clothes rod.
You can buy drying racks at most discount stores or hardware stores.
You might locate a clothes rod in your laundry room above the dryer,
use a sturdy shower curtain rod in the bathroom or get a metal clothes
racks that hooks over the back of a door. You don't need much. I can
hang two loads of laundry on one drying rack and 2 feet of clothes rod.
Hanging on a Clothes Rod
Hang as many items as you can on clothes hangers, beginning with
the obvious things like dresses, dress shirts and blouses and hang the
hangers on a clothes rod to dry. Be sure not to put the hangers too
close together or the clothes will not dry. You can also hang things
like pajama tops, t-shirts, small kids shirts and one piece outfits.
Lightweight pants, pajama bottoms, skirts and sweats can be pinned on
clothes hangers and even sheets can be folded and hung on them. If you
are really short of drying rack space, you can hang socks, underwear,
wash rags, hand towels and towels on hangers and add them to your
clothes rod, too.
Hanging on a Clothes Rack
When hanging clothes on a drying rack, I start at the bottom with
socks and underwear, wash rags and baby clothes. Young children's
clothes and hand towels go on the middle layer and the top rack is for
towels, jeans, pillow cases, sweaters, sweats, pajama bottoms and t-
shirts. I try to use every inch of space, so if I put a pillow case on
the rack and there are a couple of inches left next to it I put a sock
there. I even hook bras on the corners of the rack.
Drying racks are handy because they can be moved to speed up the
drying process. Place them outside on a sunny (but not windy) day.
Inside the house, try putting them over a vent and the heat or air
conditioner will dry them faster. If you don't have central heat or
air then you can place them in front of your heater or a fan. Don't
place clothes close enough to heaters to be a fire hazard.
If you are short on space and don't want to look at a drying rack
in the middle of the room, do the laundry before bed, hang it and in
most cases it will be dry by morning (especially if you set it above
an air vent).
Try hanging large king sized sheets or blankets over your shower
rod, over the rail of your deck, between two lawn chairs or folded in
half or quarters over your clothes rack. When you fold large items,
you must flip and turn them every 5-10 hours so that each side gets dry.
Sometimes it is useful to hang a clothesline in the basement or
attic. Be sure to check out your department stores and hardware stores
for other ideas. They have many clever items like retractable
clotheslines, things to hang over doors and some not so new ideas like
extra large drying racks that can hold two loads of laundry each.
Even though this may sound complicated at first, once you do it a
few times it becomes second nature to you. Pretty quickly, you will
discover the most efficient way to hang your clothes on the rack. I
know automatically that three wash rags fit across the bottom bar of
my rack and the two socks will fit next the that particular t-shirt.
It's like putting a puzzle together- the first time takes you longer
than the times after that because you know where the pieces fit.
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the editors
of http://www.LivingOnADime.com/. As a single mother of two, Jill
Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off
$35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. Tawra and her
husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income.
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