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Tales of a Reluctant Rack Dryer

I know that clothes dryers are second only to refrigerators in home energy use, but rack drying clothes has always seemed a little intimidating to me. I don’t know why—my mother used to hang laundry outside (even when it sometimes froze!). But once I was out on my own, like most apartment dwellers, laundromats were the norm. Now our washer and dryer are in the basement, so I sucked it up and got a couple racks. Lines are fine if you have a lot of space, but racks can hold the same amount of clothes with a smaller profile, and they can be folded up and put away when not in use. And you know what? They aren’t so bad.

Where's Oliver?

Here are some tips that made my conversion easier.

  • Don’t rack dry everything. Ease into it with just a few clothes. Jason really wants dryer-soft towels, but has no preferences for jeans and shirts. Since our two racks don’t hold everything all at once, anyway, we can pick and choose.
  • Finish in the dryer. If you still absolutely need the softness (like Jason with the towels), you can dry on the rack until damp and then toss in the dryer for a couple minutes.
  • Dry shirts on hangers. Button-up shirts are actually less wrinkled if they dry this way.

It hasn’t really been as much hassle as I expected it to be. And while clothes do take a day or so to dry, the active part of laundry day is shorter, since you don’t have to wait for the dryer to finish before starting a new load. It’s also supposed to make clothes last longer, too (no lint loss), but I’ll have to get back to you about that.

Comments

Comment from Green Bean
Time June 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

#1 is key. When you line dry, it is just too time consuming and overwhelming to jump into it head first but do the equivalent of one load a week or month, would work!

Comment from Brenda Pike
Time June 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

Yeah. This weather is terrible for it, though. We had a couple racks of clothes that still weren’t completely dry four days later. Maybe a fan would help?

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