Thursday, October 29, 2009

What if it is raining?

I have been functioning without a clothes dryer for almost a month now. This is a hard time of year to learn how to line dry clothing, with autumn rains arriving and winter cold on its way. So how do I dry my clothes when it is raining and cold?

As you might have guessed ... dry them inside.

We have these great racks that fit one small load of laundry. The clothes can take up to 24 hours to dry. But sometimes I can hang them outside in the wind for a few hours and cut down the drying time.

The racks have to be placed in a warm, ventilated room. This rules out the bathroom, or any convenient place to "hide" the laundry. Our prime drying spot is the living room - the one room that is kept fairly warm throughout the evenings. I also set the racks right next to the heat source.

So most days of the week, our home is strewn with laundry and looks something like this...

Our flat, along with most in Scotland, is heated by radiators.
There are these great racks that fit directly onto radiators, made for drying clothing on rainy days.

I try to reserve this prime drying space for the harder-to-dry items, like jeans and thick pajamas.

After an hour or two, I flip the pants over to dry the other side.

Another fancy trick I discovered for larger items, like bed sheets, is the dining room chairs. I was pleasantly surprised that this sheet was dry in only a few hours (and it was a fun "hiding place" for the kids while it dried).

There are other great racks and drying units that people use. One that I have heard about, and want to find for myself, is something like this "spinner" sock dryer.

I have also seem much more "open" drying racks that allow clothes to "breath" more than my racks do. These would probably shorten the drying time significantly, but they also require more room around the radiators than we have in our flat.

If you are thinking about line drying your clothing, I would like to encourage you to explore all the possibilities. There are such great benefits to line drying - extend the life of your clothes, save energy and money, good excuse to get outside, and many more.

And there are great options these days - temporary lines in the shower, drying racks, etc. You also don't have to do everything at once, "cold turkey", like I did. You can always start slowly, drying a few items that are especially prone to "dryer" wear, like socks and underclothing. Or maybe just line dry one load a month.

Stay tuned for tips and more information about my journey into the realm of line drying.

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