You can save money air drying your clothes even if you don’t have a clothesline. This is also a great way to keep some humidity in the house in the winter!
Air Drying Clothes Without A Clothesline
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 do now. I didn’t even buy expensive things. I bought the least expensive clothes I could find. So what was happening?
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 about five minutes or so– just long enough to fluff the clothes. I put one load in the dryer and only leave them there as long as it takes me to load the washer with the next load.
If you don’t have a clothesline, you live in an apartment or your homeowners association won’t allow clotheslines, here are a few ways to air dry clothes without a clothesline.
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 hang 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 so the air can circulate. 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. You are using the bottom part of the hanger as a rod.
Hanging Clothes 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.
I want to tell you that I got a chance to use the shower curtain on my clothes line this past weekend. It was actually the first time I got to use it since I bought it a few weeks ago. It was almost like it wouldn’t rain for spite, since I wanted to see how it worked. Well, it worked great. I put my clothes on the line, and they were about half dry when it started to rain, so I went out to put the shower curtain on the clothes to cover them up until it stopped. It rained for about an hour. After it stopped I took the shower curtain off the clothes to continue to dry. Worked great. I might have started a weird trend in my neighbor. Ha. Ha.
I hang my clothes on the hanger , and let them dry over a door . Then you can put them straight in the closet .
I feel like such a doofus. I don’t have a clothesline or a drying rack, so I just always used my dryer even though I didn’t want to most of the time. It never occurred to me to simply hang the items on hangers !! I have plenty of room to hang things on hangers (even with space between them), so starting today, I am going to hang most of our stuff. Thanks for saving us $$ !!
Alicia, don’t you hate it when you have a duhhhh moment like that. I do that on a regular basis. Holler if you have more questions once you get going. Don’t forget too you can use clothes pins and pin things like undies, washrags and socks across the bottom of the hanger. Oh and you might want to fluff them in the dryer for a couple of minutes in the dryer and they really do come out just as soft.
alicia don’t feel like a doofus i don’t have a drying rack neither i have a dryer. but at least your clothing will dry faster.look when i was younger my mom used to hang our clothes on a drying wrack but believe me she got tired of going in and outside taking and putting all the clothes on and off. so when i got a job i saved up some money and i bought her a new dryer and a new washer and she thanked sooo much.
our children Grow So Fast. I used to dry my newborns socks on rack. We all know how Fast they grow! Take advantage of what tech we have now…but find out how our predecessors did it!
I do towels and around-the-house clothes (like stuff I wear to clean the house) or my wife’s work clothes (which are always getting filthy) in the dryer but everything else I line dry (delicates, t-shirts, undies, dresses, and anything I want to keep looking nice) . I’ve had some situations of shrinking and staining of clothes in dryers so I really don’t trust them (had no idea that color transfer in the dryer is a thing- learned that the hard way). I have a small drying rack in the basement but I need to come up with something else because there isn’t enough space to dry all my clothes at once and it creates a back log of clothing. I have two bathrooms but one I use for the cats and the other is always in use by people so I don’t want to dry my clothes in there. I have a porch but I can only use that in the spring /summer obviously. I wanted to hang a line but you gave me the idea of just putting a drying rack out there- good idea.
The dryer really ruins/shrinks your clothes. I have a makeshift clothesline and drying rack from Walmart, but I most often just put everything on hangers and hang them from the bedroom doorframes. I use my dryer pretty sparingly.
but not all the time so yeah ^_^
I was living in Italy without a dryer and bought some clothes while there. I visited my sister and popped everything in her dryer when I did some wash at her house–one time in the dryer and my sweaters and T-shirts looked awful, worn out and old. Love hanging my clothes to dry but you have to plan ahead, and take advantage of the sun when you have it! In Italy they have these plastic covers for your clotheslines/racks so that if you are going out and it looks like rain, you just pop the cover on and you do not end up with rain-soaked clothes.
The only time I use the dryer is to clean cat hair from sheets or throws I put over furniture or on top of the bed for the cats to lounge on. I use the air fluff setting, which doesn’t use any heat. Takes about 30 minutes to get off the majority of the cat hair. And it’s easy to collect the hair from the lint filter. I dry clothes on a clothes rod and/or drying rack. I like to do a load of laundry early in the morning, hang it up, and most of it is ready to be put away when I get home from work.
I have not had a dryer for about two years. I would recommend that you save a dime by spending a few extra dollars on a high quality laundry drying rack. This will keep your frustration down because it will not be breaking on you when you have the least time to deal with it and you have a whole load of wet laundry that really needs to be hung up.
I do not miss my dryer at all and things really do not need to be fluffed in the dryer a few hard shakes when you take them off your rack will really do a lot for making them softer. Oh yea and white vinegar in the rinse cycle helps as well.
We only use the dryer at the laundromat for sheets and towels. For several years now our clothes have dried on hangers all around the apartment. The clothes dry fairly quickly, last much longer, don’t shrink and in the winter I find it adds some much needed humidity to the place.
Hey Tawra, Where’s your mom? Miss her.
She’s in Colorado visiting my grandparents and rubbing it in that it’s only 65 there while it’s 101 (109 heat index) here! :-) She will be back later this week.
I’m glad she will be back soon, Tawra. Tell her I’m jealous of that weather she is having. We have a heat warning where I live, and I’m so sick of this summer that I’m counting the days until Fall. Can’t wait already.
I’m right there with you! It’s going to be over 100 for the next week! I HATE Kansas in the summer! The kids and I have literally been stuck in the house for almost 6 weeks because it’s to hot to go outside.
My daughter and I are moving to Kansas in a few months. In Arizona now and my 10:00 in the morning it’s already in the 90’s. Ugh!
You will find it interesting here Debi. It can be in the 90’s here to in the morning but we have the yucky pleasure of 80-90% humidity added in to that. If you don’t come for a few months though you will miss our summer and fall isn’t too bad so you will have a little time to adjust.
Interesting info about dryers. It’s hard to imagine that 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes goes into heating the water.
I always wash in cold. Clothes last longer.
I wash in cold as often as possible but I do like to use hot for things like my dishrags and dish towels and sheets. The heat helps kill dust mites and since I don’t put them in the dryer always but hang on the line I like to use the heat for things like that.
I have a great oak tree that I put a clothesline on and extended it toward the corner of the house. Since I have a privacy fence, people rarely know when I hang out the clothes. We still prefer the sheets to go in the dryer though on fluff for a little while with a dryer sheet for softness and smell. A friend of mine hangs all of her dress clothes on hangers and then hangs them on the mantle. She leaves the ceiling fan on all night, and the clothes are dry the next morning.
Linda in Mass
That’s funny. I put my sheets out on the line because I love the smell of my line dried sheets. I don’t like them in the dryer because they don’t smell as nice. I do line dry most of my clothes and have acquired drying racks through yard sales (last one was $2) and my inlaws. I use the drying racks when it rains or snow is on the ground.
I love the smell of line dried sheets and blankets. My brothers always hang them for me now that I can’t reach the line anymore.
We happen to have an unused basement area which isk perfect to put up a drying rack. Towels plus knit underwear benefit from a few minutes in the drier prior to hanging up, but much money is saved.Really appreciate the suggestions on using bread crumbs in bread pudding. Excellent idea. Keep up the good work.
This is slightly off subject but for any of you that have room for clotheslines in your back yard and particularly for us seniors or people with medical problems that make carrying heavy baskets difficult here is a suggestion for a clothesline system my son built for me that helps tremendously. My washing machine is on an enclosed back porch with a 6ft covered landing at the top of the steps. but it should work equally well off a patio or deck.
He mounted a standard 3 line T-pole under the roof of the landing. He then put 3 – 15 Foot treated poles set in cement spaced about 10 ft apart and 30 ft. out in the yard. he then attached pulleys to each pole and to the t-pole’s 3 openings with those adjustable tensioning bolts. he then ran a loop of plastic covered non-stretch lclothesline wire between each set of pulleys. The ends of the wire loop are attached to a metal ring large enough to not go through the pulley and attached a snap fastener like goes on a dog leash at each line on the t-pole.
now to hang out clothes all I have to do is unload my clothes from the washer into one of those metal rolling shopping carts, wheel it out on the landing, hang my clothes on the line and reel it out into the yard and snap the ring at the t-pole to hold it in place. I never have to carry heavy baskets of clothes or try to balance going up and down the steps with a heavy load. With the ends of the lines set so far apart it gets lots of sun and air flow so clothes dry very fast, and with the clotheslines so far off the ground I don’t have to worry about the dogs playing tug of war with my clothes or people walking in the yard running into the lines.
My grandma’s house has one of those clothes line on a pulley! I have used it many times. If something is too big, it might rub on some of the greenery in her backyard, so I have to save the big stuff for last.
Thank you for bringing back a good memory! Another good laundry memory from my grandma’s is from their cabin in Lake Tahoe. Everyone else goes to the laundry mat, but I like to use the wringer washer and hang the clothes on the line between those gigantic Jeffery Pines in her yard.
They have clothes lines between buildings in Europe like that. It is a pulley system. I never really paid attention to them to know how they worked. We always had a clothesline either outside or down in the basement where we lived.
For years I have had an extension rod in my shower. I placed it right over the edge of the top tile so it si more substancial. I hang my clothes on hangers and place them inside the shower. No mess and they are dry in a few hours. Saves me tons of money each year. I also wash everything i can on cold water cycle. This also saves a ton.
Socks and undies can also be hung in the shower by using hangers that were made to hold skirts. They ahve a clip on each end and are extremely useful for this.
I hang up clothes on hangers and hang them over the shower rod. Easy as pie!! : ) I use the dryer too much but, on certain clothes have to hang dry.
We live in a mobile home and don’t have a ton of room for drying. Everyone takes their showers in the morning, and then I just put the drying rack in the shower. I put the clothes on them with the shower curtain open. The clothes dry without taking up a lot of room and I can hang items on clothes hangers above.
We moved in June 2010 to a new to us house. I have both washer & gas dryer, no gas line for dryer. My husband thought it would be no problem to run the line, but as he started to look into it there was just no way he could conveniently run it without making it look like an eyesore. So I have my feelers out for an electric dryer to trade or whatever but in the mean time (going on 7 months) I’ve been air drying with no clothes line or drying rack.
I hang whatever I can hang on hangers, I use all the upper cabinets in the kitchen for towels. I have dogs who like to steal & eat socks so I lay them on top of the dryer to air dry. It does take a little while so I only do one load a day so I have enough room to hang everything. But it is possible.
Another idea to dry clothes overnight when they are needed first thing the next morning, is after you have hung your clothes in the bathroom on the shower rod, set a fan on the vanity or floor and turn it on to blow on the clothes. I leave my fan on all night and the clothes are dry the next morning. This is mainly for heavier clothes like slacks or jeans. If not needed the next morning, then I just air dry them in the bathroom. My dainties are NEVER dried in the dryer OR hung outside. The sun ruins elastic like a dryer does.
Hope this helps someone.
I’ll tell you why I stopped hanging clothes to dry – not for any other reason than they dry rough and scratchy. I have very sensitive skin, and it doesn’t take much to cause itching. Any suggestions?
Yes, use fabric softener or vinegar and then fluff in the dryer for 5 minutes before hanging.
Krista like Tawra said fluff them for about 5 mins in the dryer beforehanging them out. As I have mentioned before so often we think of things as all or nothing. There is nothing wrong with using your dryer for a few minutes instead the whole time. Just that 5 mins. makes them just a soft as if you had run them the whole time. When I use a dryer I toss the wet load into it, turn it on then put my next load into the washer. By the time is get in the soap, fabric softener etc. my first load is plenty fluffed for me to take out and hang.
I always put them in dryer after they have dried, and add a sheet of fabric softener and a damp wash cloth. This seems to work well, but I will have to try it by throwing them in the dryer for five minutes before hanging them out. My house has the old radiators which I did not care for at one time, but they have become so useful. I have portable clothes rack near two of them, and my clothes dry in a snap in winter. It also puts much needed humidity in the air. By the way I absolutely love to follow Tawra and Jill. I am saving a bunch on everything. It has become like a challenging game.
Thanks Shirl. I too had those radiators and when I first moved in with them I hated them so much. Now I miss them sooo much they were handy for so many things – I dried my clothes on them, I put trays of flowers on the to dry them, I would pans of water with cinnamon and spices on them that would heat up and make the house smell so good and on and on.
To dry clothes we put a towel rack attached to the ceiling at the end of the tub area (opposite the shower head). It is out of the way and yet when clothes are hung on hangers they drip into the tub so no extra cleaning up water on the floor.
Very clever Tim. I have seen something like that hung in a basement from the ceiling for a rod by the washer and dryer but I really like the idea for the bathroom tub.
I took little finishing nails and put them high up on the wall all the way down my hallway. I hang everything along both sides of.the hall on my little trailer at night. On hangers of course
By the next day its all dry and ready to be put away. : )
Where there is a will there is a way. : ) I love it when people take what they have to work with and figure out the best way to use it. Good idea Cheryl.
Another great idea – use the top part of the door jam to hang your clothes off of! We rarely use our dryer (only for towels and bedding). Everything else is placed on a hanger and hung from any available door jam! Since we have small children, so this works for us. If you had a house of older people you may hear some complaining about ducking to get into their room! :) Lol!
So, I put a clothesline in the basement to continue the line drying throughout winter and my clothes ended up smelling musty and unappealing. I also use cloth diapers and it seems like the heat of the dryer helps with some disinfecting properties (same with washclothes). Also, our house is chilly and very moist. It takes days to dry things on racks or in the shower. I end up feeling claustrophobic with all the laundry everywhere. How can I counteract these challenges because we need to save where we can. Also, any time saving tips would be awesome since I don’t want to be working so hard on laundry and housework that I never play with my little ones.
Leilani, I have written about this before but can’t remember where to send you to it and it is a little along the line of what grandma was saying too. We have this strange misconception that in order to bond and spend time with our kids we need to let the house go and a person can’t do both so you should play with your kids and let your house go now because soon they will be gone. I laugh and say that didn’t happen to me my kids are still around and they have just multiplied so I have even more. If I had waited to clean I would never get it done.
I will be honest I don’t remember taking specific time to sit and play with my kids each day. I don’t know who invented that but in my world I would never have been able to do it. I lived with my kids instead which means we worked, ate, played and did every thing together. I didn’t have to carve out quality time to spend with them.
I did just like grandma. In the morning the kids (even as small as 15 months) would clean their room with me. They could even at that age carry their dirty clothes to the hamper, put a toy in the basket or something in the trash. I would go out to hang clothes on the line and they would sit in the basket shewing on clothes pins while I would hang out clothes. I would talk or sing to them while I did it. If I had to clean the kitchen I would put them in the high chair with a snack or toy or would let them sit on the with pans to play with talking or pounding on a pan once in awhile with them.
First it isn’t easy with little ones and you won’t be able to do it all. You may only be able to dust once a month and there will probably be toys all over the floor for several years but don’t worry about those kinds of things. On the other hand you do have to make meals and keep up with the laundry.
One thing which may not work for you because I can’t tell from your post but look at things like your laundry and think can I do something to help not have so much laundry. Do you use the same towel a couple of times. If your baby gets a little bit of dirt on him or her do you change their clothes right away or could you just let it go as long as you are just going to be hanging around the house. Often when people are overwhelmed with laundry they are not being careful with how much laundry they are making. If you think it might help here is an article which will help you maybe look at things differently.
When it comes to hanging out laundry it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe you could partially dry your laundry by hanging them and then finish them off in the dryer for 10-15 mins. or maybe you could hang the light weight things on the line and dry the heavier ones like towels in the dryer.
Check out the rest of the web site we have article after article of ways to save on doing all those things a mom with little ones needs.
Reminds me of my grandson this morning. I was folding clothes before heading to work and one fell off the bed and he picked it up and put it in the basket. He isn’t 2 yet but so helpful. He is always cleaning everything it seems so maybe he will be one of those people that like to clean. LOL I can dream…..
Lol yes we can always dream
Leilani: Not sure when you posted your comments and questions, but thought I’d send along a quick suggestion. I’m not sure how well it will work for you, but it might be worth a try. Use white vinegar, (About one cup per laundry load.) along with your regular washing detergent when doing automatic laundry loads. Since the white vinegar helps remove stains, and unwanted odours, and even repels that sour, funky smell when, for whatever reason, you’ve left a finished, wet load in the washing machine, (Often with the machine’s door firmly shut.) it might also help your clothes drying in the basement not to absorb its mouldy, musty smells. Perhaps there are ways you can rehabilitate your basement, too, you know, one of these days. All the Best. :)
P.S. Oh, I almost forgot, if you get into the swing of using white vinegar on a regular basis when doing laundry, you can always buy it at discount stores. Typically, they offer 4 large jugs per box. Definitely a cost savings! I also use white vinegar for many other cleaning purposes including glass, and mirrors. This works really well for me as the fumes from brand name cleaners bother my breathing and visibly burn my nose. Using vinegar is the old-fashioned way, but it’s user and enviro-friendly. We have 5 big dogs and 2 cats, and vinegar stands the test of eradicating myriad slobber marks and mud from our high traffic zone patio door without too much elbow grease and grief. Hope all this info. will help you and others. Love, love, love Living on a Dime! Am already a subscriber, but tripped across this page when doing a search for how to convert a garage into a living space on a budget.
Leilani, I don’t know if you have certain hours of cheap time with hydro but if you do start using your drier during those hours. In our province cheap time is from 9pm to 7am and all day Sunday.
I wash clothes during the day but put them in the drier at night when I am sleeping. On weeks my husband is night shift he gets home at 3am so I leave him a note asking him to transfer the loads.
This way I get 2 loads dried when the rates are the lowest.
Time saving tips that I used when my sons were little and still use now that they have left home
put all the sheets and pillow cases for each bed into a pillow case and put in the linen closet. when you go to make the bed grab the case and no extra trips for something you forgot.
Get a nice looking basket and toss wash cloths into it. They don’t really need to be folded and they are clean and handy when needed.
I do not have mats in the bathroom since they get so dirty and wet and unsanitary so I have a really thick towel that is too short to be of much use and keep it on the edge of the tub for putting on the floor before you get in the shower. It gets washed when I do the load of towels and is much easier for me.
When the boys were little and needed me to supervise the bath routine for safety sake I would use that time to clean the bathroom. Wash the mirror, wipe the sink and straighten the cupboard. They got to play and I was there to throw water at them but I also had a clean bathroom along with clean children in the end of 15 min.
Bedtime story time were different in our house. I am a writer of childrens stories so when they went to bed I would make up stories for them. Some nights I would sort laundry while I made up stories. I would pick up a pair of dirty socks and start telling the boys how the socks felt about being clean when they went on their feet and all the fun they had doing all sorts of things during the day and how sad it was that they couldn’t play again the next day because they had got tossed under the bed and didn’t get washed so they would have to sit there until the next wash day.
The boys loved the stories and it started them thinking about putting their favourite clothes into the hamper.
The boys got their story and I got the laundry sorted.
Mary Poppins says that every job that must be done has an element of fun. She was right you just have to find the part that is fun for your children. You will spend lots of time with them but the work can be done at the same time.
Come to think of it my house was neater when I had young children to entertain than it is now that I only have 2 cats and my husband to clean up after.
Love it. You are one smart lady.
Jill have you ever seen an 8 month old sweep the floor.
My 3 year old was told to sweep the living room floor. He was busy playing with his little cars so decided to get his younger brother to do the job for him.
The younger brother loved his walker and would stay in it for hours wandering around. His brother looped a towel around the bottom rung and told him to go see mom. 5 min. later he managed to get to me still hauling the towel along to sweep the floor. I laughed so hard I didn’t have breath to scold his brother but gave the youngest a cracker as a reward. Innovation is a great thing.
This is true grandma. Parents don’t always realize how early their kids can start doing things or how clever they are – – especially older siblings who want to get out of work. :) :)
In the fall I went to Ikea! I love that place! I got a terriffic clothes dryer that folds flat and opens to hold at least an XL size laundry load. It was $19. I also bought a hanger (looks like an octopus) with 8 arms and each arm has two attached clothes pins. I now can hang all socks/gloves/washcloths in 1 sq. foot of space. It was $5. I hang evrything in front of our woodstove. When there’s no laundry out in the livingroom the kids ask if there is company coming!!
I know I’ve saved at least 25 dollars in propane charges so far. What a great find! Look for an Ikea near you!!
Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth and say that I also bought one of the hangars and the Octopus hanger at IKEA. Love both of them and give them as bridal shower gifts. I keep that little Octopus in my bathroom and hang him over the tub. I also don’t care to put my undies and bras in the dryer as it indeed does destroy the elastic and the little Octopus is just perfect for the job. Hand washing a bunch of undies and bras is no task at all.
Of course my VERY favorite thing at IKEA are those wonderful blue tote bags. I buy 20 of them at a time and have used them for everything from carrying purchases at the big box stores to helping friends and family move – so much more convenient (and much cheaper)than rounding up boxes, especially if you are NOT making a cross country move.
I have an umbrella type clothes line that I would use outside in the summer. I live in cold climate and couldn’t stand the idea of drying everything in the dryer over the winter. My husband had a great idea to use the patio umbrella stand with out pop-up clothes line. He used pvc to make an adapter so that the two were compatible. I put it up in the basement just outside my laundry room. I can put several loads of laundry on the line and everything is dry by the next morning. I empty it and fold it up to fit back into my laundry room until my next wash day.
when hubby and i were married for about 2 yrs (by this time) we lived in a house that had an oversize (it was huge) carport .. what he did was put up these metal rods that had string that was tied to the beams above us ..
i would take our clothes out of the washer and hang them up on hangers and then hange them on the metal rods to dry … so when they were dry all i would need to do is put them in the closets .. and for the socks and undies i layed those down on the folding tables we had .. and when they were dry i had a basket for socks and a basket for undies .. and that was for each person .. thus not needing a dresser in the bedrooms .. the baskets were small enuff they fit on the floor of the closets ..
as my daughter got older (she is 8 yrs older than my son) we got her a couple of those cardboard dressers that could ne hidden in the closets and yes they came with little knobs too .. and she used used to put her little diaries/books and etc that she liked to have hidden away from little brother (he used to like to look and go thru all of her stuff all of the time ..
and since we lived in a small 2 bedroom house they had to share a room ..
i dont think the whole house was bigger than 800 sq ft .. but it worked for us .. that is all we could afford at the time and we lived there for over 7 yrs! …
we did have 2 bathrooms but only used 1 for us all of the time and the other bathroom i used to leave that for when we had company and on the super rainy days i did hang my laundry in their (and the sock and undies were layed out on those tables in my room; thus out of sight in case we had company) …
we live in florida so on the super hot days most of the time our clothes would be dry when the next load was done and ready to be hung out ..
First of all, thanks for all the great tips! I love your website!
I have lived without a dryer before and that is what started me really hanging stuff up inside during the winter. During the summer I do hang all of my wash on the closeline. Keep in mind, if you don’t have the extra money to buy a clothes rack, just hang jeans on the back of chairs or from any and everything. I often hang bath towels and jeans on our bedroom doors too. The jeans probably aren’t the best for the hinges, but in a pinch it works. Another benefit that I wanted to mention is drying your clothes inside by hanging also humidifies your air. I still use a humidifier that just sits over the heat vent and in my daughter’s room, but the clothes help a lot.
We did buy a used dryer after about a year without one and I use my dryer for work shirts (so I don’t have to iron them) and when jeans are needed but not quite dry. Instead of venting to the outside of our house, I covered the vent with pantyhouse to catch any extra lint and just let the dryer vent inside the house. This adds heat and humidity to the house and takes away a hole for mice to get into my house by.
I, like Judy, have my dryer vented indoors, which is great in winter but absolutely ensures you don’t use the dryer for drying in warmer months (fluffing is okay). However, I feel obligated to point out that this is safe for electric dryers only and never to be used for gas dryers! Gas dryers must be vented to the outdoors to prevent CO from being released indoors.
I also dry my clothes inside without the dryer. Here is how>>>> I put an extension rod that is supposed to be used as a shower curtain rod for a bath tub inside the shower high enough we can walk under it when we shower. i hang my tops and jeans on a hanger inside the shower on the rod. Viola! They are dry really soon and out of the way and not seen if company drops by.
I have a clothes steamer so if anything needs ironing I steam it while it is still hanging on the extension rod in the dryer. It is faster and more economical.
We can’t do fabric softener, don’t have a dryer, all clothes are dried out side or on a rack by the wood stove. any good ideas on how to make them softer and fluffier? thanks
Ronda, you could try rinsing in vinegar if you can’t use fabric softener and sometimes adding water softeners like in the powder form. They are usually right above the laundry detergent. I think Calgon has one you could use Borax etc. I usually just give my clothes a really good couple of shakes or snaps and that helps a lot. I know it might be hard this time of year but when you hang them outside be sure to pick a breezy day to hang them out. I just yesterday hung out some things and the wind was blowing. My things felt softer then if I had put them in the dryer.
So you might give one or all of these a try. If all else fails try to convince your family that those rougher towels are good for the sick. They make a good exfloiater (sp) and saves on going to a spa or buying exfoliating products. :) :) See there is always an upside to things. HA!HA!
Hello All, for those of you who are concerned about clothes being soft without using your dryer…what I do is rinse my clothes after the wash cycle ends, as in an extra rinse cycle other than the one at the end of the regular wash cycle. It gets out the extra soap that causes the clothes to be stiff. I use a drying rack on my deck which is enclosed with clear bistro blinds. The sun comes in, there is an opening on each end so the breezes get in, and clothes get dry really fast and I don’t have to worry if it is raining outside. My clothes are soft, and smell wonderful being dried outdoors. I have a dryer we bought new 2 yrs ago and it still has not been plugged in and the booklets are still inside…go figure. Extra counter top??
Beverly this is true. I always double rinse my clothes. For those of you with dingy clothes too you might try double rinsing things. Often it isn’t you detergent which isn’t working and making things look dirty but your clothes aren’t getting rinsed properly.
One reason too why people have problems with rough clothes then others is how hard or soft your water is that is why I suggested the water softener.
Always start with the least expense route and see if it works (like shaking out the clothes,using vinegar or rinsing ) then move to the next steps (water softeners for your laundry) if that doesn’t work. Do this withe anything you try.
I brush my bath towels with an old, large nailbrush to make them fluffy. It works great. T-shirts are easier to fold neatly when they are stiff, and they are just as comfortable to wear after a mere handful of minutes.
I hang my clothes out except in inclement(sp) weather. I work at a laundrymat and can tell you why clothes are stiff …Too much soap; all you need is a little just to where the water feels slick.The more soap the stiffer,dingier,and dirtier they are. You are right about the vinegar for softening. BTW liquid saop is best I see it all believe me. I also belong to Project Laundry List that promotes line drying
A little while back I was washing my lights and when I was about to move them to the dryer, I realized that I forgot the detergent! The clothes was just as clean! Too funny! Two of the shirts were my white work shirts. I tend to use too much detergent. I killed a front loader washer that way! I am trying to use less and see how clean my clothes can be.
we have hot air heat and by hanging clothes over the vents at night it produces the humidity that is needed to keep the rooms warm and uses less heat. I also have a small line in the shower now for undies. It coils up by itself when done. One of the ways I found out when reducing my budget that I can save by using a bit of brain power instead of going out to spend as I did before. I’m on a roll now. Next is the Livingonadime laundry detergent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Marge it does help to hang over vents. I had old fashioned hot water radiators which when I first moved in I thought “What an eye sore” But now I miss my radiators so much. They were perfect for laying clothes on to dry or screens of flowers, apples etc. My clothes would often dry faster on them then I could dry them in the dryer plus I had the humidity and the house smell so good from the fabric softener.
Old hot water radiators are the most efficient way to heat a house. I always felt like I saved a million dollars by drying my boys Toughskin pants (Sears brand–showing my age–do they still make them?).
I loved my old radiators. I didn’t have a dryer when I had two in diapers but didn’t matter because I would throw them on my radiators (the diapers not the kids) and by the time I put some on the last radiator the first ones were dry. I remember when we first bought our house and seeing those big old ugly things I thought how awful. Now I miss them so much. I would lay racks of flowers and orange peels on them to dry and there is nothing like the heat from those things. No noisy fan and it isn’t drying on the sick or doesn’t cause static at all or at least ours didn’t.
If you have room to string a clothesline in a carport or basement you might consider doing half line, half chain. That way when you hang clothes on hangers to dry, you can simply put one per link in the chain and they won’t all press together if your line stretches a bit. Another possibility is to put a clothes pin in between each clothes hanger on the line, same principle applies. One more tip, if you like the “Fabric softener” smell, but don’t want to pay just for your clothes to smell good, do what I do. I buy a bottle of Gain fabric softener (Just my preference, it will work with any kind), put very little in a spray bottle and fill with water. Then after my clothes dry and I’m putting them away, I just spritz a little on the clothes. The scent stays, and smells great. One small bottle of fabric softener will last me months, and we are a family of 7. It isn’t a ‘need’ kind of thing, but it is a little luxury I allow myself, and at the same time I’m saving money.
Great idea on the fabric softener Victoria. I’m afraid nice smelling clothes is one luxury that I love. I have had some machines that I really can’t smell the fabric softener when they were done but your way could save on it and help that problem too. Thanks.
When I was a child my mother ironed almost everything that people saw.
She would sprinkle perfume on the ironing board and the heat from the iron brought the smell out into the clothes. She was working from home so was on everyone in towns schedule not her own and the laundry got ironed when there was a few minutes available. The perfume stayed in the ironing board cover for at least a week so everything smelled nice.
No dryer sheets then and mom always missed the rince cycle to add softener.
I still like scratchy towels.
I’m afraid I iron almost everything too. I just got through doing a stack of pillow cases yesterday and my flour sack dish towels. For many years I ironed all our pj’s too and I still iron my t shirts. I use perfume on my clothes when I iron and like using homemade linen water on my linens. I keep thinking why am I doing this but over the past few weeks I had gotten so busy I wasn’t as careful folding my clothes and things. When I got home I was putting some things away and decided to very carefully smooth out all the wrinkles and fold it better then I had been. The next day when I went to get dressed I pulled a top out to wear and it looked so nice and neat that it really made me feel good. It does make a difference and I don’t think we notice it until we have a nicely folded top and a stuffed top to compare.
Thanks for all of the helpful hints! If you don’t mind me asking….How do you make linen water? I’m assuming it is a fragrance that is sprayed on linen for freshness. Is this right?
I’m loving all of these pearls of wisdom!
Since I have 2 bathrooms in my townhouse, I bought some CHEAP extra shower curtain rods on which to hang clothes to dry. It’s great to be more ecologically responsible and have a LOWER GAS BILL!
I double spin my laundry and use my deck railings when the weather is nice.
I enjoyed reading about the clothes line on a reel. That is what is at my Grandma’s house hanging off the back porch on the second story. The clothes line goes from the back porch to the back corner of the yard. It’s been a while since I have been to my Grandma’s house. She’s been gone almost 16 years and my Aunt, who was living in the house died this year.
My friend uses the shower curtain pole over the bathtub. I insist that our sheets and blankets hang out on the line for that great outdoor smell! Only on our hot dry days, that outdoors smell is more like dusty sand.
We also hang our dresses and shirts in doorways! At my Grandma’s cabin in Lake Tahoe, I used the wringer washer and hung diapers across the open rafters if the weather didn’t cooperate, otherwise, I would use the clothes line leaning on wooden polls between the Jeffery Pine trees. Not a lot of sunshine made it in, but it’s very dry up there.
Another fun place to hang out diapers is in Barstow! It is so windy there, if you leave anything on the line too long, it will be shredded! Once I finished hanging everything up, I could go back and take them down again! I think that was summer. Things dried quickly!
I agree on using the dryer to soften the clothes. That’s what I did for all those diapers I washed for my eight children! The sunshine will bleach out any of those spots! Clean and fresh smelling diapers. That almost makes me want to wash diapers again!
Thank you for sharing!
Just make sure that pockets in heavy jeans are dry before putting them away…there is nothing worse than pulling out a pair of “clean” jeans to wear and finding that they smell sour!
This is true about many things. They must be dry. If you iron things be sure they are dry from the steam before you put them away too. I heard an old saying press till dry, press till dry or you will cry. So true.
Also maybe one of our English readers could help me with this one. I am always reading about airing closets in my English books – are those just a closet where things were hung to make sure they were good and dry or to dry something out?
got this on the internet.
An airing cupboard is a large built-in wardrobe, sometimes of walk-in dimensions, containing a water heater; either an immersion heater for hot running water or a boiler for central heating water. Shelves, usually slatted to allow for circulation of heat, are positioned above or around the heater to provide storage for clothing, typically linen and towelling. The purpose is to allow air to circulate around the stored fabrics to prevent damp forming. A shelf can also be used to fully remove traces of damp from dried clothing before it is put away in drawers and wardrobes. Other names include “boiler cupboard”, or (in Ireland) “hot press”.
they show a picture here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupboard
Maybe that is why some people dry their jeans inside-out? To get those pockets dry?
I hung dog chain that i had across my enclosed porch and hung clothes that are on hangers on this. A hanger will fit thru the links of the chain. Skipped 2 links between hangers to give room to air. Also turn on ceiling fan in room to help dry faster. Works for me.
Dear Nancy, Thank you for the chain idea!
At the beginning of May my dryer went on the fritz. Since I live in Phoenix, AZ (and on a very limited budget) I really didn’t see the need to have the dryer repaired right away. I did all of the above suggestions and my clothes are just fine. Of course in Phoenix, it only takes a matter of minutes to dry most summer weight clothing when hung in my enclosed patio or garage. Since the temps are up to 100+ why spend money to add more heat by using the dryer. I may not even have the dryer repaired as the winter weather in Phoenix is certainly warm enough to dry everything.
I am currently without a dryer myself…live in a small space that is suppose to have stackables. So I have a washer and next to that a drying rack for small stuff and a rod over it for hang drying the larger stuff on hangers. I do the wash in the pm and hang dry at night. This time of year I also have my dehydrator in the laundry room and have been running that at night which doubles as a dryer for the clothes…never do anything smelly like onions but apples and such smell good on the clothes I think. :)
I wanted to suggest clothing that is thick or has pockets get dried inside out for half of the dry time. Also, when drying outside, turn your dark colored items inside out and they won’t fade in the sun (well the insides do, but only you will see that). :)
This is true Wendy. For those of you who are new to us check out our How To Organize And Clean Your Home e books we cover everything in the laundry book from the smallest detail of how to properly hang clothes on the line, how to make clotheslines and how to hang clothes inside, how to save on ironing how to iron, save time folding and folding clothes, doing laundry in general from sorting to drying and stain removal, how to make your own soaps, starches and other products for doing your laundry.
We sometimes think that doing laundry is just a matter of tossing clothes in the washer and then the dryer and that is all there is to it but like any other job there are ways to do it that will save you time and money. Half the time I think why many people hate doing the laundry or feel overwhelmed by it is because they don’t know the best and easiest way to do it. There are ways to do dishes which will take you all night and other ways which will take you 15 mins. the same goes for laundry.
when i move to the apt, i plan on getting one of those clothes racks with wheels .. and set it on my patio . i can do this at the apts where my daughter lives at .. but the other apts, i am not sure if i can but if i cant (and thats if i decide to have a washer, and if i do than i have to pay the extra $40/mo) then i will have my clothes hanging on that rack ..
but anyone can use those racks .. they are tall too .. granted u cant hang alot of stuff …but maybe a small load of soemthing .. :D
I have to use the washer and drier. Bad arms and back so when my line blew down a few years ago my husband refused to put it back up because he knew I would use it. And hurt for a week.
I also do not iron. But this year at Christmas my husband had a mystery package. It was my travel iron that my son bought me that I gladly gave him when he went away to university. I lost it and when Don found it he wrapped it up and was quite pleased that he had found something I said I was looking for.
He said guess where I found it. I said behind the dolls in my little room. He was surpised that I knew until I told him I had hidden it there since I can’t use it.
Oh well will have to find another hiding place.
But tshirts don’t need to be ironed and when we go out of town all the suits and fancy stuff go to the cleaners into the car so cat hair isn’t the dominant colour.
For years I have hung clothes on hangers and put them on shower rod and on many of the curtain rods throughout the house whenever I was unable to use my clothesline.
I used the wooden clothes dryer,I could sit in a chair loading and unloading clothes but when I put it outside in the sun even the least bit of wind would turn it over. It was so frustrating until I took 4 empty bean cans, mixed some concrete,set the legs into the cans,and poured in the concrete,let it dry and end of problem….
I like that idea!! Might just have to try my had at mixing and pouring a small amount of concrete~ :-)
I was surprised when Tawdra mentioned living in Kansas. I live in Topeka. When I do dry things in the dryer I only half dry them. Then nothing gets hot enough to shrink or ruin my bra elastic. I hung almost everything on the line until my fibromyalgia got worse and decided it wasn’t worth the pain to carry baskets in and out. Stuffing my closets too tight was wrinkling my clothes. I got rid of what I wasn’t using and we all have that stuff pushed to the end of the closet. I can now take the slightly damp clothes and leave enough room between and they dry nicely with the door left open.
I used $190, purchased a Dehumidifier for my basement, which is where I hang clothes washed in the machine, but only use the dryer to fluff in the air dry setting, much savings in a year, the dehumidifier is saving the house from too much humidity, also my arthritisarthritis feels much better in drier air! I run it 24/7 it takes power but the clothes are dry, over night or through out the day into evening. Cloth diapers too, they spend less time being moist! The settings are adjustable, i thought I’d mention so I had a dry throat & I turned it down to 1. I leave it on 9
Good idea to make that Dehumidifier multitask for you. I hope you are reusing the water that it collects to water your plants or your garden. That would be a good way to help cut down on your water utility bill as well.
I USE DRYING CIRCLES AND STRAIGHT EDGED ONES,HANG FROM SHOWER ROD ETC. I HAVE MANY, CUTS DRYING IN THE DRYER 75% . FOUND THEM ON AMAZON.COM
Hi, Jill and commenters! I really appreciate all these tips! And @Sheri, LOL! I’ll think of windy Barstow now every time my husband sings Route 66!
Here’s my two cents’ worth (usually more like a dollar, but I’ll try to keep it short):
For those who need to use a dryer and want their clothes both static-free and smelling fresh: I use Static Eliminator reusable dryer sheets, with no chemicals and no ongoing cash outlay for dryer sheets. Cost me about $12 and have been using them for years. The only time they don’t work is if I have a bunch of synthetic fabrics in one load, which is rare! Check staticeliminator dot ca.
Because she persists in using dryer sheets, I bought my stepmom Nellie’s “dryerballs” for her Christmas stocking, but am including a jar of lavender fragrance sticks, her favourite (soy wax, essential oil and paper board), to put inside. Check nelliesallnatural dot com.
I buy “eco-friendly” laundry detergent that already costs me next to nothing per wash, and I just bought an “Eco-Wash Ball” to try, which purports to save 80% on detergent. I’ve recently had to double my detergent use, as I just moved in to an area with unbelievably hard water. Since I literally can’t stomach the salt water (or the price) with a softener (instant headache, and future osteoporosis likely!), this might just solve the problem. Check ecowasbal dot com (not a typo; it’s a Dutch company — but I got mine in Canada). I’ll letcha know how it works out. :)
Mysteriously, even though I use no scented products in my laundry whatsoever, my clothes and sheets still smell great, always — I can especially tell when I hug my husband! :)
Thanks again, everyone!
I have forced air heat, as many do, and in the winter when I can’t hang my clothes out on the line or it’s too windy (a common problem here in Saskatchewan) I use a large old fashioned wooden clothes rack. I discovered that when my bathroom door opened into the room, it took up a lot of space and I couldn’t use the back of the door very well either, because anything there held the door away from the wall too much, so I switched the door to the other side of the door frame so now the door opens out into the space beside my dryer. (I live in a mobile home) That left the wall beside the tub (and it happens to be over the heat vent) free. I put a twisted wire coat hook into the 2×4 next to the tub and because there was no 2×4 further out towards the door frame, I used a small double screw storage hook for holding my rack up on the wall. I have to be careful how much weight I put on it, for heavy stuff I put the rack into my tub. I use a different length of wood between the rods to hold it out from the wall at various widths. Small stuff like underwear, face cloths etc don’t need to be held away from the wall, but bigger stuff does. I will also put longer or shorter pieces of wood between the rods depending on who’s home. If Hubby’s home I have to make it short so he can easily use the toilet and walk past to wash his hands. There is only the two of us here and if I wash a few things at a time, we always have enough space with just that rack. Even with the furnace helping, it does take the thicker things awhile to dry, but at least I’m not using more energy just because I want it now.
One of the nice things about using the heater to dry your clothes, is that you put humidity back in the air! One time, when I lived with a friend, she hung her linen jacket too close to the heater to dry it out. It got a little toasted. Good thing she had long thick hair to cover the spot with!
Some of my things get hung up in doorways on plastic hangers and others get laid out on the bed or couches to dry. If there’s a will; there’s usually a way! Same thing for cloth diapers!
Love doing laundry (what a freak)–I have it to such an efficient level that I only do 4 loads a week (pout). I find myself anxiously awaiting for the next week. I guess because I get a feeling of accomplishment from it.
A couple of thoughts–hang a second shower rod parallel to the main rod over the middle of tub. Clothes can hang from hangers– if company comes–just close the shower curtain & no one knows its there. Also- when my washer died– I replaced it with one that has a super spin cycle. The clothes are practically dry when they come out. It was a little more than a regular washer; I feel it was worth it.
A tip about ironing– my boys both performed in vocal choirs & Madrigals. They wore Tuxedo shirts. I never sent the shirts to be professionally pressed like other parents; but their shirts always looked the best. Finally, a mom asked me where I sent them. I told her about Magic Sizing starch. Later, when in college my oldest was an education major & before they could student teach they had a dress up day so their appearance could be judged professional or not. My son said all the guys looked great– but they commented on how he looked better–even better than most of the ladies (nearly brought a tear to my eye). He told them about starching–they had never heard about it.
Also like mentioned above–use less detergent (I use 2 TB) and rinse with vinegar.
I have 2 dryer racks so that I can space my load out more & they dry faster.
Also loved the post about how to hang laundry. Love the tip about hanging a chain too!
For those of you who need more info I go into a lot of detail like this in many of our laundry and cleaning articles and in our How To Organize And Clean Your Home ebooks I go into great detail and facts you don’t often see about the difference between starch, sizing, linen water recipe, step by step how to iron clothes, why you should iron your clothes and so much more on many things relating to caring for your clothes.
We live in the country and I’m able to have several clotheslines outside. I use my clotheslines all summer long. There is nothing better than the smell of blankets and sheets that have been dried in the fresh breeze and sunshine. To save time, and if it’s not going to rain, I sometimes hang the laundry outside at night before going to bed. In the morning, I go to work at my full-time job, and then when I get home in the afternoon, everything is dry. During the winter months, I have a clothes drying rack for inside the house. I started using a drying rack about 20 years ago when I decided to cut back on the expense of using my electric dryer. It is amazing how many articles of clothing you can get on one drying rack! I also had my husband install a 12 foot metal rod in the garage (our garage is heated). During the winter, when everyone is wearing heavy clothing such as flannel shirts and sweatshirts, I hang these items on hangers in the garage and they dry overnight. I’m 46 years old. My mother and grandmother used clotheslines, so this is how I was raised. Many of my friends and co-workers just shake their heads and call me old-fashioned. But it doesn’t matter, because I’ll consider that a compliment! :)
I do this exact same thing, right down to knowing how many rags fit on the rack! By using my dryer for just a few minutes per load and the occassional “I’m in a hurry so throw it in the dryer” load, I’ve reduced my utility bill from $140 to $100 per month.
I always try to air dry my clothes, they come out with less creases.
I frequently see the suggestion of using vinegar in the rinse water to help remove detergent residue from laundry. However, I wonder if this is ok to use if your water drains into a septic system as ours does? Vinegar is suppose to help break down bacteria and bacteria is vital in a septic system for it to work properly. Have you ever had this question come up before- Thanks,
My folks, brother’s family and Tawra have all had septic tanks – my parents for about 25 years. They use bleach and vinegar both just like normal people do and haven’t had problems from using them. A couple of things to think about. The amount of vinegar you use for laundry and cleaning will be way diluted down so much so it won’t make a difference. It isn’t like you are pouring gallons down your drain each day.
The other thing I wonder about are these websites pushing using natural cleaning products and the say vinegar is great for killing bacteria when used in cleaning but in the next breath say it is great for your septic tank because it doesn’t kill bacteria. They can’t have it both ways. It either kills it or it doesn’t. The reality is it doesn’t kill the same amount of bacteria as bleach does at all but the main thing vinegar does is to get rid of residue and minerals from hard water.
What most people don’t realize is that soap and water kills about 90% of bacteria compared to the 87-89% that vinegar does and 99.9% bleach does. I say this because most people are using vinegar for the wrong reason in their laundry – to kill germs – when what it really is best for is removing hard water minerals and residue caused from that. This makes the clothes look less dingy so they associate that with less germs and being cleaner which isn’t always the case.
The main thing is you shouldn’t be using that much of any of these things whether bleach or vinegar. Using it all in moderation won’t hurt anything at all.
I’ve never had an issue with elastics being ruined in the dryer yet when I moved to Japan and had to line dry all my clothes, I found myself with ruined socks and underwear up to my eyeballs.
Perhaps you just need to dry them at a slightly lower heat setting if you’re going to use the dryer?
I love hanging my clothes on a clothesline. Sometimes it seems like the clothes would smell like wet dogs.. I learned to use really good liquid fabric softner.. Its helps a lot..The clothes definitely smell better!! I hate that cold weather is setting in..
Every other month I like to wash my bed comforters in the washer and add fabric softener in the rinse cycle. To dry them I use the kitchen to place 4 plastic chairs to make a square spreading the chairs apart depending on how big the comforter is so they don’t touch the floor, lay the comforter over the 4 chairs, in 3 hours they are dry and smell fresh and clean.
Most outside clothes lines are held up by metal posts in the shape of a “T” at each end…well I put in an outside clothes line but I made mine bigger than a single “T”…I have 3 “T” at each end & never have to worry about having enough room for all our clothes.
My wife & I take turns hanging the laundry outside, & sometimes we even work together to get it done faster.
The actual clothes line I used, is a 9 gauge plastic coated wire with a tension spring at one end & a turnbuckle at the other…that way, the line is always tight, yet has enough give so it will not break from the weight of the clothes.
Maybe I’m weird, but I refuse to hang/dry clothes inside the house. It’s just something I do not wish to do.
I would prefer to dry outside too but when it is minus 15 degrees not including wind chill for long periods sometimes I did and do have to hang them in the house especially when you have two sick babies in diapers and are going through a couple of loads a day trying to keep up.
I can’t imagine why any local authority would want people to waste money drying by machine when good fresh air, wind and sunshine are free.
TIP !!! I’ve been living on my own for about 30 years now, and I can say I have NEVER dried ANY of my clothes in a dryer. I have always had access to a dryer; however, I prefer clothes to be air dried because they smell nicer longer and I agree that clothes do last longer this way. I have an extra shower rod strung up directly across my bathtub area so I can hang clothes on it to dry…plus hand washed items like blouses can drip dry, which surprisingly takes NO time at all. My landlord should be giving me a rebate on my rent for all the money I’m saving him actually paying for electricity! lol
Went I stayed with my Aunt & Uncle in Japan. I saw how my Aunt hung the clothes. There was I rack hanging from the ceiling. She used wood poles like broom sticks to run through one sleeve, into the other. Sort of like you were wearing the shirt and held up your arms up at each side. The rack was on a pully. She would put the shirt on a pole on the rack, putting one end of the stick on the rack board then the other end of the stick on the opposite rack board. She would do several pieces this way. Then she would pull the pulley up when her washing was done or rack was full. It was up out of the way unless pants were hung up. Those would be hung next to the wall. Blankets too. Shirts we could walk under. This was in their bedroom. They slept on the floor as is their custom. Japanese are masters of space use. Make a bed, just fold everything up and put in a closet made for that. My Uncle was US Navy and married a tiny Japanese lady. They are both gone in the last 3 yrs. they also used various hanging racks the had built in clothes pins. My Aunt used those as well. I use mine to this day. Other cultures have great ideas that are useful. Broomstick to use to dry a coat. I still so that. So I pass on this to the rest of you.
I have been using this since 1994 when i first bought it on QVC. have not been able to find iti9n the last 5 years. good thing i bought 3 sets. opened my last one today. Only reason i had to open it was because the plastic it was made out of finally gave up from old age. it was called a Shape & Dry Laundrymate. offered by a company called Bruzkot Enterprises, LTD. out of Texas. Sure wish they still made them. I have not put my shirts in a dryer in over 20 years. they looks like they have been ironed every time. This was by fare the best money i ever spent on a clothes dryer with out heat. When they said it would give you a “LIFE TIME OF TROUBLE-FREE DRYING” they were not kidding.
if you have ever heard of it or know where i can again find it please let me and everyone else know. this was truly a great way to dry shirts, shorts and other clothing.
Here’s the contact information for the Shape & Dry Laundrymate, which I found on Google:
PO Box 180609
Dallas, TX 75218
I’m glad B Salser provided the information. Tim, I agree…I bought this for myself when they had infomercials, way back when…I still am using it, 20 years later. It’s the best…I purchased some as gifts. My old clothes still look new! Grateful to the creators of this fine product.
I used to put my clothes in the dryer for a few minutes, then hang them. I saved all those pant hangers and would use them to hang my pants. I got my dryer rack at a thrift store, had to super glue one bar, but was able to use it for almost a year.
The side rail of a baby bed turned up right works for drying small items like socks, wash cloths, undies, etc. I had to get creative one time when we were without a dryer for awhile with a family of five. I had to use what I had and that worked great. It also helps to match socks before you put the on the rods and different rows for different family members. It is also very easy to move around, even when loaded with clothes.
I have my husband string a clothesline across the garage for me. I still have my clothes on hangers and then hang them up on the clothesline. It works wonderfully!
you can use your hot car to dry laundry–this is awesome for things like pillows. park your car in maximum sin, barely crack one window, you want to let water vapor out while keeping heat in as much as you can, put the items inside. items that you don;t want to fade, drape over the seat backs or you can put in one of those rods for clothes hanging and use that. items that wont fade you can put on the dash, steering wheel and rear deck.
Thank you for sharing everyone.
I hang all my upper clothes (shirts, t-shirts & dresses) on hanger in between all pegged items. Also, I hang all clothes inside out, the way I wash them (except clothes on hangers and underwear). I have a large pergola where I hang my laundry so air dries them not harsh sun in Australia.
I have been putting towels in dryer for about 15 minutes to finish drying – will try the 5 minutes as suggested by you.
I have 4 large draws in my laundry which helps me sort clothes as I go & wash when draw is full (lights, dark, work, whites), towels and sheets are washed as collected.
So glad I found this web, thank you!
I have a tiny back porch that easily accommodates three or four accordian style drying racks. On each rack, I put whatever “room” the laundry will end up in…bathroom, bedroom (clothes), kitchen (towels and dish rags). The dish rags dry super fast, in under an hour, so as I take those pieces of laundry in, I can also remove the drying rack for those items, leaving usually only one or two of the racks while I’m gone during the day. When I come home from work, all my laundry is dry and sweet smelling and even “sorted” according to the room they usually are found. I found it actually saves me time, believe it or not. I also love saving $10 – 12 dollars a month on my electric bill!
But how do you get the lint off the clothes without a dryer! I have been hanging my clothes in the basement ever since my dryer went on the fritz 6 months ago. Hanging clothes on the reinforced pipes above my head is a really good exercise for my shoulders, arms and chest, but I just can’t stand the lint. My clothes come out looking dirtier than when they went in, especially on dark clothes. I have dogs and cats, so their hair gets on everything, and without a dryer, I can’t get that stuff to quit clumping on the clothes. It takes an inordinate amount of time to remove that stuff every wash cycle. Please help.
Part of what is happening is your washer is not rinsing and washing right. I hate lint too and I know it was crazy but when I went to buy my new washer I told the sells person I didn’t want all the bells and whistles on a washer but it had to not leave lint. Sure enough I got the first one he sold me left everything covered in lint. I grabbed up my whole load of wet clothes went to the place, laid them on the counter and said (in a nice way) this is exactly what I was not wanting. The guy laughed and said he had never had anyone bring their wet clothes in before. I did it mostly to show him what I didn’t want. He was real nice, got me another type of machine and I have had no problem with lint since then. I say this because there really is a difference in the way machines rinse. A bad machine that doesn’t rinse properly will also start leaving your clothes dingy.
Now I realize that getting a new machine may not be an option at this point so a couple of things you might try is to run the clothes through another rinse, then give them a good snap before you hang them up. Sometimes using regular store bought fabric softener will help too.
When you do get a dryer again remember it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I would always fluff my clothes in the dryer about 5 mins. before I would hang them out. This softens them, relaxes some of the wrinkles and helps with the lint but since you aren’t running it more then 5 mins. it saves almost as much on electricity as not using the dryer at all but you have all the benefits of a dryer.
Also if you do do this put the clothes in to fluff before you hang them not after you hang them up. Some people fluff them after they have hung them out. What happens when you do it like this you have to be sure to be their the moment they are done or they will start wrinkling laying in the dryer, plus it is harder to tell if you have dried them enough or not. Doing it before you don’t need to worry about any of those things. Also if you fluff them after you hang them out you walk the clothes from the washer to the line, then back to the dryer, then to where you fold theme. Doing it first you move the clothes from the washer to dryer-no walking- then walk them to hang and then fold. It saves a trip to your laundry room. If you do a lot of loads saving that on simple step can add up.
I used to hang my clothes outside all spring, summer, and early fall, but several mishaps with clothes lines, often frustrated me. Several years ago, My husband built me a large wooden, collapsible clothes hanger, and I have since acquired several other smaller ones from yard sales. Now I hang my clothes up all year around in my house, summer or winter. I have a spare room to make this easier. I no longer worry about rain, or getting the clothes in before dark, or the smell of burning fall leaves contaminating the laundry. We heat with wood, so in the winter, the clothes usually dry in a day. In summer, they usually take two days, but dry just fine. I can unload the racks at any time of day or night, that and that is convenient. I also use a couple of collapsible clothesline type items originally designed for small spaces or R.V.s to hang up underwear and tea towels. I have also used over the door hangers. My husband built a collapsible wall unit that is installed next to the wood stove, but folds nearly flush with the wall, when not in use. It’s design is based on old antique tea towel holders seen in museum kitchens. We dry all outdoor winter gear there, and it is really handy for blankets, rugs and jeans. I have also dried clothes on the back of chairs and over child safety gates that fit in doorways. One tip that I might give about venting dryer hoses into buildings. Some people have done vented their dryers to crawl spaces and tiny storage spaces under their homes to help heat floors in the winter. The excess moisture can rot out wood structures if there is not enough ventilation for air to move freely through the space. Venting inside a house, well at least you will know if things are getting too humid.
Thanks Mary Jane good tips as usual. I have the racks too but can’t remembered if I mentioned or not I keep one by my washer and in summer or winter I hang my socks and undies on it. It is easier to flip them on to the rack then to try and hang a mound of socks on the clothesline. This also is better then drying in the dryer because once again it makes them last longer because the dryer destroys elastic so easy. It seems to take longer to fold and match socks so this way like you Mary Jane I can do them at my leisure instead of having them mixed in with the rest of the laundry. I don’t know about others but when I am tired I can handle folding the laundry but after folding all the big stuff looking at that pile of individual socks can put me over the edge sometimes. : )
That is an excellent method to hang clothes to extend the life of the item. Also, our family does laundry between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am because the cost of electricity is charged at the lowest rate. We cut our electric bill in half!
Victoria Becraft - Redneck Farm Woman
I purchased a retractable clothes line since I refuse to use the dryer. Since we live on a farm in Iowa, we heat our house with two corn stoves (looks like a wood stove but burns corn). I hung the retractable clothes line in the living room. I pull it across the room and hook it to the opposite wall (on a horse shoe used as a decoration). I hang the clothes right before bed and they are dry in the morning (between the corn stove and the ceiling fan, which are already running anyway). I plan to build a decorative box around it so it looks like a shelf. I can put one full load on it. It seems like an oxymoron to pay to run a humidifier (to put moisture into the air) while also paying to run a clothes dryer (which sends your moisture outside)…just saying. I also consider myself an inspiring environmentalist..because it sounds so much better than tight wad! Ha!
Just wanted to mention that you can throw your clothes in the dryer for about 5 minutes after line drying them to soften them instead of doing it while they are wet. Not so heavy to handle.
You can do it this way. It really is what works for you.I do it first usually because often I am not right at the dryer when the 5 mins. is up and they lay in there getting wrinkled and I fold them as I take them off of the line. Plus they seem to have less wrinkles when put them in before because the wrinkles get shaken out first then they don’t hang without wrinkles while they are drying.
I live in a state with very hard water. I make my own environmentally friendly laundry detergent and only use about 1-2 tbls. It works well as it has removed cherry juice and salsa stains. I use vinegar when I re-rinse my clothes. I have found that my washer has a line dry option for the rinse cycle. I have found by using this cycle the clothes are wetter and heavier but dry softer on the line. They are still stiff and scratchy but not as bad as they were before this. I also give them a snap or 2 before hanging up and when I take them down. We have learned to live with it. Hubby jokes about his exfoliating towels. When I started hanging my clothes on the line about 3-4 years ago I thought it was the store detergent as well. I cut back until eventually I wasn’t using any at all except for a little pre-soak for stains. Then I switched to home made detergent. No difference in the lack of softness at all. Through much research I have come to the conclusion it is a price we pay for hard water. We have a fairly dry climate here in Colorado so my clothes dry in about an hour or less even on cloudy days. I think the thing I like best about hanging my clothes outside is how much more nature I see in my backyard and the small field behind it.
Also for drying clothes indoors in the winter hubby took an old wire hanger we had and clipped some clothes pins on it. He handed one to me and said ‘now you don’t need to buy plastic clip hangers for socks and underwear’. He was right. It works just like a little clothesline indoors. I can put 3-4 pairs of socks or one pair of undies on each hanger.
I can’t put a shower rod in my shower as it is tiled all the way to the ceiling and the tension style rods won’t hold much weight. They just slide down and then fall. I get too much flak from the family when I hang wet clothes all over the house. I’m saving up for a nice, big heavy duty dryer rack I found online that is hand made. The cheap ones from stores break too easily too often.
I try not to dry jeans and bras. Unfortunately,my clothes have the yucky mildew smell. I lay the jeans across the top of the washer and over the dryer door. sometimes on the back deck over a lawn chair.
They do not smell like this out of the washer.
Any suggestions? Thx
Not for sure what could be causing the smell Sonya but one thing is you need to hang them so the air circulates all around them. Instead of laying them on the washer or something like that it might be better to drape them over a shower rod or clip them to a hanger and then hang on the shower rod. They also have arms that fit over a door and you can then hang them (on a clothes hanger) on there. A drying rack would be even better. See something like jeans can lay for a couple of hours or more if it is humid with the bottom side still wet and growing mildew while the top of the garment is drying.
The longer they lay wet them more chances are that the mildew will start growing and making that smell. If you live in a very humid area it is even better to hang them by a heat source (like a furnace vent) or with a fan on them. The whole idea is to get the air all around them.
Now sometimes clothes will seem fine when you first get them out of the washer but as they dry they start to smell because there is mildew in them and soap and cold water did not kill it so even if you dried them right this time it might be left from one or two washes before. In this case I would run the whites through with bleach and the others through the rinse cycle with 1/2 cup Borax and 1 cup of vinegar. You don’t have to do this every time. I just do mine about once a month or every six weeks. This also really takes care of dinginess and brightens the clothes.
Grizzly Bear Mom
Unfortunately the greater DC area is so humid, that if I don’t use the airconditioning, the inside of my kitchen cabinets mildew! I constantly run my dehimidifer in the basement and set it up so that the water hose empties into a large wet dry vaccum tub. Every other day or so I empty the water into my washer and use that to lanunder clothing. (If only I could figure out a way to elevate the dehumidifer over the washing machine and let the water drain in there directly, I would only have to go to the basement on laundry day!) Because of the humidity, I only dare hang bras, delicates and elastic things that are destroyed by dryer heat, and things that I’m not sure the stains have been washed out of. After “only” 29 years the washer than came with the house died, and I replaced it with one that really wring the water out of the laundry and save drying time and humidity that way too. Also, living alone I pretty much only have one load a week and save water and energy that way too. I looked it up and it costs $.57 to dry a load of clothing, and I figured that minimizing the humidity in the house is worth the expense. As far and ironing everything-that’s against my religion!, even though I grew up ironing my dad’s dress shirts before permanent press came to be. I’m gong to pray for the spirit of ironing no longer take over your household.
That is too funny Grizzly Bear Mom. I’m afraid you are too late. I love ironing so much I almost have withdrawals if I go a week or so with out being able to iron. :) I am especially excited because I bought myself a new ironing board today from the thrift store. It’s a really fancy one that has a place to set your iron on and everything and I got it for almost nothing. As a matter of fact the ironing board cover on it if bought new costs double of what I paid for the board and all. Can’t wait to get it all set up. I don’t want to traumatize you any more but I have even tossed about the idea of keeping my old board set up in one section of the basement for regular ironing and my new board by my sewing machine. 2 boards in one room – be still my beating heart. :) :)
I am wondering if the safety fence around my wood stove is far enough (3 ft. sides 2 ft front) to drape jeans etc. safely?
You would just have to use your judgement but we used to dry our clothes by the fire all the time.
I grew up an army brat in Germany. In most apartments they have a clothes line over the bathtub. It is on one wall and you open it up and stretch it to the other wall where you hook it up. When you are done you can close it again.
You can also hang clothes on the radiators when they are damp to finish drying them. We did that all the time. I also hang tshirts on hangers or throw some things over the shower rod to dry. We have a clothes line and my brother put a fence around it so that the dogs can’t pull down the clothes if they get bored.
We only use the dryer on days where it is raining for a long period and we need to wash our bedding which doesn’t work well to dry inside.
Love my drying rack for those rainy days I can’t hang laundry outside. I even put a fan directed at it to speed things along.
I have a portable clothes drying rack with clips. I love air drying my smaller laundry items. They soften up as you wear them. They smell so fresh & clean & have natural starch feel that you just don’t get with a dryer. Nature’s gentle exfoliation. Thank you for your ideas about drying larger items, such as hanging them between 2 lawn chairs, etc. I hadn’t figured that part out yet.
We live in an apartment with no patio but have found many ways of hanging our laundry to air dry. We have spaced tension rods in our hallway spaced apart to aid drying . We have also added tension rods to the doorways (3) for added drying space. Since our tension rods are the same color (white) as our hallway and door casings they blend in when not in use and we don’t need to take them down. This gives us 6 locations to hang clothes on hangers and drying usually is completed within a few hours. We place fitted sheets between two chairs and flat sheets are generally placed across the dining room table with a tall object in the middle of the table to aid air flow. We have found a set of folding clip racks that hang from the shower rod to work well for our socks, underwear and small towels and washrags. Towels take the longes to dry but are usually placed over the backs of chairs or the shower rod. Necessity is truly the mother of invention in our house.
I made a clothes line in my bedroom. I have three lines in my room and that is where I hang dry my clothes. I found the lines on eBay for 99 cents with free shipping and got three. Put them from one side of my room to the other and reinforced them with staples from my staple gun. Works well.
I line dry my clothing. My husband feels clothing is too stiff, so I dry his, the towels and sheets. My clothing never wears out, and everything dried does.
Judy I fluff mine in the dryer for just about 5 mins then hang them out and that way they are soft like when done in a dryer but don’t wear out. You might try that for your husband.