Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hang 'Em Dry Clothing Confessional

Friday kicked off October's Hang 'Em Dry Challenge where you can pledge to line or otherwise air dry all your laundry for the month.

Since I know it's unrealistic to completely line dry all of your laundry on some days, I'm letting you all do a weekly confessional so that, if you do end up caving in and using the dryer, you can confess, get it off your chest and start up again instead of feeling like you're a cheater and just quitting altogether. We all have issues that crop up and sometimes using the dryer is a necessity.

For example, Wednesday night Emma cried out at 4:30 in the morning yelling, "Mom... Dad... I'm barfing!" Needless to say, once I had my wits about me I soon discovered that Emma had vomited all over her bed. Was I going to forgo using the dryer in the middle of the night in case she needed yet another change of sheets? Hell, no! Fortunately, that was before the challenge began, but it's a good example of what kinds of thing come up.

Anyway, for this first super short confessional (all of two days), I needed to fluff and finish drying a few things that were a tad damp...

Total dryer time: 8 minutes

Yesterday, it was sunny so I got two loads outside, but if it's cloudy out there's no benefit in outside drying and it takes a day and a half for things to dry inside.

How's the challenge going for you? Feel free to blog and post a link here, or just say how it's going in the comments!


DK said...

No need for confessions here. The only problem I've had is that it's been so windy that the drying rack I have set outside keeps falling over unless it's weighted down with lots of wet towels for drying. Usually it isn't bad, though, and I can just set it back upright and everything's fine.

Hazel Spupspe said...

Dryer time:
60 min (would have been 120 without the challenge)

To do: Buy more sleepers for the baby
Buy more clothespins
Hang more clothesline

Learning curve: steep.

Leslie Richman said...

Doing fine so far- I practiced for a few weeks so I'm in the hang of it now. My cat did hack up a hairball extrvaganza yesterday, making it twice in two weeks that the comforter has been on the clothesline, but other than that, smooth sailing. :)

esp said...

I actually line dried our queen sized sheets and mattress pad and considering we do all our line drying indoors I was pretty proud of myself. Now if only I could figure out a way to line dry my husbands socks without him complaining that they are "lumpy and misshapen"....

I also struggle with line drying work clothes for the husband, especially khakis and dress shirts. 'Cause, I am *not* interested in taking up ironing if I can help it. Any tips?

Sparkless said...

I've been line drying my clothes for a long time. Usually I'll just a short fluff after things come off the line though just to get lint off and soften the clothes up.

owlfan said...

@esp - I find that 2-3 min of fluffing in the dryer first helps the wrinkles a LOT. Also, I hang the pants by the cuffs and the shirts on a hanger. I never iron.

Anonymous said...

"Mom, what are you doing?"
"Mom, one of the shirts fell off the rack."
"Mom, your drying rack blew over."
"Why don't you just use the dryer?!"

Let's just say that my family is amused with watching me keep up with the laundry this week. I ordered another drying rack and a clothesline which should make drying a little easier. LOL, Haven't used the dryer so far and am happy about that.

IndoorKity said...

I second the hangers for shirts and pants by the cuff method. I built an outdoor clothes rod out of elecrical conduit for drying hanger items. Everying just goes from the drying rod to the closets. Lehmans has a pants stretcher dryiing hanger that I'd love to try, but hanging the pants from clippy hangers is pretty efficient since my husband stores his pants hanging upside down. He claims that it helps keep his dress pants looking good over multiple wearings.

Anything that needs pressing, I press wet. The results are amazing. Almost a starched like finish with no starch. If I
can't iron it immediately, I'll bag it in a giant ziplock and
stick it in the fridge till the evening.

Didn't sign up for the challenge. I air dry everything but
towels, and I don't want to give that up. Also the towel
dryer load is supplemented with all the line dried black/navy
clothes that are just too cat fur covered to pass. So I guess
I'm confessing my lack of participation all together.

Toria said...

I haven't really paid much attention to this challenge of yours because I'm Australian & most of our drying it done on the line outside. So it really amuses me that I have a confession - I've used our dryer all weekend! Because my toddler has had a gastro issue this weekend & has needed numerous bedding & clothing changes & it has been absolutely pouring down with rain all weekend.

I do have clothes drying on a rack inside, but no way will it fit the sheets & blankets, so the dryer it is.

Do I feel in the slightest bit guilty? No, because we only have the dryer for times like this when we can't get necessary drying done on our outside line. So I guess this isn't really a confession because I don't want or need any form of absolution :-).

Erika said...

Okay... It may sound like an excuse, but I really need help figuring this out... I tried to dry a load from Saturday (spun it an extra time) that had just average stuff in it - a towel or two, a pair of pants, some shirts, rags, under-clothes, etc. I ended up throwing it in the dryer Sunday noonish because it was starting to get that "I'm not mildewed yet, but if you let me sit around much longer I will" smell.
We keep the house under 60 (generally) - and the heat hasn't kicked on yet this year, we don't generally use the fireplace either. I didn't put the racks outside, because it was threatening rain when I was home (of course while I was not home, it was beautiful outside). Stuff just doesn't dry in our house (including some bath towels - if they're really fluffy or if they were really wet to begin with), and I need help finding a solution!


Laura Kaeding said...

Erika, I have the same problem as you!! If anyone can help us out with this, it would be fantastic!! If the clothes dry inside, it takes 3 days, and outside (since we get virtually no direct sunlight and it's getting cold out) takes about as long now. So it's frustrating.

LHT Rider said...

At certain times of the year I too struggle with clothes that start to smell mildewed before they dry. Here are a couple of things I've tried:
1. If you can, hold heavy cotton items (e.g. towels & jeans) to wash until a sunny day.
2. If I've hung laundry inside and it's cool & damp, I'll sometimes cheat by turning a fan on low & direct it at the rack. The extra air flow seems to help.
3. Check the inside of the washer for a mildew smell. It may need to be cleaned.
4. Occasionally I add an oxygen bleach to the wash for clothes that got stinky while drying.

But even with all that, sometimes I still end up with musty, smelly clothes. Other tips are greatly appreciated!

historicstitcher said...

I haven't fallen yet, but I only started washing the bedding yesterday. I dry inside, too, and ended up hanging a sheet, folded in half, from a clippy pants hanger. I'm heading into Amish country for a visit in 2 weeks, and really hoping to buy some laundry aids!

When mine get that "almost mildewed" odor I soak them with washing soda - seems to take it out pretty well.

My biggest problem lately had been the tendency of my old wooden drying rack to leave brown marks on the white clothes! And those are a bugger to remove!!

Maria said...

I did four loads of laundry yesterday and three got hung on the line outside and one went into the dryer (towels). I am happy with the start of this month. I just have to get to the laundry before the hubby does, or they will all go into the dryer.

Thanks for letting me confess!

auntjone said...

I woke up Saturday morning determined to meet this challenge. My husband was going to take our toddler to the farm and would have the morning to myself. My plan? Do a shitton of laundry and hang it up so I had a headstart. My reality? It rained so husband and toddler stayed home..but I did wash one load of toddler clothing and hand it on my indoor rack. Sunday I washed another load of my clothes (most of which I hang year-round)so I'm 2 for 2 with 0 dryer time so far. We had a barfing incident last night but no sheets were involved...just clothes and the bathmat.

Adrienne said...

I had to wash a regular blanket and throw blanket that were not otherwise dirty, b/c the neurotic Siamese cat who eats his own fur threw up a hairball on them. Dryer time: 24 minutes. (The minimum allowed by the coin op. apartment dryer.)

Sarah C said...

For those of you having issues with things taking forever to dry, check this out:

We cloth diaper, and airdry the heavy microfiber inserts indoors in Seattle using this rack. It helps airflow get to all the surfaces, and clears up more surface area on the racks.

We're looking to get a 2nd one because it works so great for socks, undies, and washcloths.

Erika said...

I like the fan idea; I'll see if that helps. I KNOW the mildew is from sitting around damp, so hopefully the air movement will help (hmm, I don't think I mentioned I live in Western Washington, where with lack of sunshine, marine air, and liquid sunshine, this is generally a CONSTANT problem for me in non-summer months).

As for the brown marks on the clothes racks - once I put four or five loads on the racks for the season, they generally don't bleed much anymore. I just make sure I put all the clothes inside out. I also only have one rack that really bleeds (I use 4 different racks), so I try to just put dark things on that one - jeans, sweatshirts, dark teeshirts, and things that it doesn't really matter if they get a brown streak on them, like rags. If I notice the brown spot, I IMMEDIATELY suds up that area w/hand soap (who am I kidding, all soap in our house is the same - dr. bronner's...). and throw it back in the laundry....



Unknown said...

Not owning a dryer, I guess I'll not be tempted to cheat. :)

We couldn't afford one when we moved in (new construction out in the country - expensive, time consuming, etc ... there's a spot roughed in but I've no intentions of filling it). We have now gotten so used to line drying, it's just no big deal. :)

I like the outside umbrella rack when it's pleasant, and the inside (metal, rectangular, space saving - found 'em at Canadian Tire) racks when the humidity is low (which is 95% of the time around here!)

Heather said...

@Erika - hope this isn't too late. Basically, for your laundry to get dry you need the water to evaporate out. Heat and moving air (e.g. wind and sun outside, draughts and heaters inside) speed this up; damp and cold slow it down. So, if you need to dry stuff inside and your house is cold then the best place to put your rack is the draughtiest place in the house. And the worst place is where the air is moist - like by the kitchen or bathroom. In addition, if you use space heaters or if you have a room on the sunny side of the house then those would be good places, too. What LHT rider said about keeping slow-drying things for a sunny day is a good idea, too. In the winter we often end up doing loads and loads of laundry on fine days as so much has built up!

--Heather (from NZ, where hardly anyone owns a dryer)

Cheryl Burgess said...

Has anyone heard of a product that stops your clothes rack from blowing over in the wind?