How to Dry Laundry Without a Dryer

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Imagine how much money you'll save if you don't have to run the clothes dryer. A typical dryer consumes about 5,000 watts. Depending on how much your local power company charges, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in yearly savings. How to not use a clothes dryer? Air dry. It's simple; here's how.

Things You'll Need

  • Clothes or laundry racks
  • Clothespins
  • Big safety pins
  • Clotheslines
  • Plastic hangers
  • Resourcefulness
  • Gather air-drying accessories. Plastic hangers will optimize the space you'll need to air dry your clothes. Clothespins will keep items in place. Safety pins will help you put matching socks together and hang them more securely to the clothesline. The dollar store is the best place to look for these accessories.

  • Consider acquiring retractable clotheslines that you can install in the bathroom or garage. Maybe you can install permanent clotheslines in the garage.

  • Invest in one or two drying/hanging/laundry racks. Several types are available: fixed, collapsible, folding, hanging, spinning, rolling, tall, round, simple, multi-purpose, wood, plastic and metal. You'll find them in home improvement and bath and linen stores.

  • Consider buying a spin dryer. This high-speed spinning appliance will effectively wring out as much water from the laundry as possible. No heat is applied; therefore power consumption is low. The investment will pay for itself in no time.

  • Use hangers for all shirts, blouses, pants, shorts and jackets. Use clothespins for small items like underwear as well as very large items like bed sheets.

  • Space the items so that air can circulate between them and allow quicker drying. If you run out of space on your laundry rack or clothesline, be resourceful. Use two ladders and a pole as a makeshift rack.

  • Keep the area well ventilated. Leave the garage door open or run a fan to generate air current.

  • Consider air drying near a heat source. If drying indoors, place the laundry racks near the heater. If drying in the garage, it's fine to park the car inside because the warm engine will help dry the laundry.

  • Inquire with your homeowners' association if you are allowed to install clotheslines outdoors. If it's allowed, build a clothesline system close to the door for speedy gathering of items when it starts to rain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Note that hanging and air drying moist clothes leaves them with less wrinkles than if they were totally dried using a clothes dryer.
  • Remember that air drying requires time (mostly overnight), so plan your wardrobe requirements with this in mind. If you want to dry a particular piece of apparel quickly, consider hanging it in front of a fan or ironing out the last bits of moisture. This will still be more cost-effective than using the clothes dryer.

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  • Photo Credit Photos by Ruby Bayan
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