Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to Dry Your Clothes without a Dryer

This past week has been an apartment disaster.
We've been without a stove, dryer, found a SCORPION, the air conditioner didn't keep our apartment cool for like a day, and the pumpkin Tyler picked out decided to rot prematurely.   Like, bad.  It was gross.  Really, really gross.
So to start it off, last Wednesday we had some sort of power surge that I was pretty sure had fried the stove and dryer.  We had checked the breakers, and since the stove was still lighting up the clock (sometimes) but wasn't acting normal, it just seemed like it was totally fried.  
It ended up actually being the breaker looking like it was flipped in the right direction, but it just wasn't ALL THE WAY on, which made me feel like a doofus when I told maintenance I checked it and then that was actually the problem.
So with that in consideration, we had no way to cook.  And if we were to do laundry, it meant we had to air dry it.  And since the apartment has a dryer, of course they don't supply you with a clothes line.
So it was like reliving my days in China, where I also had to dry my clothes without a dryer and without a true clothesline.  Well, there was kind of one inside.
Because having a dryer is so convenient and most of us forget about drying our clothes using more traditional methods (aka AIR), I thought I would show off some of my "drying clothes without a clothes line or a dryer" methods.
This method is "the pull-up bar."
This method works best with quick-drying materials that can be hung on a hanger.
The cousin to "the pull-up bar" is "the shower curtain rod" method for drying.

I call this drying method "the doorknob."
It works well for thin materials or those that come equipped with straps.

Just know that if you choose to use doorknobs to dry your socks, just make sure you aren't using the front door, as the neighbors might get the wrong impression.

 This method is the "outdoor hanger on a nail."  It is best used with thick materials that will dry slowly, and also best used if the outdoors are dry and warm.  If the outdoors are not dry and warm, you may expect an abnormal smell to come from the clothes after a few days of "drying" without really drying.

 The "outdoor doorknob" is a variant of "the doorknob" ideally the method that is used with a thicker material that must be outdoors to dry quickly.

This method is the "I've run out of places to hang very slowly drying heavy clothes" place.  
Rotation is a key factor to air drying clothes with this method.

To those of you who currently live or have lived using the "air dry" method for an extended period of time, how would you describe laundry days without a dryer?  
I know for me, air drying clothes was something that meant you couldn't do all your laundry in one day (due to the space of a Chinese apartment, there are limited places to hang wet clothes - and putting them outside means they'll smell like smog).  Laundry was something that was a process all the time - there weren't times when it was all "done," and there was usually something either dirty or wet.
And to those who do live with a dryer, what would you do for your laundry if you couldn't use it for a week?  Let the laundry pile up, let it air dry, or go to a friend's place?
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  1. :) Oh yes, there is no waiting around for "laundry day" here--I do laundry nearly constantly to keep it from piling up because there's not a ton of places to put it! My family has a sweet gigantic folding laundry rack, of course they have too many people in the family to rely completely on makeshift methods of hanging up clothes like we do. :) I like my little balcony with washing machine and a bar for clothes, but I can't leave clothes out there while we're gone in case it rains, because then I'll have to start all over!

    1. I'm glad for us laundry day isn't every day anymore (except for this week apparently)! But there is something about the simplicity of air drying your clothes that is just nice - it means your life can't be so busy that you don't take the time out of your day to hang them up. I think having a dryer we're so much more tempted to "not make time" for simple household chores and often times run to throw something we'll need immediately in the laundry without having to think ahead.

      The laundry rack sounds awesome! That would definitely be useful for a big family because no matter what, there is going to be a lot of laundry! I used to live near a family with a washer that connected to the sink, and every day they would wash that day's clothes at the end of the day (because the washer was so small). Its really interesting to think of doing it that way!

  2. Haha. There was a season where our apartment complex's dryer wasn't working and we had to implement all these techniques. It's a rough way to go. #firstworldproblems

    1. Haha, love the hashtag! ;) Its one thing when it is just your laundry, but when it starts being 2+ people's laundry it can be a little overwhelming! I think if we had to do this on a regular basis we would have different concepts of what "clean" and "dirty" were!


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