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really saving energy - eliminate the clothes dryer

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14839
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
We've talked in other threads here about how possibly the very best way for a household to save energy is to reduce or eliminate the use of the clothes dryer. 

This has come up so often, that I think it is well past time for this subject to get a thread of its own.

This thread is dedicated to clothes lines and indoor clothes drying racks.  This thread is also about talking about how much money one might save by turning off the clothes dryer.  And how much money one might save by having clothes that don't get worn out as fast. 

I especially want to hear more about "pulleys".  This is apparently the origin of the word "pulley".  A clothes drying rack that is near the ceiling.  You lower the rack to load it and empty it, and then your drying clothes hang out near the ceiling.

Other threads that come close to this thread:


  • [li]how much energy does a clothes dryer use[/li]
    [li]bragging: lower energy footprint[/li]
    [li]hang your laundry outside to dry in the winter[/li]
    [li]ban on incandescent light bulbs[/li]



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    Joined: Oct 23, 2011
    Posts: 0
    We go to a laundromat with high efficiency washers to wash clothes.  We bring them home wet and hang them up.  It saves a lot of time spent sitting in the laundromat (and yeah, I try to read productive books but frequently get sucked into ladies mags), not to mention quarters that might be spent the next time, washing clothes.

    In the winter we hang clothes in our 140 square foot cabin.  I have a really cool little retractable ball that holds quite a few feet of line, and when they're dry we roll the line back up and it hangs unobtrusively in the corner.  Let's see if this works......



    Kinda related soapbox:  Like most appliances (including cars) the bulk of the energy "cost"  is in the making of the machine.  I'm over the idea of attempting to do laundry by hand (been there, done that, I have better things to do); I like the idea that I'm using a washing machine that a lot of other people also use. 

    Laundromats are a tool share, in my opinion, and the fact that none of the people patronizing this public place have to go out and buy their own machine (and use it only a few times a week) makes me happy.....even if most everyone that visits them insists on paying extra money to use the clothes dryers. 
    Delilah Gill


    Joined: Dec 03, 2010
    Posts: 35
    Location: Southern Georgia
    While living in Charlotte NC, I made a suspended hanging clothes dryer out of bamboo to hang over the wood stove in my kitchen. I attached a simple drawing of it, unfortunately, I moved and didn't get pics of it. It raised and lowered from the ceiling through use of an eye hook (strong one) and a boat cleat I attached to the wall. I will say, that it worked well, but I had to keep the clothes weight balanced on it.
    I also made some J shaped maple hooks to attach to it and used them to dry deer jerky over the stove.
    When growing up at My Granny's home, she had a quilting rack suspended from the living room ceiling and the ladies would have quilting bees and make several over the course of a weekend. Thats what gave me the idea of using a hanging clothes drying rack for my kitchen.
    In the movie "the Color Puple" a lowering hanging rack for kitchen pots and pans was shown in the kitchen. Maybe its just a southern thing, but many homes here usta have lowering racks in the kitchen to suspend the cast iron. I grew up seeing many of them.


    [Thumbnail for Bamboo clothes dryer 001.jpg]

    kent smith


    Joined: Sep 05, 2010
    Posts: 211
    Location: Pennsylvania
    We use a folding clothes line out on our deck year around, unless it is snowing or raining. Even in freezing weather it works very well. As a matter of fact we can half the time on wash day. we know that using the dryer takes twice as long to dry clothes and the cloth line will hold several washer loads of clothes. It probably helps living here in the Rockies where the humidity is low.
    kent


    Kent
    Delilah Gill


    Joined: Dec 03, 2010
    Posts: 35
    Location: Southern Georgia
    I found a pic of the top of the bamboo clothes dryer I made to go over the wood stove. This pic was made when I was getting ready to hang deer meat to dry into jerky using the maple J hooks attached with cordage.


    [Thumbnail for 65746_114904385242136_100001677260000_76909_3045817_n.jpg]

                                      


    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 16
    paul wheaton wrote:And how much money one might save by having clothes that don't get worn out as fast.


    This is one that has been on my mind recently. There are some major store chains in the US that barely sell anything that isn't cotton. Cotton has a lot of disadvantages, one of them being that it doesn't hold up as long as many alternative fibers.

    The answer to the question you pose has a lot to do with one's profession because we no longer clothe ourselves to cover our nakedness, but to conform to societal expectations. I have shirts two decades old that have been worn dozens of times and are still intact, but i've received "helpful" comments from friends when i wear a pair of perfectly good shoes that look "old". You may have heard the "rule of thumb" that you judge a man by his shoes. Weird bit of wisdom. So in spite of having a closet full of clothes that keep me warm, i'll have to get new shoes and clothes when i go in for a job interview; i'm going to have to dress the part.

    The consequence is that there's such a huge excess of clothing in developed countries that we could clothe ourselves for decades without polymerizing a single additional polyester chain or drenching another acre of cotton with pesticides. You can eliminate almost 100% of your clothing budget by chosing sturdy clothes, acquiring from secondhand sources, not tumbling them in a hot dryer each time you wear them, and wearing them until they are completely worn out, rather than just "not new", but that's only going to work if you only need to protect your body from the elements.
                        


    Joined: Oct 23, 2011
    Posts: 0
    Dililah --  I love your pot/meat/clothes rack!  And that wall paper is awesome!  Cutest kitchen ever award. 

    You can eliminate almost 100% of your clothing budget by chosing sturdy clothes, acquiring from secondhand sources, not tumbling them in a hot dryer each time you wear them, and wearing them until they are completely worn out, rather than just "not new", but that's only going to work if you only need to protect your body from the elements.


    AMEN.  I spend hardly anything on clothes, and when I do it's on really nice wool stuff.  I really try to avoid buying new anything, especially clothes, it's a near-crime to perpetuate the making of stuff we already have in abundance.  I find barely used clothes in thrift stores everytime I go to one (I limit visiting them, cause I have plenty of clothes and I usually find something that I've just "got to have" for $1-5). 

    It is amazing what people (women, mostly, men seem to be better at the "wear it out" ethic) take to the thrift store.  I have some very nice clothing that I paid very little for (and hardly ever wear but at least it's there if I need it), I could wear it to the nicest restaurant or interview situation and no one would ever know it was "used." 
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    I've written in the past about approximate costs for electricity for a clothes dryer.  And that was just for me, by myself.  Expanding on that a bit, I would speculate that for a family of four, the cost of electricy for a clothes dryer for a year would be about $500.

                                              


    Joined: Oct 15, 2010
    Posts: 95
    Location: Ferndale, MI- Zone 5b
    Delilah wrote:
    While living in Charlotte NC, I made a suspended hanging clothes dryer out of bamboo to hang over the wood stove in my kitchen. I attached a simple drawing of it, unfortunately, I moved and didn't get pics of it. It raised and lowered from the ceiling through use of an eye hook (strong one) and a boat cleat I attached to the wall. I will say, that it worked well, but I had to keep the clothes weight balanced on it.
    I also made some J shaped maple hooks to attach to it and used them to dry deer jerky over the stove.
    When growing up at My Granny's home, she had a quilting rack suspended from the living room ceiling and the ladies would have quilting bees and make several over the course of a weekend. Thats what gave me the idea of using a hanging clothes drying rack for my kitchen.
    In the movie "the Color Puple" a lowering hanging rack for kitchen pots and pans was shown in the kitchen. Maybe its just a southern thing, but many homes here usta have lowering racks in the kitchen to suspend the cast iron. I grew up seeing many of them.


    ian curtis of joy division hung himself from just such a pot rack.  seems to be sturdy enough to suspend a grown man, so it would likely take care of a couple wash loads.

    we use a dryer.  i've tried to hang laundry in our basement, but it's just too muggy in my area and in my basement to keep the clothes from getting all musty and gnarly.
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    hobbssamuelj wrote:
    we use a dryer.  i've tried to hang laundry in our basement, but it's just too muggy in my area and in my basement to keep the clothes from getting all musty and gnarly.


    So would it be cheaper (sorry "use less energy" to hang clothes in the basement and then run a dehumidifier? (700 watts while running)

    Also, I would be interested to know, if it uses less energy to dry clothes in a dryer  at a high temp for a short time, or a lower temp for a long time. Our dryer has high, permapress (doesn't seem to melt zippers), low and fluff. I expect fluff would have the same problem as hanging in the basement (also quite damp here). So what setting would give the least energy use to dry clothes? When does the motor energy cost as much as motor plus heater when balanced over time?
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    Here is the thing I use all winter.  I actually have two these.


    clothes drying rack


    I also have a couple of these in the house:


    thermometer / hygrometer


    The idea is that if the humidity in the house gets too high, the clothes won't dry.  I learned this while living just west of the cascades for a while - where we would get 60 inches of rain a year!

    Here in montana, people usually do all sorts of things to make the air in their living space more humid!  So if those same folks used drying racks, I think they would be killing two birds with one stone.




    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    Here is another alternative:  a small room and a dehumidifier:  http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Clothes_dryer
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    paul wheaton wrote:
    Here is another alternative:  a small room and a dehumidifier:  http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Clothes_dryer

    I like it. We live on the wet coast and so I already use a dehumidifier downstairs to keep mold from being a problem. I have been hanging things I want to have less wrinkles in them and they do dry at a good speed.... I will try getting some drying racks.

    This also answers my earlier question relative energy use, thanks.
    jacque greenleaf
    volunteer

    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 464
    Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
    The last laundromat I patronized was a brand-new eco-laundry. According to the owner, what made his machines "eco" was super-efficient water extraction in the washer's spin dry cycle. I can attest that the dryers ate less than half the quarters required in a regular laundry's dryer. The washers were front-loaders, but again, according to the owner, the big energy savings was in the decreased dryer time.

    So if you intend to buy your own washer, I'd look at water extraction capability. If you don't use a dryer, this would still make it easier to line dry clothes in more humid situations.

    I don't know how dehumidifiers work, but it seems intuitive to me that removing a certain amount of water vapor from the air requires a specific amount of energy, whether that energy is supplied by a heater, a fan, or a dryer. So the question would be the relative efficiency of each of those gadgets. Seems to me that either a good-sized fan or a dryer would do better than a dehumidifier, but my intuition has failed me before...

    jacque greenleaf
    volunteer

    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 464
    Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
    Forgot to say - for most of us, dryers are the biggest factor in clothing deterioration. When I do use a dryer, I never dry the clothes completely - I take them out still damp, and hang them in an airy place. All that lint? that's clothing erosion!
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    The washer I use is a front loader with the super duper extraction.  In fact, when I bought it, all of the washers listed their spin RPM, and mine was about 20% faster than the others.
                                


    Joined: Dec 01, 2010
    Posts: 158
    Location: Abilene, KS
    I hang clothes in the house using what we call the 'Indian Clothesline'.  It's just a couple lengths of para cord that we had, with a loop tied on each end.  I have a small nail on the side of window trim to hook one loop, then across the room to another little nail, also on the side of trim.  Hang clothes, take down line when dry.  The little nails aren't seen.  A cup hook would work, too.

    I hate wickedly stiff clothes, so I run them in the dryer on LOW with a couple of DRY towels designated for this purpose for a few minutes.  The towels really do help!  Then hang to finish drying. The electric dryer is vented into the house for the winter, too.  Lack of humidity around here is the problem.

    I don't hang clothes outside, too much wind carrying topsoil, grain dust, straw bits, etc, whatever is in the fields on either side of us at the time.


    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
                              


    Joined: Jan 17, 2010
    Posts: 31
    Expanding on that a bit, I would speculate that for a family of four, the cost of electricy for a clothes dryer for a year would be about $500.


    Going back to basics, a typical electric clothes dryer consumes 230v * 25 amps = call it 6 kWh for every hour it runs.  If one dryer load is run a day for one hour the annual kWh is about 6 * 365 = 2190 and the annual cost at 10 cents/kWh is $219.  Based on relative cost per BTU, a propane dryer will be about $150 a year and a natural gas dryer will be about $120 a year for the same one hour a day usage ( but not everyone has access to utility natural gas, and those that do have to contend with minimum monthly charges regardless of how much gas they actually consume ).

    However, even if the dryer is vented outside, not all of this heat energy is lost ... as some amount is transferred to the dryer body and thus raises the room temperature.  In the winter this can be a 'plus' ... but in the summer this can be a 'minus'.  And if some or all of the dryer exhaust is recycled into the house ( electric dryers only, gas dryers have some combustion byproducts mixed with the exhaust air ) even more of this heat energy can be 'reclaimed'.

    Personally, I run a propane gas dryer 8 months of the year and use outdoor clothesline drying during the other 4 months ( whenever it isn't pouring rain, anyhow ).  I also run a propane stove, a propane tank-less water heater, and a thermostatically controlled propane wall mounted 'fireplace' with heat exchanger and blower in my bedroom ( which allows me to turn down the temp in the rest of the house to 55F or so overnight ).  This is a no-brainer given that residential electric rates in my area run close to 14 cents per kWh ! 

                                


    Joined: Dec 01, 2010
    Posts: 158
    Location: Abilene, KS
    Melonie, those electric rate are awful.  Our last billing showed 10 cents, but there's always extra charges, availability, blah blah.. this last billing has $57 in extra charges before the electrical usage.  Natural gas is not available here. Propane here isn't cheap, either.  But sun and air is, ya baby!

    Last year I found directions on how to make a drying rack from PVC, if you have some of that laying around: http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/laundry/74830-make-your-own-pvc-pipe-clothes-drying-rack.html ;   DIY's could beef it up a little.

    We never made it.  A couple of indoor clotheslines that I can easily take down works the best for me.
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    From that frugal village thread:





    Oh cool, I really like this one!



    http://www.airdry.org/

    tel jetson
    steward

    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 3080
    Location: woodland, washington
        
      52
    seems like the wood dowel version would be just as easy to build.  pvc rightfully gets a bad rap for toxins produced during manufacture and disposal.  and it doesn't hold up well in the sun unless it's painted to protect it.

    anybody ever use a wringer?  I imagine a good strong spin cycle can get as much moisture out as a wringer and without risking fingers, but as long as we're saving electricity...


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    travis laduke


    Joined: Jul 20, 2010
    Posts: 163
    paul wheaton wrote:

    Oh cool, I really like this one!



    That looks easy enough to build. Hmmm...
    Burra Maluca
    Mother Tree

    Joined: Apr 03, 2010
    Posts: 4408
    Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
        
    164
    This is the type that the old farmhouses in Wales always used to have...



    I don't know if you can get them outside of Europe, but I do know that you can buy the cast-iron bits and make them up yourself.  They are fitted to a pulley system so they can be lowered for loading and unloading then raised up out of the way for drying. 


    What is a Mother Tree ?
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    travis laduke wrote:
    That looks easy enough to build. Hmmm...


    And you were probably thinking about what to get me for christmas ... 

                                


    Joined: Dec 01, 2010
    Posts: 158
    Location: Abilene, KS
    Now, aren't those just too cool!  The iron edged one just seems so fancy, doesn't it?

    It's too bad that hanging laundry went out of style, so to speak.  My aunt always used a standard wood dowel folding laundry rack, and she had 4 kids at home.  She didn't get a dryer until most of them had moved out.  My mother still uses an over the door metal drying rack and has a rickety old spinner type clothesline outside, but she uses her dryer a lot, too.

    I always ask myself what the main objective is. Then I ask myself how I can get it done using what I have on hand.  The pulley systems are neat looking, but I'll probably keep using indoor lines in the spare room, and take them down when I don't need them.  But I can sure understand that the pulley systems would be best for some circumstances.

    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that anyone run out and buy all that PVC.  We have a lot here and a buddy gave us 2 boxes of fittings.  We could probably make the thing, but it's doubtful.  We'll probably 'gift' it all to someone else.
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    I use a wooden bed frame to hang things on and a dehumidifier.... I live PNW in the Comox Valley so I got it to keep the downstairs windows from getting too moldy as we don't heat there (gets down to about 12.5C)

    Anyway, our drier (we still use it for a lot of things because we both work away from home) is against a wall where the wall makes a shelf (top part frame, bottom insulated concrete). The vent is at the bottom of the shelf. Just as a test, I took a cardboard box about 12in wide by 24in long and maybe 18in high. When I put it on that shelf it sticks out a magical 4in... So I cut a 4in hole at one end to fit the hole going outside and another at the other end on the bottom. I put the box over the pipe going outside and put the hose up into the box so it is about 4 inches from the top of the box. It does make some difference in the temp down there, maybe 2 deg or so. not bad considering, the box is small, the box is cardboard and somewhat insulative and the whole mess is in a small room next to room with the thermometer. A sheet metal box higher and longer would probably get most of the heat out of the exhaust without undue back pressure or dumping wet air and fluff into our living space. Our drier also has the benefit of the drier air from the dehumidifier.

    We could use the whole downstairs as clothes drying space as we don't use it that much as living space. I expect that to change when the RMH goes in....
                                


    Joined: Dec 01, 2010
    Posts: 158
    Location: Abilene, KS
    Len,
    How do you have the bed frame situated to hang the clothes?
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    Marianne wrote:
    Len,
    How do you have the bed frame situated to hang the clothes?

    On end... with hangers to hang clothes from. It's first purpose for being there is storage. However, my work uniforms are 100% cheap cotton and no amount of ironing seems to make them look ok as they come out of the drier.... so I hang them wet after stretching them out.

    I want to hang dry more and so will make or buy something. There is a beam down the center of  the room I may just put string from one side to the other. Only half of us is interested in saving energy, so my Yf will prolly continue to power dry (she power drys her work uniforms on high to kill whatever she may have picked up at the hospital).
                  


    Joined: Dec 12, 2010
    Posts: 4
    Location: Great Falls, MT
    I am excited to try building a dryer/hanger in our front room where our wood stove is!  Sounds like it will be great thing to have the kids help me build!  I have a clothesline for the summer months!

    I am also looking at enclosing the front deck, and that will be another place I could hang clothes until I use it to start seedlings in a few months.

    One thing I wanted to mention about clothing deterioration.  I have had a front load washing machine, for the last 7-8 years and it does a great job.  I noticed that when I was on a powdered detergent, I would get more lint.  The liquid ones I have significantly less lint.  I have heard that many of the fillers in the powder detergents are too abrasive.  I also noticed that the cheaper the detergent, the more lint would show up.

    I try to wear my jeans several times before washing them, and, if i am staying around the house, i will even use the same shirt a couple-three days in a row.  No one notices anyhow.

    I am looking forward to making my own detergent when I go low on what I have.  Anyone know who would carry washing powder?  I know of a place I can get soap nuts, so I might go that route too.


    ~Certified Nutcase
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    paul wheaton wrote:
    Here is another alternative:  a small room and a dehumidifier:  http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Clothes_dryer


    Thought I would try this as the dehumidifier already runs... we live in the PNW, the room gets all the steam from showers and I have some clothes that just don't work in a drier (100% cotton). One thing the article doesn't mention is what to set the dehumidifier to... 60% is relatively easy to get, but 55% means the machine runs most of the time. The second thing I wonder is what is the lowest temperature of the air for this to work... the area is unheated and sits around 12C at this time of year.

    Those of you who dry their clothes inside, do you know what your humidity is? (maybe not in a small room with wet clothes, but inside anyway) How long does it take a pair of jeans to get dry? (chosen because they take longer than shirts and are sort of consistent in thickness/material.) And how far apart should clothes be... say if they are on hangers... I think mine are about 2 in from hanger neck to neck.
                                


    Joined: Dec 01, 2010
    Posts: 158
    Location: Abilene, KS
    CJW, the first line we had in the house was in our family room.  Our wood stove is in the corner, and we ran the line diagonally close to the wood burner.  I have loops on the end of the cord, so it was easy to put up and take down.  Most of the time I did laundry in the eve and would hang up when I knew we wouldn't have any one coming over.  Then in the morning, they were dry and I put everything away.
    I get my washing soda from Country Mart, a small Associated Grocers (AG) store.  The Wal-Mart in our area no longer carries it (ditto for Borax and Zote - those are the three ingredients in most homemade laundry soaps).  I have been using it for almost two years, love the stuff, love the huge savings!  I make two gallons at a time, so I don't have a bucket of glop sitting around.  Our water is really hard, and I would rather wash in cold water, so I opted for liquid over powdered recipes.

    Len, it is dry, dry here, currently 40%.  It's much more humid in the summer, but with winter heat, poof, it's gone.  I would think that since you're adding shower steam into the room, that it'd be difficult to dry clothes in there.  I'd suggest hanging the shirts further apart and jeans for sure, run them in the dryer on LOW with a couple of dry towels for at least 10 minutes before hanging them.  That will take out a lot of the moisture and won't use much power.  My washer spins things out really well, but jeans need about 12 minutes in the dryer before I hang them so they aren't wicked stiff. Our son lived in a humid area a long time ago, said his jeans smelled so bad by the time they got dry that he couldn't wear them.  He didn't know about the dry towel trick, though.
    I'd plan on over night drying time at least for jeans.  I honestly don't know how long it takes, as I have my lines in a spare room.  When it was here in the family room, I had the added heat from the wood stove and it didn't take too long, maybe a couple of hours.
    Any chance you can move your drying space to another room?
    Years ago we had a neighbor that hung out clothes all winter, including jeans.  She said they would freeze dry.
    Len Ovens


    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 1270
    Location: Vancouver Island
        
      15
    Marianne wrote:
    Len, it is dry, dry here, currently 40%.  It's much more humid in the summer, but with winter heat, poof, it's gone.  I would think that since you're adding shower steam into the room, that it'd be difficult to dry clothes in there.  I'd suggest hanging the shirts further apart and jeans for sure, run them in the dryer on LOW with a couple of dry towels for at least 10 minutes before hanging them. 

    The shower doesn't seem to bump the humidity that much and the dehumidifier seems to fix it pretty quick. I think my problem is that I don't have enough hanging space. I got 50ft of cord and some clothes pins. I am also trying a 24in fan on low to move the air around more.

    I haven't had any smell problem yet.... but then my nose seems to be perpetually plugged

    I wonder if the humidity stratifies the way heat does.
                              


    Joined: Jun 29, 2010
    Posts: 79
    Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
    Thought I would relay this story of drying clothes over a wood stove.  We had a neighbor who had lines strung between small nails and the lines ran over the wood stove.  One day, the kids came in from playing in the snow and hung their wet coats, pants, etc. on the lines.  Everyone went to bed that night, but were awakened by a fire.  The clothesline had fell onto the stove apparently because one of the nails had let go.  The burning synthetic materials flared up, catching a mattress on fire (bed located near a heat grate).  The kids made it out, running to a neighbors house in their bare feet.  The father wrestled the burning mattress out of the house, getting badly burned in the process, but saved the house.  Moral of story - if you hang anything over a wood stove, make sure it can't possible come down on its own.  Probably wouldn't have been as bad if the clothes were not as flammable as those synthetic snow suits. 

    We have a clothes rack next to our stove to take advantage of the free heat.
    paul wheaton
    steward

    Joined: Apr 01, 2005
    Posts: 14839
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
        ∞
    For the last year, I didn't use a clothes dryer at all.  I don't even own a clothes dryer.  On warm days I put clothes on a clothes line I rigged up in the carport.  On cold/wet days I use the racks inside. 

    Easy peasy.


                          


    Joined: Jun 23, 2010
    Posts: 71
    Many of us remember Mom going outside to hang the wash after using the ringer washer. While this is very nostalgic, Mom didn't have the options we have today. I applaud those that for their own reasons want or need to hang their clothes out to dry. Again, I would hate to try and do away with a clothes dryer in my neck of the woods. The days are very humid and the air quality is an issue. Also, there is that pesky time issue thing.

    Sometime I think we forget that our time has a value. If we decide to go back to the old ways of doing things that we pay a price, not in energy but not being able to do other things. This doesn't preclude that folks in other areas of the country can't benefit from hanging their clothes on a line to dry. Clothes do smell fresher (unless you live in certain areas of the country).

    So to each their own.
    Fred Winsol


    Joined: May 22, 2011
    Posts: 155
    Location: Sierras
    Choice is important.  So if you want to spend $10 or more on a clothes dryer, more 'power' to you.  For me, outside drying is a no brainer.  It's not just the energy usage -
          it's the embodied energy of the appliance, and ending up in the landfill when broke.
          Also, some people put in more toxic 'make it smell nice' things.
    Electric is ridiculous... like using nuclear power to dry clothes
    Gas is a bit better but still inappropriate.

    If one doesn't have the time to hang up clothes... there are other things they need to focus on.... like the 'zen of outside drying'

    Pulleys are bit old-fashioned, especially with all the new fangled portable contraptions out there.  It think pulleys are useful if you don't live on the ground floor.


    Life is too important to take seriously.
    Jocelyn Campbell
    steward

    Joined: Nov 09, 2008
    Posts: 2450
    Location: Missoula, MT
        
      60
    I just found this thread and it's awesome pics and info after being very excited to see this Unbanning Clotheslines article from one of my NW (America) faves, The Sightline Institute.

    I'm not sure how mapping the banned areas will help, unless they will be lobbying or documenting for policy or law changes.


    Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
    Fred Winsol


    Joined: May 22, 2011
    Posts: 155
    Location: Sierras
    There's also plenty of alternatives to the outside clothes line to get away from pesky local ordinances...  every general store has the wooden drying racks, or fold-out thing-a-ma-jigs you hang in the middle of a room or patio... you can even build your own.  Exposure to sunlight helps and speeds things along, but it not absolutely necessary unless you're in a tropical hi-humidity area.

    One of my 'fondest' memories of Venice Italy was walking through some back alley and seeing all the peoples' clothes lines hanging out in mid air between building walls... so colorful.  In that city tho u wouldn't ever see that in the tourist or shopping areas - and rightfully so.
    Fred Morgan
    steward

    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 972
    Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
        
      12
    When we built our house, we built an outdoor area just for drying clothes - it has its own sink for scrubbing dirt, boots, the dog, etc.

    Pretty large area, say 3 square meters, with a tin roof. Positioned to catch breezes. Clothes dry really fast.

    When we wish to make them a bit softer, we through them in the drier for about 3 minutes to tumble them.

    We don't have zoning. 


    Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
    Suzy Bean
    steward

    Joined: Apr 05, 2011
    Posts: 940
    Location: Stevensville, MT
        
        8
    Paul and Andrew discuss CFL fluorescent lightbulbs in this podcast: podcast

    Paul talks about really saving energy.


    www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
     
     
    subject: really saving energy - eliminate the clothes dryer
     
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