• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Solar dehydrator for laundry?

 
pioneer
Posts: 198
Location: Chesterfield, Massachusetts, United States
hugelkultur purity forest garden food preservation fiber arts building woodworking rocket stoves
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all. Just writing to ask if anyone has tried drying clothes or towels in a solar dehydrator. Might this work? Are clothes bulky enough that to get any worthwhile drying done you'd need numerous dehydrators? Would that work fast enough to avoid that crunchy feeling line-dried clothes have? I've tried all the recommendations for crunchy clothing prevention and our clothes are still super crispy if not dried in a conventional dryer.
 
Posts: 7695
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1509
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting thought....
I think it's the bouncing around in the dryer that makes them soft though not just the heated forced air?
I don't use one, we hang everything out to dry and in bad weather indoors on a rack.

Might be because I'm used to it, or maybe associate it with line dried clean smelling things, but I kind of like that fresh laundry 'crunchiness'
It does go away pretty quickly with use.
...hanging them out in the wind will do the trick also.

Seems like just folding the bath towels takes away some crunchy?

I do find that using soap nuts make the load of laundry softer in general?  

I remember my brother coming home from college after discovering dryers...from then on he couldn't stand to wear jeans or use a towel that had not been softened in that way.....
 
D.W. Stratton
pioneer
Posts: 198
Location: Chesterfield, Massachusetts, United States
hugelkultur purity forest garden food preservation fiber arts building woodworking rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:Interesting thought....
I think it's the bouncing around in the dryer that makes them soft though not just the heated forced air?
I don't use one, we hang everything out to dry and in bad weather indoors on a rack.

Might be because I'm used to it, or maybe associate it with line dried clean smelling things, but I kind of like that fresh laundry 'crunchiness'
It does go away pretty quickly with use.
...hanging them out in the wind will do the trick also.

Seems like just folding the bath towels takes away some crunchy?

I do find that using soap nuts make the load of laundry softer in general?  

I remember my brother coming home from college after discovering dryers...from then on he couldn't stand to wear jeans or use a towel that had not been softened in that way.....



Yea, I would describe the texture as a mix of Styrofoam squeak and a sort of drying suck on the skin. I hate it. I put up with it because I don't want to burn fossil fuels, but I strongly dislike it. I do have a clothesline, but birds poop on the clothes any time I hang them out, so it's not a viable option.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1418
Location: Denmark 57N
403
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's the movement that makes them soft not the heat so a solar dryer isn't going to help you there. Think of the towels as part of your skincare routine, a nice exfoliation after the shower!
I can't say I notice the "crunchiness" on anything other than towels, but maybe that's because I've only very rarely used a dryer, I've not had one in at least 15 years.
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6309
Location: SW Missouri
2835
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Solar dehydrator type heat input would work, but the actual space needed to hang clothes far enough apart to dry is a lot bigger than the space needed for dehydrator trays. Two thoughts, that go together here (or three, actually)

1. Look up solar air convection heaters. It's basically the same tech as the dehydrator, only in brings hot air into the house. Using that to provide the heat for any space you care to hang things in would be effective, make sure there is an air flow output if you don't want the humidity in your home or the space you use. A drying shed might be a useful thing to have if you do a lot of laundry.

2. More effective than clothes drying racks that things drape over is a bar that you hang items on hangers, space them so there is airflow, they dry easily and neatly, in a smaller footprint.

3. The crunchy, as mentioned, is lack of movement. When the garment is dry, take it off the hanger and shake it hard, make it snap, and it won't be as crunchy.

:D
 
D.W. Stratton
pioneer
Posts: 198
Location: Chesterfield, Massachusetts, United States
hugelkultur purity forest garden food preservation fiber arts building woodworking rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Pearl Sutton wrote:Solar dehydrator type heat input would work, but the actual space needed to hang clothes far enough apart to dry is a lot bigger than the space needed for dehydrator trays. Two thoughts, that go together here (or three, actually)

1. Look up solar air convection heaters. It's basically the same tech as the dehydrator, only in brings hot air into the house. Using that to provide the heat for any space you care to hang things in would be effective, make sure there is an air flow output if you don't want the humidity in your home or the space you use. A drying shed might be a useful thing to have if you do a lot of laundry.

2. More effective than clothes drying racks that things drape over is a bar that you hang items on hangers, space them so there is airflow, they dry easily and neatly, in a smaller footprint.

3. The crunchy, as mentioned, is lack of movement. When the garment is dry, take it off the hanger and shake it hard, make it snap, and it won't be as crunchy.

:D



Pearl, you're a gem. Never change.
 
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
89
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If your dehydrator is large enough, you could build a tumbling basket inside. (Make sure air can flow through.) Most of the energy a dryer uses is for heating and air movement. You have those covered. You'd only need to run a small(ish) motor, and you could use wind or solar for that if you like.
 
master steward
Posts: 4045
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1214
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some other members ideas for making a solar clothes drier that might help:

I built a 14' tall A- frame that is a lever to tension 4, 35' long lines to hang clothes on. The other end is a cross bar, attached with a ratchet strap to a huge oak. It will hang 5 loads of laundry with about a foot of sag. Solar clothes dryer.



https://permies.com/t/smartest-solar-power#706290

Another great Idea I had was to take the Solar Dehydrator from the 3 of Diamonds in the permaculture deck and make it a water-proof solar clothes dryer.



https://permies.com/t/80/6077/saving-energy-eliminate-clothes-dryer#335418

Put laundry out overnight, wait 24 hours, take it down again, any sunny day will completely dry your clothes from both sides, from the morning sun and the afternoon sun, winter or summer.



https://permies.com/t/131212/Clothesline-Hut-making-life-easier
 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:
Solar Station Construction Plans - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/forums/freebie/list/44#freebies
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic