5 Tips for Living Life Without a Dryer

5 Tips for Living Life Without a Dryer

Sarah Rae Smith
Jan 13, 2011

Although the idea of living without a dryer might sound itchy and scratchy — for many, it's just a way of life. My husband and I don't currently have a dryer in our home and aren't big on drying things at the laundromat. Here's a few tips we've picked up along the way to end up with clothes that dry quick and end up super soft!

1. Your Soap Matters: In previous posts about laundry we've talked about adding white vinegar rinses to your wash load for softer clothes, but in the last 6 months, my husband and I have even stopped doing that. Why? Because we've found something better. Sure vinegar works great (it really does), but all we had to do was switch our soap (check out our review of Zum's laundry soap here and take a tour of their factory here!). Now clothes dry in less time and are snuggle soft (seriously)!

2. The Sooner the Better: It doesn't matter where you wash your clothes (at home or laundromat), the sooner you can get them hanging to be dried, the better. Make sure you leave a basket, a note (in case someone decides to rotate it for you) or set a timer to make sure you get back on time. For some, immediately putting them on hangers works, for others drying racks and the backs of chairs will do just fine. All that matters is that your clothes receive the most amount of air circulation as quickly as possible. Make sure to rotate your items (wherever they hang) half way through drying to avoid pulling corners and lessen the amount of time it will take for things to fully dry.

3. Clothes Line vs. Drying Rack: Yes we own a drying rack. Two of them in fact, but when it comes right down to it, they might take up a small footprint on the floor — but they don't dry clothes as fast as other options (unless you have a nearby box fan). In our last loft we ran a double decker clothesline and things were usually dry in a few hours. In a smaller space, the same thing is possible, just look at where you could put anchors in your home. You don't see them when the line is down! Here's a quick tutorial on making your own.

4. You Don't Have To Give a Hoot About the Environment: The first question we always get is, "Are you guys trying to save the planet or something?" Although that's a nice bonus, that really isn't our logic. For starters, we just don't need one. Second of all, our spaces haven't allowed us to own one very often for whatever reason and we've adapted. It's really not that difficult, just try it a few times so you build a routine and you'll be good to go!

5. But What About the Towels?: When most people think about life without a dryer, it's easy to imagine hanging all your shirts and pants, but the thought of line drying towels (unless it's summer) might give people the heebie jeebies. But they could be scratchy? And won't they dry stiff? But I might chafe something post-shower, uncool! If you've switched your soap like mentioned above, or use vinegar rinses and you have good air flow, we promise your towels will dry just fine. Sometimes a box fan can help, or making sure they're hanging over a heater vent in winter!

Do you live life without a dryer? What tips and tricks have you learned along the way? What makes you go without? Are you being green or refuse to have your clothes shrunk in the laundromat dryer? Sound off with your comments below!

Images: Sarah Rae Trover

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