Friday, August 31, 2012

Less Dryer Month

For the month of August we participated in our version of no dryer month.  We live in an apartment with a tiny balcony, so no room for a line. I have been hang drying everything possible on hangers. I'm trying to convince the hubby that we should get a drying rack, but he's not quite on board with the crunchy clothes thing.

My first load of clothes came out pretty stiff and crunchy. I've progressively reduced the amount of laundry detergent in each load, trying to reduce the amount of soap left in my clothes as that's what makes them crunchy. I've also started adding vinegar to the rinse cycle to help remove left over residue from past washes. I'm thinking I'm going to have to do 2-3 vinegar rinses per load until I can get the clothes to dry without crunchiness. I'm amazed that when I hang dry my clothes instead of popping them into the dryer I can actually see the soap residue when they're dry. Some of my heavier cottons have a slight white film on them. :( Yuck!

And because every post need pictures...

 I did try to hang dry a load of bath and kitchen towels, but after hanging all day the bath towels were still soaked. I have been hanging the kitchen towels and smaller rags, since they do dry well, but I gave in on the bath towels and have been drying those in the dryer. Luckily we use the same bath towels for about a week and a half so I've only had to do two loads so far this month.

Has anyone else had success without their dryer?


  1. Hi, thanks for linking back to me!

    I have been line-drying my own clothes (though not my husband's) for years, long before I started worrying about anything other than whether my jeans would be long enough and dark enough. Now that my daughter is older I'm line drying her more delicate items too. We don't have a problem with crunchy clothes. I have a front loader and use organic detergent from Whole Foods. I use so little detergent in my machine that I just finished the 200 load jug a few days ago after more months than I can remember working through that jug. I have three kids and do an average of two loads a day, so we're talking maybe 2 tbls of detergent per load. I don't know how this would translate if you have a top loader, but you might check to see what others have to say about how the hardness of your water impacts the detergent. Some recipes for homemade detergents include options for mediating the mineral content of your tap water so it might be you need to add a small amount of salt or washing soda to make your laundry come out a little softer.

    Best of luck!

  2. I just found you through Year of Less and really enjoyed this post! (How is Eat Your Pantry month going? :-) We rarely use our dryer in our home in Sicily because it takes so much energy, so I dry almost all our clothes out on the balcony... just like all the Italians do around us! I have found getting very highly concentrated detergent and just using a splash of it has worked well for us. Those crunchy towels are an issue, though, and I am inclined to cave when it comes to them!

    1. Our Eat Your Pantry Month went well. We'll probably continue it into October to finish up what we haven't gotten to yet.

      I wish that line drying was more popular in the urban parts of the U.S. I did finally get the hubby to cave on getting a drying rack though, so hopefully that is in my near future. :) I may try linens again when we get that, but until then I'm sticking with the dryer. We just don't have the space to let them dry else where.