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How to Dry Laundry in Winter

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by Karen (subscribe)
I'm a shift worker who'll find any (and all) excuse to celebrate with family and friends and loves the serendipity of road trips. Living in Brisbane and trying to look at it like a tourist.
Published June 27th 2012
Third day of the Winter school holidays, third day of rain.

With the usual layers of winter clothing, combined with the effect of changing after an outing, the washing pile looked set to dominate the first week of the holidays and to cause pre-weekend-away panic at still wet laundry. Not to mention the smell of clothes that took too long to dry (or worse still that too-long-drying item you wear in good faith, only to find it smells after you're wearing it!)




The dryer has (guilty) been running for hours each day with towels, jeans, socks and sheets. Clothes dryers are an expensive and environmentally unfriendly option, and the condensation makes you choose between opening the window and letting the cold in, or allowing mould-inducing bacteria to grow. So what to do to get on with the holiday and weekend plans?

My paternal Grandmother had a clothes-line that hung from the ceiling in the kitchen. It was not only the warmest room in the house as the woodfire stove burned for most of the day, but also the most used, letting her multi task family, cooking and laundry. Today it's still potentially the warmest room in an unheated house if you're baking, but whether it's practical or not depends on how you feel about smelling like freshly baked biscuits.



I'm lucky enough to have a clothesline in our garage. It protects the clothes from the harsh Queensland sun and from unexpected showers. Even so, with the damp and cold byond the roller door, clothes can be smelly before they're dry, starting the cycle all over again. Hoodies - especially hoodies. Those hoods can take days to dry.

Thankfully, we have two strong, floor level fans which can be set at either end of the line and aimed at the washing. As our garage is enclosed and waterproof, they can be set them up in the morning and the washing is dry before nightfall. Even the dreaded wet hoodies.



Works a treat also with puddle-jumping wet shoes.



Cheaper and more environmentally friendly than heated appliances, with no risk of mould-related health concerns, it's a quick, simple and inexpensive fix to let's you get out and enjoy the puddles without worrying about how to manage the holiday-intruding washing, or cocoon a little and wait for the return of the sun.
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Why? Because holidays shouldn't be ruined by housework
Your Comment
I put them on airers overnight or during the day if we are going out, under a ceiling fan on low.
by Pippa van Wijk (score: 1|21) 1792 days ago
Was your paternal grandmother Scottish? My Scottish aunt also had a drying rack suspended from her kitchen ceiling. It was called "the pulley" and was lowered to load and hoisted back up to dry. The kitchen fire was on the go all day and had a kettle which sat permanently on the range. That began in the days before electric kettles.
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|732) 1792 days ago
Thanks for sharing this info - as one of the most tedious chores of all I resent having to repeat it when, yes, you find that lovely dank aroma assaulting your nostrils and realize that wash was a total waste of time. In desperation I once draped a garment over the small oil heater we have, only to panic when steam started swirling. I'll dig out the fans.
by vince (score: 1|24) 1789 days ago
@Jackson, yes, my Grandmother was Scottish and resisted ever 'upgrading' to an electric/gas oven. She raised 10 children in a tiny home of which the kitchen was most definitely the hub.
by Karen (score: 0|2) 1789 days ago
Good one. Thank you. Just putting the clothesline in the gararge is a bonus if this weather becomes the norm.
by Alise (score: 1|28) 1497 days ago
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