• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

hang your laundry to dry outside in the winter

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Backwoods home mag has a picture of laundry outside covered in frost.  And the article talks about how it is "freeze dried". 

I usually dry my stuff inside not far from the heater.  On racks. 

Freeze dried clothes ..... anybody tried it?

 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've read about this before, but haven't tried it because
(1) Normally the humidity is 100% here in Oregon.
(2) It would be a very un-fun job, the hanging and taking down in nasty cold weather.

What I have seen and approve of is .... (building the suspense factor) 

- hanging the laundry in a kitchen, were wood stoves are used for cooking.  The ceilings were very high, and so the clothes were not in the way, and because there was always something drying soon one didn't notice the cloths at all.  Good example can be seen in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small   Ooops - I forgot to add, you can watch right the shows now on your computer at Netflix.com if you have an account  - blessings all!

~Jami

 
                                  
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I usually hang my clothes on a screened in porch through December. They take longer to dry and don't smell quite as good as when they are dried outside in nicer weather. I resort to using my dryer on the coldest days, but whenever the temps warm back up, I will hang the clothes outside again. It saves me a bundle and gets me that much closer to having my country homestead.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to dry all my clothes outside..but with polyperepherial neuropathy my hands are way way way too painful to get cold doing that any more.

I have a butlers rack in my laundry room and several hanging areas..and I hang most of my laundry INSIDE to dry..it takes a little longer..but it is worth the savings of $ and of clothes..clothes hung dry inside last a LOT longer than clothes either dried outside (sun bleaching and wear and tear from wind) or shrunk and tossed around in the dryer.

I've done this for many many years now and it works well for me..I generally do a load of wash every day or every other day and so i save a lot of dryer time..

my house smells nice and fresh from the wash drying inside also..
 
                    
Posts: 36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
here in the great white north, i can remember as a kid, mom hanging stuff out on the line, coldest day of the winter, and it coming in stiff as a board! usually pretty dry when it thawed out! we did have a clothes line in the basement when mom did not feel like braving the cold ! i am almost 50 so not something new! (i still hang stuff out most any weather though we do have a nice sunporch on the house to hang stuff in!
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
      I too have seen the sheets brought in frozen stiff and Mrs Bond who brought them in as happy as anything about freeze drying rather then worried the sheets woud be too damp and anything she ironed came out perfect.
    The art of ironing in england used to be to collect the things before they dried out completely to make ironing easier.
    Then there was a airing cupboard after ironing you put the clothes in the airing cupboard to lose any humidity that resulted from ironing damp. In my mothers house a cupboard with shelves in it round the tank that held the hot water, in my grandmothers a small slice of a room full of shelves with two heaters in it and a window, great refuge for a skinney child in winter.
  I suppose its sort of nice going out into the cold if you are well, it makes the warm seem cheerier though temperatures in England are not what they are in Canada say, on the other hand i new a canadian who said that the worst winter she ever had was her first in london, Englandn is so damp that your coats don't really work to keep the cold off you.
    I like the smell of soap washed clothes but biological powder washed ones? i'm not so sure.
    In the the Basque country in the north of Spain i saw clothers hung out in the rain with a plastic sheet hung over them.
      I have only known one house that used a drier. In the England i lived in as a child, clothes were dried on the line outside and you just had to wait for a dry moment to hang them out in, ocasionally hanging things you could not wait for in the house over a radiator but just waiting for a good moment to hang out the bulk of the drying.
    Here in Spain its so dry that drying them outside is not usually very complicated. In flats they have all sorts of lines run from window to window on pulleysto hang clothes on in the inside courts of the blocks of flats or like umbrellas lines running round in circles hung from one window and these can come provided with an unbrella roof to open up in the rain if i remember right. 
      We just get used to things like drying machines and then forget that simpler methods are easy, like we get used to using herbicides and then lose sight of all alternatives, begin to believe that the occasional losses without them would be really dramtically big ones or that scabby fruit is uneatable when it is only unsightly.
  Brenda Groth you write so much and do so many thigns it is hard to believe that you have a problem with your hands, i am sorry that you do.  rose macaskie.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you Rose..i've learned that keeping busy helps with the pan of neurpoathy..i have it in my entire body as well as arthritis from birth defects..but activitiy is the best medicine for both.

activity and cold though now those are two seperate things..cold is horrible for both arthritis and neuropathy..and anyone on purpose getting themselves cold that suffer from either..are asking for pain and troubles..so if i can avoid hanging clothes outside in cold..which is hard on the entire body..then I sure will .
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There was a little girl with arthritis in the hospital when i had to take my son in because he burnt his leg. They dresssed it there everyday. Everyone seemed very worried about her, it would be nice to think she could grow up to be a woman who knows as much as you do and writes such a lot and does her green house. I thought they seemed to expect she would die. I don't know much about arthritis in children. Heat must be one of the reasons you like your green house.
  I find thinking of people with terrible problems very painfull so much so i would just walk away from them if i followed my gut reactions. The way for me to get over that is to know them, you start to see them i suppose, instead of just their problem when you know them.
        I had a friend in a wheel chair and that stopped me from being so horrifed by the suffering of people in wheel chairs that i did not not know how to look at them. The relationship ended badly, for one i always tried to be very jolly when i was out with her, i wanted everyone to see what fun it was to be with people in wheel chairs, she likes dignity and repose better than fun it seemed, at least in public and really for many people dignity and repose is what they admire so it would have been better if they had seen how dignified things could be with a person in a wheel chair but i had not been brought up that way, so it has taken me a long time to understand. She found me an embarrassment. Being with people is very complicated. We also just ended up fighting and she disapproved of me because i wanted to divorce. agri rose macaskie
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
thank you Rose..i've learned that keeping busy helps with the pan of neurpoathy..i have it in my entire body as well as arthritis from birth defects..but activitiy is the best medicine for both.

activity and cold though now those are two seperate things..cold is horrible for both arthritis and neuropathy..and anyone on purpose getting themselves cold that suffer from either..are asking for pain and troubles..so if i can avoid hanging clothes outside in cold..which is hard on the entire body..then I sure will .


My solution to the above problem was to move to the tropics. Granted, a bit extreme but... I sure don't have pain in my hands and arms anymore due to the cold!
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I lived in Iceland for 5 years. I can count on one hand the number of people I met who had a clothes dryer. As long as it wasn't rainy, clothes went outside on the line, (freezing or not) and they dried after a day or so.  The outdoor dried clothes were softer and smelled fresh, while clothes dried indoor were often hard and scentless.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
Posts: 3805
Location: Missoula, MT
284
books food preservation forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My ex-mother-in-law swore that a good, hard freeze would dry the clothes a lot faster. She raised eight kids in North Dakota with one of those roller type manual washing machines, and of course no dryer. I think she said the freeze especially helped dry out the diapers.

Rose, ironing while still damp is so smart! Today, I don't think we iron as much as in previous times. My friend's grandmother used to carefully fold an item of clothing then place it on her chair and sit on it to "iron" it while she folded the next item! I guess she had an ample behind that made this actually work! My friend laughs every time she tells this story!     

Being in the Seattle area, I'm with Jami that we have so much humidity that drying clothes either inside or outside can be difficult in the winter. Even so, I still dry most my clothes inside on a rack - all year round. In the winter, I move them in front of the heater or the fire, or spread them out more to help. Clothes last far longer this way, and best of all, I saved 40% on my power bill! (Well, a small part of that might be due to hand-washing most of my dishes, too.) 
 
Kathleen Sanderson
Posts: 985
Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to hang some laundry out when we lived in Alaska.  We didn't have electricity or running water, so took the clothes to town to wash, but often, to save money, brought them home and hung them out to dry.  It is hard on the hands, and difficult to hang wet clothes up with gloves or mittens on!  My future home plans include a fairly good-sized greenhouse attached to the south side of the house, with space for clotheslines in it.

Kathleen
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great idea Kathleen ~ my plan includes a green-house-addition, I never thought about using it for laundry.
 
            
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hanging clothes outside in the winter works really well if it is cold enough and dry enough. What you get is freeze drying. The water is evaporated and not frozen into the clothing. Just like freeze dried foods.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was reading something recently suggesting a clothes dryer from real goods.  I looked .... it looked really lame and really expensive. 

I've been using a clothes drying rack indoors and outdoors for a few years now that I got from ikea.  A quick search shows that they appear to not sell it anymore. 

Looking around a bit, this looks like the closest thing: 




clothes drying rack

 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
25
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hum... the problem I've had with 'racks' are they were to small, but this one might do the trick.

Here's the details of your rack Paul -

Product Description
79 ft. / 24m of drying space on 34 powder-coated metal rods. 42" x 24" and 24" x 20" drying. Tables space for items to dry flat. Compact Belgium design - maximum drying in smallest floor space. Folds for compact storage. Use indoor or outside. Easy to move, even when fully loaded with laundry. Plastic caps protect the floor. Includes tray for small laundry of laundry that has to dry flat.

~Jami
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can get two loads of laundry onto one of these.  Placing it outside on a sunny day with a breeze, everything will be dry in about three hours.  Inside, in winter, near a heat source takes about a day.

 
                        
Posts: 19
Location: Canada. Ont
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
AFAIK when you hang wet laundry out in temps well below freezing, the ice crystals will simply sublimate with enough air movement.  So wind/airflow will cause the freeze drying if its very low humidity (winter in canada works well ).  I dont think any clothes can get lower than ambient humidity levels unless you add energy.

Greenhouses for clothes anyone?
 
                                            
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know a few in my family who have tried freeze-drying and some still freeze-dry their clothes.
I would hang my clothes out in the winter to freeze-dry, but I don't because I have a woodburner stove outside and it makes my clothes smell like smoke.
I do hang all of my wet laundry up around the house. I have three clothes racks that I hang them on, I also have a retractable indoor line I hang them on, and I take two ladder-back chairs, put broom handles across them, hang all of my wet clothes on hangers, and hang the hangers on the broom handles.
The air in my house is usually very dry, which often causes dry eyes, itchy eyes, dry skin, itchy skin, and dry sinuses taht often lead to sinus problems, but, when I hang up my wet laundry in the house the air has so much more moisture in it. My house used to be so dry that my family had to run a humidifier. Now taht we hang the wet laundry up in the house,  the air has plenty of moisture and we do not need a humidifier.

I love to hang my clothes up in the house. I love the smell they put off. It makes the house smell of clean laundry! I love it!!

A tip fro those of you who don't like the stiff feel of laundry that was not dried by the dryer: Hang your clothes up in the house, but then fluff the clothes for 5 minutes ot so in the dryer, this takes all the stiffness out.
I love my towels to be stiff though, they are more absorbant and they dry better.

                            Belle
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
After reading about paul wheaton hanging his clothes to dry in th e kitchen and mulling it over in my mind a bit i have wanted to say that a good old fashiojned english woman woudl say that you should hang them up in the sun, not that there is much of that in England, its healthier. They do dry them inside in a really wet spell.
    Now you have written another bit saying you do hang them outside sometimes so i don't think it is necesary to write this.

      What about an old fashioned clothes line if you have land  hung from two posts in the ground with a pole with a forked end that you stick under the middle of the line and than stand upright so that it holds up the line. It is longer than the line is high it ends up at a bit of an angle but holds the line up when the clothers make it sag.

        Did not Obama say that the sun cleans things? They are better for getting a bit of sun . In spain they used to be lain flat on the feilds to get the sun to whiten them.
    I was taught to hang underwear least hygenic bits sunward, by one woman. I think hygene can be a reason for ironing too. I don't do it i go rumpled. I do leave my damp  clothes recently taken out of the washing machine folded and flat on top of each other for the worst wrinkes to fall out, that is a just me thing ,a bit like jocelyn campbells ex-mother in law, i dont sit on them though i am not a neat enough sitter to do them any good, i woudl have thought i would be more likely to wrinkle them than flatten them.
      Sailors used to fold their clothes and put them under their mattress to get ironed. 
        I have heard twice once from my father who gets his information from the knewspaper and once in a CNN article that you can sterilise water leaving it in tranperent bottles, plastic bottle bottles  in the sun, after a day in the sun all the microbes die. The sun can't take heavy metals and other inorganic contaminants from the water but according to scientists it can kill pathogens in drinking water. This seems to me super important information for disaster situations.  agri rose macaskie.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think there is no truer eco flag than clothes on the clothes line. 

holds the line up when the clothers make it sag


Most ropes have a bit of stretch in them.  The clothes line that has metal fiber in it tends to not sag.  Look for the stuff labeled "clothes line" that has a vinyl coating.

I was taught to hang underwear least hygenic bits sunward


I hadn't thought of that!  Brilliant!


 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  Glad you like the sunside idea. I remember being a bit embarassed by the lesson, though it seemed a good idea, my idea was to hang those parts in such a way as to hide them. agri rose macaskie.
 
                                
Posts: 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
At one time sunlight was the only bleaching action one could use to get your "whites whiter than white". There were businesses built up around taking white fabric laundry and pegging it out on south facing slopes to give it a good dose of UV.

Eventually modern soaps took over. Interestingly the most popular laundry soap was "Sunlight" produced by the Lever brothers that eventually became the company Unilever. The Sunlight brand is still marketed in Africa but has been superseded by their "billion dollar" brand, Surf, in Europe.

There is a similar history behind Procter and Gambel in the USA. P&G and Unilever pretty much control the entire soaps industry.

Nothing beats the smell you get from cotton sheets hung out on a clothes line though!

 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here in central NM even in the middle of the winter, it's dry and often above 40F afternoons. Wash laundry around 9 am, put it out by 10 am and after chores at 4pm, bring it in and fold most days.
 
Use a pair of light gloves to put it up and sometimes to take it down if chores run late. If it's damp, the laundry is hung up on hangers in the shower doorway.
   
Do shake out the wrinkles before hanging out the laundry, so not much ironing needed after it's dry.

Really like the fresh smell! )
 
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We use this thing to hang our stuff inside: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishermansdaughter/4298431899/
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
pretty thing marina where do you buy it, rose
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
An antique store in California.  It was $30 and I almost didn't buy it because of that, but we use it all the time for all sorts of things, not just clothes, and I'm really glad I coughed up the cash that day.  I replaced the line recently, but the body of the thing is pretty much indestructible. 
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Makign them could give an income to someone good at working in metals. In these times of so many people out of work thinmking how to earn money seems important.looks magic and at them samw time handy.should sell well. rose
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've talked about how nice it would be to have a forge or foundry on the farm.....So many things you can make out of metal.  You could outfit it with nettle clothesline!  By the time I replace the rope in mine again we'll be making nettle rope, just you watch. 
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was listening to a book on CD and they said that the word "pulley" comes from something to get your laundry up to the ceiling.

 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, I had to wash a mattress pad today & it can't be dried in the dryer. Sooooo, it's hanging outside. It's 36 degrees and the humidity is 61%. At this rate, I expect it will be dry by...MAY!!! 

Well, at least the sun is trying to peek out of the clouds. 

 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know that feeling Gwen! )
Have had to bring some things in lately still a bit damp lately due to high humidity and cool temps. With snow pending they didn't get left outside.  Just brought them in and hung in places out of the way and ideally near plants for the moisture benefit. Big stuff gets hung in the shower/bath.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This mattress pad is super thick and king size. I would love to have it hanging in the house where I could make use of the humidity it's giving off. It would dry faster too. My shower/tub area is really small and holds the humidity for a long time after we shower, so I didn't think putting it in there was worth the bother. Was also afraid the weight of it would pull down the shower rod. It's one of those spring loaded ones, not permanently mounted to the wall. I've had it outside for a few hours now. On a sunny day, it would be totally dry by now, I will say that I'm surprised it's drying at all, but it actually is. Very slowly.
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Gwen,
    Understand that. Have one myself, and am going to down size my bed as don't need the room when sleeping.
I sometimes pull a couple of chairs together the required length and use clamps to keep an 8' 2x4  or thereabouts board in place and drape it over that. I use my kitchen table chairs for that as they are tall enough to keep the mattress pad from dragging. If its real heavy, I weight them. Bring that out if the pad is still heavy with wet. Otherwise, it's the curtain rod which is solid and not a spring type.
 
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good idea about the chairs. My dining room chairs have wheels (no carpeting on floor, chairs roll easily) and I have 5 cats. There's a chuckle in me just visualizing that fracas! Cats getting hung up in the mattress pad, freaking out trying to run, chairs rolling, fur flying. Oh my!       

I'm bringing the mattress pad in when it gets dark. If still damp, I'll hang it in the garage, I have a clothesline out there. I usually don't even bother to wash this thing unless the weather allows...but our weather is just hopeless these days! 
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can see it now cats versus mattress pad-we both know what would lose that battle! )

I've just had to learn/figure how to do things with what's at hand.

Your mentioning of the kitties reminded me of why my clothes line is a little taller-the cats just love my flannel shirts and coats sleeves. They are really good at shredding the ends of my sleeves-they do a better job than I do at it!
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Absolutely; we learn as we go! I always appreciate tips on "making do" with what I have (or might have). Keep those tips coming! Thanks, Pat!
 
                        
Posts: 175
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do dry my laundry outside winter and summer, but it rarely freezes here.  Freeze dried clothes are still wet so you have to bring them in and hang up to dry.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/128286/zatoichi-the-blind-swordsman-the-fugitive

I was watching Zatoichi: The Blind Swardsman.  The Fugative  (available on hulu and elsewhere) and noticed that Zatoichi was doing his laundry at an inn in Edo Japan.  This clothes rack was shown for a way to dry kimonos and other laundry.

I don't know how to make a screen shot, but the clothes line is in the Episode - The Fugitive at 25"50' into the film.

There is a frame of square posts jointed by mortised joints.  Along the top are bamboo rods held in place by pins attached along the top of the frame.

A really neat close dryer!
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20150
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
been talking with the hubby and we have decided to dismantle our laundry room outside deck..(as we have built it from very used deck salvage from our old house after the fire and it needs replacing)....

so when we do replace it..we will expand it's width by 4' more wide ..it is 6' now..and by 20' longer..so it will be 480 square feet when done and level..now it is not level ..lots of steps and small and very bad shape.

soooooooooooo


when we put up the NEW larger deck..we are going to use some extra tall posts on it on one side and put in a clothesline on the  deck...so we will  have a place where we can shovel under it in the winter and hang clothes outside..just steps from the laundry room door..i'm very excited
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!