Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
posted 1 year ago
We just got a new metal roof put on which got my inner miserly cheapskate has been thinking about this. Here's a guy that harnessed the heat in the attic for this. Attic Heat Clothes Dryer. Might not work so well in a PNW environment but here in sunny/low rh Oklahoma, it should work great.
Here's a good compromise for people who don't like their clothes stiff after drying on the line. Bring them in once they are dry or almost dry, and set the machine for 10 minutes of air fluff. This will get rid of some allergens, and leaves towels less stiff. With a little bit of heat, it would allow those little herb bags to do their magic.
Too much soap in a HE machine can cause mildew. Because over-sudsing doesn't allow the water to clean properly. It also makes it difficult for the soap to rinse all the way out. In my full sized front loading Bosch I find 2-3 Tablespoons detergent gives the cleanest results. My water is slightly harder than full soft. If you have hard water add 3 Tablespoons 20 Mule Team Borax to each load. Works wonders for brightness/odors and doesn't impair the rinsing like additional detergent would.
I've found that 1-2 Tablespoons of liquid bleach/load is safe on ALL clothes. Just dilute it well before it's added. This small amount of bleach will stop mildew dead in it's tracks. It's not cost effective to wash on hot to kill germs when this little trick works so well.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but here goes. I learned it from the Alaskan Inuit when I was up there in the Air Force. They line dry their clothes year around, and it takes less than 20 minutes to dry their clothes in winter ( think -10 to -40 F ). If you have a large freezer with enough space to put at least some of your wash into it for maybe two to three hours, it will freeze solid. Then take it immediately outside and shake it out vigorously. This will dislodge the majority of the free water from the fabric. Then when you bring it in and put it on the rack it will have less water to shed and there is less water vapor being released back into the house.
On a side note, I have a dehumidifier with a humidity gauge / sensor that can be adjusted that I leave on year around in a small workshop that I have (16 x 24 ft). It took about 7 months to get enough moisture out of the wooden walls that it didn't run constantly. Now however it only runs for about 20 minutes at a time and then only about every two to three hours. It is plumbed to the outside so I don't have to empty it and there is no water sitting around to produce mold or get scummy. Get a good one with enough capacity for the room it will be used in and they are not that expensive to run.
I know it's an old thread but some people might find it when searching, If you go and get a dehumidifier be aware there are two types, the condensing type that seems to be mentioned here and a chemical type. The condensing ones use less power but will not work under around 15C they are measured for efficiency at 20C which is a temperature that my house never attains. The chemical version which uses silica gel, uses more power and will heat the room a little but it works with little loss in efficiency down to 1C So if you have a house or laundry room that is not warm pick a chemical dryer. We do not own a tumbler and dry clothes in the house in our furnace room they take around two days to dry in there without the dehumidifier but only 5 hours or so with it.
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