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drying clothes in a damp climate - how not to smell like mildew  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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Recently I've started using the tumble dryer.  I hate it.  When I dried my clothes on a rack or a washing line, the clothes would last 5 or 10 times longer than clothes that go through the dryer.  They wouldn't shrink or get misshapen.  Their colours would stay bright.  They wouldn't cost so much electricity, Line dried clothing was just so much better than tumble dry.

So why have I switched?

I live in a place with a very damp winter.  It rains for 6 months.  On a rack, in front of the fire, the fire going strong, the clothing takes 3 to 6 days to dry.  By the end of day three, they smell like mildew!  I don't like my clothes smelling like mildew because this makes me smell like mildew!  I got fed up smelling like a musty old gym sock.  So now I'm using the tumble dryer but I don't like it. 

Even in the summer, when we have no rain, the air is very moist and the clothes take 2 or 3 days to dry.  If I put them outside in the sun to dry faster, the pollen gets on them which makes me miserably allergic to my clothes.

How do I dry my clothes faster on a line or a rack?  Any ideas?  Please help me kick the tumble dryer habit. 
 
Tobias Ber
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would using an electric dehumidfyer indoors be an option?
combine that with a fan and fire (oven?) and that should help.

 
r ranson
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Tobias Ber wrote:would using an electric dehumidfyer indoors be an option?
combine that with a fan and fire (oven?) and that should help.



That's a neat idea. 

It would help reduce wear and tear on the clothes, but I hesitate to try it because the living space is so large I think I would need to spend a lot of electricity to dehumidify that much space.  Or maybe not?  I don't know much about them.  Could you tell me more?
 
Henry Jabel
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There could be a couple of issues here making your line drying more difficult than it should be and I doubt we have better weather than the parts of Canada that actually has people in it.

First is the washing machine. Make sure its actually draining properly, maybe something is blocked? I realised I hadn't emptied the filter once and everything was coming out sopping wet which made things more difficult. After they have washed spin dry them in the machine again. With my machine it helps them dry faster. 

Are you sure you have your clothes line in a good place? Obviously make sure it gets as much direct sun as possible and a reasonable amount of airflow. My neighbour put a small fold up gazebo over his line to prevent the rain which seemed pretty smart in certain weather conditions.

2-3 days outside in summer seems kind of crazy long to me. In summer it takes a few hours here and in the winter we line dry and tend to finish them off inside on the radiators as we dont have a tumble dryer.
 
Stevie Sun
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Ive just had a quick look to try and gauge how your rainfall compares to my experience here in the SW of England.

You probably have more days of rain and more rain than I do. And it's pretty soggy here. Sometimes even when it doesn't rain it's still damp.

Have you considered air flow and general dampness within the house? If there's not much air flow and a fair amount of damp in the air - things will take a long time to dry.
I can't dry things on a clothes horse in my bedroom because I keep the room too cool and there's poor air flow. I use the bathroom because handles the extra moisture much better.
 
r ranson
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We actually have a really low rainfall (it's measured in mm per 24 hours, not inches per hour like most of the country).  However, it's constant mist/drizzle during the winter.  It's not like most of the world where the rain 'falls' in one direction (downwards), it's more like water droplets milling about wherever they like.  It's hard to explain.  We call it a "dry rain" in that you can be out for hours in it without feeling fully wet.  But it makes everything damp.  Occasionally it does rain rain, but not so often in our town.

When I was in England, my clothes dried in about 4 hours. I wonder why it's so much longer here.

I learned somethings.  Washing machines have filters.  I'm going to go learn what this is, where it is and how to change it.  This front loading machine does seem to give me wetter clothes than I remember from the top loader. 

I do keep a lot of airflow in the house, especially near the fire, but... that usually means an open window which increases humidity.  I usually have two open windows during the day because we don't like things too stuff or warm.  Maybe I need to keep the house warmer when drying clothes.

Maybe I'm keeping my clothes too much together on the rack?  Maybe if I try doing washing more often but in smaller batches, it might work.

 
Judith Browning
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This front loading machine does seem to give me wetter clothes than I remember from the top loader. 


I always thought I wanted a front loading machine and when we went to buy one for our son and dau. in law the salesman at Sears said people sometimes complained that they smelled of mildew...the top loader could be left open when not in use but most folks would close the front loader door.  I know they don't use as much water and are better on our clothes but maybe they need the vinegar treatment more often.  We were told to fill our top loader to extra full and pour in a gallon of white vinegar and run through the cycles occasionally.

Arkansas is very humid...we miss our wood stove for many things and drying clothes is one.  Adapting to a wall gas heater recently, we have a drying rack for small things in front of it with a fan blowing across...most things dry in a few hours.  t-shirts, jeans, skirts and the like get hung on hangers around the room on the door trim and dry easily over night.   On good sunny days we either hang on shaded screened in porch or in full sun on the garden fence and they are dry that same day.

I think it sounds like the problem is with the front loader...not spinning things dry enough and maybe a hidden inner mildew build up. 
 
Tracy Wandling
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Yes, that mildew smell from front loaders is a problem I've seen quite often. My sister's machine was like that, as was my sister-in-laws, and another friend. And them not spinning out all the water is a problem as well. I would definitely try giving the clothes an extra spin cycle to get as much water out as possible.
 
Craig Dobbson
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Do you have the ability to close off a small space such as a closet or small bedroom, where you could isolate the clothes and run a dehumidifier?  Using a dehumidifier for the whole house would probably cost you more then just using the dryer, but if you could put the clothes in a small closed off space, then the dehumidifier might just do the job.  As a bonus you can use the water that it collects to water houseplants.  though it sounds like you have all the water you need.  LOL.

Dry rain...  that's a good way of describing that phenomena.  It happens here in the early spring and late fall.  We call it pea soup.  It's like you can see the droplets in the air, but they don't seem to give a shit about gravity.  They just hang out.  It's weird. 
 
Henry Jabel
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R Ranson wrote:

I learned somethings.  Washing machines have filters.  I'm going to go learn what this is, where it is and how to change it.



If there is no hatch on the outside like on older front loaders, it might be like mine and there is a lift up flap in the drum which allows access to it. You might need to turn the drum to find it as it sits below the drum. You remove it, clean the gunk off it and pop it back in.
 
Rebecca Norman
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I think a fan might make a noticeable improvement, and be a much smaller investment and use much, much less power than a dehumidifier. I think it's worth a try just running a fan towards the clothes on the rack.

The suggestions to make sure that your washer is fully spinning the clothes as dry as it can will help the most, of course.
 
r ranson
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The fire has a fan that sends heated air into the room.  I put the clothes in front of that, but maybe I could try a second fan to see if that helps.

I've never had this problem so much as in this house.  I wonder if it is the washing machine.  I've got a top loader I can try and maybe that will make a difference.
 
Nicole Alderman
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The damp really does make drying clothes hard. Being on a north-facing slope, my daylight hours are limited, and once the dark sets in, the dew coats the clothes. It probably doesn't help that I live near wetlands and a pond. For the darker half of the year, it's just not worth it to try to dry clothes outside. My grass stays wet out there all day, and the clothes only dry for maybe 6 hours between 8:00 and 2:00. To dry them outside, I'd have to hang them up each morning, take them down every evening, and then hang them up in the morning again. It would take at least two, if not three days of that, especially for things like pants. And that's if it doesn't rain. I even tried it on one of those sunny, cold, dry days this winter--the clothes still didn't dry. Usually there aren't even that many sunny/cold/dry days in my area.

The best option, if I had the time, would probably be to hang up the laundry for the day, then bring it in and finish drying it in the dryer. Then it takes half the time to dry in the dryer, and half the electricity, too. I actually do this sometimes with my cloth diapers, since they need sun to sterilize them, and they dry faster than most other things.

As for drying inside, I don't attempt it unless my humidity is under 40 degrees, for two reasons. (1) They take forever to dry; and most importantly, (2) I do not need mold issues. That extra moisture from the clothes loves to create mold on/in my walls. I don't need or want mold. I learned that the hard way when my humidity was always high last winter, and I kept trying to dry diapers inside. We had a LOT of mold.

When I do dry inside, I hang a clothesline in front of my wood stove, across my living room. It doesn't look pretty, but it's functional. We bought pretty little brass open eyehooks that we screwed into studs in the wall. Then I just hook itty bitty pulleys with a clothesline on them to the eyehooks. I often just leave the clothespins on the line to make it a little easier. I don't think clothes would dry on a rack in my house, unless the humidity is under 35 degrees.

Can you check your humidity in your house, maybe that would help you know when it's worthwhile to try to dry inside?
 
Tobias Ber
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electric dehumidifyers use around 250watts per hour. if they run full time. but they warm the air like a 400 watt electric heater (because it s kinda heat pump, that cools the water but heats the air).

in our flat we ve a rel. humidity of around 55% and a temperature of around 17-19 °C. Clothes are dry in 1 -1,5days.



has anybody thought about a passive solar outside clothes drying shed? like a small shed with glass door/windows and with enough space to fit your laundry. painted black. maybe with a small chimney and air-filter.
 
r ranson
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

Can you check your humidity in your house, maybe that would help you know when it's worthwhile to try to dry inside?


Humidity 53%, temp 17C (about 65F if I did the math right). 
It's rain/snowing right now.

The area where I dry my clothes is about 800 square feet, maybe a touch more.  Maybe quite a bit more.  It's a large area, but it has the fire(s) and good airflow. 
 
Bill Crim
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I live in the Seattle area(reasonably wet). A few months ago, the heating element went out on my dryer.  So I figured I would just buy a rack and try drying them for a while. I set it up in the tub/shower of my guest room.  With just a small desk fan(4" wide) and a closed door, I was able to get my clothes 95% dry in 24 hours.(sometimes the pocket areas of jeans would be damp) Since the bathroom had a greater ability to handle moisture, I didn't even need to run the ceiling fan.  The constantly moving air was enough.

The electric use of a small desk fan is trivial compared to the dryer, so I still came out massively ahead.
 
Mike Turner
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I've found a greenhouse (when it's not full of plants) is a good place to dry clothes. Don't have to worry about rain, dew, or bird droppings getting on the clothes.  With any sun and the vents mostly closed, the inside temperatures get well above ambient and even on cloudy days it's a good 5 degrees warmer inside.
  I always thought it neat to build a walk-in trombe wall on the south side of the house and dry your clothes in there. Exhaust the hot air and humidity inside in the winter when low humidity is a problem and vent it outside in the summer.
 
tel jetson
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could you rig up a rack to hang above the wood stove instead of in front of it? it would obviously be important to avoid laundry falling off onto the stove, so directly above might not be advisable. the fan you've got on your stove is moving air across the stove and into the room, but there's no getting around PV=nRT: the warm air will rise.
 
Isa Delahunt
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I'm just south of you, in the San Juans, and it's wet and damp here too.  i'm off grid, so drying clothes with power wiuld be crazy!

Try a suspended rack over the stove.  Use pulleys to raise and lower.  (See photo). These are easy to make and use.  There is also a small one that is great for socks and underwear.  There is a very cheap plastic version, and a stainless steel one for about twice the cost, or you could make one for a couple dollars with some split cedar, clothespins, and strong twine.  (See second photo)

If you are worried about weight on these, just don't load them up too much.  Things dry better if they have room and are flattened or hung flat.  You will end up ahead, because it will be much faster drying time. 

If you have a washer, the spin really helps.  If washing by hand, investing in a hand cranked wringer is well worth it in the long run.

These racks are also great for drying fleece and yarn, too.  (You're a fiber person, right?)

It can easily take several days to line dry outside here, even in good weather.  Forget it in winter!  In high summer, full sun and a breeze, it can be done in a day, but not usually.

In our climate I always think it's best to have clothes you love to look at, because you get the "laundry decor" nine months out of the year, so might as well enjoy it!
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big rack
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small rack
 
John Bass
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R Ranson wrote:Even in the summer, when we have no rain, the air is very moist and the clothes take 2 or 3 days to dry.  If I put them outside in the sun to dry faster, the pollen gets on them which makes me miserably allergic to my clothes.


Wow.  That's an insane amount of time.  I have two free-standing and portable line dryers (https://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-P1900-Portable-Clothesline/dp/B001H1GUXW/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1488253571&sr=8-5&keywords=portable+clothesline) and, even now as I write this, have both full of laundry, all of which should be dry (including jeans and heavy towels) within 24 hours...indoors.  Outdoors on a sunny day, it's more like 6-or-less hours.

What type of clothes line are you using?
 
Laurel Robertson
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How you hang the clothes is important for the drying time, too. My practice is to put anything that will finally end up on a clothes hanger on a hanger to begin with. Saves effort and they dry more quickly on a hanger, I find. Pants I turn inside out and hang each leg on a separate (parallel) horizontal - that way the crotch is open to the air and dries quicker. Avoid folded over fabric (when possible) and leave as much space as possible between items. More space =  more air circulation = less drying time. A fan, especially aimed from above or below, decreases drying time by a large factor.
 
John Bass
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I always thought I wanted a front loading machine and when we went to buy one for our son and dau. in law the salesman at Sears said people sometimes complained that they smelled of mildew...the top loader could be left open when not in use but most folks would close the front loader door.  I know they don't use as much water and are better on our clothes but maybe they need the vinegar treatment more often.  We were told to fill our top loader to extra full and pour in a gallon of white vinegar and run through the cycles occasionally.


I own a front-loading, HE washer and dryer set (LG brand) that I bought new about 2 1/2 years ago.  I love them.  And even though I had heard from others regarding the mildew issue on the washer, I either leave the washer door open between loads or I spray the seal area with some "No Work 12x Daily Shower Cleaner" from Melaleuca (and I still usually leave the door open).  This appears to be helpful in reducing/eliminating odor and mildew issues.

Also, I can second the idea about ensuring the filters are clean.  Specifically, the filter for the "IN" water line, which, if blocked, can wreak all sorts of havoc on the washing process, so I clean that at least once every six months (I don't have a whole-house or even partial-house sediment filter for my incoming well water so this regular cleaning is especially important).  Of course, the "OUT" line is at least as important, so both should be cleaned out regularly, in my opinion.
 
Glenn Ingram
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I'm also in a wet area with some of the same problems.  The rack above the wood stove works extremely well.  When I put a rack in front of the stove, it took our clothes days to dry the same as you (and they were in the way).  I finally rigged up a rack above and it it amazing!  I dry a full load of laundry in a few hours even when I'm not running the stove much.  Isa's pulley design looks like the way to go.  I just have some 1-inch thick sticks from the yard suspended from the ceiling with twine and use a stool to get clothes on and off the top stick.  I have it so that the clothes form a sort of chimney around the stove.  There are 3 sticks coming down--one up high, another suspended below that about head height and another suspended below that at about belly height.  The hot air pushes up through and around the clothes even without a fan.  I also put a window screen up there sometimes which is perfect for drying herbs and socks and small pieces of clothing.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  That stove creates a great dry microclimate especially near the ceiling.

In summer, we have similar issues.  If it's sunny then a line outside works fine.  But we can be socked in with rain for quite a while.  I put a line in the attic that works well.  The ideal would be a big south-facing window with either a fan or some other air flow.  A friend of mine hangs her clothes at the top of the stairwell where all the hot air from the house collects and moves through naturally--that's really successful for her.  Getting the clothes up near the ceiling really helps in summer as well.  Isa's pulley system is really ideal for that.
 
Erwin Decoene
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Water evaporation is a process that can reach equilibrium depending on temparature, mass of water and the concentration of water vapour. Keep things as much as possible from this equilibrium and drying will go faster.

Heat is good but once sufficient water has vaporized to reach equilibrium the proces will stop. So things will improve if you get the moist air out. Blowers help because they breach the equilibrium near the surface of the water you want to vaporize. But that works for long ONLY if you take the most air out.
Hanging stuff with sufficient space in between has the same rationale. If you hang wet stuff in such a way that heat and ventilation can reach in, it goes faster. It is the same principle as used in drying food.

Having something present nearby that sucks vapour from the air may help. Salts and such are not practical but dry adobe is supposed to help (i have no experience with this). That is a different equilibrium proces.

Heating a ventilating a small room is easier and cheaper. You could perhaps use a heat exchange system to recuperate some energy losses ?

If given a choice i would dry washing in a bathroom. It is designed to be heated, ventilated and wet. In modern houses it may even have a heat exchange system. If that is not an option you could perhaps use moist warm air in a greenhouse ?

That being said. The water and soap vapours are not healthy. So it's best to dry outside your living quarters - sadly we cannot do that for now but we can usually get everything dry in a day or so.
 
Steven Pinewood
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Suggestions:

Make sure the washer is on the highest spin speed setting to remove as much water as possible from the clothes as possible before drying.

Spread the clothes out well rather than bunching them up. The greater surface area exposed to air movement the quicker the drying.

If possible hang the clothes above the stove where there is more heat and convection currents to help evaporation of the moisture in the clothes.

Use a dehumidifier whilst the clothes are drying. I suspect this will be cheaper than using a tumble dryer and the water produced can be used as distilled water for steam irons etc.
 
Ruth Meyers
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Hanging high is the best strategy for inside drying.  I hand wash my wool socks and insulated leggings to stretch their lifespans.  I've got a second curtain rod mounted over the center of the bathtub, high enough to avoid knocking my head on it, and that's where I dry those items.  Since the bathroom is the warmest spot in my house, it takes less than a day to dry these soggies.
 
Jerry Sledge
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High speed spin dryer.

https://www.amazon.com/Panda-Stainless-Steel-Portable-Dryer/dp/B01IRMBG7I/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1488293531&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=high+speed+spin+dryer

https://www.amazon.com/Laundry-Alternative-Nina-Soft-Dryer/dp/B00CDWTQKI/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1488293531&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=high+speed+spin+dryer

The one I saw in action in Dominican Republic years ago left me very impressed. The clothes were dry enough to iron (if you do that sort of thing). Am considering buying one of these myself.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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This link has some tricks to help speed line drying clothes; squeezing water into a towel (though now you have a wet towel!) and using an iron through a towel.
https://www.ovoenergy.com/blog/lifestyle/how-to-dry-your-clothes-in-a-flash-without-a-tumble-dryer.html
 
Jay Angler
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Hi R - I live at the end of the Peninsula and have friends at the top of Dean Park living in a cloud, so I totally get what you're describing. So here's my two cents:
1. you don't have to run a dehumidifier on full to have a positive effect, particularly once you've got the situation under control. I run mine at half dial just during the day and increase it only when we've been doing a lot to add moisture to the air (like if everyone needs to shower).  We recycle the dehumidifier water by adding it to the washing machine, as it is soft water and our well is hard. When you first get one, it will need to run a lot, as all the wood/walls/ floors of your house have been absorbing moisture since the fall. This is likely not helping your allergies.
2. we dry all our laundry in front of our fire which has a fan, but if I want something to dry quickly I have a large box fan that I sit on the floor and point appropriately.
3. My Dean Park friends run a dehumidifier and don't even try to dry laundry indoors in the winter. They are just that much wetter than we are, and less determinedly green!
4. Our dryer is used approximately twice/year when I need to shrink something.

I understand that cob houses have a much greater capacity to absorb water in the winter and then spend the summer drying out, and I know they're experimenting up at OUR eco-village, but we won't be building any time soon.....

All the other advice about running the spin twice, space between clothes while it drys etc are all valid. I have hooks to hang an indoor clothesline as well as two large racks so that clothes is well spread. My dehumidifier is close to 30 years old so get a decent one and give it basic maintenance and it should have a good life.
 
Jami Gaither
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John Bass wrote:I own a front-loading, HE washer and dryer set (LG brand) that I bought new about 2 1/2 years ago.  I love them.  And even though I had heard from others regarding the mildew issue on the washer, I either leave the washer door open between loads or I spray the seal area with some "No Work 12x Daily Shower Cleaner" from Melaleuca (and I still usually leave the door open).  This appears to be helpful in reducing/eliminating odor and mildew issues.


I have heard many complaints about mildewy front loaders but we've had an LG front loader for years now and LOVE it.  I would suggest though, we found that spinning a second time after a load is done gets WAY more water out and drying is much faster then. (As just suggested by Jay above.)
 
Lina Joana
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Growing up in Md, we had humidity, thought probably not the way you are talking.  I learned to hang clothes from my mother, who had a system that balanced maximum air flow with minimum stretching. 
I don't know how you hang your clothes, but it might be worth a try.  One question to get a sense of whether this will work: how fast do your dish towels dry?  If you dry your dishes and then hang it over a bar? If it takes less than 3 days to dry, I'd say you can dry your clothes if you have a good spinner on your washing machine and if you hang them for maximum air flow.

Pants: fold the back waistband over, use two clothespins at the seams.
collared shirts: fold the collar over, use two clothespins at the seams.
Knit shirt (t-shirts, sweaters, etc) - hang upside down, folding over the bottom hem.  We always pinned both front and back together to avoid stretching - maybe if mildew is the problem, stretched t-shirt would be worth it to hang them only by the front or back...
socks: hang a single sock with one pin at the toe.
Underwear: Stretchy pairs - fold elastic and pin front and back together. Non-stretchy (boxers) hang like pants.
Sheets: if you have two lines running side by side, hang the sheet over both of them, making a boxy tent shape.  Otherwise, fold over so that it doesn't drag on the ground, making certain it is fully stretched out with no wrinkles.

As for indoors on racks - in my experience, racks sold for the purpose have at least twice as many bars as you can hang stuff on if you want it to dry fast.  Make sure nothing is touching, there is plenty of space between each item, and that the clothing is touching itself as little as possible - no bunching up. In general, the more the clothes are spread out and can hang free, the faster they will dry. I have three racks, and hang larger things over doors and couches to make sure a load is spread out enough.

Best of luck.
 
Al Freeman
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Location: North Texas plaines
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The solution to pollution is dilution.  What's that got to do with drying your clothes?  Simple; your clothes are 'polluted' with water.  Add more air. 

I live on the Texas prairie and the humidity is often nearly 100%.  If it's not windy outside, I have indoor clothes lines and I put a box fan on high.  The clothes will dry in half a day most times.

I also have a 'wringer'.  It's two rubber platens, which turn against each other, their separation-distance being adjustable.  It was designed to be used in a car wash and it was WICKED expensive, but it mashes about 95% of the water out of wet clothes.  If the humidity is up, I run clothes directly out of the washer then through the wringer a time or two before hanging them to dry either inside with a fan going or outside on a stainless steel cable stretched tightly between steel posts under my south-facing (warm) awning.

Any place, which receives direct sunlight, is the best place to dry clothes.  If it's also a windy place, all the better.  My south-facing porch looks at endless miles of open prairie, sunshine and southern breezes.
 
Dale Hodgins
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There's definitely something going on at your place. I'm in the same climate, and I can dry clothing in a few hours, with a fire going. I laid some wet towels on some lawn furniture last week, and they were completely dry in 2 hours. They were in full sun.

My car is dark green. I sometimes dry stuff in there. For the very fastest drying, on days when there's no wind, I lay stuff directly on the roof and hood of the car. Denim pants can be dry in 2 hours.
...........
I just checked out our annual precipitation and it's 28 inches. My place just outside of Nanaimo gets twice that much. I knew it seemed like more, but I had no idea it would be double. Port Renfrew isn't very far away and it gets 138 inches per year. Mountains. Whenever there's mountains, weather is a very local event.
 
Tim Pasanen
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FREE 24/7/365 dehumidifier...

Most folks don't know that their 'frost free fridge' can be easily hacked to act as a dehumidifier.  As it runs continuously, it can be used to suck moisture out of a humid house all.. year.. long.

Frost free fridges actually have a heating element.  This heating element comes on every-so-often to thaw out the cooling plate.  Any frost/ice that has formed on the cooling plate melts, drips into a plastic trough, drains to the bottom-rear of your fridge via a small tube, and then ends up in a plastic bowl located on top of your compressor.  The compressor, as it works to pump heat out of your fridge and into the surrounding air, heats up.  Heat from the compressor warms the bowl and evaporates the water, returning the moisture back to the air where it originally came from.  So, under normal circumstances, this operation is humidity-neutral.

Assuming your fridge is against an external wall, or above an accessible basement, or near a drain, you can get a short piece of scrap tubing, attach it onto the end of the drain tube (just above the bowl), and instead of the water ending up in the bowl, it can be redirected outside, to a container or drain.  In any case, since it is no longer being heated and evaporated back into the air, it is effectively removed from the humidity equation and your internal air becomes drier.

Depending on how easy it is to access the back of your fridge, this hack takes mere minutes.  I think it took me all of 5 minutes to do mine — and I chose to drill a hole into our back wall so that the water would go to plants outside.

It doesn't take any extra electricity, and doesn't harm your fridge in any way.  It's just the free 24/7/365 dehumidifier that y'all have in your kitchen but weren't aware of.

Enjoy!
 
David Livingston
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I used to have a dryer like the one above to dry  our clothes but our current house does not have the head room . We just put stuiff in front of the fire in the living room over night  but I recently came across this and thought it might help Its a wall mounted rack http://www.pulleymaid.com/radial_airer.htm or this http://www.pulleymaid.com/beedboard_rack.htm

David
 
Dale Hodgins
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Total side note - for anyone wanting to set up an indoor dryer. There are many baby cribs that are obsolete, due to the width between the bars. They can be turned into drying racks.

This is a modern one. On the old ones, the gap can be twice as large. Put two sides together to make an A-frame, or suspend a single one from the ceiling. I like the idea of hinging a single panel to the wall, so that it drops down flat, like a drop leaf table, when not in use.
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r ranson
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A lot of the problem seems to be user error with the washing machine.  I dug out the manual and read it to the household.  Apparently, they were treating it like a regular washing machine.  HE - whatever that means - washing machines like my front loader require a tiny fraction of the soap.  Using the full capful like one does with the old top loaders, "may cause the machine to develop an unpleasant smell"  I was wondering why the washing soap was going down so fast.  I might go back to making my own laundry detergent.  I stopped because we're on well water and my old formula didn't seem to get things as clean anymore.  But I think with some vinegar in the 'softener' compartment, it might work. 

There is also a trap or some sort of drain that is supposed to be emptied every 6 months.  I thought there was, but was assured washing machines don't have that.  I feel vindicated and now everyone knows how to do it.

I also had a look at the spin cycle.  Apparently, the defult is medium (out of five settings).  So I crank it up to high and things are much better now.


I've gone back to my top loading machine because I'm fairly certain it uses less water and it definitely gets the clothes cleaner and they come out dryer. 


On a side note, I would love to dry my clothes outside.  However, when I do, they come in covered in allergens like pollen.  Inside it is.
 
Eric Thomas
Posts: 102
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Formerly Zone 6b, Now Officially Zone 7
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HE stands for High Efficiency.  We went through the same thing.  We had two front-load HE's which were great on water and electricity usage, but lousy for mechanical durability (the load on the bearing is all one-sided and it depends on a huge balancing weight to equalize it, not so well apparently).  We switched to a top load HE, much better design.  Special detergent for HE's is a non/low foaming detergent, unlike traditional laundry detergents.  We used the old fashioned laundry bars and it didn't work very well at all, same issue; stinky clothes.  Switched to a supermarket brand HE detergent and it works fine.  Tried the name brand and $2x expensive brand and there was no difference.  Cheap is good. 
 
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