Drying washing inside

by Julie Finch-Scally

As a child I grew up in England. During winter it was impossible to dry washing outside. The amount of sunshine was limited and the washing was just as wet at the end of the day as it was when hung outside.

But when I was a child washing machines didn’t have a spin cycle and there was no option of using a clothes dryer, they hadn’t been invented for domestic use. This has all changed and now our washing comes out of the machine just damp and not wet or dripping.

Even though the washing is reasonably dry when removed from the spin cycle everything still needs a certain amount of warmth to completely dry it all. If there is no sun the clothes dryer is the obvious answer. But is it?

In the Northern Hemisphere during winter, many people hang their clothing over the central heating radiators. But there is only so much available space to hang things. There are such things as a clothes horse. This is a structure made out of coated metal or wood on which one can hang clothing. Placed in front of a fire or near a heater the clothes over a period of time will dry out.

The use of the clothes dryer is preferred because it is quicker. At the most an hour to an hour and a half and everything in the dryer is dry. But, have you ever noticed the condition of the articles when they come out of a clothes dryer? All crumpled and crushed. There is a reason for this, too much in the dryer at one time. But to spread the drying over two loads uses a lot of electricity and again takes time.

Very few people enjoy ironing these days. In fact most people I know avoid ironing all together. Removing crumpled clothes from the dryer ensures many of the items will have to be ironed. Items hung over a clothes horse don’t seem to get as creased and crumpled, but the time taken for everything to dry can sometimes take a couple of days.

I live in a town house where I have to dry my clothes on a verandah or inside and use a clothes horse. I make a point of using my clothes horse as if it were a washing line and hang everything with pegs. Folding items over the line make the article a double thickness thereby taking longer to dry out. Even socks and pants I hang up with pegs. It actually takes up less space. Because everything is a single thickness they dry quicker.

The other great thing about hanging clothing on the clothes horse with pegs is the lack of crinkles, so no ironing required. And that is the answer.

When it is cold and/or wet and clothes have to be dried inside, sometimes it is just as easy not to use a clothes dryer. It is how you hang the clothes on the clothes horse that helps. Peg everything as if it were on the washing line and you will find you will not only save electricity but the clothes will dry out overnight and be ready to put into drawers and wardrobes the next day.



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