A year ago my electric laundry dryer broke. Rather than getting it fixed, I decided to purchase a couple collapsible/expandable drying racks. I have gone through a number of racks in the past year and have learned some valuable lessons:
- Don’t buy the wooden variety. The wood dowels break after a couple months.
- Do buy the chrome metal variety. They endure, plus they stand up to the wind quite well.
- Buy the rack that is 42″ wide. The other size (29″) is too small to hold shirts and towels.
- The metal, 42″ rack costs about $30. That is 3 times what the wooden, 42″ one costs. But it’s worth it in the long run.
- Linens and Things doesn’t have the 42″ metal rack (at least, the store in my town doesn’t), but Bed, Bath and Beyond does.
- I now have three of the metal, 42″ racks. That provides sufficient space for even the largest laundry loads.
By the way, I estimate that in the past year I saved $600 in electric costs by hang-drying my clothes rather than using the electric dryer. During the summer I hang the clothes outside and they smell wonderful. And during the winter hang-drying my clothes indoors releases valuable humidity into the air of my house.
Here’s a picture of the type of rack that I have. I can’t tell from the picture what size it is, but you can at least see from the picture what type of rack I have.
Of course everything has both pros and cons. Here are the cons of drying clothes on a rack rather than using a drying machine:
- Drying Speed: I typically allot 24 hours for drying clothes on the racks. During the summer, when I can hang the clothes outside in the warm sun, it takes less time, perhaps 8 hours. So if you regularly need clothes dried quickly then racks might not be good for you.
- Ease of Use: it can be more difficult to use a rack than a drying machine. With a drying machine you can simply pull out of the washer all your clothes and then stuff them all into the dryer. With a rack you have to lay out the clothes on the rack, one item at a time.
- Space: when the drying rack is in use it takes up space in your home. If you live in a small home that could be problematic.
- Softness: clothes dried on a rack tend to be a bit stiff until they are worn for a few minutes, whereas clothes from a dryer are soft.