Archive for the ‘Laundry’ Category

My Recommendation on a Laundry Drying Rack

August 9, 2007

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:

  1. Don’t buy the wooden variety. The wood dowels break after a couple months.
  2. Do buy the chrome metal variety. They endure, plus they stand up to the wind quite well.
  3. Buy the rack that is 42″ wide. The other size (29″) is too small to hold shirts and towels.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.