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Indoor clothes drying - can/will it work?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by chutes, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. chutes

    chutes Member

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    Much of my motivation for buying the stove was to save money over time. I was thinking last night about ways to reduce my electric bill as well. I would guess that my clothes dryer is a big electric hog, and with a wife and 3 kids, we do at least a couple of loads per day it seems.

    Has anyone tried using their stove room to dry clothes? Perhaps some kind of retractable clothesline? I work from home, and so wife and kids are out all day on weekdays. I could easily hang things up in the stove room - which is typically in the high 80s, but would that work effectively? Anybody try this or do it regularly?

    Thanks-
    Dave

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Never done it, because I don't think the wife would go for a clothesline in the great room...but sure, it should work just fine. The air in that room should be very warm and very low humidity. In fact, drying clothes on a line in there should help raise the humidity in your home. Protect the floor from drips. Rick
  3. chutes

    chutes Member

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    Thanks Rick.

    Yeah, that was the one thing I was thinking about. Clothes seem to come out pretty "drip free" from the washer after the spin, but I'll keep an eye on that.

    Good thought about the humidity component.

    I notice that there are retractable lines for outdoor use. Not sure why I couldn't try one of those from wall to wall, so that it is "invisible" when people are around. Think I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.
  4. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    I've done it.. it takes longer than you think. I can't say I'd recommend it unless you live alone. Try it on a small load and see how it works though. With a wife and three kids, you might find it easier to just get a more efficient drier or to keep using the one you have in an effort to preserve the peace!
  5. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    I dry wet shoes and damp outdoor clothes near one or the other of my woodburners all the time,it works great.
  6. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    It works real well for on load at a time. Biggest issue is it takes up space. I hang in basement (where the stove is in the summer and an unfinished room on the second floor in the summer. If I am in a rush I use an electric box fan to blow air past the clothes and they dry a lot quicker (of course it is using a small amount of energy.

    Note I am single, so dont have to put up with complaints!
  7. trafick

    trafick Member

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    Hello chutes,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of FREE clothes drying. You can by wooden clothes racks at just about any hardware store. Place the clothes on it, wait a few hours or overnight and presto, you will have dry clothes! Remember though, they will be like clothes dried on the line. A little scratchy and hard but I actually like things, espacially towels, like that.

    If your stove was in the basement (like mine) you can run clothesline between the floor joist and have tons of drying space. Good luck.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    We started using a line outdoors this summer and moved to using the shower curtain rods in the upstairs bath rooms after it turned cold. The stuff dries a lot faster than I thought it would. King size sheets still go in the dryer. And yes that dryer is a electricity hog.

    For small stuff I built a flat rack and you just lay the stuff across the top. Stuff that dries stiff softens right up in use.
  9. EDGE

    EDGE New Member

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    The technique I have used for decades in the winter is to put the things in the electric dryer for ten to 15 minutes--- just long enough to soften and heat them up--- then take them out and hang them indoors to dry out and transfer their humidity to the air. The shirts I put on wire hangers, everything else just gets hanged separately. Oh, except socks and underwear. I dry those completely in the dryer. It's easier, and I want no crispness in these items.
    I have been thinking of getting one of the old wooden clothes horses that unfold. There was one of those in the house all the time when I was growing up. They don't hold too much, but they don't take up much space either.
  10. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I do it all of the time.

    A soak in fabric softener, even an hour (I usually do overnight, but I live alone, kinda sorta) helps with the stiffness, but I can dry a load (2 pr jeans, 2 sweats, sock, thermals, turtlencks, towels, etc) during the day or over night, Jeans and heavy sweats might take alittle longer, but I'll drap them over the back of a chair under one of the ceiling fans. Dries quick, and the dryer is ready for the next load.

    I bought one of these from Target

    [​IMG]

    http://www.target.com/Whitney-Exten...e=UTF8&node=13834421&frombrowse=1&rh;=&page=1

    It expands to twice the size of a normal dryer, holds alot, and folds for storage. I've thought about one of those retractable ones , might get one.

    Heavier stuff like quilts, I put in the dryer, unless it's nice enough outside for it to dry. I'm hardly using my dryer at all these days, as it's an electric pig. If I remember right, here it's $2-3 per load that I save in the cost of electricity. It adds up ;-)
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Geez, I guess we need another new forum for household tips. What do you folks do about those nasty cat puke stains on your carpets? Rick
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Easy peasey :)

    I've got a 4 month old puppy :coolhmm:

    (I haven't had a puppy in 25 years... it's all coming back to me :smirk: )

    I keep a spray bottle handy, w/paper towels nearby, of a steam machine/rug cleaning soluition mixed w/water ( about 1/4) catch that mess quick, after cleaning it up, and it's pretty good. Oxyclean is another good thing for those kinda stains. Check in inconspicuous area first, of course, for color fastness.

    Catch those mishaps quick, and spray/scrub right away. It doesn't give it time to set in the carpet.
  13. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Hi Chutes,we have clothes lines in our cellar where my Mansfield resides.Those clothes dry very well from the heat from the Mansfield.
  14. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    How the heck did a cat get in the house?
  15. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Do it all the time and been doing it for years. Anything that can be hung on a hanger is a piece o' cake and dries quickly. Sheets n' stuff take a bit more fussing but still dry good and quick. I don't do it so much for energy savings (though it don't hurt) but I have a low moisture problem in my house so I take what I can get.

    If you are worried about looks there are antique clothes hangers you can search for (which I did). They fold up tight with the wall when not in use. When you need to use it they fold perpendicular with the wall and fan out so you can hang all kinds of clothes on them. Do some snoopin' at antique joints and you'll easily dig one up.
  16. chutes

    chutes Member

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    Thanks to everyone. Lots of great advice and tips here. I located this online:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=159213-11112-R-400L&lpage=none

    and since the wife was out and about in the area, she found it at Lowe's. Only cost $11.00 though it is listed on their website as $15. At 40', I figure I can hang it from above one window to the other, spanning the 25' width of the room where the insert is located (PS - unlike others who posted on this thread, my stove is not in basement). Figure I could probably get at least 2 loads hanging there. If I start overnight, then I could let them remain - on weekdays when kids are in school - until 3 in the afternoon. Not that it would hopefully take that long. When not in use, it'll retract and be partially hidden by the drapes.

    If it at least helps with the towels and jeans - which take a long time on high for the dryer - I'm sure I'll see some savings. I'm going to try it on Monday morning when kids go to school. I'll post my thoughts/results here.

    Plus, as Rick mentioned, might even help add some moisture into the air. I have a nice humidifier for the downstairs, but darn it if the 3 year old doesn't keep putting pennies and paper clips into the fan....
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I like my cats. Between the Great Horned Owls and the Coyotes outside, I wouldn't have 'em long if I let 'em outside. Rick
  18. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    If you want cats in the house, that's okay with me :roll: but don't try them old wives tales on me about the owls and coyotes.
  19. potter

    potter Feeling the Heat

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    If you have any Amish communities nearby check their stores etc. We have some metal rings with clips that hang from the clotheslines in summer and basement rafters by stove in winter. You can hang more in a smaller space. Also have the clothes horses or racks... use to the stiifness, worth the energy savings.
  20. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Fully recognizing the part I played in driving this thread off-topic, which was really questionably on-topic for the The Hearth Room in the first place, and while accepting no more of the responsibilty than is rightfully mine, which, of course, I will minimize because I can, I'm moving the whole thing over to the Ash Can now, because we just don't have a subject-specific forum for stuff like this. I think there's been some very useful information exchanged in this thread, and that's what it's all about, and I'd like to see it continue...but we just want to try the best we can to keep the forums more than vaguely on-topic. Hang on for the magic carpet ride, here we go over to the Ash Can. Post on! Rick
  21. chutes

    chutes Member

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    Thanks Rick. I was originally going to post this in the Green Room, but not being sure, resorted to Hearth Room. Thanks again....
  22. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Ya know what, chutes, I think the Green Room's an even better place for it, good idea! OK, here we go again. Rick
  23. pyro68

    pyro68 Member

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    I'm definitely a tightwad, heating my house with wood, and the dryer running gives me immediate heartburn! ;-P We have a wooden collapsible clothes rack, had the retractable close line in the last home. We hang the clothes out & then throw them in the dryer w/ a dryer sheet for about 10 min. She is happy with the smell (of the clothes, not me) and takes some of the stiffness out. So far alka seltzer takes care of that 10 min heartburn for me. :coolsmile:
  24. chutes

    chutes Member

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    A number of people have pointed out the fabric softener issue. I currently use dryer sheets for fabric softener. As someone who tries to use the enviro-friends stuff - from cleaners, to laundry detergent, to dishwasher stuff (I use a lot of that 7th generation bio-friendly stuff) - I noticed that they have a "green" version of liquid fabric softener that you add to end of wash cycle. Does that stuff work as well as dryer sheets? Perhaps - if I line dry - that liquid fabric softener would give me the softness we're used to from dryer sheets. Anyone try that stuff?

    I've also heard that there is some "home brew" liquid fabric softener from normal items around the house. Think someone in this thread already mentioned vinegar, but if I'm not mistaken, that might be one of the home remedies for liquid fabric softener.
  25. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Bissell-pet odor and stain.. Works great. There ya go Rick.
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