Hey, Nice Rack!

Posted on February 24, 2010 by Courtney


It’s easy to line-dry your laundry in the summertime. If you’ve got an outdoor living space with a clothesline, and it’s sunny, warm and a little breezy outside, forget about it. Your laundry will be dry in way less time than it would take in the dryer.

But what do you do during the winter? If it’s cold and gray outside, your clothes will take forever and a day to dry. You could set up a clothesline inside, but there is another solution that is easier than stringing twine all over the place. That solution, my friends, is the drying rack.

The one you see above is the FROST drying rack from IKEA, and it costs $19.99. It holds a ton of laundry and, best of all, it collapses flat when not in use and slides right into a closet or under the bed. It’s perfect for small living spaces. What I typically do is let my clothes air-dry on the rack until they’re almost completely dry, then pop them in the dryer for five to 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out. The effect is exactly the same as if I’d used the dryer exclusively, except my clothes last longer because they’re not subjected to all that heat and agitation. My power bill has also gone way down since I cut back on the dryer use.

The dryer is the second-biggest energy hog in your household, right after the refrigerator. Cutting down on the amount of time you use it is a great way to put a dent in your power bill. You won’t even see much of a difference in efficiency between old dryers and new ones; the technology just has not changed much, and that’s why dryers are not Energy Star-rated (though some of the newer ones do come with moisture sensors that automatically shut off the machine when your clothes are dry.)

But honestly — clothes dry on their own. It’s not necessary to use your dryer unless you need your clothes to dry quickly. It may seem weird to dry your clothes on a rack at first, but before you know it, it’ll feel like second nature. It’s a great example of how a small change can make a big difference.


  1. Exactly. They’ll dry on their own, no power needed. If you are the sort of person who is already reading this site, you should be doing this. The extra effort involved is minimal, if that. It’s better for all involved, including your clothes. Do it.

    Come to think of it, before we started line- and rack-drying our clothes, we’d usually run the dryer and then not bother to take the clothes out for another day anyway. They may as well have been air drying.

    February 24th, 2010 at 3:17 pm
    Comment by mickey
  2. I’ve been doing this for years! Even before I thought about the environmental impact of a dryer, I started hanging nearly everything to dry just because the dryer is so good at damaging and shrinking things. Sheets and towels go in my dryer. Nearly everything else goes on a drying rack.

    March 11th, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    Comment by stefanie
  3. [...] clothes in cold water, and air dry as many of them as possible. I use a drying rack much like Courtney’s for shorts, tanks, and various unmentionables, and I put shirts and jeans on hangers and dangle [...]

    March 18th, 2010 at 12:39 am
    Pingback by Happy New Year! (Er, Sort of…)

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Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

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