Well, I shouldn’t really complain at all. After all, it is a well-used dryer that my oldest son, Bill and his wife had used for years before getting a new one when they moved into their newly finished log home. And that was something like fifteen years ago. So, maybe 25 years on the same dryer? I love hanging out clothes on the clothesline, but right now, with highs in the below zero readings some days and two feet of snow under the lines, I’d rather use my dryer. We do have another LP dryer that someone, along the line, had given us, which was stored in the old mobile home. Will and our friend, Mike, wheeled it down to the front yard awhile back. Will thinks he can exchange parts and get our old faithful back to heating again.

Well, due to the seed business, we’ve been pretty busy. I came home from the Post Office the other day and Will had gone down to the basement and retrieved our wood clothes drying rack and hung all the clothes I had planned on taking into town, to the coin laundry (which I hate). Ah ha! Set in front of the wood stove or the south-facing living room windows, it only takes a couple of hours, and you have nice, dry clothes. (The last time I took clothes to the coin laundry, I put them in the dryer, put in 3 quarters each and set them to spinning and got out of there. The whole place smelled like propane, and I was afraid it’d blow up! I called the owner but just got a voice mail. When I went back in 20 minutes, the dryers were finished but when I reached in to take the clothes out, they were frozen solid! I loaded them up and back home I went, feeling happy I wasn’t a casualty on the news. They dried fine on the wood rack! And I wasn’t worried about blowing up either.

I love my wood clothes drying rack. Even Mittens enjoys watching clothes dry.

I know one of these days, Will is going to have enough time to mess with the dryers at home but until then, I can sure dry clothes in the living room. — Jackie

52 COMMENTS

  1. My dryer is much older than yours — new 12/1979. I had it repaired two years ago for cost of less than $200 and since the money to purchase it was a gift from relatives when we moved into the new house after a tornado that $200 is my total investment. Still, I have many options including a folding clothes rack and basement clothes lines. I’m with you on not hanging outside in zero temps and often snow is so deep under the lines laundry would be laying on snow more than hanging above it.

  2. Does the drying rack you have stand about 5′ tall, or over 6′ tall? And was the assembly just putting the screws in or did you have to insert the dowels into the legs too? Can you tell that I looked up the Homestead ones, ha.

    • Ours is about 5′ tall. It’s full assembly; putting the dowels in, screws, etc. It only took about 1/2 an hour to put together though. Well worth it!!

      • Ok, thank you. I was wondering if I’d get by with the mid-sized one, or should go for the biggie. If that total assembly is woman-strength type (hopefully), I would guess that the bigger one just means “more of them” if buying the taller height. I am considering the larger one because of bed blankets/quilts on rare occasions, and I have a spot that is roomy enough for normal needs.
        My flimsy store-bought rack works in a pinch for small items, but to have a gadget that would fit real life needs? I do have a clothesline outside, but indoor during winter? Oh yeaaah…glad to hear of this via Jackie!

  3. Although I have a propane dryer, for the most part here in New Hampshire and off-grid, I dry my laundry on wooden racks in front of the wood stove. Like you, my southern windows also help out. At the moment, I have a pair of flannel sheets drying. I figure I am killing two birds (sorry) with one stone. Why not use the free heat??? Some items I have to use the dryer for but if I can avoid it during the winter, I do!

    • Yep. I’d rather hang than dry but sometimes we get so busy, I just would rather throw them in the dryer and continue working.

  4. My dryer is located in our walkout basement. When we moved in, there were already 2 clothes lines in place. I have used them ever since. I put my wash in my 35 year old dryer for 15 min. and then hang on the lines using hangers as needed. I also have a drying rack similar to yours. By the next morning, they are dry and almost wrinkle free. I do hang my clothes outside on the line in the summer as I find it very peaceful listening to the birds etc.

  5. Have been using a wringer washer and a drying rack , plus hanging outside for 20 years . Dry quick I front of my wonderful Stanley Cook stove . Love to visit you every Wed. . Look forward to it ! Seed Order in mail soon . Stay Warm , Spring is only 16 weeks away !

  6. I keep my drying rack in my “storage” room to use for all the things I don’t like to put in the dryer. In the summer & fall I also use it to hang herbs & hot peppers on to dry. After 40+ years, it’s almost time for a new one as it’s starting to lean!!

  7. We don’t have a dryer so laundry goes on the clothes line outside. In rainy weather there are two of the wooden racks like you have for smaller stuff (unders, socks, washcloths, hand towels etc). Then there are mini shower curtain rods (the adjustable spring loaded type) at the top of two bedroom doors and the entry to two closet areas. Shirts, nightgowns etc are put on hangers and hung from those. There’s also a very light plastic rolling rack for the heavier stuff like jeans that get hung there with clip on hangers. It works!

    • You bet it does! My problem is time! At any one day, I’m working on articles, packaging seeds for our seed business, answering emails, trying to cook and clean house and, of course, chores. There’s just not enough Jackie to go around. God bless my dryer! (But the racks sure work for now.)

  8. Even before we moved to our farm over forty years ago, I hung out our clothes in the city. Since hanging out clothes was a chore that my grandmother let me help her with, it is a “comfort” chore for me. We have the ultimate wind power because we live in eastern Kansas and I have always felt like it was a waste not to use it.

    With global warming, there are very few days that clothes will not dry in a day or two. It is so much better for your clothes, they last a lot longer. Most of the time with our wind, the wrinkles are blown out of the clothes. On the few days that it is too cold or wet in the winter, I hang them in the laundry room where the furnace is. They dry very quickly there. I do not ever dry the clothes in the dryer but I do the towels sometimes. One thing I do not hang out are our kitchen towels in the summer because flies like the white damp towels. One other plus is that I get exercise walking back and forth to the clothesline which is about 60 feet from the house.

  9. Sorry about your dryer. I hope Will can fix it! I love gas dryers for towels and blankets. We’ve a electric dryer that decides your clothes are done now and shuts off with everything a bit damp. You can’t disconnect the sensor and have the dryer run. This was a poor choice by my brother in law. I’m hoping to get a “new” old dryer without the sensor after we move. Wish us luck on the house hunt. Right now we’re looking in a small town that won’t let you keep chickens. My husband is set on it though. I’ve decided to fight the council if we end up there. People keep getting stranger. Good luck and bye.

  10. Lived in SoCal for a few years when our son was a baby. I’d wash the diapers and hang them on the line, when I was done hanging, the first ones I hung would be dry. Gotta love those 100+ degree days!

  11. Lost my clothes line a few years ago (fire). I hang clothes outside on plastic hangers. I found (when in CO) that clothes can basically freeze dry. I am in TX now (high of 74 yesterday and today, high of about 39 tomorrow!). I do laundry around the rain…..

    • Yep, we work around the weather too. My clothes in Montana would also freeze dry. They’d come in just a little damp but frozen stiff. Grandma said she would dip her hands in vinegar to keep them from getting frostbitten when hanging clothes in the coldest winters.

  12. I’m sure surprised at how
    Many of us are using dry racks
    Or other means, besides the
    Dryer always. Yes I love my
    Dryer in the Kansas winters
    Always glad to see how much
    I saved. Lehmans Hardware
    Still sells my old standby 😁

    • We are such innovative people. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! I don’t like being totally dependent on anything.

  13. What a nice rack! Where did you get it? I have dried with my antique dryer rack for over 45 years I really need a new one now since this one has a lean to it! But I sure got my money’s worth.

    Do you think they are more people buying seeds again this year?

    • I got it years ago from a homestead business that made drying racks. I Googled it and think it was a Homestead rack, offered for sale on Etsy. It’s much heavier built than most others so it’s lasted way longer.
      Yes, I believe more folks are buying seeds this year. (At least the wise ones are!! lol)

  14. Clothes lines are actually illegal in this crazy city (CC&R’s issue)! But I do have a drying rack when I wish to use one; It is always good to have a back-up solution when the power goes out. It’s also used as a great alternative if I don’t trust the dryer to abuse something delicate. But I do miss the clothes line… as an excuse to listen to birds outside instead of banging tumbling inside. At our cabin in the woods the deer and/or moose would get their antlers hung up in those clothes lines and destroy them trying to escape. There is probably a solution for that out there (a retractable line maybe?).

    • Wow, illegal clotheslines!!! It goes right with front yard gardening, rainwater collection, etc. If it makes you more independent, God forbid they’d let you do it!
      I kept the moose, elk and deer away from my clotheslines by sticking some kiddie pinwheels in the ground around them, one on each corner. The slightest wind would set them blowing and the critters would stay away. Now if that would just work dependably for the garden…..

  15. My husband put all nice copper hooks on the beams of our living room ceiling, that’s where we put the clothes on hangers and the rest we put on a drying rack in the living room. Works perfect. We never use our dryer summer or winter.

  16. There is 16 years between me and my younger brother. Mom hung up diapers one winter outside in the sun and wind. But it was freezing cold, and I brought his diapers inside later, stiff and frozen into squares, & dried beside wood stove, ha, ha. I had to stack them until they thawed a bit so I could fold them over drying rack. They were like large squares of plywood, too stiff! So thankful for my dryer these days!

    • Yep, I used to freeze-dry David’s diapers. By leaving them on the line for a couple of days, they’d be frozen stiff, but when I brought them in, they thawed and were barely damp! I thought that was so cool.

  17. Hi Jackie,
    I had my husband install on indoor clothes line in our basement. Summer time I hang outside, winter time inside. Our house is so dry in the winter time, I figure hanging the clothes helps to add moisture to the air! Also I invested several years ago in some good plastic hangers, so all shirts go on them to dry (even tshirts). Yep, the towels may not be downy soft, but they loosen up after a shower or 2! Hope you can get it fixed!

  18. Of course, yes, why not winter! We dry ours over the wood stove, strung up the spring part of a crib mattress on a couple of pulleys (on hooks in the ceilings) such that you can lower or raise it for loading/drying/unloading, and things dry quite quickly up there, held on pins or hung on hangers. I can fit a whole full washer’s worth. Just in case you get to needing more space! I like your drying rack though, very tall! And not plastic!

  19. I’m in the gulf coast region of Texas and the sun is out and so are my clothes. I rarely use a dryer even in the wintertime. Because I’m retired, I can wait till I get a sunny day to wash and dry on the line. Even when it’s in the 50s, I hang clothes out and they dry. If not, they finish drying in the garage. I’ve used my wood burning stove to dry things also. They dry in no time.

  20. As always, I enjoyed your comment about drying your clothes. I have a drying rack very similar to yours, but use my bathtub/shower in the second bathroom to hang up my clothes and dry. I do use my dryer for my towels as they are too heavy, and stiffen when not put in the dryer. Happy January.

    • They dry so fast in the living room and also add humidity to our dry house in the winter. I know what you mean about the towels. Although our dryer doesn’t heat, it does tumble so I can toss nearly dry towels in, and they become softer.

    • Here in Texas we had two days of 70 degree weather so I took advantage and washed all the dirty clothes and changed the sheets to wash them too. I hung every thing out on the clothesline to dry, they smell so nice now. Tomorrow a cold front is coming through and the high is going to be in the 40s. I have a dryer but only use it if I have to. With the weather you have I am sure a dryer is a blessing. I hope Will is able to exchange parts and get yours heating again.

  21. I can still see my aunt bringing clothes off the line stiff as a board in the Minnesota winters. She had a family of eight to was clothes for. The wringer washer was her machine. Not only did she help milk the cows but did all the cooking , cleaning, gardening etc.

  22. I just wanted to let everyone listening that wadding up foil balls and putting them in the dryer keeps clothes from getting static. The cheap balls of foil last for months.Cheap.

  23. I use a wooden drying rack set over the heater vent in the floor. Dries stuff fast. Clothes I put on hangars and hand on the bar in my walk-in shower. Some of the clothes get hung on hooks in the ceiling that we used to use to hang some plants on in the winter. I like dryers for some things that get scratchy (towels, socks). Found out that if you have something that gets scratchy or stiff, you can put in your dryer (with or without heat, right now, mine doesn’t have heat) for a few minutes and it beats them soft.

    kathy in MS

  24. I’ve never owned a dryer. When i moved to “sunny Florida “, i learned the hard way that I can’t dry clothes outdoors. Clotheslines either rot or rust. Pop up showers send you back to the spin cycle. So, my small pantry has wire shelves and I hang all my clothes on the hangars on the shelves. Works great. Then I just move the hangars to the closets. I have about 2 dozen of those clip hangars that came with clothing I purchased that I use for socks and towels.

  25. It is always something. Leaky faucet here tonight. Thankfully we replaced all the plumbing (and fixtures) when we bought the house. Having water shut-offs at each fixture is the way to go. Certainly better than having to shut the water off at the well!
    Drying racks are quite handy – for the one or two items not quite dry after dryer cycle is done or for throw rugs. Think I paid $2.99 for mine 40 years ago – bargain of the month I believe lol. It has served me well.

    • That was a great deal, wasn’t it? You’re sure right; we have shut-offs at each fixture and also at each LP appliance as shutting off the gas at the tank means re-lighting everything; hot water tank, two refrigerators, the dryer and the kitchen range. Not fun!

    • It’s sure funny how if you put your mind to it, you can usually think your way out of a fix. That turns disasters into blessings.

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