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How do you dry your laundry in winter?

(75 Posts)
BerylStreep Mon 12-Sep-11 17:00:21

Having never had a tumble drier, I may have to now admit defeat. I have always dried clothes over the radiators in winter, but we have recently had the house renovated / redecorated, and DH says he can't bear to have clothes on radiators any longer.

I have resisted the idea of tumble driers as I suspect I would shrink things, it would cost a fortune and generally be bad for the environment.

How do you manage?

RunsWithScissors Mon 12-Sep-11 17:12:28

I use an indoor airer (one of the fold up ones). Works ok as long as I don't put things on it right next to each other.

Naoko Mon 12-Sep-11 17:14:25

I have storage heaters which you can't really safely put clothes on. I manage with two airers, the bannister, and stuff hanging from curtain rails (when curtains open obviously) on coathangers, and when it's not raining everything bar small stuff like socks/underwear goes on the line outside. It works well enough. However, I'd love to have a dryer if I had the room/could afford one... I'd not put everything in it, just stuff that's difficult to dry, like heavy jumpers, jeans and double duvet covers. I think that way you'd manage a decent balance between cost/environment and making life easier.

purpleturtle Mon 12-Sep-11 17:16:45

Do you have room anywhere to suspend an airer with a pulley mechanism? Hangs from the ceiling. (Sorry - they must have a name, but I don't know it). We have inherited one in the kitchen and it's brilliant. I also have a fold up airer, and they are often both in use.

(I have a washer-drier, so when desperate I use that, but only really for sheets and towels)

purpleturtle Mon 12-Sep-11 17:18:35

one of these

CointreauVersial Mon 12-Sep-11 17:22:43

I have a massive airer rack that folds flat when not in use - it happily takes three or four loads.

It currently lives in our utility room, but in our old cottage I had to put it in a corner of the bedroom. But with the central heating on the clothes dry pretty quickly so it's not out for long. You can also buy similar airers that plug in and warm up.

Also in our utility room is a little rack set high up, with hooks on it - I use this for shirts and stuff on hangers. You could put a rack anywhere you have space.

Have you got an airing cupboard/hot press doing nothing? We used to store towels in ours until I saw its potential, so we fitted it out with loads of slatted shelves for drying laundry.

We have a tumble dryer, but it is only used for duvet covers and towels, or in an emergency.

I agree with your DH - I can't bear stuff draped all over the house - it has to be out of sight.

Pancakeflipper Mon 12-Sep-11 17:22:48

I have an airer and I have a washer drier which only usually gets used for towels as it softens them up lovely.

doublestandard Mon 12-Sep-11 17:26:35

I get the laptop, open it and suspend the clothes above a good AIBU thread. I find the flaming dries the clothes nice and quickly.

But before I found MN I used an airer. Just don't load on too much or it will take an age to dry and get stinky.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Sep-11 17:28:46

Dh strung up an indoor washing line in the utility room and we turn the dehumidifier on in there.

BerylStreep Mon 12-Sep-11 17:55:57

I would love one of those pulley airers - we had 2 huge ones in our kitchen when I was growing up, but our kitchen ceiling was easily 12 feet high!

We don't have a utility room, and so if we get a tumble drier, it will need to be a washer drier.

sorry, must go - sick child

Bonsoir Mon 12-Sep-11 17:58:11

Buy a tumble dryer. What are you waiting for?

virgiltracey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:10:54

Buy a tumble dryer. you won't shrink things this is more likely to hapen in the washing machine!

We have a washing line outside for sunny or windy days. We then have a ceiling pulley airer which is fab but you do need the space to use this. then we use the tumble dryer ony if absoluetely necessary - or for towels. Towels need to be tumble dried imo to get the maximum fluffiness!

Collision Mon 12-Sep-11 18:15:55

I have put 2 airers in the bath.

Clothes dry and are out of the way and it means we only use the shower so less water is used.

Towels and sheets are a bugger though!

mumblechum1 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:17:18

I use my tumble drier all year round as dh won't tolerate washing in the garden (think Homes and Gardens type thing) and I won't tolerate it draped around the house.

Imps7 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:21:23

Why is it that OH doesn't want clothes on the radiators anymore? Is it because it looks messy or is it because he's worried about marking the paint work?? We've just done our house up and after several irriating incidents of marking the paint work when putting things on the radiators (jeans are a particular menace) I now use these and my paint has remained pristine since!

That won't help if it's just the general messiness that's the problem though. If that is the issue, I would suggest big drying rack and a dehumidifier.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 12-Sep-11 18:21:49

I have one of these hanging up in the utility room (or "futility room" as I saw another MNetter hilariously called it grin).

The utility room has a slate floor with underfloor heating and clothes dry really well in there, don't know if its cos the heat all rises up?

Its quite a high room so you can hoist up duvet covers on it and still pretty much be able to walk under it. Before we had it we just used to throw duvet covers over doors and bannisters and that worked alright.

Our house now is an old cottage with an AGA and lots of underfloor heating and thick walls though so is always toasty so we've never had difficulty drying stuff. When we lived in a 1960s house it was much colder and harder to get things dry quickly.

mumblechum1 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:22:47

It does look awful to have stuff drying on radiators.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 12-Sep-11 18:23:42

Oh should have read the thread - I see everyone has mentioned pulley maids already!

Separately, why is it that pulley maids seem to work so well to dry stuff?

Abra1d Mon 12-Sep-11 18:23:46

'Dh strung up an indoor washing line in the utility room and we turn the dehumidifier on in there.'

We do the same. If you dry it without the dehumidifier, make sure you ventilate the room or you will get damp or condensation.

BerylStreep Mon 12-Sep-11 18:26:45


Note to self: dryer not drier.

I had suggested to DH that we put a pulley airer in our landing, over the stairs, but he thought I had taken leave of my senses (oh how the long nights pass in the Streep household).

I think I will opt for a washer dryer,(current washing machine 10 years old, so will probably need to get a new one soon) but would also like some sort of alternative as well. For those who have pulley systems / airers, is condensation an issue in the house?

Also, any top tips for good washer dryers?

Meglet Mon 12-Sep-11 18:28:07

Heating on 24hrs so the clothes on the airer + radiators can dry, it gets smelly if it doesn't dry fast.

And tumble dryer for towels, jeans + sheets.

I really want a sheila-maid but I don't think my ceiling / loft beams are suitable.

Chestnutx3 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:28:31

Just buy a tumble drier. No need to iron most clothes if you get it when it finishes - that to me means that it is worth it. Sometimes I dry outside but its the extra ironing that I don't welcome. If you live somewhere buy the sea then you don't get the cardboard like dried clothes that I do when I dry on the washing line. I also think washing line is an eyesore but put it away sometimes.

garlicbutty Mon 12-Sep-11 18:29:35

I'm burning with envy at your utility room, Bumps! I want to live there!

Lacking heated, high-ceilinged utility rooms and Agas, I don't understand people who won't use a tumble dryer. It's what they're for. They work, don't use stupid amounts of fuel (as long as you clear the filter) and make things nice and soft. I use airing racks as well but they really get on my nerves.

bonkers20 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:30:02

The pulley ones are called Sheila Maids.

We dry on the airer, on hangers on the curtain rails and in the airing cupboard and use the drier when either everything's full and I'm on the verge of tears, or to finish things off which have been on the line but not quite dry.

I do put undies and socks and toddler stuff on the radiators, but if you're doing that AND coooking pasta and it's a rainy day it gets rather humid inside!

notcitrus Mon 12-Sep-11 18:31:18

Washer dryers not nearly as good or reliable as separates. You have to take out half the clothes before drying, too.

I use racks over radiators (moving them upstairs if anyone's coming round!), hanging over doors (ditto), and sometimes an airer if I can be bothered to set it up. The dryer is for emergencies (child threw up on bedding, child potty training, certain shirt needed ASAP, etc).

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