Due to the fact that I am a chronic procrastinator I typically find myself doing smaller loads of laundry. When most people are thinking about getting to bed on a Sunday evening I am often just realizing that I don’t have a clean shirt for Monday morning. At this point in time I am too tired to bother with sorting out an entire load, I just want to throw in what I absolutely need to get by.
It is no secret that doing many small loads of laundry is much less effective then only a few larger loads (www.energysavers.gov/tips/laundry). One day I hope to have all my laundry finished by Saturday afternoon, but right now I am just looking for a quick fix. Something that will allow me to continue my procrastinating ways while reducing my energy use at the same time.
So far the solution has been to use a drying rack. The drying rack has allowed me to eliminate the biggest energy use of doing the laundry, the tumble dryer. In the United States 6 times the energy is used in drying clothes vs. washing them (www.canwesavetheworld.com). An average electric dryer (which is what I have) uses approximately 3kWh per load. At $0.15/kWh that’s almost $.50 a load. So it seems obvious that I am saving energy and money, but how practical of a solution is this for a self admitted procrastinator who is also somewhat lazy when it comes to household tasks:
I feel good about saving energy (and less guilty about doing smaller loads).
Clothes dry well overnight and have no mildew smell.
Clothes dry relatively wrinkle free.
New clothes do not shrink.
Takes slightly more effort.
Certain items such as towels, blankets, and jeans take a long time to dry.
Towels have a very rough, almost sandpaper feel after drying on the rack.
Overall I am very happy with the results from using the drying rack. I still use the dryer sometimes, especially when doing larger loads. I will also put larger items into the dryer in the morning that are still a bit damp such as towels and jeans. An unexpected plus has been that clothes can stay on the rack without wrinkling (as opposed to leaving them in the dryer). I would strongly recommend trying out a drying rack for yourself to see if it fits in with your lifestyle.