Save big money, air dry your laundry

Update (8/18/2009): My air drying rack has been featured in HGTV.ca’s blog. Check it out here: LINK TO HGTV.CA


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This is a project I have been thinking of doing for a while in my head. When we first got married some 9 years ago we never had a dryer and just used to hang our washed laundry on a rack in the apartment to dry. For 4 and a half years we were fine with that. Now ever since we moved to Kansas and bought the house we have had a dryer, but alas with that convenience comes a price. The price is in natural gas which continually goes up and the price in winter around here usually doubles.

Knowing this I wanted to get back into air drying again. The problem with just putting up a mega clothesline is that aside from the storms, rain and bird poop… my wife’s allergies are so severe that air drying outside is just not an option.

So I spent some time cleaning off the back porch which is more of a mud room between the kitchen and the garage. I bought a few materials and used some lumber left overs from when I put shelves in the tool shed and whipped up a mega-indoor-air-drying-station. So far we love it.

I have a wall that is about 12 feet long with a deep freezer of 4 feet at one end. So I put wire shelving down the whole 12 foot length for hanging hangers of clothes and such on. Beside the freezer I built a 2×4 framed clothes drying rack with line spaced 3″ apart for drying baby clothes and towels and cloth diapers and such. All in all we can air dry a TON of laundry. It is on the back room so it is not outdoors, but it is not indoors either so it does not add humidity to the house.

Total project cost for materials (mostly the shelving and brackets) was about $60.00

Right now we are paying about 10.00 per unit of gas and about 20.00 per unit in the winter. Each month we use at least 1 unit in just the dryer so we are looking at 10-20 dollars a month in savings. So by Christmas that rack will have paid for itself and from New Years on out it will be paying us in return.

Hope this inspires you as well, it was hard work, but so worth it.

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Comments {9}

{9} Comments

  • 08.24.08 lulugal11

    I love the look of your air drying station. I live in an apartment where we are NOT allowed to put up lines and I don’t have a balcony anyway.

    I bought a drying rack at Walmart and have it set up in the spare bedroom.

    Every load that I air dry is $1.00 saved since I do not have to pay that money to use the dryer…my rack paid for itself in just over one month. (2 loads per weekend)

  • 11.27.08 Teensybug

    I LOVE THIS! I want something like this in my apartment. It costs $1 to wash and $1 to dry. I hate to wash and dry in my building since it’s not the cleanest place to do. I’ll be heading off to home supply store to get the supplies.

    I love your blog and congrats on paying off your siding loan.

  • 03.13.09 Suz

    Wish I had that much room for something like that. My washer & dryer are literally in a closet! Plan to hang some of my laundry outside this summer though!

  • 06.19.09 Your Frugal Friend, Niki

    Wow, that looks great!

    :)

  • 06.28.09 Lenetta @ Nettacow

    Very interesting idea! I linked to this on my weekly roundup (post can be found here). Not sure I'd want to give up that much floor space, and we are thankfully able to use a clothesline several months out of the year. But with the right setup, this could be awesome in the wintertime! Thanks!

  • 06.28.09 Money Savin' Momma

    Thanks for linking to our post! We actually didn't give up space for it, as it's on our back porch and we weren't really doing anything with the space anyway. We love being able to air dry laundry year round. The sun on the back porch heats up the porch nicely in the winter.

  • 03.11.10 Randi

    Great thinking! After trying an outdoor line we realized that wouldn’t work for us either, btwn DH’s allergies & the 5 kiddos always trying to hang from the lines we couldn’t get and outdoor system to work, so we hang almost everything from hangers, which are hanging from the ceiling beams in the garage. During the summer months our jean shorts will dry in 30 minutes from all the heat up there!

  • 10.24.13 Tonya

    I love this idea. Also, the lady that commented on hanging clothes in the garage. I have tried the back yard and my dog was overjoyed…need I say more. Then, I tried a wooden rack in the bathroom but my cats found that was great for climbing. The porch and garage idea sounds good though. Thanks for such good ideas!

  • 11.25.13 md Kennedy

    I LOVE this! Living in a condo it makes air drying hard so I wish I could come up with something like this instead of hangers all over the place on laundry day!