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Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

Last post Wed, Feb 13 2008 10:14 AM by AmyC. 13 replies.
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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 11:13 AM

    Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    Do you all find that it is cheaper to hang-dry, even if you have to iron too, than to just throw things in the dryer?

    I wanted to start hang-drying some of our clothes but we don't have a line outside and even if we did, I'm not home during the week to keep an eye on the clothes (though, perhaps on a pretty weekend day I can put the clothes outside). So, my only option would be to use an old clothes rack I have and set it up in our bedroom (perhaps with a towel under it to catch the dripping water). We live in a trailer and so the room to put clothes up to dry is limited (no laundry room). But then the clothes would just be wrinkled, meaning I'd have to iron anyway???

    I really want to try this, if it would actually save money, because they say that the dryer is the most expensive household appliance. My husband does manual labor, which means really dirty clothes and so I wash a lot of clothes considering it's just us two and an infant.

    So, if I hang and then have to iron, do you think I'd still be saving money?


  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 11:39 AM In reply to

    • Edey
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    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    The dryer is a convenience, for the most part, not a necessity. Anytime you use energy in some form it costs you money. The expense of line drying, or rack drying, is a one time negligable expense; for the line and clothes pins, or for the rack. Use of a dryer is an ongoing expense. It will save you money using a clothes line or rack over using a dryer, and will save limited earth resources. It may not be greatly noticeable on your utility bill, but you will know that you are saving money.

     An iron won't take anywhere near the energy of a dryer, even if left on for a long period of time.

    You get exercise from carrying the laundry basket,  hanging the clothes, and again from ironing. It's great for the arms.

    Even if you only use the dryer part time, for say, a few minutes to get the clothes partially dry, or to dry towels only, which would be difficult to hang on a rack, you are still saving money. Running thru a dryer for those few minutes will get out alot of the wrinkles and make them easier to iron. They may not need to be ironed at all, but only hung to finish drying.

    Hope this helps. E

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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 11:48 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

     According to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, it stacks up this way in watts used (per hour):

     Clothes dryer = 1800–5000 

    Clothes iron = 1000–1800

    To make this a fair comparison, take into account that it takes less time to iron a week's worth of clothing than it does to dry several loads in a dryer, and that the highest use (1800) was probably at the highest setting on the iron, which is seldom used. 

    To find your real costs, look on your electric bill for the cost per kilowatt.  

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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 1:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    Thanks for the input. It seems like it is worth a try at least. Perhaps I will give myself a goal this weekend of hang-drying my clothes and ironing them.

    I wanted to add another point: since we live in the trailer and in Southern Louisiana, the heat put off by the dryer is another big factor (I didn't really think about it until just now). I try to only dry clothes at night but during the summer it really doesn't matter. The dryer heats up our trailer like you wouldn't believe... Therefore, you have the watts used by the dryer itself but also the heat put out makes the AC have to work harder. During the summer, it can't keep up as it is.


  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 3:22 PM In reply to

    • CharlieB
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Feb 11 2008
    • Michigan
    • Posts 319

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    I saw this thread and just hand to reply...  Hang-dry is not only better for the environment and better on your wallet, I think it's better for your clothes.  Less shrinkage, no fading, no static cling.  In winter, I mostly hang shirts on hangers to dry.  In an extra room, I either have a line strung, or sometimes I set up a 6' ladder and put a piece of conduit up, then hang clothes on hangers on the conduit.  Sometimes I just hang on the door trim on various doors in the house.  For jeans I use the hangers with clips.  Sometimes I shake out the cloths before hanging, but actually, I find very little needs ironing.  The clothes aren't that wrinkley.  Some shirts yes, but my husbands jean shirts aren't too bad.  Towels and stuff I want fluffed, I just toss in the dryer for a little bit once they're dry.  I started hang drying because our propane cost went up so much, and plus my old dryer takes forever to dry.

    Also an FYI - once when buying clothes, I asked the sales lady if I could have the nice big plastic hanger the shirt came on.  She said yeah, they had a ton, did I want more.  Since then, I've found the sales people will give you the hangers plus extras if you ask, even the ones with clips.  They are bigger and better for hanging since the metal hook can be turned, unlike regular wire hangers.

  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 3:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer


    I hang them up to save the money from what it would cost to run the dryer. I still iron even if I use the dryer, so it isn't costing me any more and is really less, since the dryer isn't running.

    I also think that hanging them up saves the clothes too. Did you ever notice the lint left in the dryer? Well it is actually our clothes being torn apart, little by little by the motion of the dryer. If you only dry your clothes on a line, they should last longer too.

    My husband is a Coal Miner, so his clothes really gets dirty, and they get clean in the wash and since I don't iron them, the stains on them aren't set in, either by the dryer or an iron.

    Plus I like the smell of fresh laundered clothes after they have been left outside to dry, there is not better smell, at least not to me.


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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 3:57 PM In reply to

    • Gigi
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Posts 1,065

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    Hang drying clothes indoors can be a challenge. If your cotton/sturdy spin cycle works properly, the laundry will not drip. If the spin cycle is not working properly, they still should not drip, but your items will not get enough water out and be difficult to dry--especially in the dryer. (Don't ask me how I know this.) If you snap the items before hanging them to dry, they should dry with less wrinkles. Washing permanent press items on easy care/permanent press cycle will remove less water, but also less wrinkles. I snap this items, which are usually dresses and shirts, and hand them on plastic hangers. They have few wrinkles. 

    I don't know your circumstances, but in the summer, I will hang my laundry at night. Upon occasion, they are dried by late morning, other times by noon.

    In the end, hanging something will reduce your electric bill better than hanging nothing. When it comes to space, necessity is the mother of invention.  

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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 5:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    I pick and choose what to hang on the dryer rack - towels yes, dress shirts not usually. sheets, heavy comforters, jeans, etc. offer quite a savings when I hang them up to dry. We don't have a lot of dress clothes - both work in fields that don't require dressing up for work so we do have mostly jeans, sweaters, tees, etc. to wash. And I agree - not drying in the dryer saves wear and tear on most fabrics. I did read on this message board about combining dryer use with hanging to save money but to keep clothes looking neat, and it works great.

  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 8:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    I bought a garmet rack at target for $20 or &25. I use it to hang up our shirts and dh and my uniforms to air dry.I can get about 15 shirts on there and then I have a wall mounted one in the bathroom for socks and unders and what not. I wash on cold then hang to dry. put the space heater on nearby(which is on at times anyway and only when someone is home)and they dry pretty fast. Figured that when I 'm not using it to dry clothes it can be used for hanging coats on if we have studies at our house.


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  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 8:55 PM In reply to

    • kalla
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Nov 15 2007
    • Posts 112

    Re: Hang-Dry vs. Dryer

    A few months back I bought a couple of wooden racks I use them all the time.. Shirts and jeans get hung on hangers.. I think it's much better on clothes and they will last longer and less faded.. Even old clothes look neater and newer if I iron them a little bit. Towels are the one thing I almost always put in the dryer..I like them soft and fluffy.

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