So I think many of us dry our cloth diapers in a gas or electric dryer. It takes less time, physical energy and our wash routines aren’t affected by the weather. It seems that line drying often gets automatically labeled as “more work”. At least it has for me, which is why weather is often an excuse for me to limit my line drying efforts to the warm summer days when it doesn’t feel like a chore.
I need to remind myself that line drying does not have to be an inconvenient, grueling task if you choose the right equipment for your needs and choose an easy-to-access location. Love the idea of a traditional clothesline, but just cannot get yourself motivated to bundle up in your winter coat to cart your laundry basket outdoors? Reconsider an indoor solution that will work for you year ‘round.
If you have aspirations to live greener, save more energy or want to explore some alternative “line drying” methods I have outlined a number of good options I have used, brainstormed or that caught my eye over the past few years. Personally I think the Dryer Pod or furniture-like wall laundry racks are a better fit for me and I am bound to use them more than my umbrella rack since they are meant for indoors.
What do you think the perfect fit is for you to consider for your lifestyle and preferences?
Old Fashioned clothesline and clothespins. I don’t think that anything is as picturesque as brightly colored diapers pinned across a clothesline. This will work in various parts of the yard, laundry room or for you city dwellers– an image comes to my mind of the laundry drying across the apartment windows in the busy European cities like Venice. So if there’s a will, there’s a way.
Balcony or Permanent Drying Bars. My parents’ neighbors in Japan have little ones and permanent drying rack bars on the balcony are a must for the quantity of clothes children go through each day. It will take a little bit of handy work to get them initially installed, but then you have a permanent solution to drying your clothes and diapers without having to worry about set up, clean up or storage of a drying rack. These could be installed on the side of a house or in a number of other locations besides a balcony, and there are even ceiling versions available for inside the home.
Umbrella Style Rack. These are nice, because they hold a lot of laundry, but are portable and retract much like an umbrella for easy storage. The downside is that they may tumble over if you get large gusts of wind, but they do the job just fine for most days of the year. I chose this style, because I didn’t want to install anything permanent as we were not sure how many years we would be living at our current duty station. It turns out I should have, because we’ve been here over four years!
Retractable line. I love how discreet this can be on the deck, in the laundry room or around the house. You probably wouldn’t want it in your living room, but you definitely could if space was at a minimum. Consider a laundry room, bathroom (above the tub would be awesome), or other nook in the house preferably close to your washing machine. These are available in a wide range of styles and sizes.
Dryer Pods. I actually saw these pinned on Pinterest and love the idea of taking advantage of a home’s central heat and air system to dry diapers and clothing. I am also a dork about nice furniture around the house and this would add some lovely color to a laundry room, kitchen, bathroom or even in a bedroom. It would be a bit of an investment if you only planned to use it for cloth diapers, but they are sold in different versions and sizes. It would be perfect for drying socks and delicates after the diapering years, or consider a version that has more room for growth. Keep in mind the energy savings over the years and the piece may end up paying for itself.
Free Standing Indoor Drying Rack. This was how my mother dried our clothing growing up. I think she placed the racks on the balcony from time to time, but in general she laid out racks in our bedrooms while we were off at school that they were almost always dry and put away by the time we returned from school in the afternoon.
On other furniture and around the house. If you really don’t have the space for additional drying racks, don’t want to be bothered with installation of any hardware or just need a temporary options, this is the one for you. All joking aside, my dining room chairs are usually my go-to equipment if I just have a small handful of things that need to be line dried or when I am sunning diapers by the window.
There are a couple versions of accordion or ladder style racks for the wall I have seen in catalogs that are as decorative as they are functional. And you have probably seen wooden or bamboo ladders used for magazines, high heel shoe storage and an array of other things, but they can be just as functional and decorative for cloth diapers. Lastly, with all of the crib recalls, you may consider using one of the crib sides as a ladder drying rack. Just be careful if you get yours antiquing or second hand as you will want to make sure the paints used are lead-free and safe for your laundry and for little hands to touch.