Etiquette Hell

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Title: Clothes lines
Post by: Brisvegasgal on August 08, 2012, 01:58:42 AM
Last night I was watching an American TV show and they were talking about needing a clothes dryer.  As this isn't the first time I've seen this sort of thing it got me wondering because everyone I know has a line (some also have dryers) that they almost always use.  Is this an Aussie thing or do most people have clothes lines?
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: BC12 on August 08, 2012, 02:31:18 AM
American here. Nobody I know has a clothes line. Not sure why, really. I live in a dry enough climate that clothes would dry very quickly. I would worry about the powerful desert sun bleaching the colors out of my clothes, though.

Does it have to do with higher energy costs in other countries, maybe? When I visited Ireland, nobody had (or used) a clothes dryer because it was just too expensive to run.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: ydpubs on August 08, 2012, 02:37:27 AM
I am from Chicago originally. My mom always had a clothes line. An outdoor one for the summer and an indoor hanging rack in the winter.

I live in CA now and I use a clothes rack and line to dry my clothes.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: MariaE on August 08, 2012, 03:35:29 AM
I have experience with Denmark and New Zealand. In both countries many people tend to have both clothes lines and a dryer and use clothes lines as much as possible as it's better for the environment and the wallet both ;)

Dryers tend to be used in bad weather or when there's a deadline for when the clothes have to be dry.

I haven't used our dryer in years.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on August 08, 2012, 03:52:05 AM
I wonder if it has to do with the climate. I know not all of the USA has snow in winter, but its winter here in Sydney and last night was our coldest night for ages. I had washing I left on the line all night and it was fine this morning (just needed a quick spin in the dryer cause of the dew). I imagine in most of the more northern parts of the world you'd wake up to clothes that were frozen solid.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ferrets on August 08, 2012, 03:56:23 AM
UK here, and almost everyone I know/live near has a clothes-line in the back garden/back yard. Parents had a tumble dryer for a while when I was younger, but I've never owned one myself (expensive to buy, expensive to run, and no space for one!). I put as many wet clothes as possible on the clothes-line, and the rest are draped over radiators/clothes-horse/doors/occasionally the cat to dry.

Although with the weather as it is currently*, being ambushed by rainstorms left right and centre, things are taking A Long Time to dry both indoors and out. If I ever get absolutely desperate, there's a laundrette five minutes' walk away with tumble dryers there.

*Someone commented recently: "No surprise that we [Team GB] won those Olympic medals in canoeing. It's how we've all been commuting to work for weeks." ::)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: kherbert05 on August 08, 2012, 04:35:51 AM
Houston, Texas Clothes dryiers are the norm here. I do hang clothes but inside. Hanging clothes outside has multiple problems

1. Clothes will mildew before they dry on some days due to humidity.
2. Pollution
3. Pollen (Mom liked the idea of drying clothes outside - but stopped because the clothes could dry yellow from pollen especially during ragweed season)

My family on PEI have driers and clothes lines. They use the driers when they need something dry quickly, and when the clothes will freeze instead of dry.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Venus193 on August 08, 2012, 05:53:49 AM
My mother had a clothes line in the backyard of her house and one in the basement for winter use and didn't own a dryer.  Since she lived alone after my brother died she didn't do laundry on rainy days.

There are clothes lines on the building behind me, but as good as they are for the environment I hate looking at other people's laundry drying.

ETA:  USA; New York City
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Irishkitty on August 08, 2012, 06:40:19 AM
American here. Nobody I know has a clothes line. Not sure why, really. I live in a dry enough climate that clothes would dry very quickly. I would worry about the powerful desert sun bleaching the colors out of my clothes, though.

Does it have to do with higher energy costs in other countries, maybe? When I visited Ireland, nobody had (or used) a clothes dryer because it was just too expensive to run.

They can be expensive yes. But most people have a back garden where they can hang them out. Weather is a problem though, but people usually have clothes horses for indoor drying. Space is also an issue. Our houses are small and usually the washing machine is in the kitchen. It's not common to have a separate laundry room.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Wench on August 08, 2012, 07:16:23 AM
I'm from the UK and a bit odd that I primarily use my dryer which is part of a washer dryer combo.  I live in a flat that does have communal space outside but no where to put a permanent washing line.  I have a horrible little close horse that I try to use when it nice outside but generally stuck using the dryer.  Unfortunately I can't really dry my clothes inside as my flat is prone to damp and I don't want to make the problem worse or have horrible smelling clothes!

Hopefully when we can afford to buy our own place we will try and get somewhere with a garden so we have more opportunity to dry our clothes outside.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: EmmaJ. on August 08, 2012, 07:16:43 AM
My HOA has banned backyard clothes lines, so I've installed some rods in my garage.  I take the clothes out of the washer, put them on hangers, and leave them to dry for a day or so.  I do put towels and sheets in the electric dryer though.  Fortunately I have a small car so there is room for everything.

Some of my neighbors are trying to get the ban lifted due to the reasons above - it's better for the environment, saves money, etc.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Jones on August 08, 2012, 07:47:39 AM
American. We primarily use the dryer, though we have a line in the house we use at times. Hanging clothes outside would result in pollen problems (DH and I both have terrible allergies), intense and sudden winds would result in lost clothing, and I just know that if I hung up my underpants the neighbors would be saying "Hey Bertha! Look at those panties! Bet we could fit two of you in there!"

Oh yeah. And dogs. My dogs have the run of the yard, and if I had the linens hanging where they could reach they probably would need washed again.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: CLE_Girl on August 08, 2012, 08:02:00 AM
American here

I have both a dryer and inside lines.  I pretty much only use the lines for drying clothes that can't go in the dryer because of the material type or shrinkage concerns.  Where I live (north eastern midwest) the weather is really unpredictable.  People joke that you can have all 4 seasons happen in one day (wake up to snow, turns to cold and rainy, sun comes out and it warms up, then warm and rainy by bed).  And for the most part natural gas and electricity are pretty cheap here.  If I could find a place for outdoor drying lines I would use them during the summer.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Style_and_Grace on August 08, 2012, 08:19:33 AM
I have a dryer, my mother had a dryer, all the grands had dryers.  That isn't to say that there aren't things that do not go in the dryer, but I have an adorable little drying rack for them. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: HermioneGranger on August 08, 2012, 08:26:57 AM
American here.  We have a dryer, and a sweater rack for what can't be put in the dryer.  Our HOA doesn't allow clotheslines, but a few people have them anyway.  I personally don't have a problem with them, but our yards are small and I really don't want be able to see my neighbor's undies flapping in the breeze while I'm trying to sit outside.   :P
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 08, 2012, 08:44:32 AM
American in the humid south.  No clothes line and haven't lived in a home that had one since the early 70's. We do have items I don't put in the dryer, but I'll hang those on the shower rod or lay sweaters on the ironing board to dry. 

I lived in Oz for a few months for work in a upscale corporate apartment.  Tis was my face when I realized it only had a washer. :o.  Since I was the first in a long line of American's who'd be living there, they ended up putting in a dryer for me to use. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Hillia on August 08, 2012, 08:54:01 AM
American...we have both a clothes line and a dryer in Denver.  I love the clothesline but it's not practical in the winter.  We always had a clothesline when I was growing up and it was the primary means of drying clothes - the dryer was used only in bad weather or if you were in hurry.

Many HOAs (Home Owner's Associations) in the US ban outdoor clotheslines, which I think is ridiculous, but then my experiences with HOAs have been uniformly negative.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Sophia on August 08, 2012, 09:07:39 AM
An outdoor clothes line is illegal by city ordinance where I live.  They are seen to be an ugly eyesore that poor people own.  On par with having a non-function car on cinderblocks in your yard.   
In the next city over, my MIL has a large multi-row one and she uses it regularly.  She lives in an older neighborhood that has become posh.
My house came with a large laundry room.  I have a large closet rod going across the room.  I can put clothes on hangers and then stretch to put the hanger on the rod.  Our dryer died a year-ago and we actually didn't have any trouble except DH had to string twine in the backyard for the cloth diapers.  It looked amusing. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Xandraea on August 08, 2012, 09:54:51 AM
USA, and washer/dryer here.  Tumble dryers are hard on clothes though, so I try not to use it unless I need something done in a hurry or to get something big like a comforter started.  HOA forbids ANYTHING in our tiny yards (detached townhomes but super-close to neighbors, so no clothes lines, swing sets) but I wouldn't want my underthings outside for neighbors to see anyway.  I had a short closet rod installed in my laundry room over the little sink, between the wall and the cabinet, and keep a few hangers there. Sometimes I just hang things over the rod itself, or my shower rod, or the double towel bar in my bathroom.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Judah on August 08, 2012, 11:11:01 AM
I think dryers are pretty much the norm in the US.  I have a line, but we only use it to hang the towels we use at the hot tub. I do hang delicates in the laundry room, though.  There are too many drawback to clothes lines to make them worthwhile.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: SPuck on August 08, 2012, 11:50:40 AM
For me it depends on the type of clothing and situation. Nice shirts and bras are always hung on the indoor rack and everything goes out side when the weather is nice. I always try to dry my dress pants in the dryer because that is the best way to get rid of the link.

On the banning of clothes lines because of property values  :P I've read news articles where cities or towns ban the use of them also.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 08, 2012, 12:16:43 PM
In Ontario, there were a lot of subdivisions that banned outdoor clotheslines as they were being built because they were considered unsightly.  But with green energy and environmental issues being brought to the forefront, those agreements have been declared null and void and if you want a clothesline, you are free to put one up as long as it is totally on your own property (not attached to a shared fence, for example).

I don't use an outdoor line, mainly because it would be a lot of work to get from my laundry room to the back yard unless I took the screen out of the window and somehow balanced the laundry basket there.  I do have a rack that I use indoors, in my bedroom, for delicates and things I'm worried about shrinking.  I do 4 loads of laundry at a time and usually only have 3 dryer loads, max.

I remember reading a story about clotheslines.  One younger lady used hers all the time and was given grief that she put her 'unmentionables' on the line, especially in light of her older, bachelor neighbour.  (He wasn't the one complaining.)  She had a good relationship with him so for his 50th birthday, she made sure to hang out 50 pieces of lingerie, just for him.  He thought it was hysterical.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Xandraea on August 08, 2012, 12:19:42 PM
*Snip*
I remember reading a story about clotheslines.  One younger lady used hers all the time and was given grief that she put her 'unmentionables' on the line, especially in light of her older, bachelor neighbour.  (He wasn't the one complaining.)  She had a good relationship with him so for his 50th birthday, she made sure to hang out 50 pieces of lingerie, just for him.  He thought it was hysterical.

I agree, that's hysterical!!  Why do people complain "on behalf" of others all the time? He's a grown man, if he had a problem with it he could have spoken up for himself.  I wish I had neighbors that I could call friends, or even friendly.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Jones on August 08, 2012, 12:26:21 PM
Just remembered some extra benefits to our indoor line!
Ours is hung in the family area. Dh uses it to dry herbs, I use it to hang party decorations. No pins in the wall from holidays past.We've also hung quilts on it for indoor "tents". Not just for the children, either.  ;D

And I've noticed that on especially hot days, hanging wet towels out to dry seems to help the house cool off a bit faster (we have a swamp cooler that blows through the wet stuff).
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: camlan on August 08, 2012, 12:55:30 PM
Growing up in New Hampshire, we had both a clothesline and a dryer. The clothesline was shielded from the view of the street and the neighbors with a trellis and a lot of lilac bushes.

But with nine people in the family, laundry pretty much had to be done daily, and couldn't wait for sunny days. So the dryer was used on rainy days and in the winter, when the clothes would have frozen before they dried. We lived in an old Victorian house, built in the 1880s, and you could see in the basement where they  had had strung clotheslines for use in the winter. But the basement was too damp to dry clothes quickly--when we tried it, they mildewed before they dried.

Older parts of Boston and the surrounding towns still have houses with clotheslines. The Boston three-decker houses typically had clotheslines either on the back porch or running from the house to poles in the back yard, with pulleys to move the clothes along. I used to live in a neighborhood that was built up between 1920-1930--pretty much all the houses had had clotheslines, and a good many were still in operation. I'd wake at 6:30 on summer mornings to the sound of the pulley squeaking as my elderly neighbor put her laundry out on the line. She had a screened-in back porch on the second floor, with a special little screen window to allow her to access the line.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Harriet Jones on August 08, 2012, 01:19:34 PM
I tend to hang stuff inside rather than outside, but we *do* have a clothesline and so do many of the neighbors.  Our next-door neighbor uses theirs all of the time.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: kethria on August 08, 2012, 02:20:43 PM
I want one, but in the meantime I got a drying rack from Ikea I leave on the deck. In the townhome I would use it to dry sweaters and stuff. Here it's mostly bathing suits and wet clothes from the pool. I mostly do laundry at night and it's kind of a hike all the way up the basement stairs to the deck to hang clothes. I might start doing more washing on Saturday though and let it dry, assuming that the maryland humidity actually lets it dry.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: MariaE on August 08, 2012, 03:40:34 PM
Just wanted to add that about half of our clothes lines are indoors. Denmark's too wet for it to be logical to have only outdoors ones.

Thus eliminating the problem of sun bleaching, pollen, pollution and neighbours complaining about unmentionables :)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: MrsJWine on August 08, 2012, 03:47:27 PM
I would love to have a clothesline, but there isn't really a place to put one indoors, and putting them outdoors freaks me out (spiders, ooooh, the spiders). Also it's extremely dusty here, so they'd need to go straight back in the wash, I think. I was hang-drying most of our clothes indoors when we had a house and extra space to hang clothes, but now there's just too much laundry and too little space. I cannot find any drying racks online that are made for small spaces and would work in our apartment, and our bathtub won't work (gets used too much, and the ventilation is lousy in there even with the fan on, so things would take forever to dry). So I think it's mostly that living spaces in the US aren't really set up for line or rack drying. I wish they were; it would save gobs of money.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Thipu1 on August 08, 2012, 05:03:54 PM
When I was a child, everyone had lines for drying laundry.  I also remember helping my mother set up the curtain stretcher in the back yard.  Does anyone remember those instruments of torture? 

Where we live now, an outside clothes line isn't possible.  We have a dryer in our apartment and, when clothes can't go into the dryer, we hang them in the little room that holds our furnace and hot water heater. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: #borecore on August 08, 2012, 05:26:12 PM
We use a dryer, and I grew up using one. In Michigan, we had a drying thing that looked kind of like an umbrella with the covering parts made of cords to hang stuff on. In Texas, we had a rope line for big blankets or beach towels, but we used the dryer for everything else.

I also have an indoor Ikea rack for delicate stuff or things prone to shrinking. Our complex's dryers run hot!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: dawbs on August 08, 2012, 05:36:44 PM
I wouldn't mind one of the umbrella ones.

But, generally, I just hang things in the laundry room, either on the rack or on hangers from the ceiling or the clothes rack in the corner.  I air dry a lot of clothes w/o a rack

I don't really see me carrying heavy, wet laundry up a flight of stairs from the basement. Same floor laundry would make it much more workable.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: baglady on August 08, 2012, 05:59:25 PM
Northeastern USA here: Even though I know hanging the laundry is good for the environment, part of me still thinks of a clothesline as a big neon sign that says, "We can't afford a dryer!" because that's why we didn't have one when I was growing up. We hung clothes outside whenever weather permitted; we had clotheslines in the basement for winter and rainy days.

There are times I wish I had one, though, for very large items I don't want to put in the dryer but are too bulky to hang in my usual hanging spot.

I don't own a washer or dryer; I go to the laundromat, and anything I don't want to put in the dryer gets hung to dry on a hanger in the bathroom (which is very large and doesn't have moisture issues).
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: katycoo on August 08, 2012, 09:19:41 PM
HOA's are sounding like a PITA I have to say...

An outdoor clothes line is illegal by city ordinance where I live.  They are seen to be an ugly eyesore that poor people own.  On par with having a non-function car on cinderblocks in your yard.   

I find this mindset particularly amusing.  I guess we don't see them as ugly as its such a common sight.  Also - they're in backyard.  One should not be looking over the neighbours fence.

I have a dryer but it really only gets used if its been raining for days, or if we've run out of pegs/space on the line and indoor airer.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Sophia on August 08, 2012, 09:58:32 PM
I think it is just one of those different ideas for different areas.  An unfenced backyard is freaky-weird here.  Where my neighbors live having one is darn-right unneighborly. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: CakeEater on August 09, 2012, 02:45:30 AM
I'm finding the idea that people don't want others looking at their underwear a bit amusing. I've lived in Australian suburbia my whole life, where everyone hangs everything outside, and I can't remember ever taking note of my neighbors' underwear. Although, I had a co-worker who would never hang mismatched sheet sets out in case the neighbors thought she slept in mismatched sheets.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: BC12 on August 09, 2012, 03:15:34 AM
This thread is strangely fascinating.

At the risk of looking like a doofus, I'll be honest and tell you all that I have never, ever used a clothesline in my entire life. I don't even really know how. So I have some possibly naive questions for those who use a clothesline almost exclusively.

-How long do clothes typically take to dry indoors? What about outdoors? I know weather plays a huge factor in this, but I'm just looking for an approximation.

-I noticed a few posters mention that they have clotheslines in their apartments. So, when you do laundry, do you have, say, ten shirts, seven pairs of socks, and nine underpants hanging in your living space? Or do you not wait until all your clothes are dirty to finally do a few loads of laundry (like me)?

-Does your wet laundry drip water onto your floors?

-Do you have to iron all of your air-dried clothing? Or do the wrinkles caused by the spin cycle magically disappear like they do when I use my dryer?

I have more questions, but I'll stop there. It'd be super nice to be able to dry things in my apartment, so I'm really curious about anyone's answers.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Venus193 on August 09, 2012, 05:40:43 AM
I once thought about buying a folding indoor rack for drying clothes, but I have cats.

I will wash certain things and hang them up on the showerhead; as a single person I don't need to go to the laundromat more than once a week.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: camlan on August 09, 2012, 06:28:04 AM
I'm finding the idea that people don't want others looking at their underwear a bit amusing. I've lived in Australian suburbia my whole life, where everyone hangs everything outside, and I can't remember ever taking note of my neighbors' underwear. Although, I had a co-worker who would never hang mismatched sheet sets out in case the neighbors thought she slept in mismatched sheets.

I have to admit that when I was a kid and hanging up the family's laundry, I "hide" the underwear by putting it on a line between two other lines of clothing or sheets or towels. (We had a drying area with 5 lines.) One of my friends puts the underwear on the line, then puts a sheet over it all. Still dries pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ereine on August 09, 2012, 06:58:00 AM
I imagine in most of the more northern parts of the world you'd wake up to clothes that were frozen solid.

Clothes dry as the freeze, that is they don't end up a solid lump of ice but just dry clothes (apparently the water freezes and the ice sublimates into water vapor and the clothes dry, or something like that).

I'm in Finland and my apartment complex is well-equipped for drying clothes. There's a clothes line outside, it's a very common type here with metal body and several lines. There's also a fully metal version drying rugs. We also have a drier in our laundry room and a drying room with clothes lines and a machine that blows hot air. I don't use that much as it takes something like 8 hours to really dry. I use the dryer for sheets (sometimes I use the lines outside but I'm allergic to pollen so I usually avoid it in the summer, sheets smell and feel so much nicer though than with the dryer) and hang-dry my clothes on a rack in my apartment. I do have to plan it, as it takes a few days for all my clothes to be dry but if there are a lot of clothes that can handle dryers available here they are the sort I wouldn't want to wear. Apart from pollen the biggest reason I don't use the outside line is laziness, it's much closer to home from the laundry room and hanging clothes outside requires additional steps like worrying about the weather and taking them home when they're dry. Also the line is next to a street and possibly someone could steal my clothes and I probably wouldn't feel comfortable with my underwear on show.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: dawbs on August 09, 2012, 07:34:08 AM
I once thought about buying a folding indoor rack for drying clothes, but I have cats.

I will wash certain things and hang them up on the showerhead; as a single person I don't need to go to the laundromat more than once a week.

This kind of rack can be knocked down by cats, (so they're locked out of the laundry room) but they can't really climb it or what not
(http://image.normthompson.com/solutions/images/us/local/products/detail/87707.jpg)

THIS kind is no longer in my house because the cats LOVED to curl up on damp sweaters and sleep on them--and render them dirty doing so.
(http://www.stacksandstacks-static.com/images/product/reg-44193.jpg)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Margo on August 09, 2012, 07:44:58 AM
This thread is strangely fascinating.

At the risk of looking like a doofus, I'll be honest and tell you all that I have never, ever used a clothesline in my entire life. I don't even really know how. So I have some possibly naive questions for those who use a clothesline almost exclusively.

-How long do clothes typically take to dry indoors? What about outdoors? I know weather plays a huge factor in this, but I'm just looking for an approximation.
It varies a lot, as you say - jeans take a lot longer than this t-shirts, then there is the weather factor. I would say anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours,
Quote
-I noticed a few posters mention that they have clotheslines in their apartments. So, when you do laundry, do you have, say, ten shirts, seven pairs of socks, and nine underpants hanging in your living space? Or do you not wait until all your clothes are dirty to finally do a few loads of laundry (like me)?
If I can't put mine outside, I have some freestanding airers - I usually put mine in my spare bedroom or in my (glassed in) back porch, so they are not in the areas I am actually using. At my parent's old house we had retratable lines which were above the tub in the bathroom. My gradma had a wooden airer on a pulley which hung in the kitchen ceiling, but it was high enough up that it didn't really impinge on the living space unless she had something like double sheets on it.
Quote
-Does your wet laundry drip water onto your floors?
No, by the time the washing has been through the spin cyle in the machine it's not dripping. If I have stuff which I've hand washed or which is too delicate for the spin cycle, so it's lkely to drip, I will stand the airer in or over the bath so it doesn't drip on the floor.

Quote
-Do you have to iron all of your air-dried clothing? Or do the wrinkles caused by the spin cycle magically disappear like they do when I use my dryer?
It depends. I you're efficient at taking the washing out of the machine as soon as it finishes, so it dosn't sit too long, and if you hang it carefully and thre's a breeze, you get rid of a lot of the wrinkles. I tend to find that I can get away without ironing much, but there are some things such as cotton or linen shirts which need ironing whatever you do. I often put things on coathangers and hang the hanger from the washing line, as this helps reduce wrinkles for shirts and dresses.

That said, I hate ironing so I try to buy low-maintenance clothes, most of the time.
Quote
I have more questions, but I'll stop there. It'd be super nice to be able to dry things in my apartment, so I'm really curious about anyone's answers.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Morrigan on August 09, 2012, 08:47:00 AM
Michigangander here.  Mother and grandmother always hang them out in the nice weather.

I've taken to hanging mine out in spring/summer/fall (when it's not too cold for me).  I do have a dryer for when there's bad weather or it's winter.  Gas bill has gone down dramatically since I started hanging them out.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Sophia on August 09, 2012, 09:34:26 AM
...-How long do clothes typically take to dry indoors? What about outdoors? I know weather plays a huge factor in this, but I'm just looking for an approximation....

At least for me, when I hang my clothes indoors I put them on the hanger wet, then I hang them on the rod.  So, it isn't like if I hung them on a clothesline.  They do seem to last a lot longer that way.  I smooth out the fabric as I am hanging them up and for my nice clothes I try to get to the washer as soon as it is done.  It doesn't seem to be the washing that puts in wrinkles, it seems to be sitting there wet that does it. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Venus193 on August 09, 2012, 10:23:47 AM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: demarco on August 09, 2012, 03:43:56 PM
I imagine in most of the more northern parts of the world you'd wake up to clothes that were frozen solid.

Clothes dry as the freeze, that is they don't end up a solid lump of ice but just dry clothes (apparently the water freezes and the ice sublimates into water vapor and the clothes dry, or something like that).

That was never my experience.  I grew up in New England in a household with no dryer.  I can remember bringing frozen clothes off the porch and into the house, after an unexpected freeze.  They were wet when they thawed.  We had to haul clothes to the laundramat in the winter to avoid this. 

If I leave a wet facecloth in the freezer and bring it out to put on my head (migraine remedy) it's still wet when it thaws out. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ms_Cellany on August 09, 2012, 03:50:31 PM
We dry towels, bath mats and other heavy stuff outside. I've found if I put them in the dryer first for about two minutes before hanging to dry, they come off the line nice and fluffy and unwrinkled.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Decimus on August 09, 2012, 04:02:11 PM
NY, NY -- I've always used dryers.  Certainly there's no room in my apartment for one.  I'll hang very thin shirts in the bathroom to dry but everything else gets tumble-dried.

I find it efficient; I can take sheets off the bed, wash them, dry them, and put them back on two hours later.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: katycoo on August 09, 2012, 04:21:41 PM
This thread is strangely fascinating.

At the risk of looking like a doofus, I'll be honest and tell you all that I have never, ever used a clothesline in my entire life. I don't even really know how. So I have some possibly naive questions for those who use a clothesline almost exclusively.

Drape clothes over line, peg to hold in place.  Remove when dry.  That's about it!

-How long do clothes typically take to dry indoors? What about outdoors? I know weather plays a huge factor in this, but I'm just looking for an approximation.

Indoors - overnight is usual.  Outdoors - a couple of hours if its sunny/windy.  Longer if its overcast and cold.  Putting it out in the morning and bringing it in in  the afternoon is common, even thought its probably been dry for ages. I haven't found fading to be a problem but I'd probably avoid leaving delicate items out too long.

-I noticed a few posters mention that they have clotheslines in their apartments. So, when you do laundry, do you have, say, ten shirts, seven pairs of socks, and nine underpants hanging in your living space? Or do you not wait until all your clothes are dirty to finally do a few loads of laundry (like me)?

I can fit a whole load onto my airer, which is a bit bigger than this: (http://www.mitre10.com.au/catalogue/assets/images/products/core/45021.jpg)

-Does your wet laundry drip water onto your floors?

Nope.  After the spin cycle, enough water has been removed that it doesn't drip.

-Do you have to iron all of your air-dried clothing? Or do the wrinkles caused by the spin cycle magically disappear like they do when I use my dryer?

Depends on the item.  Business shirts, yes.  A lot of other things you can get away with.  If the item will flaten with my body heat after a few minutes I won't bother.  But its not as good a getting wrinkles out as a dryer.

I have more questions, but I'll stop there. It'd be super nice to be able to dry things in my apartment, so I'm really curious about anyone's answers.

Certainly socks and undies, fitted clothing and pyjamas you could do!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ms_Cellany on August 09, 2012, 04:47:43 PM
If something ends up wrinkled, we run it in the dryer for a few minutes with a damp washcloth. Much easier than ironing!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ereine on August 10, 2012, 07:40:34 AM
I imagine in most of the more northern parts of the world you'd wake up to clothes that were frozen solid.

Clothes dry as the freeze, that is they don't end up a solid lump of ice but just dry clothes (apparently the water freezes and the ice sublimates into water vapor and the clothes dry, or something like that).

That was never my experience.  I grew up in New England in a household with no dryer.  I can remember bringing frozen clothes off the porch and into the house, after an unexpected freeze.  They were wet when they thawed.  We had to haul clothes to the laundramat in the winter to avoid this. 

If I leave a wet facecloth in the freezer and bring it out to put on my head (migraine remedy) it's still wet when it thaws out.

Maybe it depends on the temperature or humidity or something? And maybe the clothes need longer time to dry, as far as I remember they freeze first and then they dry. Because it did work for us, though I can't remember if we did anything but sheets.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(phase_transition)):
Quote
Snow and ice sublime, although more slowly, below the melting point temperature. This allows a wet cloth to be hung outdoors in freezing weather and retrieved later in a dry state.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: WillyNilly on August 10, 2012, 08:54:26 AM
I have lived in NYC my whole life.  As a kid we had a back yard but my dad thought a clothesline would make us look poor (we were poor but did well concealing it).  But we had open rafters in our basement ceiling and good ventilation (and a dehumidifier) so I would hang clothes on hangers from the ceiling.

Then I moved to an old apartment building with a line out our window across the ally.  I used it if it was warm & dry enough because I was still poor, but it was very heavy to bring home damp laundry the 3 blocks from the laundromat.

Now I live in an apartment without any lines out the windows (against he rules) and quite honestly I even if it did allow them I wouldn't use them as I'm on a busy street and I see the grime that accumulates on my window screens - I wouldn't feel like my clothes were very clean drying them out there.  I do hang some stuff on hangers from my shower rod though.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Arianoor on August 10, 2012, 12:43:59 PM
I imagine in most of the more northern parts of the world you'd wake up to clothes that were frozen solid.

Clothes dry as the freeze, that is they don't end up a solid lump of ice but just dry clothes (apparently the water freezes and the ice sublimates into water vapor and the clothes dry, or something like that).

That was never my experience.  I grew up in New England in a household with no dryer.  I can remember bringing frozen clothes off the porch and into the house, after an unexpected freeze.  They were wet when they thawed.  We had to haul clothes to the laundramat in the winter to avoid this. 

If I leave a wet facecloth in the freezer and bring it out to put on my head (migraine remedy) it's still wet when it thaws out.

Maybe it depends on the temperature or humidity or something? And maybe the clothes need longer time to dry, as far as I remember they freeze first and then they dry. Because it did work for us, though I can't remember if we did anything but sheets.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublimation_(phase_transition)):
Quote
Snow and ice sublime, although more slowly, below the melting point temperature. This allows a wet cloth to be hung outdoors in freezing weather and retrieved later in a dry state.

The humidity matters quite a lot.  I grew up in eastern Montana, we had freeze-dried clothing because the humidity was very low (the snow blew around like dust it was so dry), New England is much wetter.

I live somewhere where it rains eight months of the year, so a clothsline will only work in the depths of summer and I can't use one because of our HOA.   ::)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Brisvegasgal on August 11, 2012, 02:09:00 AM
Thank you all...your responses have been very interesting! I live in a sub-tropical city where clothes lines in the backyard are the norm and drying is not generally a problem, so hearing about your experiences has answered a lot of my questions.  I never even gave clothes freezing a thought!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: camlan on August 11, 2012, 07:30:15 AM
There's also the fact that it is somewhat difficult to hang up wet clothes while wearing gloves or mittens. And if you take the gloves off, then you are handling wet clothes in freezing temperatures and your fingers get really, really, really cold.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Snowy Owl on August 11, 2012, 01:43:15 PM
England here.  I live in a small flat in London with no outside space so no room for a clothes line.  I use the tumble dryer and it works pretty well.  I have a small clothes airer of the style dawbs uses and I use that to dry any hand wash items.  Everything else goes into the dryer.

If I had outside space I'd line dry things a lot more but that's less common in my part of London. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: cicero on August 12, 2012, 07:10:52 AM
American living in Israel. i live in a city that is hot in the summer and generally not too humid. winters are cold, rainy, and occasional snow. other parts of the country are more humid.

dryers became more popular here over the years - they are not too expenisve to buy but they generally run on electric (vs. gas) and cost a lot to run.

we have a dryer but haven't used it in years because of the expense. we have a foldable clothing rack that we keep on our balcony (I live in an apartment). there are units that put outside lines that run between two windows. in winter, we put the rack in the living room near the radiator and clothing dries quickly overnight.

Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: kckgirl on August 12, 2012, 07:41:42 AM
I have a dryer, but only use it occasionally. I have two racks in my spare bedroom. One is similar to a closet rack, and I hang my shirts/pants/dresses on hangers, then on the rack. The other is similar to the one pictured above, where I hang socks, underwear, and towels. I have a small fan running in that room. The clothes dry faster, and the moving air helps the wrinkles smooth out a bit.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Dazi on August 12, 2012, 10:16:20 AM
I had clothes lines growing up and have an umbrella one now. The pollen has been too bad this year to use it.  When I do, I still chuck the clothes in the dryer for maybe 10 minutes to soften/fluff them up a bit and to remove any pollen.

I hang my delicate work shirts inside to avoid sun bleaching.  It usually takes overnight for them to dry.

I have seen several people with detachable clothes lines that they run in their garage...they just open the door part way for some good airflow and the clothes dry very quickly that way.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Dindrane on August 12, 2012, 10:21:59 AM
I have an odd washer/dryer combo. It does the wash okay, but because it's a steam dryer with no actual vent, it takes FOREVER to get anything dry, and everything ends up being incredibly wrinkled. The unit was free, and it beats using quarters in the laundry room of our apartment complex most of the time, but it is kind of a pain.

Partly because of that, and partly to avoid shrinking/wear and tear, I hang up most of my clothes to dry. There are a few things I'm okay putting in the dryer, but they mostly don't end up hang drying because I lack the space.

I have found that if I use hangers to dry my clothing, it's rarely wrinkled enough that I have to iron. It's never as crisp as if I had ironed it, but it's usually free enough from wrinkles that nobody is going to notice. I have also found that if I fold my pants-legs so that the creases down the middle are preserved, and then hang them upside down, gravity takes care of basically all the wrinkles and ironing is pretty much unnecessary.

I live in a relatively humid climate -- summers aren't super humid, although you'd never call them dry, and winters are very rainy. My clothes usually take overnight to dry, although my pants can take more like 24 or 36 hours to dry completely.  I often toss them in the dryer for 15 minutes if they are just a little damp to speed up that process (particularly if I need to wear them).  The only place I have to hang anything up is over my shower rod in an un-ventilated bathroom, so they'd probably dry faster if I had a better place to hang them.

The other advantage of hanging most of my stuff on hangers to dry is that, when it's time to put it away, I just have to grab the hanger and put it in my closet -- no folding or otherwise fussing with clothing necessary!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: miritree on August 12, 2012, 03:36:58 PM
My mother always used a clothesline, we had a huge one outside that probably could have fit all the clothes and sheets we owned, with room to spare. And I have 6 brothers and sisters. She also did cloth diapers on the line. She actually still puts everything on the line, and it's just her and my dad now.

We did have a dryer, but it was really only used when my mom washed and dried the fabric before sewing something, so the fabric would shrink if it was going to. The driers we had were bought used.

I grew up in Idaho, where school was not cancelled unless it was 20 degrees below zero. For winter, my dad rigged clotheslines along the ceiling in the basement, which was where the wood stove was that heated the house, and where  we kept toys and such. So clothes hung up there would dry relatively quickly.

I have one line outside, which doesn't get used now, since my darling husband spray painted a costume on it and got black paint all over the line.  ::) I use a clothes horse type thing inside, I actually need to put the laundry on it away. I have a drier that is probably older than I am, but still works. I use the drier for unders, sheets, towels, jammies. Seriously, clothes last longer when you don't dry them in a drier. Plus shrinking is way less likely.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: JoW on August 13, 2012, 12:16:40 PM
This thread is strangely fascinating.

At the risk of looking like a doofus, I'll be honest and tell you all that I have never, ever used a clothesline in my entire life. I don't even really know how. So I have some possibly naive questions for those who use a clothesline almost exclusively.

-How long do clothes typically take to dry indoors? What about outdoors? I know weather plays a huge factor in this, but I'm just looking for an approximation.It mostly depends on the fabric.  Sheets dry in a couple of hours.  Jeans can take a couple of days.  I dry on portable racks, which I put on the back deck in good weather, bring indoors in the evening before dew starts to form. 

-I noticed a few posters mention that they have clotheslines in their apartments. So, when you do laundry, do you have, say, ten shirts, seven pairs of socks, and nine underpants hanging in your living space? Or do you not wait until all your clothes are dirty to finally do a few loads of laundry (like me)? 
I have a washer and dryer.  I wash 1 load whenever I have enough to fill the washer.  I use the dryer only when its too damp to air dry or when I'm in a hurry for something.

-Does your wet laundry drip water onto your floors?  No.  But my swimsuit does.  When I have something that wet I put the rack outside or in the bath tub

-Do you have to iron all of your air-dried clothing? Or do the wrinkles caused by the spin cycle magically disappear like they do when I use my dryer? Kints actually dry smoother on a rack than they do in the dryer.  Pants I hang from the hem like someone else said.  Woven shirts come out smooth enough for wear in my casual office. 

I have more questions, but I'll stop there. It'd be super nice to be able to dry things in my apartment, so I'm really curious about anyone's answers.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: LibraryLady on August 13, 2012, 04:49:55 PM
I live in west Texas - Big Spring to be precise.  Humidity in the summer is usually about 15-20 per cent on good days.  Bad days
0- 10.  Those are the days you see a blue t-shirt dry before your eyes.  It is usually quite breezy here and if the sand is blowing,
we do not hang out our clothes.  I try to watch the weather and wash early in morning and get clothes on the line then; and
try to get them off before nooon.  We use the line all year long, unless it is just too cold to hang them out.

I don't hang out really dressy things and I hang out everything.  I don't hang out sheets in spring/fall when stuff is blooming
or ripening because of allergies.

LL
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: magicdomino on August 13, 2012, 05:21:20 PM
I use both a clothesline and electric dryer.  The clothesline poles (painted pipes set in concrete) date from when the house was built.  Electric dryers came much later; in fact, they were originally located on the opposite side of the basement from the washer because it was easier to connect them next to the fuse box. 

There's also the fact that it is somewhat difficult to hang up wet clothes while wearing gloves or mittens. And if you take the gloves off, then you are handling wet clothes in freezing temperatures and your fingers get really, really, really cold.

This is why I rarely use the outdoor clothesline during the winter.  Sorry, but it's cold out there.   :)  There is a wooden clothes tree in the basement next to the fireplace, for items that are either too delicate or too heavy.  In the spring, items that will be near my face get the dryer because of the high pollen count.  So, bed sheets go in the dryer, but jeans can go outside.  Blankets and the couch cover go in the dryer year round, because it gets out more cat hair.   :D

Even though clotheslines are perfectly legal in my neighborhood, and most houses orginally had them, I'm the only house within a couple of blocks that still has one.

Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: lady_disdain on August 13, 2012, 05:33:58 PM
Around here, it is unheard of for a house or even an apartment not to have a clothes dryer hanging from the ceiling, to be lowered or raised by a little rope on a pulley. They take up no floor space and are generally hung over the washing machine, in a service area just off the kitchen (in my small, apartment, it isn't even a separate area, just a corner of the kitchen).

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_aqxs8nibd38/TDT-cPMQMZI/AAAAAAAAADQ/WMLaACoEvVI/s400/_DSC0013.JPG)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Dindrane on August 13, 2012, 07:39:27 PM
I love those drying racks hung from the ceiling on a pulley.  If I ever have the right kind of laundry room (i.e. the size, layout, and ceiling height that would allow it to not be annoying), I'm totally going to try to find one of those.  It would be so convenient to lower it to a height that doesn't involve bending over or stretching upward, and then raise it up out of the way until the clothes are dry.

There are things I will probably always tumble dry, but an increasing percentage of my wardrobe really just does better when I let it air dry.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: lady_disdain on August 13, 2012, 07:56:50 PM
Dindrane, just remember that they can get heavy to pull up when they are fully loaded.

Mine is installed over my washing machine and in front of a lovely set of windows :)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Sapphire on August 14, 2012, 06:14:00 AM
I am in the UK, and find this interesting reading.

The thought would never cross my mind that people who have a clothes line are poor - here, in the suburbs, where people have gardens, they are very, very common. It is also not uncommon to see clothes airers on balconies in blocks of flats, full of drying clothes.

I use my line in the summer - I love the smell of clothes dried outdoors. I do also have a drier - mine is a gas one, which is relatively uncommon here, but cheaper to run than an electric one. I don't dry delicate underwear in the drier (though it has never occurred to me to be embarrassed about it on the line!), and I always dry towels in the drier, as I think they come out softer and fluffier than air drying them.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: barefoot_girl on August 14, 2012, 10:03:23 AM
I'm in the UK as well and this is the most fascinating thread (and makes me REALLY glad that i don't live under the edict of a HOA!). I had a tumble dryer until it expired suddenly about 18 months ago. I now have a whirly-birly dryer like this (http://www.homebase.co.uk/wcsstore/homebase/images//80038HBO111111M.jpg)

I also have one of these, which is the best investment ever. http://www.lakeland.co.uk/21736/Dry-Soon-3-Tier-Heated-Tower-Airer  It costs pennies to run, dries clothes very effectively and helps to keep the conservatory warm in the winter.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: saki on August 14, 2012, 01:52:55 PM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.

I always find this transatlantic difference interesting for some reason.  In the US, as per this thread, a lot of people find the idea of using a clothes line weird/an indication of poverty but, on the other hand, Americans who live in flats/apartments tend not to even have a washing machine.  On the other hand, in the UK, even really tiny places - studios with only one room - tend to have washing machines.  It's really uncommon to share washing machines or use laundrettes.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: gadget--gal on August 14, 2012, 02:07:40 PM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.

I always find this transatlantic difference interesting for some reason.  In the US, as per this thread, a lot of people find the idea of using a clothes line weird/an indication of poverty but, on the other hand, Americans who live in flats/apartments tend not to even have a washing machine.  On the other hand, in the UK, even really tiny places - studios with only one room - tend to have washing machines.  It's really uncommon to share washing machines or use laundrettes.

I'm in the UK and IME, if you dont have your own washing machine, you'd use the launderette near your house. It's uncommon to have a shared laundertte in an apartment building (unless any Brits can correct me?)

The last time I had on-site shared laundry facilties was when I was a student

ev
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Venus193 on August 14, 2012, 02:10:05 PM
How large are the washers and driers?

The ones in US laundromats are large enough to be oversized for most apartments.  Also, some of the buildings are old and their plumbing can't handle the output.

Some newer buildings have laundry facilities.  Mine is old and I need to use the place around the corner.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: saki on August 14, 2012, 02:38:00 PM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.

I always find this transatlantic difference interesting for some reason.  In the US, as per this thread, a lot of people find the idea of using a clothes line weird/an indication of poverty but, on the other hand, Americans who live in flats/apartments tend not to even have a washing machine.  On the other hand, in the UK, even really tiny places - studios with only one room - tend to have washing machines.  It's really uncommon to share washing machines or use laundrettes.

I'm in the UK and IME, if you dont have your own washing machine, you'd use the launderette near your house. It's uncommon to have a shared laundertte in an apartment building (unless any Brits can correct me?)

The last time I had on-site shared laundry facilties was when I was a student

ev

Yes, indeed. What I'm saying is that it's fairly unusual not to have your own washing machine.  I've seen a few very very tiny London flats and they have all had them.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: gadget--gal on August 14, 2012, 03:02:26 PM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.

I always find this transatlantic difference interesting for some reason.  In the US, as per this thread, a lot of people find the idea of using a clothes line weird/an indication of poverty but, on the other hand, Americans who live in flats/apartments tend not to even have a washing machine.  On the other hand, in the UK, even really tiny places - studios with only one room - tend to have washing machines.  It's really uncommon to share washing machines or use laundrettes.

I'm in the UK and IME, if you dont have your own washing machine, you'd use the launderette near your house. It's uncommon to have a shared laundertte in an apartment building (unless any Brits can correct me?)

The last time I had on-site shared laundry facilties was when I was a student

ev

Yes, indeed. What I'm saying is that it's fairly unusual not to have your own washing machine.  I've seen a few very very tiny London flats and they have all had them.

Gosh, I went and said the same thing as you didnt I? :P

yeah, even in the tiny 1 bedroom flat I lived in, with combined kitchen and living room, I still had a washing machine ;)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: camlan on August 14, 2012, 04:06:21 PM
When I spent a few months in London, our flat had a small washing machine. It fit under the kitchen counter. Here in the US, it's difficult to find such a small washer--they exist, but most stores don't sell them and they can be expensive. And you'd have to find someplace to put it--which if you rent would be difficult to do.

Also, I think in Europe in general it is easier to find a washer/dryer combination machine. Those never really took off in the US (even though my grandparents had one back in 1960). So if you live somewhere where you can't hang things to dry, you'd also need a dryer and more space to accommodate that.

Many apartments in the US specifically forbid tenants from having washing machines, even though there are counter-top and portable machines available. My guess is either that the plumbing can't hand the extra load or the landlord doesn't want to pay for the extra water. Or the building has a laundry room and the landlord probably makes a little money off the machines.

I'm not sure where the stigma about clothes lines originated. My guess is that post-WWII, there was a big marketing push for "labor-saving" devices, and the clothes dryer was one of those. Electricity was cheap back then, and if you were going to keep up with the Jones, you bought a dryer.

That said, both sets of my grandparents had clothes lines in their yards and used them. Growing up, we had one where we could--Dad was in the military and some places we lived either didn't allow them or it wasn't easy to dry things outside.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ms_Cellany on August 14, 2012, 05:12:28 PM
When I dry things inside, I put them on a rack, or hang them on hangers from the shower rod, and put on a ceiling fan.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: katycoo on August 14, 2012, 07:50:17 PM
Dawbs, I can imagine.

I live in a 1BR walkup, so I'm stuck with an outside laundromat and dryers.

I always find this transatlantic difference interesting for some reason.  In the US, as per this thread, a lot of people find the idea of using a clothes line weird/an indication of poverty but, on the other hand, Americans who live in flats/apartments tend not to even have a washing machine.  On the other hand, in the UK, even really tiny places - studios with only one room - tend to have washing machines.  It's really uncommon to share washing machines or use laundrettes.

I'm in the UK and IME, if you dont have your own washing machine, you'd use the launderette near your house. It's uncommon to have a shared laundertte in an apartment building (unless any Brits can correct me?)

The last time I had on-site shared laundry facilties was when I was a student

ev

Australian here:  I've never actually seen a public laundrette.  I'm sure they're around, but they're certainly not plentiful.  I've personally never known anyone to not have their own washing machine.  Even laundry rooms in an apartment block are uncommon.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: JoW on August 14, 2012, 08:13:39 PM
I'm in the US and I've never seen the term "laundrette".  Here its called a "laundromat" or a "coin laundry".  They are quite common. 

The laundromat 5 miles from my home has about 20 normal-size washing machines and a few larger ones.  They also have 3 super-huge washers, big enough to wash a 56 inch (1.4 meter) dog bed or 2 pillows.  Which is why I go there occasionally - to wash stuff that won't fit in my home washing machine.  The dryers are also over-size and hold a whole load from the over-size washer or 2 loads from the normal-size washers.       
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Bluenomi on August 14, 2012, 09:09:53 PM
Aussie here.

I have the traditional Hills Hoist at home. We do have a dryer but only use it is its raining or in winter when things aren't quite dry after being outside in the cold all day. Most stuff I put on clothes horses in the house though instead of the dryer since it shrinks stuff.

I've always wondered if dryers in the US are different to ours. So many clothes can't go in the dryer or they shrink, does that happen in the US and people just expect it or are their dryers different?

I know the dryer we had in the UK was the same, everyone came out a size smaller after the first use  >:(
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ereine on August 14, 2012, 11:20:30 PM
I'm not sure if laundrettes/laundronats really exist in Finland. I live in one of the biggest towns and have never seen one, though it's possible that there are some in Helsinki (and I know one restaurant with a washer and dryer for customers). Most people have their own washing machines and I believe that most apartment buildings have laundry rooms, even though people in apartments are likely to own their own (a washing machine usually never belongs to the apartment, people bring their own). I use the laundry room as there's only room for a tiny washing machine in my bathroom (which is where washing machines live here, unless you have a utility room) and they cost much more and are less useful. Our laundry room's washing machine is quite large and only takes half an hour for a load.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: BC12 on August 15, 2012, 01:31:51 AM
I've always wondered if dryers in the US are different to ours. So many clothes can't go in the dryer or they shrink, does that happen in the US and people just expect it or are their dryers different?

I don't know if this is different to yours, but most US dryers have multiple heat settings and I do most loads on very low heat. Some items must be hung to dry, and in that case, I just throw them over the back of a chair or hang them in the bathroom for a while. But I don't own very many items that cannot go into the dryer. Also, yes, some items of clothing are expected to shrink, like t-shirts, so I'll sometimes buy a size larger if I'm worried about it shrinking.


P.S. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions! Think I'll start trying to use the dryer less from now on.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Judah on August 15, 2012, 11:13:34 AM
I'm not sure if laundrettes/laundronats really exist in Finland. I live in one of the biggest towns and have never seen one, though it's possible that there are some in Helsinki (and I know one restaurant with a washer and dryer for customers). Most people have their own washing machines and I believe that most apartment buildings have laundry rooms, even though people in apartments are likely to own their own (a washing machine usually never belongs to the apartment, people bring their own). I use the laundry room as there's only room for a tiny washing machine in my bathroom (which is where washing machines live here, unless you have a utility room) and they cost much more and are less useful. Our laundry room's washing machine is quite large and only takes half an hour for a load.

Keep in mind that even in the U.S. laundromats don't exist everywhere.  In my experience, when they exist at all, they're located in low income neighborhoods. I haven't seen one in years.  Most people who live in single family homes own their own, and people who live in apartments have access to on site laundry rooms.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: #borecore on August 15, 2012, 11:24:54 AM
I'm not sure if laundrettes/laundronats really exist in Finland. I live in one of the biggest towns and have never seen one, though it's possible that there are some in Helsinki (and I know one restaurant with a washer and dryer for customers). Most people have their own washing machines and I believe that most apartment buildings have laundry rooms, even though people in apartments are likely to own their own (a washing machine usually never belongs to the apartment, people bring their own). I use the laundry room as there's only room for a tiny washing machine in my bathroom (which is where washing machines live here, unless you have a utility room) and they cost much more and are less useful. Our laundry room's washing machine is quite large and only takes half an hour for a load.

Keep in mind that even in the U.S. laundromats don't exist everywhere.  In my experience, when they exist at all, they're located in low income neighborhoods. I haven't seen one in years.  Most people who live in single family homes own their own, and people who live in apartments have access to on site laundry rooms.

They are in every neighborhood but the ritziest of the ritzy in my town. And those neighborhoods aren't far from the less chic ones, anyway. There are several on any main street.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Sophia on August 15, 2012, 11:29:28 AM
I've never been without a washer and dryer, and I've lived in some cheap apartments.  I am too forgetful and impatient to use a laudromat.  I would wander off and forget for a couple of days, by which time my clothes would be stolen.  It is like finding an apartment that allows a cat.  If you are willing to limit the selection, you can find it.

My husband said he made money in college in the dorms washing people's clothes.  They paid him $5 a load.  He did it for athletes, so they had a load of workout clothes everyday to wash.  He'd sit there in the late mornings and study while many loads were washing at the same time. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Judah on August 15, 2012, 12:04:41 PM
Keep in mind that even in the U.S. laundromats don't exist everywhere.  In my experience, when they exist at all, they're located in low income neighborhoods. I haven't seen one in years.  Most people who live in single family homes own their own, and people who live in apartments have access to on site laundry rooms.

They are in every neighborhood but the ritziest of the ritzy in my town. And those neighborhoods aren't far from the less chic ones, anyway. There are several on any main street.

Isn't it funny how things are different everywhere.  I just did a map search and the closest one to me is 15 miles away.  There's a cluster of six laundromats in that town, all within a couple miles of each other, then not another one for about 8 miles. The town with the cluster of laundromats is an economically depressed one.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: camlan on August 15, 2012, 01:39:23 PM
I'm not sure if laundrettes/laundronats really exist in Finland. I live in one of the biggest towns and have never seen one, though it's possible that there are some in Helsinki (and I know one restaurant with a washer and dryer for customers). Most people have their own washing machines and I believe that most apartment buildings have laundry rooms, even though people in apartments are likely to own their own (a washing machine usually never belongs to the apartment, people bring their own). I use the laundry room as there's only room for a tiny washing machine in my bathroom (which is where washing machines live here, unless you have a utility room) and they cost much more and are less useful. Our laundry room's washing machine is quite large and only takes half an hour for a load.

Keep in mind that even in the U.S. laundromats don't exist everywhere.  In my experience, when they exist at all, they're located in low income neighborhoods. I haven't seen one in years.  Most people who live in single family homes own their own, and people who live in apartments have access to on site laundry rooms.

They are in every neighborhood but the ritziest of the ritzy in my town. And those neighborhoods aren't far from the less chic ones, anyway. There are several on any main street.

It really depends on where you live. In Boston, and I suspect New York City, you can find laundromats everywhere, even in some of the more expensive parts of the city. There are a lot of apartments in older cities that were built before washers and dryers were invented, and there just isn't room for the machines unless you do substantial remodeling, and perhaps some re-plumbing and re-wiring. There are small laundromats on Beacon Hill and all around the Back Bay in Boston, and those are not low-income neighborhoods.

A lot of those laundramats do a big business in doing laundry--people drop their stuff off and pick it up, clean, dry and folded.

Currently, I live in a old city in New Hampshire and there are several laundromats dotted around town, in walking distance to the best neighborhoods. But that might be due to a large university one town over--a lot of the students rent apartments in this city. The laundromats are frequently connected with a dry cleaner.

Even if you have your own machines, it's worth having a laundromat somewhere nearby. For those times when your machines are broken, or you have to wash something large, like a comforter.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ereine on August 15, 2012, 03:19:24 PM
I googled and apparently there has once been at least two laundromats in my town (population 170 000). One was in the town center, the other in an "economically depressed area". Both appear to be closed now. There are several in the capital where it makes sense, there are a lot of people living in very small spaces and some older buildings may not have laundry rooms. I suspect that's the main reason people would use them, washing machines aren't that expensive and at least in my town it's easy to buy them used. I live in a lower-income area and though our laundry room is quite heavily used it's the same people every week (we reserve time slots on a list) so I suspect that even in this place where low rent is the main attraction, most people have washing machines.

I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: dawbs on August 15, 2012, 03:26:21 PM
you also may find more of those in the city do the pick-up/drop off thing.

Heck, at one of my jobs, if I had a bag o' dirty laundry ready by noon on Tues, I could hand it over to the pick-up-guy who stopped by my workplace and he'd bring it to me by noon on Thursday. 
(I didn't use the service but my roomie did)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Judah on August 15, 2012, 03:37:28 PM
I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.

I find that absolutely fascinating!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Jones on August 15, 2012, 03:46:45 PM
I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.

I find that absolutely fascinating!
Same! I have heard many things about laundry in my life, but never that someone who hauls their laundry to another building and sits there for hours with a magazine while the cycles are completed is elitist. Maybe I need to sell my own machines and start doing laundry at the 'mat? For appearances?

(Googled it and was surprised at how many laundromats are in my town. I knew of two, but found five, although one is a hotel that apparently doesn't mind if none-guests come and use the machines. Money is money, I guess...)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: mechtilde on August 15, 2012, 03:48:38 PM
I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.

I find that absolutely fascinating!

Wierd- because in the UK you tend find them in the most economically deprived areas in the UK. Unless you can afford to get them to do it for you, getting your laundry done outside the house is time consuming and very inconvenient.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: magicdomino on August 15, 2012, 03:51:00 PM
By contrast, my very middle-class suburban area has three laundromats within a couple of miles.  Two opened within the last couple of years.  There are a lot of apartments about a mile away from the newest one, so I suspect a lot of their business comes from there.  Perhaps the laundry rooms there are unsatisfactory in some way. And there are good reasons for homes with their own washers and dryers to use someone elses: broken machines, large items that won't fit in a standard washer, long hot power outages that make you sweat all over every pair of shorts that you own.   :P  (I was going to do laundry on the weekend that the tree fell on the power lines.)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: dawbs on August 15, 2012, 03:57:55 PM
I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.

I find that absolutely fascinating!
I'd imagine those people are thinking of dropping off your laundry and having it done, not of sitting in a laundromat doing one's own?
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: hobish on August 15, 2012, 05:24:12 PM
I found some posts by people asking if there were any laundromats around and every time there was someone saying that washing your laundry outside your home is elitist and snobby and the people asking should just buy cheap washing machines.

I find that absolutely fascinating!
I'd imagine those people are thinking of dropping off your laundry and having it done, not of sitting in a laundromat doing one's own?

That's what i'm thinking, too. I have never heard of the coin-op being anything close to snobbish. I have dropped my clothes off at the laundramat and had them washed for me a few times when i could afford it. I gotta say, i felt like quite the princess :) I loved it.

A few of my neighbors have those square antenna looking clothes lines, and growing up we had a loooong one - so long it needed poles to support it - in the back yard. I hated that thing. My mom was afraid of spiders so she never wanted to take the wash down, and i hated how my jeans would be all crunchy yet still damp around the waistband, and towels were like something you might use to sand a bench when they came off the line they were so stiff and rough and crunchy. I love having my very own dryer. My very own dryer that plays a little ditty when it is done, no less. Just thinking about that stupid pain in the rear clothesline makes me want to go hug my dryer  :)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Venus193 on August 15, 2012, 05:59:07 PM
When I go to the laundromat I take a book or play with my cell phone.  My building doesn't permit people to have their own machines because of plumbing issues and most of the kitchens are too small to have adequate space for washing machines anyway.

As for whether this is elitist or snobbish, I doubt it.  It may even be ecologically sounder, but nobody was thinking about that the last time this building was rewired.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: greencat on August 15, 2012, 06:15:50 PM
USA, Central Florida.  My mother will hang clothes out during the dry half of our year (what some of you folks probably call fall and winter).  During the other half of the year, it's either raining or so humid dry clothes absorb moisture from the air.  A lot of people in the area where I live are either living in apartments or rented places with structural way to set up a clothesline or in communities with deed restrictions that forbid clotheslines.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Dindrane on August 15, 2012, 09:45:03 PM
Re: laundromats

I think it depends upon where you live in more ways than one, as to whether they will be widely available or not. I'm sure some of it is related to socio-economics, though.

Where I used to live, I'd have been really surprised to find an apartment that didn't include its own washer and dryer (that was part of the apartment the same way the kitchen appliances were). Where I live now, I'm really surprised when I see places for rent that do include a washer and dryer in the actual residence. It's slightly less rare to find places that have a W/D hookup (so that you can provide the actual appliances), but even that is nothing like guaranteed.

Most of the places that do include a W/D here are either ridiculously expensive for the area, single-family detached houses for rent, or both.

So, obviously, laundromats are much more common here than they were in the previous city I lived in. Apartment complexes with coin-operated laundry rooms are also much more common.

I don't know what causes the difference, although the city I live in now is very much a college town, and the city I moved from very much was not. I count myself fortunate that I live in an apartment with both W/D hookups in each unit, and a conveniently-located coin-operated laundry room. Since the washer/dryer combo unit I have is not especially good at large loads, or at drying anything, it's nice to be able to use industrial-size dryers when we need to wash our towels (so that they will dry in some period of time less than 4-5 hours). But it's also nice that we don't have to schlepp all of our laundry to an outside facility (even if it is 20 feet from our front door).
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Ereine on August 15, 2012, 10:42:41 PM
I think that laundromats are so uncommon here that people have no idea of how they operate. Some of them (according to an article I found on laundromats in Helsinki, about all maybe six of them) offer the drop in thing and fold your laundry and maybe iron it and the prices reflect that so it isn't really useful if you're poor. One load costs me about 1 euro in our laundry room and an average price for a laundromat seemed to be 3,5 euros, it can get very expensive if you do it all the time. Poorer people tend to live in apartments here (houses are very expensive and rarely rented) and I suspect that most apartment buildings have laundry rooms so the people who need laundromats are more likely to be wealthier (like people who are temporarily working in another town). I think that the elitist thing comes partly from the assumption that you just drop in your laundry and that is somehow morally wrong (I've seen that same argument used for paying someone to clean your home) and someone seemed to think that laundromats were just an American trend used by people who want to be different. But those were anonymous commenters online so of course there are crazy people among them :)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Isometric on August 15, 2012, 11:34:11 PM
(Australian)

We have both washer and dryer in our home. I'm not sure of the US term for what kind of house we live in, but it's only me DH there, on our own block of land, and we're not attached to anyone else's house. (Single family dwelling?)

Where ever humanly possible, we use the clothes line out the back. In Winter, it's a combo of clothesline (when not raining!), indoor clothes racks, and dryer.

Using the dryer makes me feel decandent and wasteful, if I can use the clothes line.

Re the sandpaper towels, that sometimes happens when they're on the line too long! The crunchy jeans soften with wear!
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: katycoo on August 16, 2012, 07:34:38 PM
I just did a gogle search in my area.

I live in a very residential suburb.  Mine and the surrounding residential suburbs do not have a laundromat.  The nearest is one suburb over, which has a lower socio-economic reputation, a proper commercial district, and more apartment blocks.  There are 4 there.  This would be about 10 minutes by car for me to get there.  Some are also dry cleaners.

Interestingly, most of the suburban suburbs with a shopping centre have a dry cleaners, but they don't do general laundry.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Decimus on August 17, 2012, 09:06:26 AM
My experience in NYC is that "laundromats" tend to cluster in mid- to low-income areas, but in higher-income areas dry cleaners will offer "drop-off" laundry services.  But even in high-income areas apartments will have a laundry room, not individual units, in part because the plumbing can't handle it.  A lot of the buildings can't handle dishwashers or garbage disposals either (at least without major retrofitting). 

My current building has a laundry room, but in a previous residence I had to use a laundromat.  I used the drop-off part, they charged 0.85 cents a lb, minimum 10 lbs.  It was extremely annoying, given I was in a 3-floor walk-up at the time.

There was no way a clothes line would have been practical, though.  The basement was extremely damp and was prone to flooding and there wouldn't have been enough space in the apartment even in the bathroom.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Thipu1 on August 18, 2012, 08:34:06 AM
We may not have invested in a washer/dryer combo on our own.  Laundromats are very common.

However, the renovation of our building in the 1980s was partially sponsored by the local
gas company.  As a result, each apartment has its own gas-fired furnace and hot water heater.  The apartments also have a built in alcove for a washer/dryer stack.  Given the circumstances, it made sense to buy them.  Being able to come home and drop a load in the wash saves a lot of agita. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: kherbert05 on August 18, 2012, 08:51:42 PM
Houston Texas
Laundromats - tend to be the you stay and move things around type. Generally located near or in low income areas especially with high apartment residency rates. From what the kids say - lots of my students are the ones to stay and watch the laundry while their parents do other work around the apartment or go to work on the weekends.


Dry Cleaners - Some also launder things. We would drop my Dad's shirts off at the cleaners to be washed/dried/lightly starched and press once a week. I was by there recently and was shocked to see it was still in business. (It is not part of a chain and fairly expensive place)
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Thipu1 on August 19, 2012, 09:52:53 AM
Same here in NYC.  Some dry cleaners offer laundry by the pound services.  Amost all offer washing and pressing services for items such as dress shirts. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: squeakers on August 19, 2012, 02:47:45 PM
Iowa: have washer, dryer and a clothesline.  I tend to use the line for towels/sheets/blankets and now and then for clothes. It's also great for hanging up the boat coats (life jackets).  During the winter I will hang some stuff in the furnace room (wood burner)... like a wet coat that would get destroyed in the dryer (I hate plastic zippers.)

On laundromats: none in my tiny town but next town over has one.  It has huge washers and driers.  A couple racks to hang things on.  It was kind of grimy though so the next time an appliance died I put my foot down and said  to DH "no, put it on a credit card!"

But the place that will always hold a fond memory for me is Duds and Suds: coin operated laundromat with a bar that serves beer and has a big screen tv.  You could also drop off laundry and have them washed/dried for you but we never did that.  We used the place when first the washer died and then 3 months later the dryer died. Had to wait a bit on buying a new drier from having just bought a new washer.  Those were the penny pinching days.
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: JoW on August 19, 2012, 03:39:22 PM
Cleaners here are like kherbert05 has.  There are dry cleaners that also water wash things and are fairly expensive, but worth it if someone in your house wears shirts that are pressed and starched after each wearing.  I drive past 2 to get to the nearest laundromat. 

At a laundromat you do all the work yourself, paying by feeding coins into the machine.  They tend to be hot, damp, and sort of sleazy.  I know of one wash-pub in town like squeakers described - a laundromat attached to bar so you can drink a beer while doing your laundry.  I drive past it a couple times each year but have never been inside. 

Right now I have one load of laundry in the washer in my basement, another drying on folding racks on the deck behind the house. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: greencat on August 19, 2012, 03:42:59 PM
I kind of want to open up one of those Duds & Suds places...
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: magicdomino on August 19, 2012, 05:07:09 PM
And now the downside of having a clothesline.  Last night's weather report said maybe a shower in the evening, but otherwise dry and partly cloudy.  The sky looked a little dubious to me this morning, so I checked the weather report in the newspaper:  same thing.  I washed and hung out some kitchen towels, washcloths, and napkins.  They just got a second rinsing.   :-\
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: JoW on August 19, 2012, 05:17:22 PM
And now the downside of having a clothesline.  .....
Thats why I use portable folding racks.  When rain threatens I grab them and bring them inside.  Unfortunately that doesn't help if the rain starts while you are away from home.  My jeans got a second rinse last Friday while I was at work. 
Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: Thipu1 on August 19, 2012, 06:27:03 PM
Here's a minor thread-jack that I hope will give readers a smile.

In the late 1940s, it was the fashion among women of my Mother's age, time and place to wear Juliet Caps.  These were rather like beanies.  They were crocheted from white cotton thread and worn on the back of the head.

Mom had made several for herself and one day, she had a freshly laundered one hanging in the back yard. 

Dad came home from work on that breezy spring day and observed the laundry on the line.  according to Mom, he seemed a bit concerned when he advised her that, 'Half of your brassiere blew away'.  :D

Back to our regularly scheduled thread.       

Title: Re: Clothes lines
Post by: dawnfire on August 21, 2012, 04:33:43 AM
I kind of want to open up one of those Duds & Suds places...

Those type of thing were trendy here (well in Melbourne) in the 90's mainly in inner city suburbs. They were attached to coffee shops. Well you look at it, your stuck there a minimum of an hour, eating is a good way to while away the time.