clothes · clothing · laundry · life · nostalgia · personal habits

Laundry Drying

Around my neighborhood, people still hang their laundry on makeshift clothing lines in their backyards. Years ago my dad made a clothing line from a very long bulky chain that goes from one end of the backyard to the other. I don’t know the name for such a product but it closely resembles those weight chains used in fitness workouts except it doesn’t have a weight at the end.

Conveniently, those chains have big enough holes in each link to slip hangers into as a method of securing them in place. It’s handy on very windy days to prevent the hangers (with wet clothing on them) from being blown to the ground. A few times the clothes have gotten caught on garden soil beds. This is especially unfortunate for white clothes!

Spring, summer, and fall all-year around, laundry is always hung outside in my home as long as it is not raining. A recurring childhood memory of mine is seeing the laundry on the line billowing with the wind. I could often catch the fresh scent of the detergent from the fabric if I was close enough.

When I got older, I started to help hang clothes outside too. It took practice to get it right. My dad, for example, is terrible at it. The infrequent times he does it, he always puts shirts onto the hangers unevenly or without smoothing out the wrinkles first.

I’ve never used a drying machine before. The very first washing machine my parents got was in the same year I was born. 1989. It’s shocking that the machine was as old as me!

Clothes were usually loaded in from the top of the washer and the detergent and/or fabric softener dispenser was in a cylinder shape thing in the middle. At a young age, I liked watching my mom start the washing process and witnessing the water soak the clothes. Then the top lid was closed as the clumped garments were ground in a circle by plastic propellers in the machine. The motion and noise of it were always quite sudden and loud. Sometimes the machine would even jump a little from its original standing position because the violence of the spinning (to drain excess water from the clothes after washing) was that extreme.

Eventually, my parents gave the machine to my dad’s younger sister after they bought a better one. The newer machine had front loading capacities and its spin cycle was apparently designed to mimic how a dog shakes its fur coat of excess water.

It’s unfortunate when things are left in the pockets of pants or sweaters which then go into the wash. I’ve done that by accident so many times and then have to fish through the machine to see if I can salvage the item. Stuff like tissues and wrapped candy are a no-go, of course. Money coins are the easiest to fetch. Dollar bills get oversaturated with moisture but are useable after air drying. I think I left a USB in a sweater hoodie pocket once. Can’t recall if I could still use it after that.

Winter is the hardest season to go without a dryer. All washed clothes are hanged in the boiler room (which also has a makeshift clothing line made from the same chains as the ones in the backyard). It can get quite toasty in that room once the house heater is turned on. That’s all good and well, but the clothes otherwise have a slower time drying if the heater is not running. The result is a slight mildewy smell on the clothes.

Mostly, the reason my household doesn’t have a dryer is because interest in obtaining one is not very high. I have a “whatever” attitude about it, and my parents are the kind of penny pinchers who wiggle about contemplating buying something only to decide not to because they find it too costly or tedious to bother with. My brother, on the other hand, has pushed many times for them to consider a dryer. I can see the perks as it would simplify the drying process. There’s also dryers at laundromats but I know nothing about how to use those. If I lived by myself, I imagine I would either have both a washing and drying machine or depend on a laundromat to get my clothes washed if I could not yet afford to buy the machines.

For smaller, everyday things like underwear and bras, I tend to handwash them myself with soap. I am not a domestic goddess by any means. I just prefer my undergarments to be clean instead of letting them sit in the laundry basket for several days before it is machine washed. The handwashing habit began during the first year or so of managing my menstrual cycle. Thinking back, I was so unprepared. The night I got my period for the first time ever, my mom gave me a quick lesson about how to put a pad over my underwear but it took a long time before I mastered it. The result was I had a lot of accidents where the blood bled onto the underwear instead because of improper placement of the pad. Never before had I gotten so used to feeling hot, steaming water on my hands as I soaked and scrubbed out the stains.

How do you like to dry your laundry?

Featured Image by Juliet Flx.

17 thoughts on “Laundry Drying

  1. I just throw them in the dryer. It’s faster haha. But I think air-drying can be more… eco-friendly? It’ll definitely save money! And it seems cozier haha. But I’m confused. You’re born 1989 but you’re 27? I thought we were same age xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I’m used to air drying, sometimes I crave just having the clothes dry and done, especially those days where there is no time to wait. I had a sports bra I wanted to wear to China but I ended up washing it like an hour before going to the airport, lol, because it got sweaty.

      Ugh the age thing!! XD It was a total accident but I actually forgot my own age. LOL. Seriously! I kept misremembering that I was 27 when I already turned 28 last November. Now this November I’ll be 29. It’s almost like a part of me didn’t want to accept I was getting older. I do not feel 28, or 27 for that matter. 😧

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yeah the convenience of the dryer is how quickly the clothes dry! LOL I was so confused and now that makes sense xD so you’re two years older than me haha. I thought we were the same year this whole time. In Korea I’d be considered so rude 😛 I keep putting myself older actually for some reason xD before my birthday for a few months I already think I’m the next year. I actually haven’t done that yet this time around. I think cause 28 is such a big leap from 27.. it makes me think whoa too old let’s backtrack there so maybe I’ll end up doing what you’re doing haha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not 29 yet lol… So for right now at least I am only a year older than you until this November when I become 29 (ew… 😣).

        Aww I would hope if I were Korean and lived in Korea, I wouldn’t care about the expected decorum for someone who is younger than me. Anyway we are friends and I would feel weird having you feel pressure to treat me like an unnie because of that.

        Yep, I wanna backtrack too! That’s probably why I kept thinking I was still 27 biologically. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha true. You’re born late in the year and I’m born early. No worries! I treat almost no one as my unnies 😀 LOL I don’t even call my own unnie that. I guess I’m Americanized in that way. I actually find “unnie” and “oppa” so cringey that I can’t say either without cringing hard xD


  2. On a clothesline is awesome. The fresh smell of the clothes!!! I love the chain idea instead of a line with clothes pins.

    Unfortunately, I’ve become spoiled by the convenience of a dryer. Thanks for sharing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting Nat! Do you live in the US? Clotheslines are becoming a rare thing. I hang some clothes but I hang them inside the house because the Texas sun will fade the colors very quickly. Mostly my running clothes. Sometimes they are so sweaty, as in completely soaked in sweat, that I will rinse them in the shower before I wash them. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, I live in New York. I think clotheslines are becoming less common but maybe it depends on where someone lives. The sun can definitely damage fabric colors, though I’m lazy and just want the clothes dried. It helps to soak sweat stained clothes in water. That reminds me of what I do for my undergarments as they are the first to get caked in sweat after an intense workout. 😧

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hand wash and dry a few items, but mostly things go in the washer and dryer. My condo building actually has a bylaw against hanging clothes out to dry on balconies, which I think is bizarre, especially in this age of needing to be environmentally friendly wherever we can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uh oh, no hanging clothes allowed on the balconies? 😕 I definitely believe in being more environmentally friendly, so that’s one pro for not having a dryer if I have the space for drying clothes outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This topic brings me back to my childhood!

    We also always put the laundry outside to dry. Sometimes you’d hear my mum hysterically shouting “Quick! It’s raining”.
    It was funny how well we worked as team at such occasions!

    Then on one spontaneous day, my parents bought a dryer.
    But we never used it much because it would increase the electricity bill.

    When I started living in my own, I shared the washing machine and dryer with some people. That was always a fight. Some people would wake up very early on a weekend morning to get theirs done first!

    Luckily now, I have my own.
    But I don’t have a dryer, because it makes the clothes shrink 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mom was (and still is) like that too when it rains and there are clothes hanging on the line.

      Oh, I completely forgot that a dryer would increase the electrical costs. And I thought it was a myth that a dryer shrinks clothes. 😯

      Having your own machine seems better than sharing with others. I bet it was annoying to want to wash clothes only for someone else to hog it.


  6. All mine go in the automatic. I don’t have room outside to dry my clothes, but when I used to do this, all my items other than my underwear, went outside to dry. I have a thing where I don’t like to share my underwear with the outside world. I have been like this as far as I can remember.
    I have thought about whether to have a drier. I can see the benefits. But it’s one I still ponder on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I wouldn’t want to share my underwear with the outside world either! I do get a little conscious of hanging underwear in the backyard and if the neighbors see them but then again, they hang theirs too so we’re even lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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