Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Needs vs Wants- Tumble Dryers

Time for the weekly Needs vs Wants post here on Penniless Parenting. Challenging the assumptions of what is truly a need vs what is a want, striving to cut the splurges, and begin to appreciate all the little luxuries that we are privileged enough to have. 
Today's contestant- the Tumble Dryer.
This nifty little piece of  technology so often is mentally paired with washing machines. If you've got one, you've certainly got to have the other. In most modern societies, if you've got the facilities to be washing clothes, obviously you'd use the machine to dry off your clothes.

By now you must know the refrain. If they've survived thousands of years without it, it can't possibly be a need. Therefore, tumble dryers certainly are not needs.
Yet, even after my resolve to hang dry my clothes, I've been lazy about getting my laundry washed and run short on cloth diapers or otherwise... and have used my dryer, even though I know that its costing me more than a dollar per load to dry. Its a vice that I really want to eliminate.
While I have been hang drying my clothes much more lately, I've been using my dryer as my fall back option too frequently (and so has some *ahem* other family member who shall remain unnamed).

My new apartment has a built in recess for a washing machine, but has no place for a tumble dryer. While some unnamed family member is moaning and groaning about this, I'm secretly (or not so secretly) thrilled about this change.
No room for a dryer? Great! That means no relying on the dryer to dry my clothes for me, when the sun is willing to do the work gratis. Kicking my laziness habit out the door. (Of course, this unnamed family member is insisting on bringing the dryer along, but it'll be in a room where it will be unusable, and covered with a cloth, I'll make it both storage space and an end table, and then once he sees we manage fine without it, a selling we will go.)
Of course, having fewer clothes after my purge will help me stay on top of laundry; things won't be able to pile up as much, there won't be as much wet laundry at one time, I won't have a lack of space on my rack, and I will no longer turn to my dryer. (Or at least that's the plan.)

And if you do decide to use the dryer, even though its a luxury-

Shortening Dryer Time

  • Don't over pack the dryer.
  • Toss a few very absorbent dry towels in the dryer with the wet stuff.
  • Toss in a few balls along with your wash. These will bounce around and make a noise, but it helps. They sell dryer balls for this purpose, but simple tennis balls work fine as well.
  • Leave clothes in the washing machine for a few hours with the door open to allow them to partially air dry beforehand.

Do you use a dryer or do you line dry clothing?

This post is part of Frugal Friday.

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