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No dryers allowed in Europe?


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#51 Amira

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 05:31 PM

I'm impressed. Really. How in the world do your clothes dry in the winter? We live in an older (1958) home with electric baseboard heat. We are constantly battling dampness and mold. No need for humidifiers here. Even in the summer our house is cool enough that we don't own an AC unit.


I have a covered area outside where I can put my drying racks and the clothes will get a lot drier, except on the very rainest days. I find that even though it rains a lot in Seattle, there aren't a lot of days that it rains all. day. long. On the soggiest winter days, I keep one rack at a time in the house and have a fan blowing on the clothes. I'll also rarely use the fan overnight on all the racks if they haven't dried enough outside.

We did have a significant mold and water problem in our apartment this winter (to the point of water dripping from our ceilings), and our landlords tried to blame it on our not having a dryer, but they finally dicovered that we had two roof leaks. We've been much drier since they fixed the roof and when I bring the racks inside, I keep them in the driest parts of the house. There are quite a few families in our housing complex that don't use a dryer.

#52 Rosie_0801

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 09:19 PM

(Ignorance shining through)
When I've hung out clothes they are usually stiff. Do those who line dry iron all of their clothes?
.


Life is not long enough to iron everything! We just give things a shake and they are fine. I'm sure it would be different if anyone here and real sensory issues, but we don't so "deal with it" would be the attitude if anyone wanted to complain. My kids don't know any different though.

Question for you or other New Zealanders: We often hear in the US that a family does not hang laundry because of allergies. Yet people in New Zealand seem rarely to use dryers. Are there fewer people with allergies? Or is this one of those cultural things where shoulders are shrugged? One of those, "Oh well, we have allergies. That won't prevent us from doing what is normal, i.e. hanging laundry."


By allergies, do you mean hayfever? I barely get any, which I am thankful for! My relatives who do just whinge about it and accept it as being an annoying part of living where they do. I didn't think drying clothes inside would make a whole lot of difference if you were going to snuffle anyway because you can't avoid air blown pollens and whatnot.

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801, 02 May 2010 - 09:28 PM.


#53 Laura Corin

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 02:00 AM

This has been an enlightening thread.

I've never heard of a boil cycle. Is that the same as using hot water only?


You can get your washer to heat the water up to nearly boiling. I use that cycle once a week for my white towels, and to keep the washer mould free. Otherwise I wash everything on cold.

Laura

#54 Laura Corin

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 02:02 AM

Question for you or other New Zealanders: We often hear in the US that a family does not hang laundry because of allergies. Yet people in New Zealand seem rarely to use dryers.


We also don't use dryers much.

Laura

#55 sgilli3

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 02:30 AM

I don't use a dryer here , nor did I when I lived in Australia. We return home in the coming weeks, and again won't be purchasing a dryer.

If it wasn't raining, the clothes were hung on the line.Then bought inside and hung on clothes horses inside, or hung from lines in our garage.

Even in the wettest of winters, clothes tended to dry within the day inside and towels took a couple of days.

The environmental reasons alone keep me from owning a dryer.

And yes, I iron *everything* that comes off the line, including quilt (duvet) covers...lol
I iron everyday- usually only 5-10 mins, that way it saves me from standing for hrs at a time ironing a huge basket full. My rule is that if there is more than 4 pieces that need ironing, I do it immediately, if not, it can wait until the next day.

Most things could get by with a shake, but I actually like to iron- sick I know!:D

#56 keptwoman

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:20 AM

I've started to iron a few things that look nicer ironed or to kill bugs: teatowels, handkerchiefs (I don't like to use disposable products) and napkins. But other than that and DH's shirts, we don't iron. I think towels are probably the thing that is most noticeably different when they have been line dried, but we rather like them a little rough.

I can't imagine how it would change seasonal allergies, unless you chose to permanantly stay in a sealed and airconditioned house, surely you will be exposed anyway? I've never heard someone say that they use a dryer due to allergies. I guess it could differ depending on amount and type of pollen in an area?

#57 sgilli3

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:03 AM

I think towels are probably the thing that is most noticeably different when they have been line dried, but we rather like them a little rough.


Woo Hoo! I'm not the only one that likes my toughs a little on the rough side! Nothing worse than a soft towel- it just never feels absorbent enough.

#58 Rosie_0801

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:20 AM

Woo Hoo! I'm not the only one that likes my toughs a little on the rough side! Nothing worse than a soft towel- it just never feels absorbent enough.


Soft towels feel like they haven't been washed. :001_unsure:

Rosie

#59 Anne Rittenhouse

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:21 AM

Clothes dryer are not illegal in Europe. However, electricity is expensive. Most European dryers are electric with very small drums, think "cheap" apartment sized dryer from the 1970's for the US market. They do a HORRIBLE job of drying and they wrinkle the clothes in ways I can't even begin to describe. All Europeans gasp at the idea of a gas powered dryer. This is something unheard of. And, finally many Europeans have been brainwashed into thinking that washing, drying is more costly than washing and ironing. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Yes, electricity is expensive. Yes, there are many climates in Europe that are perfect for line drying. Many homes and apartments do not have the space for a second appliance. Washers are typically mounted under the counter in the kitchen where we would have our dishwasher. Clothes are worn until dirty and not washed as often, so there are few clother per week to wash. Recent immigrants are typically employed at "ironing service" businesses where I can drop off the clothes and pick them up later all pressed and folded for extremely cheap rates. Dry cleaning seems to be much more popular. The dryers are very expensive and they don't do a good job. These are the observations I've made for not owning a dryer.

I do own a dryer. I live in a wet northern European country. Drying clothes outside is not a option because of pollen, wood smoke, and diesel soot. Drying all the wash indoors is not a option as the masonary house holds the moisture in and then we have damp and mold problems with the plaster. I use the dryer to dry linens, and underwear. The outer clothes get started in the dryer, a few (actually only two shirts ) at a time to release wrinkles, and then they get hung up in the garage to finish drying. (Three days in the winter for jeans.) Laundry is a MAJOR household task. It went from one or two days a week in the US to an everyday event taking the better part of a day to move what I would consider a single US load through "the system" here.

I honestly believe if the typical European housewife had the chance to use a good quality US gas dryer, they would be instant converts to the system. I would like someone to show me where it is more energy efficient to wash, line dry and iron the entire load rather than wash, 15 minutes in a gas dryer, and finish it by line (hanger) drying.

So that's my dissertation on laundry in Europe. It's one of the few things I really hate here, the laundry drudgery.

#60 keptwoman

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:39 AM

Gas dryer? That sounds like heaven! Our dryers are electric (hence coal powered, don't get me started) and expensive to run.

#61 IsabelC

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:39 AM

Soft towels feel like they haven't been washed. :001_unsure:Rosie

Yep, I agree ;)
It's so easy to fold things straight off the washing line, you don't need to iron anything. The only thing I ever iron is dh's business shirts (yep, we've been married 14 years and I still haven't trained him to do his ironing properly). Whenever I've used the dryer, things come out warped and wrinkly if you don't take it out immediately.

We try to avoid using the dryer, and mostly manage not to, as we have a hills hoist plus a couple of undercover washing lines and a clothes horse, but I still like to have a dryer for occasional use.

I find it really hard to understand why anybody would choose to use a dryer all the time - I guess it's just one of those cultural things that you don't get if you're not from that culture? Because you need a paradigm shift of some kind. (It reminds me of something I read about the habit of telling people you love them. Apparently in some cultures, it's considered more loving if you never say "I love you", because to say so carries the implication that not loving the person would be a possibility, and you don't want to imply that this possibility exists.)

#62 Laura Corin

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:42 AM

Clothes dryer are not illegal in Europe. However, electricity is expensive. Most European dryers are electric with very small drums, think "cheap" apartment sized dryer from the 1970's for the US market. They do a HORRIBLE job of drying and they wrinkle the clothes in ways I can't even begin to describe.


I have a brand new high quality Miele dryer and it does a great job. I line dry when I can, but I put husband's shirts in the dryer (about five at a time) and they come out ready to wear without ironing. I don't iron.

Laura

#63 katiejane

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:22 AM

After I'd blurted it out to dh, "Dryers are illegal in Europe!" I realized that it sounded ridiculous. But I do know that there was a thread where some of the people who live in Europe (and maybe the Australians?) were pointing out that they don't use dryers. It sounded as if it were seriously frowned upon.

But maybe I was reading more into it than was meant. I keep trying to find the thread, but aren't having much luck.


Australian here and I just bought a new dryer but we are nowhere near Europe. LOL.

Most people here have clothes lines because the weather is pretty good most of the year. Dryers are mainly used in wet weather. :)

#64 Joan in Geneva

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 06:55 AM

It is eye-opening to read this thread. I didn't realize that European washing machines produce dryer clothes.

But despite that we have an American washer (because it does a much larger load) and our clothes are coming out wetter, we use the line hang option because of energy expenditures.

My ds1 is quite up to date about energy consumption and costs and he said it is the second biggest energy consuming device in the household.

Of course molds growing in wet climates makes line drying a problem. We dry clothes in the furnace room in the winter, in the dining room in the spring and outside in the summer. If it is a wet period, then turning clothes etc becomes obligatory or they have to get rewashed.

Dryers do decrease the life of elastics (in undies etc). Though it seems like boiling would do the same? But the sun can also change clothes if you get lazy and don't bring them in for several days (there's a little discolored line that goes across the front of the shirt).:001_smile:

Over here people do tend to wear their clothes more before washing. As Anne mentioned, the washing process can be laborious. And where do the clothes in the dining room go when you have guests over?

Now that the dc have grown up and don't spot their clothes as much, it seems like we have a lot fewer washes.

I've looked back at my US days and have wondered if all those laundry soap commercials ended up making people more bent on washing more, which ends up having people buying more clothes since they wear out faster, then the washing machine goes too, and on and on supporting a growing economy...:001_smile: I've been wondering about that for years now...

Joan

#65 Garga

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:40 PM

The only issue I see with line drying is the allergies. When I am inside, I am allergy-free. No sneezing, no runny nose, no tickly throat. But when I'm outside even just walking through a parking lot from my car to the store, I get hit with the allergies.

It's the same with my dh and ds7. If we're outside for about 1-2 minutes, the sneezing begins. DS7 will start rubbing his eyes for the next 10 minutes (if we immediately go back in--if we stay outside it just gets worse.)

If I line dry my clothes outside, then I bring those allergies inside and we're all miserable and having to medicate ourselves. We choose to use the medicine only when we know we'll be outside. And in spring and late summer, we tend to stay inside to avoid the allergens. It's miserable being all snotty from allergies. I mean--that's what it is, snotty. Runny and drippy and sneezy. Miserable.

I dry almost all of our clothes on the shower curtain rod. I will dry a few things that don't fit on the rod in the dryer, and that adds up to about 2 loads in the dryer each week.

Does anyone have allergies and still line dries their clothes and it doesn't come inside? Can you shake it off or something before bringing in the clothes? I'd LOVE to line dry outside in the sun and wind, but don't see how I can w/o us being medicated all day long.

#66 Meriwether

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 07:51 PM

I'm a little late getting to this post, but I wanted to respond because I may have contributed to your original confusion. On another post, I wrote that my sister was an expat in Spain. Most of the people she knew did not have dryers. They were very expensive to use. Many of the Spaniards and expats from other European countries vociferously condemned the American use of dryers.

I personally line dry when it is convenient, but I like having a dryer (and feel no guilt at using it).

To pp, my sister has terrible allergies. They weren't as bad in Madrid because they lived in the city. In the country, it is very hard on her to line dry.

Edited by Meriwether, 08 May 2010 - 08:03 PM.


#67 Peela

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 08:07 PM

Australian here and I just bought a new dryer but we are nowhere near Europe. LOL.

Most people here have clothes lines because the weather is pretty good most of the year. Dryers are mainly used in wet weather. :)


Many Aussies dont use or own dryers. We never bought one on purpose- because we know we would use it if we had it, yet we survive well without one.
In Australia it is normal to hang one's washing on a clothes line in the garden. It is traditonal Aussie culture :) We stopped doign that because the clothesline where we live is under an antenna where birds sit. Not nice. So we hang on racks in the laundry. Big laundry though.

#68 Garga

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:31 PM

I'm a little late getting to this post, but I wanted to respond because I may have contributed to your original confusion. On another post, I wrote that my sister was an expat in Spain. Most of the people she knew did not have dryers. They were very expensive to use. Many of the Spaniards and expats from other European countries vociferously condemned the American use of dryers.


Right! I remember a post where someone, somewhere in Europe talked about how the people there were very resentful and bitter of Americans using up all the energy with their dryers. It was probably your post!!

I never knew dryers used up all that much energy. I had read somewhere that it only takes 34 cents or so to dry a load, so I figured it wasn't all that bad to use. (Well, until reading on this board.)

#69 Daisy

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:50 PM

We have a gas dryer. I use it about 5 months out of the year. The rest of the time I can hang-dry my clothes and they'll actually dry faster than in the dryer. We live in an arid environment.

Doesn't matter to me. I wash an average of 10 loads of laundry a week (family of 4). Hanging it up doesn't take much time (actually the kids do it). I don't live in an association that forbids it. Having gas keeps the cost down.

Anyway, if I had 7 children, lived in a picky association, and a wet environment, I'm sure I'd feel totally differently about it. And I wouldn't for a minute think I was lazy for using the dryer. :lol:

#70 seibert4kids

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:00 PM

We lived in Spain for 3 years and had a dryer the whole time. However, it was much more common to see the Spaniards hanging the clothes out to dry. Wish I would have taken time to do it then!


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