The No-Electric Dryer: Part 1

We’ve been a machine wash and dry family.  We have a small hanger with clips that we use to dry bras (previously diaper covers) but we’ve been reluctant to take the plunge and start hanging entire loads.

We tried drying a load of cloth diapers outside once.  They were still wet after 24 hours, so we decided line drying was for suckers.  The fact that there was little sun, no wind and that it rained didn’t weigh very much on our decision.

But now we’re trying to cut our energy consumption.  The comments from our last post on energy use confirmed what we already suspected.  Our electric dryer is the next in the line of energy hogs for us to cut.  Plus, I was reading this post on repurposing a drying rack and I kept thinking that I was ready to try one out without repurposing.  It was time.

We stepped up to the challenge and bought a clothes drying rack from IKEA.  With winter coming, I figured an indoor drying rack would be more practical than installing an outdoor clothes line.  I should have shopped around to find a used rack, but I got into that crazy “I’m going to save us money no matter how much it costs” mode.

Expected Benefits

  1. We’re expecting to reduce our energy use and save on our utility bills.
  2. We’re expecting to extend the life of our clothes.  (We were the only ones in our group of laser tag with pills glowing on our clothes.  How embarrassing!)
  3. We’re expecting the house to not be so dry in the winter.  (We’re hoping no moisture issue develops)
  4. We’re expecting to not have to climb through snow banks to clear the dryer vent outside because our lint trap doesn’t catch much lint so the lint gets trapped on the way out of the house in the weird insulated-ball-vent-thing the previous owners installed.

What’s the Payback on a Drying Rack?

According to the EnerGuide sticker on our dryer, our model uses 937 khw per year.  Let’s assume that we only dry our clothes only during off peak times at a cost of $0.075/kwh.  That means that it costs us about $70.28 per year to run our dryer.  With an up front cost of $15, it will take about three months before our drying rack starts paying for itself.

$70 doesn’t seem like too much for the privilege of having a machine dry our clothes.  But, it’s all these little things that add up to our $100+ per month bill.  Over time, these little frugal habits really add up.

Are you in the market for a Clothes Drying Rack?

If you’re getting the guts to try this with us, check for free or used drying racks in your area.  If you’ve got an IKEA close, we bought the “Frost” model.  If you’re an online shopper, I’ve include some links to different styles of drying racks on amazon below.*  My parents use the tall one.  We use the clippy one.  The third is close to what we have now.


We have been reluctant to try drying our clothes indoors even though we know we’ll reduce our energy consumption, save utility costs, and prolong the life of our clothes.  Sometimes you need to kick yourself a kick in the butt when you know you’re just being stubborn.  Our full price drying rack will pay for itself in three months and should save us from using our dryer for many years.  I’ll let you know if we regret our decision next time in Part 2!

What About You?

Do you hang your clothes to dry?  Are you going to try?

What changes have you been reluctant to make in your life?

* Simple Cheap Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for site to earn advertising and linking to

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