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Work Camp Guide: Living Without a Washer/Dryer

Living Without a Clothes Dryer

washer dryer comboDepending on how remote a mining operation is, sometimes you may be without the convenience of a washer, dryer, washer/dryer combo or even detergent for an extended period of time. But that can actually be a refreshing exercise in learning to live without modern conveniences.

For many people, the thought of living without a clothes dryer is ludicrous, particularly if they have a large family.  While you may cringe at the thought of hanging up all those pants and sheets, you may find yourself going without a dryer, either as a lifestyle choice or due to a problem with the electricity. Of course, doing without a dryer offers you some significant benefits. You become more environmentally friendly, save money, and learn discipline. In short, a no-dryer life is good for you and your family.

Money Savings

In addition to being eco-friendly, you save a substantial amount on your energy bills when you forgo a home clothes dryer. One air-drying advocate estimates that he saves approximately $1.08 every time he hangs up his laundry instead of using a dryer. Over the course of a year, the savings will certainly add up.

You also eliminate the need for dryer sheets, although you may choose to use fabric softener in the wash cycle to keep your clothes soft. Since hanging the clothes is not a huge time investment and is uncomplicated, you can have your children do it.

Drying Space

You may fear that you do not have enough room to dry your clothes indoors, which will be necessary in many climates during the winter months or stormy periods. If you use several drying stands and an indoor clothesline, either in your basement or laundry room, you can easily hang one or two loads at once.

Depending on the humidity level, your laundry will dry in hours or a day or two. You may experience some inconvenience, but planning ahead will minimize the problems. It may be comforting to know that hanging laundry inside can add much-needed moisture to dry winter air.

You will need to prioritize which laundry items need to be done first and which can wait. Also remember to keep the drying room off limits to the kids — unless you want to rewash your clothing.

Clothing Preservation

Line drying is easier on your clothes; your items will likely last longer and not shrink, as long as you wash them in cold water. You will no longer have to cry when you pull a miniaturized sweater out of a hot dryer. Your jeans won’t have to stretch out over a period of hours before you can take a deep breath. Also, when you hang your clothes outside, you will benefit from the natural bleaching effect of the sun, which is particularly effective on stubborn stains.

Living without a dryer is more manageable than you may think. You will have to invest more effort into the logistical aspects of getting your clothes dry, but you will benefit in various ways. By eliminating a dryer, you are helping the environment, saving money, and protecting your clothes. Few other household actions offer you so much instant gratification.