Right to Dry for Apartment Dwellers

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Are you living in an apartment, dorm, anyplace without the space to hang a clothesline? Then you probably read Fight for Your Right to Dry a bit skeptically. After all, what can you do? You don't own a backyard!

But wait! There is a better way! The drying rack, a device which folds compactly out of the way when not in use, allows anyone to dry their clothing naturally. The modern drying racks add a design element to your green living, a big improvement over the unstable, old accordion-racks. A couple options are shown over the fold, with some tips and hints on how rack drying can make your laundry-life better.We will admit, a typical family of four will use the fold-away functionality only when guests are expected. But natural drying will save energy and money. Not only on your gas/electric bill, but also on the wear and tear your clothing avoid. Your favorite tight jeans come off the rack fitting just right. And you can wear that perfect shirt you found months longer without the heat-and-tumble drying process. No more lost buttons or snags.

Modern washing machines have faster spin cycles, leaving clothing already dry enough that they will not drip when hung out, so there are no worries about water damage. Set out in a well-ventilated room, clothing will be dry by the next day, smelling fresh and fine. The clothing comes off the rack already sorted and half-way folded: so the labor quotient is not significantly different than machine drying. Also, you can wear most clothes without ironing. (Hint: Want to really save time? Try the rack-to-body lifestyle.)

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This A-frame over tub drying rack also lays out flat for drying sweaters or delicates which need more support.

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As a practical solution for a larger family, we advise looking for a winged rack. We like the Pegasus 200, from German company Leifheit, because the wide-diameter blue plastic joints are a great place to hang sweaters and pants to avoid the dreaded "dowel-crease". This stand is stable enough to hang a large number of garments on hangers as well (although we recommend hooking hangers onto the main rack or the most inside wing-dowel to avoid stress on the wing joints, unlike shown in the picture).

So trust us and try it: you won't miss your dryer a bit.

Image credit: Clothesline by ::allysonkalea

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