Week One: Indoors
My first indoor attempt was curtailed by the drying rack Seventh Generation sent me to use. I opened it and set it up. It took up half my apartment. No matter. The metal base seemed sturdy enough and the ropes on top some sort of plastic. It didn’t seem big enough for all I had stuffed in the washing machines. Before I even went down the hall to get my two loads of wet laundry, I noticed the undeniable stench of PVC/vinyl, AKA “The Poison Plastic” coming from those ropes. This is not something I ever want to be breathing, even if it meant air drying less clothing than I promised I would.
I quickly boxed the thing back up, opened the window wider, and turned on a fan. I hung as much of the wet laundry as I could over every part of my apartment – on hangers on the shower curtain rod, on the backs of chairs etc. – but had to dry the rest. Not an entire failure but a failure nonetheless. This wasn’t that different than what I normally do. I always air dry my more delicate clothing and that’s about all that will fit draped around my apartment.
That night, I started researching different drying racks (wood, especially FSC-certified, are expensive, IKEA has a cool looking and inexpensive metal rack, and Project Laundry List sells tons of great options). I also posted on Facebook for advice from friends who urban air dry. I got and am still getting great responses and even photos. Some people dry in their closets! (Mine has no room.) Some put delicates in the oven on low and, in the winter, stand in front of it to warm up at the same time! They figure short time baking uses less energy than putting a load in the dryer. So I may have failed overall, but I gained inspiration and how-to advice for my next attempt.
Meanwhile, I noticed my daughter stole my clothespins, set up a line in her play area, and was drying her doll’s clothes. Her line was tidy and well arranged. Educating the next generation = success!