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#WordlessWednesday: Cold Water Washing

Wordless Wednesday: The Cold Water Washing

Christa Clips discovered that her cold setting on the washing machine was using hot water!

We wash almost exclusively with cold water.
When we installed our new washing machine (and dryer *cough*sputter … more on that later!), I thought we’d crossed the hot/cold water hoses because my cold water washes had a LOT of hot water filling the drum.

It turns out that I need to push the temp button one more time until no light shows to reach the “tap cold” setting.

I’m sad that this more eco-friendly and budget saving setting was undeserving of its own little light. I think I’ll attach a little sticker to cheer myself up!

Diary of a Dryerless Dame: Sunny & Cold!

We’ve been without a dryer since last January and I’m happy to report that even on these frigid winter days (with no wind, taboot!) we’re still able to do our laundry for less! Here’s a glimpse into a one load day …

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom puts laundry to soak first thing in the morning and waits until the RED  ZONE is finished before starting the washing machine to SAVE on hydro.

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home-Mom puts laundry to soak first thing in the morning and waits until the RED ZONE is finished before starting the washing machine to SAVE on hydro.

Filling our top loading washing machine takes little (if any?) electricity so I fill it with water first thing in the morning, add soap, stir with a long handled spoon from the dollar store and add clothes to soak until I put down the lid to start the cycle when hydro rates change from RED ZONE (on-peak) to YELLOW ZONE (mid-peak) rates at 11am. Ideally we’d run the washing machine during the time-of-use GREEN ZONE from 7pm-7am but I find that the clothes are too wrinkled if I leave them overnight and I just don’t have time to hang them until the kids get on the school bus at 8:30. I figure the fact that we’re paying mid-peak time-of-use hydro rates is more than offset by the fact that we don’t run a dryer.

No wind-chill factor?!  That's rare! Indoor drying is the only option on these days unless you like jeans-icles!

No wind-chill factor?! That’s rare! Indoor drying is the only option on these calm and cold days unless you like jeans-icles!

As soon as I saw that there’s no windchill today, I knew I’d be drying my load of laundry indoors. Not a problem – I’ve got some great drying gear and a super indoor system!

Hernessing the head from the afternoon sun in our west-facing patio doors, combined with the floor heat vent make for ideal air-drying conditions!

Harnessing the heat from the afternoon sun in our west-facing patio doors, combined with the floor heat vent make for ideal air-drying conditions!

While the wash cycle was running, I set up my drying rack and hanging gear in front of our south-west facing patio door over the heat vent. The sun pours through from 11:30-3:30ish at this time of year and is more than enough heat to dry most clothes and even towels. Dress shirts go directly onto hangers, socks & undies onto the octopus/spider thingy from IKEA and I love these tall slender drying racks from Canadian Tire to trap the warm air from the air vents.

Giving the dress shirts a quick snap-like shake and getting them onto hangers straight out the washing machine usually gets out all of the wrinkles for us. No ironing? Yes, please!

Giving the dress shirts a quick snap-like shake and getting them onto hangers straight out the washing machine usually gets out all of the wrinkles for us. No ironing? Yes, please!

The sun shone all afternoon and the dress shirts were dry and wrinkle free by the time the sun dipped behind the neighbour’s roof at 3:30, as were the yoga pants, cotton t-shirts and pj bottoms! I sure am looking forward to when the days get a little longer in December – even JEANS will dry in a day when we have 5 straight hours of sunshine! The socks and undies were still a little damp and I moved the spider hanger to the bottom of the drying rack to catch some serious air until 5:00!

Dryer free living is totally do-able!

Everything was dry, folded and put away by dinner time. The drying racks & gear all have a place in the laundry room (we just did a mini upgrade – pics in an upcoming blog post!). Our 10 month dryer costs are holding steady at $3 (from that “i’m flying to Cuba tomorrow” underwear emergency!) and I really feel like I’ve finally got a handle on the weekly ebb & flow to ensure that we’re not surrounded by drying racks in the evenings and over the weekend.  Dryer free living is totally do-able!

 

 

 

Diary of a Dryerless Dame: End of Day 2

Dry sheets over a doorPhew! Full marks today on getting the kids beds laundered and made up again before they got home from school. Even on these damp days, the sheets only take a couple of hours to dry draped over 2nd floor doors and I didn’t spend any extra time folding them … just straight back on the bed! Tip: paint the top of your doors with high gloss kitchen or bathroom interior paint so that they’re easy to clean and won’t snag fabrics.

As expected, the load of towels didn’t dry completely on the dryer rack placed over a heater vent. The sun finally peeked thru at about 5:00 tonight and the patio door area got quite hot … if only we’d had another hour of sun, I’m sure they would have dried completely and I could have gotten them put away by bedtime as hoped. Instead, I carried the whole rack down to the basement and will fold them tomorrow morning. Towels are especially susceptible to going musty or having that rotten wet dog smell (you all know what I’m talking about, right?!) if they’re put into the linen closet with even the slightest amount of dampness, so I don’t take chances.

Getting everything done in the 5 day work week is looking more and more like a possible goal, especially considering that most of tomorrow’s items are already done. If it were to rain all week long though, I could see running into problems with jeans, outerwear, towels and blankets. This condensed schedule (i.e. laundryless weekend) relies on the dryer racks being empty and available by 11:30 each morning. I can actually imagine myself becoming a solar slave: “so sorry, I can’t make it out today … It’s sunny and I’ve got to get the jeans hung out.” Hmmmm, worth the $1000 savings from not replacing our broken dryer? Time will tell.

Tomorrow – winter gear washed, air dried and packed away until fall.