I was kind of a late bloomer, always jealous of other girls’ racks and fearing I’d never have one myself. Even my younger sisters got theirs ahead of me. No, I didn’t suddenly pump myself full of plastic to impress the boys. It’s my new Drying Rack, people! What the heck did you think?
Inspired by Citizen Green’s excellent tips for hanging clothes to dry, and committed more than ever to saving energy after seeing The Age of Stupid last week, I was determined to figure out a way to hang dry at least some of our clothes. The trouble is, we don’t have a yard for installing the kind of contraption Linda has, and we don’t have room in the house to put one up either. Our laundry room is basically the back hallway which has barely enough room for Michael and me to squeeze past each other. We also don’t have the right kind of wall space to put up one of those expanding dry racks.
So I was happy to find a link to a different kind of drying rack in one of the comments on Linda’s post. Called the Best Drying Rack, the unit is constructed of maple and corrosion resistant steel and is advertised as having “(no plastic parts).”
I’m always interested in companies that not only avoid adding plastic to their products but also see the wisdom in advertising that fact. So I asked the owner, Greg Baka, about that decision. His response:
I designed our Drying Rack to not have plastic parts after noticing that 1) plastic parts always break first, and 2) the antique racks I was basing my design on had no plastics
And in fact, the design is pretty ingenious.
The unit is basically held together by physics. No nails, screws or hinges except for a bolt in the top and bottom. Oh, and a tiny bit of Elmer’s Heavy Duty glue stick. Everything else slides and stays in place via gravity and friction, like the Mormon Tabernacle. And each drying arm moves on its own, so the unit can take up more or less space, depending on what is needed. It also retracts for convenient storage in our narrow hallway.
But what about the packaging? I asked Greg about the packaging, and he admitted that he does enclose the rack in plastic (bag, stretchwrap, tape) to protect it. But after looking at my web site, he offered to find a plastic-free way to ship it to me. And when he said plastic-free, he really meant it. He didn’t even use a plastic UPS envelope, and the package arrived just fine.
So, how well does it work? Check out the clothes drying in the sun on our back roof deck!
The rack will hold about one normal load of laundry. At this point, my goal is simply to hang dry one load of laundry each week (we usually have two or three) and see how it goes. Any new system takes some time to get used to, right?
One benefit I have already noticed is that my pants aren’t so tight when I put them on after washing, since they haven’t shrunk from the heat of the dryer. However, I will have to get used to my clothes being less soft. The beating they take in the dryer makes the cloth feel so much better to me, even though I know they are wearing out faster! I also noticed that since any lint does not get sucked away from the clothes like it does in the dryer, some of my darker items will need to be brushed before wearing.
So, yes, drying clothes outside will take some extra time and effort. But so does making homemade cat food or remembering to bring my own containers and bags to the store or writing to companies asking for no plastic packaging. Effort, sure. But really, so what? Aren’t we and the planet worth it?
Oh, and one other benefit not necessarily related to the drying rack but to the box it came in:
The good times had by all when Mr. Soots jumped into the tall box in the middle of the night and then couldn’t figure out how to get out again. Priceless.
Note: If you want to order the drying rack without any plastic, you can leave a note in the comments section of the online order form requesting it.
Oh, and one more note: I purchased this drying rack myself and am not receiving any compensation whatsoever for writing about it.