10 Best Drying Racks | March 2017
- uses the warmth of your home to dry
- adjustable width to fit in any space
- will tilt if unevenly loaded
- for indoor use only
- constructed of durable stainless steel
- wipes clean with a damp cloth
- top rack is ideal for sweaters
- 25 feet of energy-saving drying space
- no assembly required
- includes 2 holders for smaller items
- sized to fit through standard doorways
- allows for good air flow
- great for camping
- very sturdy construction
- base extends to 52"
- includes 2 pairs of shoe holders
- folds down flat to 3.5 inches
- sections conveniently move around
- smooth turning arms
- comes with a 5 year warranty
- includes a protective cover
A Timeless Classic: The Drying Rack
A drying rack saves money: it doesn't run on electricity or natural gas, and is in fact the only way to properly dry sensitive garments made of wool or silk. Therefore you can think of a drying rack not necessarily as an alternative to a traditional dryer, but as a part of your larger laundry regimen. Or you can choose to eschew dryers altogether in favor of a time tested method people have used to dry their clothing and linens for tens of thousands of years: air, time, and, sometime, sunshine.
And as the lower cost drying racks cost as little as twenty dollars, they are an investment you can easily afford. Even top of the line, large outdoor drying rack still tend to cost less than a hundred dollars, and the amount of money they can save you in appliance operating costs make the investment well worth it -- more on that below.
When choosing a drying rack, first and foremost you must know where the unit will be placed. If you need drying rack that is intended for indoor use, the most convenient option is often one that simply perches on the ground. These units minimal setup and can be moved or tucked away for storage whenever needed. They may take up some floor space when in use, but they can always be put away when not holding your damp clothes. Some freestanding drying racks also feature several larger shelves that are perfect for clothing that must be laid flat.
If your home would be better served by a wall mounted drying rack, consider whether you prefer a unit that is always deployed and ready or one that can be folded flat against the wall when not being used. These accordion style units can't support as much weight as permanent shelving, but they can be easily tucked out of the way.
For the laundry drying rack that will be placed outside, you need a unit that can stand firm even in the breeze. While some freestanding units can be used perched on patios or decks, the ideal outdoor drying rack is one that can be mounted firmly in the ground. Such drying racks are usually large enough to accommodate whole loads of laundry at the same time and allow for great airflow and exposure to sunshine that allow clothing to dry quickly.
Why Drying Racks Are A Smart Idea
If you should choose to ditch the dryer all together and put all your drying in the hands of a drying rack, so to speak, you won't be displeased with the results so long as you pick the right drying rack to serve your needs. And your bank account won't be displeased with the savings you reap by not running cycle after cycle of wash through that power hungry appliance.
According to the Consumer Energy Center, a division of the California Energy Commission, drying a standard load of laundry costs between 32 and 41 cents in an electric dryer, or between 15 and 33 cents in a gas dryer (which are usually more expensive initially). If your household does just three loads of laundry a week, those operating costs will reach about fifty dollars per year. Most families do much more laundry than that, with the cost of operating a dryer alone (without the purchase price included, that is to say) totaling more than the price tag of even the most expensive drying rack.
Drying racks are also one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. By using a drying rack instead of a dryer, your property will consume markedly less electricity each year, meaning less environmental impact.
And while clothes dried on a rack instead of in a machine may take longer to be fully dried each time, they will last much longer thanks to the gentle process of natural drying compared to the heat and tumbling of an automatic dryer.
How To Help Your Laundry Out
The best thing you can do to ensure that your laundry is properly cleaned and dried is to simply read and follow the included instructions. If a given shirt states it is to be laundered cold and then laid flat to dry, by all means do just that. If a shirt (or skirt or pair of pants and so forth) states that it can be tumbled dry on a low setting, then consider laying it flat anyway to extend the life of the garment. And of course use the proper wash cycle settings and temperatures as well. Avoiding fabric softeners can also preserve the quality of your clothing, as these substances can lead to a yellowing of white fabrics over time and reduce the absorbance of all cloth.
Many people balance their use of drying racks and traditional clothes dryers. If you are going to dry clothing in a regular dryer, consider ditching those dryer sheets. While most dryer sheets are relatively safe, being free from the panoply of toxins many health and wellness bloggers decry, some brands do contain chemicals best avoided, such as traces of formaldehyde. And the cost of dryer sheets adds up quickly in the home where laundry is plentiful. Instead opt for wool dryer balls that can help reduce wrinkles and static naturally. They are eco friendly and pay for themselves rapidly in terms of money saved on dryer sheets.
If you use an outdoor drying rack, make sure you are heedful of the damage sunshine can do to colored fabrics. Sunlight -- specifically ultraviolet sunlight -- can fade and bleach dyed clothing, causing permanent damage to your garments. A bit of warm sunshine helps dry clothes quickly and is fine thing; too much sunlight will cause a photodegradation reaction that will ruin them. Place your drying rack where it will experience only partial sun, such that it can be turned to rotate items out of direct sunlight, or simply make sure not to hang anything in the sunshine for too long.