Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Fabulous Things About England # 18: Drying, Drying, Drying

This is my dryer.

This is my full dryer.

I live in a masonette. By definition it's part of a larger building. There are two bedrooms upstairs, and a kitchen and lounge (den, family room, living room) downstairs. We have no garden (back or front yard)  access, so hanging clothes to dry outside isn't an option. In high summer when the humidity is low, clothes generally take 18 hours to dry. If they were hung outside, they'd take a third of that time. If there were a breeze, they'd take an hour.

In the winter, clothes take a bit less time to dry inside because the humidity is usually down. Clothes left on radiators dry in an hour or so for light t-shirts. The English generally only keep their heating on when they are at home. So, radiator drying has to take place when we're at home. If we've both put off laundry for too long, the house becomes one giant drying rack. Sheets get hung on doors. Jeans get hung on kitchen chairs, towels are hung across radiators and so on. It's not a good plan since it raises the humidity in the house; therefore, it slows the drying process.


  1. And that is why I enjoy having a dryer in my house!! Are laundrymats an options for a quick dry?

  2. Hey! You said you'd appreciate comments (and I TOTALLY relate) so I figured I'd let you know I stumbled across your blog through Expat. I'm currently living in China (though backpacking SE Asia at the moment) and though Europe and Asia are definitely not kindreds, I too employ the same drying system.... it takes FOREVER! I've enjoyed indulging in laundry services while traveling... there's nothing like a dryer tossed T-shirt as opposed to its stiff rigid slightly musty line-dried counterpart

  3. Thank you for the comments. I feel like I'm talking to myself, but my stats prove otherwise.

    People do have dryers. They come in two types. Some of the washing machines here are also dryers. So once the wash cycle ends they go directly to a dry cycle. These don't work very long and they can take hours and hours to dry a load. Friends generally have them because they have someone in the house with asthma. So just that persons clothes go through the dry cycle.

    You can also get tumble dryers here. They tend to be in garages. Houses weren't built for them, so the out vent has to be cleared after each cycle. They do a better job than the dryers above, but they still take longer than drying on a line outside on a windy day. I occasionally borrow one to shrink jeans and t-shirts back into shape.

    The cost of laudromats is insanely high. Six pounds for a dry, and there is only one laundromat in a 15 mile radius.

    Lauren: You're very brave. I don't know that I could do it. I do miss fluffy clothes, but I'm not sure that I even remember what they feel like. I'll be in the States for a week next month, so I'm going to force my sisters to do my laundry for me.

  4. I've been without a dryer now for almost 11 years. It's funny - I thought I'd miss it, but I really don't. It's a pain when it's damp out and there's something I need to have drying, so I now over-provision on almost everything to make sure that doesn't happen!

  5. I'm an American living west of London, and my ground floor is currently one big drying rack! The three loads of laundry that were line-drying in the sun got caught in the rain shower! Fortunately, I do have a dryer handy, but drying will take awhile and I'll miss the smell of clothes dried in the sun.

    BTW, I was just in Bath over the weekend!

  6. I'm interested to see how I feel about the dryers when I get to use them again. I suspect that I'll come back whinging about how they ruined my clothes.

    I'm still drying out from today's downpour. I had a rain coat and brolly, but I still ended up soaked through. I'm supposed to be wearing these trousers to work again tomorrow. I don't think they're going to be dry. And it's putting on damp trousers that makes me think a dryer would be oh so nice.

    I hope you enjoyed Bath. I love that the city is beautiful in any weather.

  7. Oh, man! Dryers. I hate hate doing the laundry and always try to go as long as possible without doing it. When I moved though I couldn't do that anymore. It would take me ages to finish all the washing. Not to mention I quickly ran out of places to hang clothes!

    I'm moving to back to the UK in three weeks and I will definitely miss my dryer!

    Great blog by the way!

  8. Thanks, B. I'm wondering if there's any money in peddle powered dryers. I think it would force many of us to get enough exercise. Good luck with the move.


Don't have a google account? That's all right. Select anonymous to leave a note.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...