Previous Entry Share Next Entry
I heard it on the radio
chap
nmg

Young ias has used up about two minutes of her fifteen minutes of fame, talking about laundry (and being tumble dryer-free) on today's Women's Hour. You can heard her here (for the next seven days). The laundry segment starts at 31:00, and she's on first (and third).


  • 1
(Deleted comment)
I had a combined washer-dryer once and it was nothing but trouble - kept getting clogged with fluff, leaking, needing the filters changing etc.

(Deleted comment)
That's mostly from the washer-dryer-ness, not basic idea of a machine that dries clothes - washer-dryers just don't work very well, even now, though they've improved from the above to more "just not very effective at drying".

Yeah, it was also not very effective, and also ATE ELECTRICITY LIKE A BASTARD, which I understand is a feature all dryers share.

Yes, as with an electric oven the dryer basically turns electricity into heat in order to indirectly make something else warm. This uses a lot of electricity, which is all the more noticeable when the outcome is merely convenient fast drying of clothes, rather than with an oven, delicious cake. You can get gas dryers, which would presumably be a lot cheaper to run (compare the price per kWh on your gas and electricity bills) but more expensive to install, since they won't just plug into a convenient wall socket.

However, to be fair, freshly tumble dried towels are very nice (unlike Isobel I've had no reason to try this with nappies). And I can imagine that if you have kids and no time, it becomes a very sensible investment, particularly in the winter. Owning a tumble dryer doesn't mean you can't hang things on the line, it just gives you another option.

However, to be fair, freshly tumble dried towels are very nice (unlike Isobel I've had no reason to try this with nappies). And I can imagine that if you have kids and no time, it becomes a very sensible investment, particularly in the winter. Owning a tumble dryer doesn't mean you can't hang things on the line, it just gives you another option.

Sure, they're nice. However, you can get by very well without. We have a toddler in the throes of potty training, so we're generating quite a lot of washing, but we easily get by in the winter with line-drying and clothes horses near radiators.

The other misapprehension that people seem to have about line-drying is that the weather needs to be warm for clothes to dry well, whereas windy weather is actually more useful. You can also go and do other things while the clothes are on the line, so the time-poor argument doesn't really work.

A decent spin cycle helps too.

Of course you can get by. I don't have a tumble dryer. I didn't have a microwave oven until this year. I get by without a dishwasher, using a manual drill, mixing recipes by hand, and without a handheld games console. For centuries people got by without telephones, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators. In the first episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor gets by without a sonic screwdriver. None of these things are essentials, but most of them are sometimes useful. The microwave gets used about once a week now that I have it. If I had an electric drill I'd probably only use it once a year. But it would be useful once a year.

As to the time poor issue, the problem isn't that you would somehow need to stand around watching the clothes dry, but that you need to be there to put them out, and there again to bring them in, both times partly dictated by the capricious weather. Indoor drying has its own problems. A tumble dryer, being an electrical appliance, can be set to finish drying the clothes just as you wake up with dew still on the ground outside. That's what this whole project (of inventing labour saving devices) is about, right? When my great-grandmother grew up the weekly wash was hours of hard labour. Isobel is welcome to the whole process, but I suspect she's got better things to be doing.

Really in your house I'd suggest the main reason not to own a dryer is lack of space.

an airer and an airing cupboard do us perfectly well; generating heat by electricity is such an inefficient thing to do that I refuse to pay the running costs for something that's an utter luxury. we're an affluent society; doesn't mean we have to be a wasteful one as well.

Again though, like our host, you've drawn an arbitrary line, the dryer is "an utter luxury" but judging from the "airing cupboard" you have central heating or at least stored hot water, unthinkable luxury in Britain only a few generations ago.

I don't think it's helpful to make this about "luxury". I read an argument (in The Lancet or the BMJ, some medical journal) recently that said disease eradication was a luxury we couldn't or shouldn't afford. Or remember the fuss about VAT on tampons? People's priorities differ. I prefer to shower, so I don't have a bath. But is it really such a terrible waste (of space, energy to heat water, water itself) when other people fill a bath with hot water?

I thought I recognised the voice! I heard her! I just missed them saying who was who...

I don't think that they named any of the contributors to that segment...

Wheeeee ! That was a lovely treat !

Thanks for this. I love the smell of line-dried washing and think it is better for my clothes as well as the environment. We've got a fabby folding Brabantia airer, fixed to the outside wall, which I use whenever the weather is dry. We also have indoor airers, including one with three arms to hang coathangers on.

We still have a tumble dryer but I prefer not to use it. Got out of the habit when I had a useless washer-dryer in the Nottingham flat.

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account