Spin Dryers

When we moved out to a farm, we decided to line dry whatever we could, but handwringing all our clothing, linens and towels is time and energy consuming. And the hand wringing was hard on my more delicate clothing. These electric-powered spin dryers do a fantastic job; the clothes come out just slightly damp and dry quickly. The dryers are also much gentler on stuff like sweaters, delicates and lingerie. Two years ago we bought a small counter-top dryer for the apartment we keep in the city (to avoid schlepping linens and towels). It worked so well and we were so impressed with it I then bought a larger one for the farm. The smaller one spins at 1600 RPM and the larger one at 3600 RPM, so they greatly reduce the time needed for line drying (probably only 1-2 minutes on average). They also help get much more water and detergent out of our laundry than a conventional washer does. There’s much less detergent smell. We are most definitely not into the fragrances put in many detergents. It usually smells like nasty chemicals to us, so the more we can get out of our clothes and linens, the better. And avoiding the dryer frees us from that “cooked” smell.

Both systems are completely contained and the water drains into a sink or bath tub. We put the mini one on the kitchen counter (on the dish drainer tray) so we can load wet stuff right from the sink into it. It has a flexible hose that comes out of the bottom in the back, and you just snake that over to the sink and the water goes right back in — makes it easy to use the same wash water and detergent several times, saving on water and detergent. The large one has a spout in the front at the bottom, which we position over the bath tub. My husband actually built a plywood triangle fitted with some rubber matting on the underside (so it wouldn’t mar the tub). The larger one is especially great for cleaning and freshening up bed pillows. They’re almost completely dry after only spinning a couple minutes! A couple caveats: you can’t turn them on and go off and leave them unattended. And you do have to ensure they’re balanced — if the big one ever got away on you, I’m sure it could do some damage. But after using it a couple times, you get onto how to load for balance.

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-- Christine Mank  

Spin Dryer
$145
Available from Laundry Alternative

Mini Countertop
(pic at top)
$70
Available from Laundry Alternative