Laundry Trials & Tribulations (temp housing edition, part 2)

After spending 4 hours trying to dry one pair of pants, I gave up on the dryer and utilized all 3 drying racks in my temporary house….as well as every chair back and door handle.   But that leaves everything kinda stiff and I really want my clothes to get all hot and shrink up a bit in the dryer. My jeans and sweaters stretch out and even though I know it’s bad for them- I toss everything in the dryer. So I thought after I left the jeans out overnight to dry (post 4 hours in a dryer not drying), I would throw them in the dryer hoping what little heat is created would shrink up the jeans. Wrong. I threw the jeans in for 40 minutes, when the door released, my jeans were wet again. Not soaked…but not damp either. They were wet.   Dryers make clothes wet and slightly warm here.

So I was led on some pretty extensive research on drying options in Scotland, particularly the wide array of drying racks available. I haven’t totally snubbed line drying, but I’m practical here and from what I can tell, it rains about 285 days a year.

I found some great blog posts of expats who have come before me and their posts, along with the comments on their posts, have provided me good grasp on the best drying racks to invest in (I think).  It was then I found the totally ingenious design of radiator drying racks!

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And from my experience in our temporary housing, I know I don’t like the drying racks that look like a gate. They aren’t very stable and all the clothes touch. From all I’ve read, I think I’ll go with 1 tower design and one flat table design to limit over-lapping.

And then I guess you do sheets over the door? I bet that’s not considering our Americaner king size sheets….

Luckily, we have 3 bedrooms, an office, and 2 living rooms so I should have plenty of room for drying racks. I’ve also noted that a fan greatly speeds up the process and a dehumidifier keeps it from feeling like a damp dungeon. So maybe one bedroom will be fully dedicated to a drying room? I’m sure that’s totally normal.    

As it turns out I only packed 2 pairs of workout crops/capris (until we got our air shipment). Which was fine the first couple weeks when not working out. Now that I am (best attempting to get) on a more regular work out schedule, 2 pairs aren’t doing the trick. With this washing/drying situation I am totally trying to only wash clothes on an absolutely as needed basis, but one workout is pretty much the max in my spandex. It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am a sweaty mess. So much so, that I actually have prescription pills to subdue the sweat. (Not for everyday or for working out, but for super hot and/or stressful days (so I probably won’t be using these in Scotland) like summer in Chicago or our wedding day). Crotch sweat is by far the worst of my problems so I’m left doing a load of laundry every other day to wash my 2 pairs of pants. Well both pairs were soiled on a Monday morning and I signed up for a class at the gym that evening. I definitely couldn’t not wash (maybe if it was an outdoor run I could…but a class, no way) so I washed both pairs of pants in the morning and set them out on the rack to dry. After an hour or so, I started to panic that they wouldn’t be dry in time. It actually was actually sunny so at first I took a pair of pants outside. I was so thankful I had bought clothespins 2 days ago because it was so windy I would be sure to lose my pants without them.



They definitely felt dryer after a couple hours. But due to the wind, I had decided to turn on a little bit of heat.  And then I remembered the radiator drying racks…and thought, hey lets throw these crops on the radiator. And 30 minutes later we were dry and toasty people! Radiators are the shit. And luckily (probably in this situation ONLY), having your heat on in the summer is totally reasonable and normal here. From then I covered the various radiators around the place with articles of clothing in 30-minute increments. I’m a little weary of the fire possibility, but not weary enough to not utilize the heat someone is paying for. Today has confirmed my initial plan to buy radiator-drying racks, one for every single radiator in our house. Maybe this laundry thing won’t be so bad? And I’m still holding out hope that my dryer in our real house will work and work well.   Because to be perfectly honest, line drying leaves all your clothes stiff and your towels crunchy…and it sucks.   And I know it saves money and the environment…I know.

1 Comment

  1. emma

    Hi, so I’m Scottish and am genuinely bemused by all this chat about drying clothes! you can get a condenser dryer for a less than £200 and it dries stuff quickly and well – how can no American have ever found this???
    If you don’t fancy that then Lakeland stock a heated drying rack for under a £100 – it plugs in and dries stuff super quick.

    Good luck!


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