Sunday, February 5, 2012

Adventures in Laundry without a Dryer

In the last post, I mentioned that we only have a washer and not a dryer. Honestly, I didn't expect to have a washing machine in our apartment at all, because that wasn't even a luxury we were afforded in either of our Oakland apartments. We have a small balcony with two drying racks and several clothes lines strung up and when we did our first load of laundry on our first weekend here, we hung things out there. It seemed like a no brainer. Well, when we brought them in that night to finish drying, I started to notice something smelling. I realized it was the clothes. From being out in the cold, damp air, they all smelled like a wet dog. So that batch had to be washed again the next day and we had to figure out another way to dry them.

Andy had heard from some people at work that they use their radiators to dry clothes, but it's only big enough for Brady's clothes or socks.

So in each load, we have to choose whether we want shirts or pants, because we pretty much only have the shower rod. I can do either six shirts or two pairs of pants in a load. The first time I hung things up, the shower rod completely came down on top of me (shown below) and Andy had to put it back up after work.

The shower rod is good for getting most of the shirts dry, but the way they hang doesn't allow the underarm portions to dry, so overnight we have to lay them over the dining room chairs to completely dry all over.

Pants drying

Initially the goal was to do laundry every other day because you'd only think that between Andy and myself, that we'd only use two shirts and two pairs of pants. Eventually things started to back up and we constantly have a full hamper. Since I can only dry two pairs of pants per day, it takes longer to get all the pants clean. This week, I've had to do laundry every day and we still have an almost full hamper. It will be interesting when we have to have everything clean to pack up and go home.

The hardest part about "hanging" dry your laundry is that it is forever wrinkled and comes out as stiff as a board. The only exceptions seem to be clothes made with that jersey cotton and Andy's wrinkle-free dress shirts.


  1. Hi Nikki,
    this is Anja who was in Anderson as an intern.
    For drying your clothes you should get one of these:
    You can get them at bigger stores. They are called Wäscheständer. And to avoid you clothes being stiff you should use fabric softener (Weichspüler). Washing clothes here is a little different than in the US:) If you have questions about anything you can ask me.

  2. Finally getting around to reading your posts. You are so lucky to have such nice people to help you out! Wish we knew our neighbors. We've met several people at our church though, and even went to dinner one night at their house. We had the American missionaries over, and they gave us lots of help too...they even taught me how to say a few things when ordering...if I can ever remember it. I am so impressed by you...I don't think I could handle the laundry like you, you take it stride. We are lucky to have a dryer but it is such low energy that one load takes four hours to wash and dry. D you have a dishwasher? We do, but didn't use it until this week because we didn't have any soap. Sounds like you are getting settled. Can't wait to hear ore about Stuttgart!

    1. We do have a dishwasher which is very helpful. We were lucky enough that our landlord set us up with dishwasher detergent before we got there. A lot has happened in the last few weeks, but with the computer out of commission, blogging capabilities are absolutely nonexistent. Andy took it to Media Markt on Tuesday and no word back from them yet. Can't wait to hear more about you guys too!