The Diaper Drying Experiment

Our dryer has recently had the audacity to break on me–during our bought with the stomach flu, no less.

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It couldn’t even break in a decent way like the heat going out or the tumbler malfunctioning. No, it had to do something stupid like have the “Start” knob snap off. You’re a jerk, dryer!

Once upon a time, I thought I could easily get by without a dryer. What an ignorant lady I was! I’ve been frantically trying to keep up with our laundry because hanging everything to dry adds a fair amount of time to this chore. A big part of the problem is the cloth diapers.

I do a load of cloth diapers every other day since we have 2 in diapers. This load takes up almost all of the space on my drying racks. Additionally, the diapers take well over 24 hours to completely dry (and that’s with a fan blowing on them). That means other loads of laundry can’t go through the wash until the diapers are finished drying.

However, a couple of years ago I read a blog post about line drying diapers even in the winter. I didn’t save it, so I can’t reference it now, but it seemed to claim that diapers on the line could be a year-round endeavor. Generally I have no motivation to hang up diapers when it’s freezing outside, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I was a little skeptical that the diapers would dry but the only way I would know is by trying.

The Experiment 

It was sunny, windy, and a high of 22 degrees on the day I tested this theory. I hung up the diapers at 11:15 a.m. and took them down at about 5:30 p.m. They were in direct sunlight for a good chunk of this time. I use prefold diapers and I’ve heard those generally take less time to dry than all-in-one diapers.

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Dry, diapers, dry!

The Findings

The diapers were frozen stiff on the line when I took them off. When I brought them inside and they thawed a bit, they were almost as wet as when I initially hung them outside. People with half a brain probably could have predicted that outcome given the fact that other sources of water remain frozen on cold, sunny days, but I was hoping something magical would happen when the sun’s rays hit the cloth diapers.

And no, science wasn’t my strongest subject in school.

Conclusion 

Almost complete failure.

In hindsight, the half remembered blog post may have been talking about sun bleaching diapers year-round, not actually drying them. And I will admit that my diapers do look significantly brighter. However, line drying outside wasn’t the space saver I was hoping it would be since I had to rehang all the diapers inside. Ain’t nobody got time for that with a toddler and infant to tend.

Bottom Line

I need to get the dryer repaired ASAP.

 

*Update on 2/9/17*

So a bit of research has shown that you can line dry clothes in the winter. . . sometimes. I think it was too humid the day I tried.

But at any rate, I fixed my dryer a few hours after I posted this! 🙂

 


Ranking the Importance of Big Appliances

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One of the frusterating  interesting things about waiting for a call is our unknown housing situation.  Will we live in a parsonage?  Will we rent a house?  Or will we go to a town so small that there aren’t any houses to rent so we’ll have to buy a house?  The final option creates a bit of panic for my husband and me, mostly because we have no idea how to buy a house.  The prospect of having a 6-weekish time-span to buy a house for the first time seems insane, but we’re trying to prepare ourselves for the possibility.

We realize that the cost of buying a house doesn’t simply include the down payment and a monthly mortgage.  It also includes homeowner’s insurance, upkeep expenses, and utilities.  Likewise, it includes the possibility that we will have to buy major appliances.

I first thought of the appliance situation almost 3 years ago and had a snit fit when I found how much refrigerators, washers, and dryers cost.  Then I proceeded to make a budget line for appliances and have been putting small amounts of money into it ever since.  Unfortunately, our limited saving for appliances has not met the cost expense of buying multiple appliances at one time, especially because I want to buy energy-efficient models.  Likewise, I’m completely against us purchasing appliances on a payment plan.  If we don’t have money in the bank for a certain model, we don’t buy it (at least that’s my idea.  I actually haven’t talked this over with my husband yet. . .).

Consequently, I’ve started making a mental list of the order we should buy appliances:

  1. Refrigerator
  2. Oven
  3. Washer
  4. Dishwasher
  5. Dryer

A refrigerator would be most important because I can think of no other alternatives for keeping food cold.  While cooking without an oven would be annoying, most foods can be cooked in the microwave.  I know oven-cooked chicken tastes way better than microwave-cooked chicken, but I’m thinking appliance-buying triage here!  To cover the lack of a stove top, we could buy a camping stove. We also have a grill to help with cooking.  However, I wouldn’t want to go too long without an oven, hence it’s rank in my appliance-buying list.

After a refrigerator and oven, I would like to buy a washer.  I’ve been spoiled the last three years by having a washer in our home, but I realize that I can do our laundry at a laundromat.  It just doesn’t sound very fun.

After the washer, I would want to buy a dishwasher.  Yes, that’s right,  I would want to buy a dishwasher before a dryer.  I hate, hate, HATE doing dishes.  Thankfully, my husband washes them most of the time but we both agree that we would be thrilled to have a dishwasher again.

Finally, I would buy a dryer. . .maybe.  Again, I’ve been spoiled by having a dryer in our home for the clothes I want to dry quickly or shrink, but I try to line-dry as much as I can.  Buying a few more drying racks would certainly be cheaper than purchasing a dryer.  Plus, clothes last longer when they are line-dried (at least that’s what I tell myself).

Of course, we may wind up in a parsonage that has all the major appliances, which means all this pondering has been for naught.

What appliance do you think is most necessary?  Have you gone without a major appliance for a long period of time?