Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: Basil on 13 October, 2021, 02:21:29 pm

Title: Laundry Advice
Post by: Basil on 13 October, 2021, 02:21:29 pm
The tumble dryer died last week.  Big time. Acrid smoke etc. I'm not even going to look at it.  However,  we have plenty of space for the couple of clothes horses in the utility room, plus a Sheila Maid (no Roger) in the downstairs kitchen, so easy enough to dry stuff without it.
But Mrs B is not content with the cardboard towels that air drying produces.
I've read (in this very place, I think) that using fabric softener on towels is a bad idea as it reduces their absorbency.

Any laundering tricks to produce towels that would meet the the approval of Mrs B?

Or should I just use fabric softener anyway?
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Feanor on 13 October, 2021, 02:31:20 pm
The tumble dryer died last week.
[...]
Any laundering tricks to produce towels that would meet the the approval of Mrs B?

Replace the tumble dryer.

Ours died at the weekend having been repaired umpty times before.
This time, the condensate tray at the bottom split, piddling all over the floor.
The condensate tray is in fact the base of the whole machine pretty much, and my enthusiasm for the necessary strip-down just wasn't there.

The replacement has just turned up.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 13 October, 2021, 02:32:09 pm
I've never managed to find the magic solution. I've tried vinegar and baking soda, neither of which worked (vinegar has the added bonus of making the towels stink).

It's one of the two things I miss about having a tumble dryer - not using it often, but just once in a while to fluff the towels a bit (with some of those spiky ball things). The other benefit of the dryer was re-proofing waterproof stuff.

I've read that fabric softener is a bad idea on anything towels as it coats them in some sort of goop which reduces absorbency.

I just embrace the cardboardiness. :-\
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: rafletcher on 13 October, 2021, 03:21:44 pm
It takes precisley one use of the air dried towel post drying to soften them. And yes, fabric softener will ruin decent towels.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 13 October, 2021, 04:10:59 pm
Not baking soda, soda crystals you need. Eats through the grease and soap build up nicely.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: fboab on 13 October, 2021, 04:31:21 pm
What are these cardboard towels of which you speak?

I use exfoliation sheets1 and they do wonders for my skin tone and circulation.



1: Cardboard towels.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Jaded on 13 October, 2021, 04:37:00 pm
The water is so hard here it takes two of us to fold our towels.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 13 October, 2021, 04:54:50 pm
Not baking soda, soda crystals you need. Eats through the grease and soap build up nicely.

Oops, that's what I meant (I think I tried baking soda too, before buying the proper stuff!).
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: hellymedic on 13 October, 2021, 05:00:15 pm
How about line drying out of doors on a windy day?

Tumble driers EAT towels and electricity anyway!

Softer wter might yield softer towels.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 13 October, 2021, 05:16:58 pm
AUIU cardboard towels are caused by the fibres binding together as they dry.  The tumble drier breaks them up mechanically.  As does using them.  Line drying might help, if you're not  a) in Waleslandshire, or similar, where it always rains  or  b) within gunking range of a stickamore tree.

Coating them in stinky hydrophobic schmoo, while occasionally necessary, is a poor solution IMHO.  But then I have no sensory issues with using exfoliation sheets.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: rr on 13 October, 2021, 05:24:49 pm
I hate the smell and feel of fabric softener, just air dry and give them a shake.

Sent from my motorola edge 20 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: rogerzilla on 13 October, 2021, 05:51:45 pm
The water is so hard here it takes two of us to fold our towels.
Sounds like an oil rig...the only place where, if the sheets fall off the bed, they break.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Jurek on 13 October, 2021, 06:55:26 pm
Have you tried eating outdoors while it is warm enough to do so?
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: FifeingEejit on 13 October, 2021, 08:40:51 pm
Soft water results in sandpaper towels, the towel base is hard as too are the the little legs of towel.

Best way I've found to reduce leccy use with towels is to hang them up until they're close to feeling rough and then shove them in the dryer, which is obviously of no use to the op.

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Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Basil on 13 October, 2021, 08:46:37 pm
The problem is that Mrs B visits the pool 3 times minimum a week. Each visit produces 2 large towels and one smaller one (For standing on apparently). She insists we wash all towels every time.  I'm struggling to keep up.
There will be a new tumble dryer asap.

I only wash my shower towel once a week.  It's fine. I'm very clean when I use it.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 13 October, 2021, 09:23:19 pm
Basil, A tip I saw on the Moneysavingexpert email this evening on their energy saving topic.
One person said her husband insisted his jeans should be washed after only 1 wear. So she shakes them out, folds them up nicely and then hides them for a couple of days before putting them back in the wardrobe.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 13 October, 2021, 09:25:02 pm
Alternatively she's in charge of the towel washing,
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 13 October, 2021, 09:29:05 pm
The problem is that Mrs B visits the pool 3 times minimum a week. Each visit produces 2 large towels and one smaller one (For standing on apparently). She insists we wash all towels every time.  I'm struggling to keep up.

Having similar issues here, as barakta is currently visiting the university sports centre for accessible shower facilities, in addition to hydroterrorism at the hospital.  She requires a minimum of two towels, because she's unavoidably slow to dry off and get changed (she can't just dry her hair, rub the rest of her body down with the same towel and get dressed before the cold sets in).

Microfibre towels help a *lot* because they're dry by morning.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Basil on 13 October, 2021, 09:34:09 pm
Alternatively she's in charge of the towel washing,

Well, it's no one's particular job. We're both in charge. But as Mrs B is still working, and I'm not, I tend to be more involved with household chores.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: lissotriton on 13 October, 2021, 09:37:34 pm
You can get neoprene mats for standing on to get changed, maybe easier to wash and dry?

And a dehumidifier helps for drying stuff off indoors. Probably less electricity use than a tumble drier, and less damage to clothes.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 13 October, 2021, 09:38:44 pm
A simple fan is surprisingly effective for drying things indoors.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: rr on 13 October, 2021, 10:29:01 pm
This weekend micro appeared back from uni with a big bag of washing. The weather was still, dull and damp so outside drying was too slow. I molished a drying system using our portable air conditioner on its dehumidifying setting and directing the warm air output up and on to the cloths on the airer in our utility airer.
Dried a full load in a couple of hours, using 1 or 2 kWh
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211013/66d70e858f46ef7270ea9845953dc94b.jpg)

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Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 13 October, 2021, 10:44:34 pm
That should definitely have a cheese/petril switch.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Diver300 on 14 October, 2021, 12:30:39 am
This weekend micro appeared back from uni with a big bag of washing. The weather was still, dull and damp so outside drying was too slow. I molished a drying system using our portable air conditioner on its dehumidifying setting and directing the warm air output up and on to the cloths on the airer in our utility airer.
Dried a full load in a couple of hours, using 1 or 2 kWh
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20211013/66d70e858f46ef7270ea9845953dc94b.jpg)

Sent from my motorola edge 20 using Tapatalk
The clever folks at Beko, Hoover, Samsung etc have put together a dehumidifier and a drum to keep the clothes moving and made "Heat Pump Tumble Dryers".

We've had one for around 10 years now and I wouldn't have any other type of tumble dryer.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 14 October, 2021, 04:55:30 pm
The problem is that Mrs B visits the pool 3 times minimum a week. Each visit produces 2 large towels and one smaller one (For standing on apparently). She insists we wash all towels every time. I'm struggling to keep up.
There will be a new tumble dryer asap.

I only wash my shower towel once a week.  It's fine. I'm very clean when I use it.

Why not just air them out instead? That seems overkill... ???
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: barakta on 14 October, 2021, 05:11:35 pm
We have limited drying/airing space and the smell of chlorine from a towel used in relation to a pool is quite overpowering as it will fill the house. If we had a suitable space to air that could be shut off from the rest of the house, avoiding stinking everywhere else with chlorine that would work...

We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 14 October, 2021, 05:16:54 pm
That said, a quick rinse/spin cycle in the washing machine is sufficient to de-chlorine them.

Of course, if you've got them covered in crud from the changing room floor, they may need an actual wash.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 14 October, 2021, 05:17:44 pm
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Polar Bear on 14 October, 2021, 05:36:16 pm
We use a dehumidifier which is extremely effective at drying clothes and also keeps any prospects of dampness at bay.

The towels are never fluffy but any harshness disappears with first use.   
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 14 October, 2021, 05:37:52 pm
I borrowed a dehumidifier from nikki a few years ago, for SCIENCE.  It produced plenty of water, but did approximately nothing to the humidity level.

On the plus side, drying clothes indoors does approximately nothing to the humidity level either.

It's all about showering/bathing/cooking, weather and what windows are open.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on 14 October, 2021, 06:10:02 pm
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Kim on 14 October, 2021, 08:18:48 pm
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.

It's the absolutely textbook late-1800s 2-up-2-down terrace (with subsequent kitchen and bathroom extension) layout, as found all over the industrial North of England.  We lived in a couple of similar houses in the People's Republic, and they all do the same thing of being cold downstairs and warm upstairs.  Sometimes people do loft conversions, and they get even hotter.

They're probably pretty decent if you have a roaring coal fire in the downstairs rooms.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: FifeingEejit on 14 October, 2021, 08:26:56 pm


They're probably pretty decent if you have a roaring coal fire in the downstairs rooms.

As I remember it a roaring coal fire does next to bugger all for anything other than the space immediately around it.

Which was why my great aunt lived in the room with the aga rather than the coal fire. Even though she had a propane fueled hob in the lean to kitchen.

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Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on 14 October, 2021, 08:40:15 pm
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.

It's the absolutely textbook late-1800s 2-up-2-down terrace (with subsequent kitchen and bathroom extension) layout, as found all over the industrial North of England.  We lived in a couple of similar houses in the People's Republic, and they all do the same thing of being cold downstairs and warm upstairs.  Sometimes people do loft conversions, and they get even hotter.

They're probably pretty decent if you have a roaring coal fire in the downstairs rooms.
I'd have expected the stairs to run parallel to a dividing wall, not an internal one. That's the only thing that struck me as unusual. But perhaps stairs next to the dividing wall are a south-of-Birmingham design! (Or possibly my memory has twisted the layout.)
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 14 October, 2021, 09:31:56 pm
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.

Perpendicular to the dividing wall? That sounds like my old house in York. The (downstairs) bathroom extension was always the coldest bit by far. Curiously, though, I don't remember towels ever getting crispy when I lived there, and there was no tumble dryer. Possibly because we had a little yard and could dry laundry outside? Or perhaps the water was different? ???
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: pcolbeck on 15 October, 2021, 07:34:24 am
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.

Have you never watched Coronation Street ?
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Jaded on 15 October, 2021, 09:16:54 am
In the two up two down kitchen and bathroom extension house we lived in in Manchester the stairs went from one dividing wall to the other, parallel to the road the house was on.

In line with other threads, that means that it is very clear that this stair arrangement is what is in all such houses.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on 15 October, 2021, 09:26:24 am
We live in a 2 up 2 down terrace where most of the rooms are linked.

Read: The doors don't stay closed properly.  Not even the ones that don't have Ethernet cables wedged under them.
The layout of your house is quite unusual, in that the stairs run perpendicular to how you'd expect and there's no hall, but I don't know if that affects the humidity at all.

Have you never watched Coronation Street ?
No! Nor East Enders. But I can see the potential for a televisual architectural analysis here. Better include Emmerdale too and Pobol y Cwm (sp?) but not the Archers.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: fruitcake on 29 October, 2021, 10:42:16 am
Laundry-drying via dehumidifier is more effective in a small enclosed space. This can mean choosing a small room and closing the door. But I've also seen dehumidifer enclosures to enhance this effect. The enclosure is essentially a tent. You hang the clothes inside it and set up the dehumidifier in the bottom. Dehumidification takes place only within the enclosure and this reduces drying time.

A similar enclosure can be improvised by arranging a clothes horse so that it makes a cuboid structure, placing the dehumidifier on the floor in the centre and draping a bed sheet over the top of the structure. There should be space for air to circulate around the dehumidifier with nothing touching the device.

If you use a tumble dryer, this can be run cold (without power to the heating element) by just setting the dial to 15 minutes. This is the cold stage of the drying programme. The dial may have a fan symbol to indicate that it's just the fan and motor running at that stage. Three 15-minute sessions of cold tumble drying is enough to dry a half dozen shirts. One session of this is enough to finish a load that's been drying on a line or clothes horse.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: ian on 29 October, 2021, 10:56:53 am
Our guest bedroom/laundry drying room is quite large, we put the laundry out on a rack in front of the radiator (which tbh, doesn't come on often) and run a dehumidifier next to it. Despite being open plan, it dries a full load overnight and produces a couple of litres of water from the dehumidifier. It dries without the dehumidifier in summer, of course, but in winter it would sit there soggy for a couple of days unless I cranked up the heating in that room. Never bothered with a tumble drier.

I just dangle my swimming towel from the kitchen door where it dries fine. I can't say I notice the chlorine odour (it's not actually chlorine, it's the organics like chloramines, and they volatilize quite quickly). That said, our pool isn't that chlorine-y. I certainly don't wash it every time, that way lies madness.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: fd3 on 29 October, 2021, 06:47:27 pm
We have a dryer (condensing? no air vents to the outside) and it warms the house nicely and is not expensive to run.  We have a dehumidifier and when it runs we notice the cost of the extra leccy.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 30 October, 2021, 04:36:11 pm
Laundry-drying via dehumidifier is more effective in a small enclosed space. This can mean choosing a small room and closing the door. But I've also seen dehumidifer enclosures to enhance this effect. The enclosure is essentially a tent. You hang the clothes inside it and set up the dehumidifier in the bottom. Dehumidification takes place only within the enclosure and this reduces drying time.

Things like this but rather with an electrically heated airer frame as opposed to a dehumidifier seem to be popular right now but I have previously thought that the tent idea over the d/h would be a good idea.

Speaking of good ideas, I had a genius idea while I was hanging up the laundry in the kitchen this morning. I'm plotting a new kitchen next year and I was thinking that the area where the clothes airer and the bin are would likely become cabinets. Next to that is the door to the understairs glory hole. In many houses round here it's been converted to a toilet but not possible here as it's off the kitchen.
So rather than using the glory hole as just a pantry (currently full of Ikea Ivar shelf units and the CH boiler) I could move the contents & the shelves to cabs where the washing now is and put the washing racks and the dehumidifier in the understair cupboard. Just means I need to GAMI to put a socket in there.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: phantasmagoriana on 30 October, 2021, 04:58:37 pm
Laundry-drying via dehumidifier is more effective in a small enclosed space. This can mean choosing a small room and closing the door. But I've also seen dehumidifer enclosures to enhance this effect. The enclosure is essentially a tent. You hang the clothes inside it and set up the dehumidifier in the bottom. Dehumidification takes place only within the enclosure and this reduces drying time.


I've only recently discovered this, after years of indoor drying. :facepalm: Previously used to dry laundry with the dehumidifier in the bedroom or spare room, both of which are reasonably big. Moving the airer and dehumidifier to the small box room has drastically cut the drying time!
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Mrs Pingu on 30 October, 2021, 05:28:28 pm
Oh that's good to know, another tick in the box for my understairs idea then...
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: Lightning Phil on 30 October, 2021, 06:42:43 pm


They're probably pretty decent if you have a roaring coal fire in the downstairs rooms.

As I remember it a roaring coal fire does next to bugger all for anything other than the space immediately around it.

Which was why my great aunt lived in the room with the aga rather than the coal fire. Even though she had a propane fueled hob in the lean to kitchen.

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The trick is to have floor to ceiling curtains to enable you to create a small snug around the coal fire.  The amount of air to heat up is then significantly reduced and drafts nearly eliminated. The back of the fire / bottom of the chimney should also be angled such that warm air is pushed out into the room rather just rising straight up the chimney.  Designed well the heat comes into the room without smoke also being pushed out.
Title: Re: Laundry Advice
Post by: FifeingEejit on 31 October, 2021, 07:50:16 am
Scottish farmhouse reality vs engineering there.

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