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My Washing Machine Broke Down - Helpful Tips for Using the Dryer

A while back, our 19-year-old washing machine stopped working i the middle of a load of laundry. It had already gone through the wash cycle and was full of water, but instead of draining, it just stopped. Our dryer still worked, so after fishing the clothes out and wringing them out, we rinsed them in the bathtub, wrung them out again as best we could, and then put them in the dryer.

Now, hand-wringing does not get nearly as much water out as the spin cycle on a washer, so the clothes were wetter and heavier than they normally would be; you can't just chuck them in the dryer like that. Also, if the clothing is too wet, the fabric softener sheets don't work properly, either, so if you have to wash a lot of clothes by hand but plan to put them in the dryer, remember to toss in a few large, dry towels. That will redistribute the moisture.

Also, here's another handy hint about using towels in the dryer--if you forgot to take your clothes out of the dryer right away and they stayed in there and got wrinkled, you can "revive" them by tossing a damp towel in there with them and drying them again--that will steam out the wrinkles. Just make sure to get them out quickly, this time!

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GemstonePink wrote on February 20, 2015, 10:49 AM

I really like the idea of putting towels in the dryer. One never knows when your helpful tips will be needed!

CoralLevang wrote on February 20, 2015, 11:04 AM

Great tips, AliCanary ! I hope that you do not have to continue washing your clothes in the bathtub!!

MsBiz wrote on February 20, 2015, 11:05 AM

I hadn't considered dry towels, but then again, my longest hand-washing experience was in Africa, on Mt. Kilimanjaro, where it was clothesline or nothing. (I tried using a hair dryer a few times to speed things up, but ended up burning up the motor.)

nbaquero wrote on February 20, 2015, 11:57 AM

AliCanary A 19-year old washing machine ? The one at my place is at least 9 years old and I was proud of that, ha ha, still has some more years of service. Good tips. I use towels to speed up the drying cycle.

Feisty56 wrote on February 20, 2015, 11:57 AM

I know that damp towel trick for getting the wrinkles out of clothes left sitting in the dryer first hand. : )

valmnz wrote on February 20, 2015, 2:28 PM

That sounds like a good tip, throwing in towels to help absorb the moisture. I'm lucky in my part of new Zealand, even in winter we can usually still hang washing out on the clothesline.

GemOfAGirl wrote on February 22, 2015, 2:14 PM

I also use my drying for "ironing"...well, I don't actually "iron" with the dryer (that would be a tremendous waste of energy!), but by making sure that I get them out of the dryer quickly and hanging them up, I can usually avoid having to iron anything. In fact, my ironing board is rather dusty at the moment. emoticon :winking: