Three Top-of-the-line Laundry Racks for around $50

(Note: I promise to stop writing about laundry racks after this post!) Ready for some advanced laundry hanging devices? Last week I presented five mid-range options. Now I bring to you the Rolls Royces of the indoor drying world. These accommodate more laundry for a more satisfying drying experience.

Moerman 88346 Laundry Solutions Y-Airer Indoor/Outdoor Folding Clothes Drying Rack 79 Feet Of Drying Space ($45)

Hills Expanding Indoor Clothes Drying Rack Clothesline ($53)

Moerman Laundry Solutions Airer Indoor/Outdoor Folding Clothes Drying Rack ($50)

I went a few years without a tumble dryer at all, and during that time I used something very similar to the first two options. I was able to hang an entire load on one rack, which is more than I can say for my current ones. Also, these more expensive racks allow you to hang wider items such as sheets. If you have tried any of these, please chime in with your reviews!

5 Great Indoor Drying Racks for around $25

(Check out last week’s post for outdoor clotheslines that can accommodate up to 210 feet of laundry.)

You save around $.50 and prevent at least a pound of carbon from polluting the planet when you hang a load of laundry to dry. With an indoor drying rack, you can hang laundry year-round, rain or shine! Here are five great options for about $25:

Compact Accordion Clothes Drying Rack ($25)

I have two racks similar to this one. Chrome is definitely preferable to wood, which seems to be less stable and prone to mold.

Household Essentials 5009 Collapsible Indoor Tripod-Style Clothes Dryer ($25)

Household Essentials 5003 Wall Mount Telescoping Indoor Drying Rack ($25)

Removing Stains on Baby Clothing

Have pureed yams forever ruined your baby’s pinstriped pajamas? No worries! With a little persistence, ingenuity, (and possibly vinegar) the garment might just be restored to its original brilliance.

Of course with all of the below stains, the best option is to quickly wet and pre-treat the item so that the stain doesn’t have a chance to dry. If it is dried without your knowing, you can still give the following remedies a try!

Try these simple tricks for specific stains:

  • Berries: Boil water, stretch the garment tight over a pan, exposing the stain. Then pour the very hot water down over the stain. If that doesn’t work try mixing vinegar and toothpaste to remove the stain.
  • (more…)

5 Outdoor Clotheslines to Air a LOT of Laundry

Nothing beats the sight of clean laundry flapping in the breeze. If you have a nice, sunny spot in the yard, why not dedicate it to a solar clothes dryer—i.e., a clothesline? Of course you can rig something up with a simple piece of rope, but if you’re feeling fancy, these products will allow you to make the most of your space.

Household Essentials MD-61 Five-Line Indoor/Outdoor Mini Retractable Clothes Dryer (just $11.99!)

67 ¾ feet drying space

Household Essentials Five-Line Indoor/Outdoor Retractable Clothes Dryer ($48)

170 feet of drying space!

Household Essentials 1600 12-Line Outdoor Umbrella-Style Clothes Dryer with Aluminum Arms ($40)

165 feet drying space

Household Essentials 4000 30-Line Outdoor Parallel-Style Clothes Dryer with Steel Arms ($72)

Preventing Stains on Baby Clothing

Perhaps your tot delicately handles a spoon and carefully feeds herself without incident.  More likely, she flings food upon herself, onlookers, and any furniture in the surrounding area.

Between the feedings, the occasional blowouts, and playtime, stains can creep into clothing on a daily basis.  Often in the hectic pace of laundry, those garments get washed and dried, setting the stains and ruining the clothes.  Ugh! The angst of seeing that large brown blotch on your baby’s favorite sundress or the huge grass stains on his beloved khaki shorts.

So how can you prevent such a fate from befalling your baby’s wardrobe?  Line dry her clothing!  It will also prevent shrinking, save you money on utilities, and lower your carbon footprint.

Drying Your Cloth Diapers

I’d love to tell you that I spent the morning stringing my cloth diapers from the clothesline in the early light.  And then hours later, tucking the soft white laundry into neat folds.

The truth is, when I hang them to dry, my cotton prefolds resemble white shingles.  They are hardened, rough, and rigid and have to be bent instead of folded.

Now, I could still hang them and them cart them all into the house while slightly damp for a quick fluff in the dryer.  Or I could just dry my prefolds and hang the polyester diapers and covers out to dry, but both of those seem too labor intensive.

What Are Your Biggest Green Challenges Right Now?

Is the baby registry list making you dizzy?  Are you wondering how best to launder dirty cloth diapers?  Do you need baby food recipes? Have you had more than three hours of sleep in the last two days?   Are you trying to squeeze more organic produce into your grocery budget?   Does pumping breast milk at work seem totally overwhelming?

We’ve been there!  But now that our kids are older, we have to be reminded of just what would be helpful to our readers.  What are your latest victories and what are your biggest challenges? I’ve shared my weight loss dilemma this week, but there are bound to be issues of far greater consequence. (Like the critical goal of getting enough food and rest in those first few months!)  Please give us ideas for upcoming posts this summer and we’ll personally do our best to address your needs.

Green Victory: I Hung My Laundry to Dry!

I decided to kick-start summer by hanging my laundry to dry in the attic. Here I confessed that I’d been tossing my clothes in the dryer, but now that the temperatures are in the seventies, I got motivated to drag out those drying racks.

Hanging one load took fifteen minutes, two drying racks, five hangers, the side of the laundry basket, and a chair—but I saved at least a pound of carbon emissions and $.50. If I hang a load of laundry a week, all summer long, but the end of the summer I’ll have saved . . . $6.00. Okay, well, I’m doing it for the planet, not for the cash.

If It’s Good for the Environment . . . Why Don’t You Do It?

Last week we heard your eco-confessions. This week we want to know your justifications for all of that appalling behavior! If you know it’s good for the environment . . . what’s holding you back?

They look like they’re having a good time . . . so why don’t I do it?

I’ll start. I know that hanging laundry to dry saves a lot of energy. I’ve written several posts about it and admonished others for it. Yet . . . I often dry my clothes in the dryer! Why? Well, I think it’s obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: It’s simply easier. I don’t need to clutter up a room with laundry and have it sit there for a week drying in the air. I like to fold warm, fluffy clothes. I save fifteen minutes every time I toss a load in the dryer instead of hanging it up on the rack. Terrible excuses, I know!

Cloth Diapering Tips: A Sneak Peak into The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

All-in-one diapers? Pocket diapers? Chinese prefolds?  Even if  you desperately want to cloth diaper your child, the vocabulary challenges our earnest efforts.  How do all these “diapering systems” work?  Is it worth choosing just one?  How do you launder them and what about the smell?

cloth diaper babyFear not!  Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, features detailed, easy-to-read information on cloth diapering your child that even slackers like ourselves can manage.  We’ll highlight what you’ll find inside by sharing our favorite tips today:

1. Money saving tip: Don’t stock up on every size you think you’ll need before your baby arrives in this world.  Some extra chunky tots (like both of Joy’s nine pound newborns) never need the extra small sizes.  Others are preemies that stay in newborn sizes for months.  Get a few diapers and designate a family member or friend to run out and get more when baby arrives.   What else will you find in the book? Tips on buying secondhand cloth diapers for up to eighty percent less than new, tips on which diapers transition for babies between 7 and 35 pounds, and which diapers offer the best overall value.