When I did laundry as a teenager, the dryer was my best friend. Now that I'm buying all of my own clothes, it's my best frenemy. That's because I know the cost of the damage it can do.
I can't afford to ruin a pair of $90 Lululemon leggings, a $60 cycling jersey or even my favorite $20 T-shirt dress. So in addition to splurging on Hex, one of the best laundry detergents according to professionals, I recently invested in the Honey-Can-Do Heavy Duty Gullwing Drying Rack. It's only about $30 and has a 4.2-star rating from more than 2,700 reviews.
Honey-Can-Do Heavy Duty Gullwing Drying Rack, $32, Amazon
In the short time I've had it, it's already cemented its status as laundry day MVP. Here's why.
It doesn't damage my wardrobe
For starters, I hang dry the bulk of my wardrobe because I have to. As a Hincapie ambassador, much of my wardrobe consists of cycling gear. Most days I live in a polyester/Lycra mix. I also wear a lot of Luon. It's clear by looking in my closet that I took advantage of my employee discount while working at Lululemon. Neither fabric does well under intense heat.
In fact, one of the first things we'd tell customers at Lululemon is not to put their new purchases in the dryer. If I was still working there, I'd tell my manager they should sell these drying racks. But even if you don't wear workout gear a lot, this rack is great for jeans you can't risk shrinking, dresses you don't want to wrinkle and/or your lacy intimates that could easily get shredded in the dryer.
It holds an entire load
The biggest reason I went with the Honey-Can-Do rack instead of the cheaper best-selling Amazon Basics Rack is because it's bigger. It boasts 46 linear feet of drying space and can be configured six different ways. The Amazon Basics rack has just one configuration, accordion style, so it's good only for smaller items. (It would be great for my brother and his wife who have a new baby and lots of diapers to dry.) If you want to dry sweaters, jeans and bulkier items, this model is made for you. I can easily dry an entire load — including towels — at once. There's even a built-in space for shoes and a removable mesh netting at the bottom. I use that space for socks and underwear. Basically, the only things I can't easily dry on this rack are my sheets.
It's easy to store
When the mailman delivered this package, I thought it was a whiteboard. It came preassembled and was only a few inches wide. It easily fits between the dryer and my wall. Even if I leave it out in the hallway, folded up, I'm still not bumping into it. It's also only 7 pounds, so it's not a pain to move. One reviewer writes that they even brought theirs along on a beach vacation. While I probably wouldn't travel with it unless I was driving somewhere with my whole family, I definitely would take advantage of a rack like this if I found it in a hotel room. There's no shame in washing things in the sink, especially when you're on the road.
It's saving me money in the long run
According to this recent article on The Spruce, it's easy to spend around $100 a year just drying your clothes. And that's assuming your dryer is in mint condition, operating at maximum efficiency. At first glance, it didn't seem like a lot of money. But then I factored in how much I'm saving by extending the life span of my clothes. For example, I have some Lululemon leggings circa 2009. They're not considered vintage quite yet, but hopefully, one day they'll be worth some money. And in the meantime, if I'm short on cash, I can always sell my dryer. I hardly use it anymore anyway.
For more laundry hacks, check out:
- How to wash clothes without detergent or soap using a 'Laundry Egg'
- 5 of the best laundry detergents, according to experts
- This $20 product replaced both my laundry detergent and dryer sheets