The Green Dryer: An Indoor Clothes Drying System

semmes 2016 SPRING Newsletter

by Turko Semmes


Clothes can air-dry naturally.

I have always written about big issues that relate to building and design and how to live sustainably. This time I want to share some thoughts and ideas on a more down-to-earth, everyday topic: drying clothes. We all have to deal with drying clothes. Although I am blessed with a partner dedicated to using our fine climate to assist with this, we’ve always struggled with how to do this during the California winters. (Yes, it does rain and gets cloudy and cold.) While visiting Scotland years ago where it rains and is cloudy quite often, I found an answer. Most of the laundry rooms all had a wooden rack, which is on a simple pulley and rope system. The rack can be lowered down, damp clothes can be loaded upon it, and then pulled up so you could still work under it.

Indoor Dryer-1

With a small pulley you can raise or lower your drying rack in your laundry room.

As you can see, I came home and replicated the same thing. I think the cost for parts was under $25. It helps to have a 9’-tall ceiling but you could do this with an 8’ ceiling too. With a drill and screwdriver and some wall anchors, off you go. It took a bit of work to get it balanced. Once it was, and is loaded fairly evenly, it lowers and rises quite easily. One trick is that you want to use the lightest wood elements that will work for the size rack you build. Mine is made out of standard birch dowels with some mahogany sides. I think the pictures will explain everything else. Feel free to contact me to discuss this further. I will be glad to help with your “Hi-Tek Indoor Clothes Dryer”.

Editor’s note: We found an Indoor Clothes Dryer or “Airer” called the “Sheila Maid” based on the same concepts Turko discovered in Great Britain. If you’re not up for making your own, you can buy parts or the whole set from here:  Sheila Maid Air Dryer