Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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21 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 14, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Tips On Using Your Dryer
by I.M.A.

Remember hearing/reading of the washday of yore? Some of it applies to today, as well. Put thought into your washing and drying; be around to monitor the machine, to remove and fold etc., to quick-iron shirts immediately and so on, as suggested, for best results.

When I first received my dryer as a gift 18 years ago as `first aid' for a family blessed with many children all close in age, it was on condition that I wouldn't worry about the electric bill, only about the adorable children, and that I would stop being hung up on the clothesline.

By the way, it's been my experience that whenever the machine is on strike, the savings in the electric bill is not that impressive: the use of the dryer is not costly.

If you want to get the most efficient use out of your machine, waste no time -- put up a load now before you read this article. Afterwards read on and I hope you'll find these tips helpful!

1. A dryer, like a washing machine, is certainly not a workhorse! If you stuff in more than the recommended load, the machine won't protest, but within a short amount of time you'll see negative results in the wear and tear of the clothing. Besides, the clothes will NOT dry as quickly as with smaller loads. 2. Don't use it non-stop - - remember to let your machine rest occasionally.

3. Sheets, pillow cases and blanket covers get entangled during the drying process and put stress on the motor. Put in load according to items and not according to weight, for instance -- 2 blanket covers and 2 sheets. Total drying time won't be much more. Perhaps even less.

Sorting: first rule for correct drying to avoid wrinkling is to try to put in clothing whose drying time is more or less the same. For instance -- underwear and cotton shirts are not a good combination: the shirts will dry much before the underwear, and as they stay together while the dryer is working, the shirts will get wrinkled.

Soft drying: in order to keep clothes looking and feeling new and soft, I used special drying sheets for the machine. (I bought a pack in Shaarei Ezra in Jerusalem at 7.90 shekels for 35 sheets. Since each one can be used twice, the cost amounts to 10 agorot per load!) These sheets also eliminate the need for laundry softener and prevent static electricity.

Delicate items: my technician suggests that you consider the volume necessary for the machine, so that items can glide around in the machine. Also very important: take the laundry out immediately after the machine stops and hang/fold right away. This will save you ironing. If you still care to iron for that consummate look, use the short cycle so that the shirts stay damp and then with a quick short ironing the shirts will look perfect!

Sweaters and pants: these need a lot of room to `breathe' during drying time. (By the way -- using the fast spin for delicate laundry will shorten drying time).

The solution for shrinking tights: buy 2 sizes larger than necessary. And don't forget -- don't neglect the laundry -- as soon as you hear the beep, open the machine and spread out/fold or hang up the items.

Unusually delicate clothing: pamper each item and let it be an `only child' in your machine. Caution: after washing by hand, don't put into the dryer while still dripping. First use gentlest no-spin cycle of washing machine to squeeze out excess water, then put into dryer for a short while with drying sheet.

Men's pants: fold according to fold marks, and the machine will do the ironing. Ironing: I iron clothes through the machine. For instance, items which became wrinkled because they were not hung properly in the closet, whether these are suits, skirts etc. -- can be ironed in several minutes: try putting into the dryer with a wet dish towel wrung out well by hand, and you will be pleased with the results!

Children's coats and velvet clothing will come out like new after drying in the dryer. By the way, you can also use the dryer when the children come home with wet coats from the rain. In 10 minutes they'll be able to wear them again. You can even put in wet shoes -- if you can put up with the noise. The results are great!

Even terelyne tablecloths etc. can be put it on the S program -- heating on lower temperatures does not wrinkle the cloths if they're dried one at a time.

Towels: the sun hardens them as they are drying, so I usually dry them in the machine. Mine look almost as new as when I bought them soft and fluffy. (Note instructions on some towels which suggest that they not be used with drying sheets, so use softener instead).

Pleated skirts: don't use dryer! It ruins the pleats! [Ed. Try folding skirt straight, rolling over across the waist and slipping into a stocking leg. Check progress after a few moments so as not to ruin. Remember on which skirts it worked for next time.]

Feather items: quilts, pillows, down coats etc. can be washed in your machine and dried in the dryer. Put in a rubber slipper or clean sneaker to beat back into shape.

Drying time depends on the spin action of your washing machine.

Note: after the drying action is finished, in the last 5 minutes the machine cools and airs the laundry. Don't hurry to take out laundry before this stage -- it will wrinkle!

In conclusion: concerning wear and tear on machine-dried laundry which many homemakers complain about -- while you're folding see how much wear there is on laundry which has been hung on the line. If you wear a dark sweater after it's been folded, it will show right away!

And by the way, who says that wear and tear on laundry is less expensive than erosion of our time and strength!? Let us know how you use the extra time available while the dryer is working.

Wishing you practical and enjoyable use of your dryer. I.M.A

Extra note: Considering buying a dryer? Get a quality brand: 1) drying time is less 2) laundry stays fresher and newer! 3) you save on closet space 4) quick preparation for your children/Yeshiva boys.


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