This afternoon I did laundry. Laundry is not something I generally spend a lot of time talking about (or any time), but it reminded me of one other thing about traveling in Europe.
Dryers are in short supply.
In theory I love the idea of hanging laundry out to dry. Nothing smells better than laundry that has dried in the sun.
The problem is that in places like England – all year – and Germany – at least in Fall and Winter – sun dried laundry has a kind of fairy tale ring to it. The reality is laundry that hangs for a day or two, desperately trying to dry out between random showers and despite high humidity or at least heavy cloud cover.
Clean clothes are wonderful. Clean, still slightly damp clothes somewhat less so.
Don’t get me wrong, dryers do exist in Europe. But they aren’t really dryers so much as extractors. They spend hours sucking the moisture out of the clothes until they approximate something resembling dried fabric. Really wadded up, wrinkled dry fabric.
My favorite things about dryers is that they fluff, and if you are vigilant about taking clothes out of the dryer shortly after the end of the cycle, you can avoid ironing almost everything. Barring button down shirts which are the bane of those who abhor ironing.
Dryers that extract? There is no fluffing. There is only a removal of moisture. Ever see those bags that you use to pack 4x as much stuff into a suitcase? The kind where, after zipping up one end, you attach the vacuum cleaner to it and all the air gets sucked out? Once you’re done, whatever is inside is pancake thin. And wrinkled. The same premise applies to dryers in Europe.
Mostly dry, extremely wrinkled.
Add dryers to the list of things I’d need to import if I ever live in Europe. (So far it’s a pretty short list; a good shower and a fluffy dryer…Oh yeah, and an ice maker. Different story)
I know our dryers aren’t very “green”. Extractors use much less energy and take up less space. They don’t need special voltage. Blah, blah, blah.
I’ll trade in my gas guzzling car. Got no problem recycling, upcycling and any other kind of ‘cycling’.
But dryers? Give me the high heat fluff cycle every time.