Alternative Laundry: Give it a Whirl


Tumble dryers are last century’s technology. You can see it when you switch them on – after an hour, the room is a clammy fog of wasted heat ….and your clothes still aren’t completely dry. All this comes with a hefty hike in your household power consumption. The environmental cost? Around 7.5kg of carbon dioxide a week, according to one estimate. Yet here in the UK, tumble dryers are as popular as ever. (The rest of the world seems to have more sense).

Being eco-conscious, we’re always happy to promote washing lines. But Alternative Consumer has just made us aware of another option – the tabletop spin dryer.

Why is this more ecologically sound than a tumble dryer? Firstly, it’s not heating your wet clothes to dry them – it’s relying on gravity (or centripetal force, if we want to get technical). Secondly, it uses much less power – 300 watts compared to a standard tumble dryer’s 5,000 watts. And thirdly, it does the job in a couple of minutes, needing only a few extra minutes pegged on the line to get them crisply dry. A.U. make the additional point that since no heating is involved, the chemicals left over from washing aren’t baked into the material…..

Tumble dryers get us steamed up. We prefer the Alternative.

Image: the Laundry Alternative

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.