LazyWeb Request: I Want the World’s Greatest Clothes Drying Rack

Ever since I lived in Ireland, I’ve hung up my clothes to dry. In Dublin we had this ridiculous combination washer-dryer in one machine. The washing part worked okay, but the drying cycle only seemed to warm up my wet clothes. I’d have had better luck trying to dry them in the microwave.

I brought the habit back to Canada. Since a pre-teen growth spurt, I’ve also had a pathological fear of trousers and sleeves that are too short. Not using the dryer also means my clothes rarely shrink. Clothes dryers use a lot of power, so I get some bonus eco-smugness out of the deal.

However, we’ve always had crappy drying racks. They’ve been spindly, fragile affairs that are prone to finger-squeezing collapses. They’ve been awkward to set up, and so dainty that they can blow over in a stiff wind. Our drying rack in Malta ended up in the pool on more than one occasion.

I want a robust drying rack that will last a decade. It should be collapsible and ideally made of wood (though I’ll take plastic or aluminum).

Do you own such a rack? Where’d you get it? This is a long shot, but maybe somebody out there among you, my dear readers, has a drying rack that they love and can recommend

UPDATE – May, 2010: I was recently at a sustainability expo and spotted the drying rack I eventually purchased (it’s the Fold-away dryer on this page). It, among others, was being sold by Sundog Clothines Company. They may be able to fulfill your clothes drying needs.


  1. Not so much of a recommendation than an observation: in Hong Kong, clothes drying racks with roll-out tarps for the rain are built into the sides of buildings under windows. Perhaps the best drying racks are the ones you have to build yourself? I’ve also seen crazy spinning clothes drying racks on a a neighbour’s house (looked metal).

    All to say, this is also of interest to me. I’m considering using an adjustable shower-curtain rod on the inside of the bay window at my current place, and using hangers to hang stuff up, rather than hauling out the rack to take up valuable floorspace. (Ideally it’d go on the balcony, but the cats like playing with with my clothes with strings too much.)

  2. Funny you should ask, because we had a great wooden drying rack for ever, and it broke recently. And by total coincidence, I found a perfect replacement — all wood, sturdy, tall, perfect for our uses and designed to last a long time. It cost about $35, triple the cheap racks, but we think it’s worth it. I bought it at Home Hardware on Dunbar in Vancouver, so you might find the same thing at a Home Hardware on the island.

  3. As someone who won’t let the violent inferno of the dryer touch my beloved t-shirts and jeans, I live by my wooden collapsable rack, had for a mere $15 at the Kitchen Corner store in Kits. Which is not in Victoria, I know 😦

  4. We’re lucky at our house: we have both a dryer and two clotheslines, one indoor in our laundry room (diagonally across it) and one outside connected to our back porch. I’ve never owned an actual drying rack.

    I know that’s not at all helpful, but I figured I’d just brag smugly for no reason.

  5. So you have a pathological fear of flood pants eh? Understandable!

    Do as we did, and build your own.
    Works well for my running gear.

  6. We just bought an aluminium Brabantia clothing rack at Canadian Tire this weekend, so I’ll be able to report back to you on its use in a couple of weeks. I’ve seen a lot of them in Europe so I’m hoping it’s a sign that they work well!

  7. I saw the flimsiest drying racks at Home Outfitters (I think) the other week. I was wondering what the hell it could possibly hold up without collapsing. A couple dainty pieces of underwear at most.

    I either hang stuff up in the coat closet or over plastic furniture or over doors I’m not needing to close (like the linen closet’s). Mind you, I have ample space and few visitors.

  8. I did quite well for many years using a piece of 2″ dowel wedged kitty-corner across my shower. I just stuck everything on hangers and went to work.

  9. I have a wooden drying rack I got in Halifax several years ago at Canadian Tire. I’ve hauled it from there to southern Ontario, and then up to northern Ontario, and it’s still in great shape.

    Recently, I got a second one to enable me to hang more clothes inside during the winter. It’s metal and also came from Canadian Tire, but it’s not nearly as sturdy or stable as the original wooden rack. It does have nets you can hook up to dry things that need to lay flat (like sweaters) except it’s not nearly wide enough for the task.

  10. I got a really good collapsible metal drying rack from some place out in Richmond a few years ago – Linen House? In the whole Ikea, Richmond Night Market area anyway. I was horrified at the price at the time (around $40), but it is so good that I shipped it back to Australia when we left Canada.

  11. In India we always hang our clothes out to dry. Now that I live in an small apartment, space is limited but I have a balcony where we have tied ropes and hang the clothes on them with pegs for drying. We also have some space near the terrace/roof and have kept some there.

    We had plenty of space to hang out clothes to dry behind our old house. Again, ropes tied between two large trees in our backyard.

  12. I always admired how some hotels in Europe had a retractable clothes line in the shower stall. The line would attach to a hook on the other side of the shower wall. Anyone seen something like that here? Would Home Depot have it? I live in an apartment and that would be great to have.

    As for Darren’s dilemma, I’d recommend not to cheap out on this. I’ve seen too many crappy flimsy wood ones in my short span of living in apartments. Man, I miss a big home laundry room…

  13. Where do people who don’t have houses find the space for these things? I’ve got a family of four in a 3BR+den condo and I don’t have any space for a drying rack. Before I had kids, I lived in an even smaller home, so there wasn’t any space. Please, tell me the secret.

    1. If you remove your energy guzzling drier, voila you have room for a rack. It s so weird. I have a family of four, and we wash a load at a time and dry it and then do another, it takes some organising but its worth it. I cannot imagine why anyone needs a drier. Can people not do without their favorite jeans for 24 hours

  14. I’ve lived in dry climates(Calgary and Winnipeg) where drying clothing, especially heavy pants, happened incredibly quickly; in about an hour.

    In Vancouver though it can take a couple of days for a pair jeans to fully dry. And then you’ll try on the pants only to find the pockets are still damp.

    I love the idea or using a clothing rack and reducing my overall energy use. Like Andrea though I have limited space so I would have to have some kind of wall to wall tethers to hang it all.

    Until that happens I will continue to outsource my lwardrobe to Peter at Kitsilano Laundry.

  15. I recently spent a good amount of time looking into the various clothesline and drying rack options since my college (Pomona College in Claremont, California) is going to purchase some for student use and I wanted to get the best available racks for us.

    In my research, I was shocked to find that there is NO good website explaining all the different clotheslines and drying rack options, so I made my own! It’s a wiki page on the Tip the Planet sustainable living wiki that ANYONE CAN EDIT. You can check it out here: Have a look, share it with your friends, and by all means add your wisdom to the page!

    Take care and good luck deciding on a drying scheme!


  16. I brought a great Australian made clothesline from its made of thicl steel and all the small aprts seem to a very good quality. Perhaps worth a look to see if they have something they maybe of interest to you…good luck!

  17. Basketville in Putney, VT has the best made drying rack for clothes. Price around $34. I have had mine for 7 years and it still looks good as need. It is made with nice pine and no staples.

  18. I’ve been using drying racks from for years. I was searching for the name of the store when I came across this posting. They are sturdy and reliable.

  19. I have been using ceiling clothes drying rack from AirDry for several months and I absolutely love it. It attaches to the ceiling and has six rods that you can lower one by one, hang your clothes and dry them near the ceiling.

  20. I have found the best drying rack selection! . They are sturdy and easy to store. Breezedryer is the only US distributor of line drying products direct from Australia. The Hills company has been making clothesline products for over 60 years. Everyone hangs out their clothes in Australia and think we are nuts because we don’t!

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