Asked on Dec 30, 2016

Hand Wash, Lay Flat To Dry (DIY) Questions

Deanna E
by Deanna E
Good Morning Hometalk, I have some new outfits that all need to be laid flat to dry, I don't have a flat drying device or a lot of room in small mobile home......any DIY ways to dry these fine knits and sweaters flat? Also, my front loader has a cycle "Hand Wash" would this be considered gentle enough as actual hand washing in sink and what kind of soap do I use handwashing in sink.? I miss you Grandma and Mom rip ♥♥. Thanks, Dee
This is not my photo: I was thinking if I had some sort of light weight frame like these the clothing items could lay across and get air and dry....? All Ideas pleas. I don' have these frames.
  29 answers
  • Liz Liz on Dec 30, 2016
    Dee, there are flat clothes drying things that fit in the tub and you can dry sweaters, blouses, etc. on them. Check Amazon. I've also used a new, clean window screen years ago in the tub to dry clothes flat. It helps to prop the screen on 4 plastic bowls to get it up off the bottom of the tub. Or, if the screen is large enough, it will rest above the bottom of the tub when drying clothes on it. For dresses & slacks that say to dry flat, I've used 2 or 3 large, plastic coat hangers and hung them on the shower rod to dry. You may want to experiment on an older outfit to see how that works for you. I've used Woolite fabric wash to hand wash items in the sink. That is gentle and works well. I've also used the hand wash cycle on my washing machine. Again, experiment with an older garment to see how you like the results. I agree with you about missing Mom and my grandmothers. Another tip is to Google these questions that you have about washing these clothes and read other people's ideas. Good luck!!
  • Jea Jea on Dec 30, 2016
    I bought pet screen (it's sturdy and it's coated) and stapled each end to a 36 in piece of wood (similar to a yard stick). When I need to dry something I unroll it and place the ends on chairs adding a book or something to help anchor. This lets you make your drying surface as long or short as you want it.
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 05, 2017

      I'm going to look for this at our local Farrs. This sounds useful for other things to. Thanks!!

  • Jm Williams Jm Williams on Dec 30, 2016
    I have a window screen that lays across my bathtub
  • Dee Dee on Dec 30, 2016
    Yes your washer hand wash is is for delicates. You can place your items on the bar of a hanger if you have no place to lay flat. Just do not hang the items on the hanger.
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 05, 2017

      I've had my washer and dryer so long and sort of spin past all the items on the dial until I read here someone said they use the washer hand wash cycle. Living life on auto -cruise control :(( Well, I did just last month get bifocal glasses. I'm off the hook because I could not see the dial. ::))))

  • Deanna E Deanna E on Dec 30, 2016
    I think I'm starting to get some visions of ideas. In the past i avoided clothing that could not go in wash and dryer. I had an occasional lay flat item that was always in the way until it was dry so this is why I'm trying to come up with something sort of compact that can wash like 4 tops/stretchy, 2 pants/stretchy , 1 sweater. I don't think I can hang these so they will take up more room. I can not purchase anything right now so will need to use something I already have. Lastly, I've always thought that "Woolight" was for hand washing wool items. Can I use a bit of Liquid Tide to hand wash? That's what I have. Again Thank you. Dee
  • J.b. kelly J.b. kelly on Dec 30, 2016
    I wool it is for delicate materials ,such as fine knits ,cottons silks and the like . Best if you don't use your regular detergent on these because they are too harsh. I have substituted my hand soap orshampoo,both worked well Ll
  • Con16646019 Con16646019 on Dec 30, 2016
    Woolight can be used to hand wash anything. I put my "lay flat to dry" items in the dryer on a low setting for 5-10 min. Then take out to finish drying. At that point I usually can hang them to finish drying. If not, maybe your kitchen chairs can be used by putting them seat toward the floor and laying the clothing over the back. I've done that, too.
    • See 1 previous
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

      Connick4061,I like the idea of using the dryer 5-10 min otherwise clothing feels hard and doesn't get rid of some of the wet clothes wrinkles.------

      Colleen Baugus, I have a feeling all your sweaters look so lovely taking such nice care. I will try this. I have a waiting line of sweaters and sadly I have lost a few that spent to long in the dryer. I'd like to know what you do for the small pills, balls that start to gather on some sweaters. I just use my red velvet lint brush and pick until they are gone. ??? Thanks!

  • Ag Castor Ag Castor on Jan 01, 2017

    I keep an old window screen (holes in it, no good for mosquitoes) that I hosed off last summer. It sides behind the couch and disappears when not in use. Can put across the backs of two chairs at bedtime, then all is ready to put away n the morning.

  • Amanda Stull Amanda Stull on Jan 01, 2017

    I always dry my "lay flat to dry" items in the dryer on the "air dry only" setting. It doesn't use any heat and I've never had any problems with the clothing I've dried this way.

    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 05, 2017

      I'll look to see if my dryer has that setting. Sounds very easy. I'll test out a few things. thanks

  • Rae Rae on Jan 01, 2017

    Deanna I have even put down a couple towels on a spare bed and did the lay flat to dry thing on it. You may have to rotate the clothes but the will dry fine this way,

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Jan 01, 2017

    That's when I miss my waterbed. When

    I washed sheets would lay sweaters flat on mattress and they were dry by the time sheets washed/dried.

  • Kathy Kathy on Jan 02, 2017

    Look in Walmart. They have over-the-door drying racks and others that would probably work well for you.

    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

      Yes they do but right now I need to DIY a project for this item. Thanks.

  • Carole Carole on Jan 02, 2017

    Use a clothes line or a clothes drying rack and place a terry towel over line or rack. Place the items over the towel shaping the garments. I fold any long sleeves back over the line and over the garment. I have done this for thousands of years with no problems with any misshaped clothes.

  • Tova Pearl Tova Pearl on Jan 02, 2017

    I find that the delicates setting is good enough for the items labeled "hand wash only" and that my wire dryer is good for the dry flat items if i hang them over a few of the wires (like 4 wires) instead of just 1. Also you can put this thing outside your mobile home if its small.

    comment photo
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

      Tova Pearl, This is GREAT! I could use that for several things I bet to. Wrapping gifts out on for one LOL. Where did you get it by the way? Thanks. Dee

  • Jane Jane on Jan 02, 2017

    I always use baby shampoo for very delicate things. Works well for me.

    I do what others suggest...roll up in a towel then lay flat on a dry towel. I just use the top of my washer and dryer.

    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

      Jane, I have baby shampoo!!!!! I've never heard this before. Thank you. Woolite is so expensive. Dee

  • Jac K Jac K on Jan 02, 2017

    I wrap my 'lay flat to dry' items in a towel, put them through a spin cycle in my washer, and then lay them flat to dry. That cuts the drying big time.

    • Carolyn Carolyn on Jan 03, 2017

      These last few years, I do not buy hand wash, dry clean, special treatment clothing. Still love silk shirts.

  • CJ CJ on Jan 03, 2017

    I rarely hand wash anything. I place delicate items in a mesh laundry bag, you can find those in most discount stores and some grocery stores, zip the bag and toss in the washer with like colors, I use my regular detergent just be careful to use the correct amount for the load. When in doubt, use a little less than you think it should be.

    I'm trying to find a suitable replacement for my sweater drying rack, I broke one of the legs off, (plastic) so it's more of a challenge to make it stand up but I'm still using it until I find what I want! I recommend some sort of folding rack to hold wet clothes and allows the air to circulate all around the items. Laying them on a towel works but takes longer without the air circulation. The no heat setting on your dryer is usually safe.

    Please take warning: laying wet laundry on a mattress is not a good idea! My apologies to those who use their beds as drying racks but the moisture from the laundry will soak into the mattress, whether you can detect the dampness or not, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth that can be very dangerous to the users of that bed and will damage your mattress and void the warrenty.

    • See 2 previous
    • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

      CJ, I have a couple of the mesh bags never used. I'll start seeing how I can use it in my washing! I agree with you about not drying clothing on a mattress at all. ever.

      I put a shower curtain pole/rod up above my washer and dryer but have to be careful or it all comes falling down. Mobile home walls inside the cove for the laundry is nothing but paneling. No wood for quite a ways away so I can't anchor my pole.

      As well as saving money hanging clothes up and out, I LOVE the smell of fresh clothes, sheets, bedding that have been out on the line. My Grandmother Always had the fresh bedding every night! How did she do it?? I don't remember the clothing being hard that had been hung out to dry either. Now days, I hang something up wet and its hard and wrinkled. Whats the secret?? Thanks, Dee

  • Annette Baldwin Annette Baldwin on Jan 03, 2017

    I drape them over the back of a chair or a behind the door hanging rack. Have never had any problems. I do the same with some dry clean only items.

  • Mary Mary on Jan 03, 2017

    I put a screen across the bathtub and let it dry.

  • Sylvia Candler Sylvia Candler on Jan 04, 2017

    You could purchase a window screen or drying screen and place between 2 chairs. Lay your items flat on the screen. If needed, you could add a second layer by putting a towel over the lower item and flipping the order of them as necessary to dry. When not in use the screen would tuck away nicely behind a sofa or loveseat. Good luck!

  • Susan Susan on Jan 04, 2017

    I hang them carefully on a flocked hanger and air dry. Just shape the garment carefully.

    • Lyn2398900 Lyn2398900 on Jan 04, 2017

      That's what I was going to say! Olden days Mom would cover a metal hanger with an old towel, etc. to pad it. Works for any clothes that they say to "dry flat". Hand on shower curtain rod, or whatever. Towel rod thats over the heat in bathroom works good!

  • Christi Proffitt Johnson Christi Proffitt Johnson on Jan 05, 2017

    I use plastic baby gates laid flat on the washer or what ever is available.

  • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 05, 2017

    Oh Thank You all for so many great ideas! If it were just one or two items being washed and to lay flat to dry I'd have no hang it here or there etc....but I've been ill a long time and gained weight with no clothing that fits..... so that is why its full outfits. I need a smart tiny living sort of drying idea. I love the photo of the drying rack stand and later I may get one.------OK, here is an idea that's been floating in my head. I have a couple of tall laundry baskets, about thigh-hip high with a pre- cut, handle cut outs and the oval body of basket has good sized circles all the way down until the base ,solid. If I could cut it out right I'm thinking it could lay out across tub even if there's an arch from the shape of the basket......? Has anyone ever done this before? I have seen where you use the baskets holes as a perfect stencil to paint the repeating design on walls or where ever you like. I like that Idea too although I'd have to choose one over the other I suppose huh??!! LOL Thanks Everyone.

    p.s. The clothing line I'm in Love with right now is called ""Original Slinky Brand sold on"" I'm telling you one day I was watching and they had a "" 2 pack pairs of pants, one was solid color,one was print"" I got Black and Animal Print. I've basically emptied my closet of all the old clothing.... I've gained quite a bit of weight but just by wearing different clothing that feels better, more comfortable, it also must look better because I've been getting compliments of You look so good, looks like you have been loosing weight. ??? All that while wearing a $29.95 top and pant of the Original Slinky brand.

    sorry I've gone on and on. Thanks for listening though:)))))

  • Tova Pearl Tova Pearl on Jan 06, 2017

    Living in small apartments you learn these things :-)

  • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 06, 2017

    That would be good to have right now but I see where your going with your ideas............I do have a Door way decoration : Rows of plastic beads and tiny hearts etc.......You tack it up in the doorway then you have a curtain of beads to walk through. uuuuummmm I can see using it length-wise on the tub. Clothes wouldn't fall through. I guess I'm just tired tonight. I'll start tomorrow. ::))

  • Geri Geri on Jan 30, 2017

    I've always used my beach towels across my bed for 'flat dry' ... they're usually thicker than bath towels (or stack 2-3 as needed), and large enough for two or three sweaters. Sometimes the comforter gets a little damp, but dries quickly and never soaks through to mattress...

  • Carol Carol on Jan 30, 2017

    How about one of those wooden clothes racks they sell...I have 2 of them you hang your top or pants or sweater over them & they dry fine. My daughter doesn't put anything in the dryer but towels, sheets, under garments. Everything else drapes over these clothes dryers made of wood. She has about 6 of them down in her basement (which is a finished basement).

  • Deanna E Deanna E on Jan 31, 2017

    Carol~ Yes I've decided that later when I can I want to get one of the wooden ones and in the nice weather I can put things outside to dry....I love the fresh smell of things dried outside just like my Grandmothers sheets and towels! Thanks for your comment::)))

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Feb 01, 2017

    I always had one of these wood dryers when my children were little but moved to a home there was no place to put them. Work great, better than taking frozen diapers off the clothesline.