Monday, March 30, 2009

Caring for Your Wooden Clothes Drying Rack

A drizzly day - doing what spring should.

Hang drying clothes on wooden clothes drying racks is making a big comeback. Racks are typically (should be) unfinished wood and with that, comes some "how to care" tips. Apparently caring for your wooden clothes drying rack isn't second nature to some people and before your know it, the rungs turn black with mold and they start to warp.

So here are 8 tips and some advice on how to care for your drying rack:

1 - Keep your unfinished wood...unfinished. Do not paint or seal - it won't last.

2 - Carry your rack from the sides, not from the rungs.

3 - Allow rungs to dry in between loads. This avoids mold growing. Mold needs moisture - no moisture - no mold.

4 - As soon as heavy laundry (usually jeans) is dry, remove to avoid warping.

5 - Keep dry. Avoid outdoor exposure. Wooden drying racks are not designed for typical outdoor use. (especially rain!)

6 - In the event of black speckles (mold spores) place the rack in the direct hot sun to kill the spores. You may rub a little white vinegar on the rungs. NEVER use bleach. (unless you want white stripes across your laundry)

7 - Sanding the rungs lightly keeps them soft and snag free. Rub clean after sanding. The dowels are unfinished wood, usually kiln dried wood, and will swell with moisture resulting in the grain of the wood to rise a little, feeling a little fuzzy. That's normal, wood will absorb moisture and dry as the seasons change.

8 - Store your clothes drying rack is a dry location (not the wet basement). Store upright to avoid stress on the joints which may loosen the joints over time.

Wooden drying racks have been around for a long time. Following this advice will keep your drying rack almost good as new. (we're talking unfinished wood, will never look good as new)

Oh, and did I say you'll save lots of money and help climate change too?


John William said...

Nice cloth drying stand.

Anonymous said...

So what do I do now that it got left in the rain and there are some mildew/mold spots on several rungs? Ugh, so mad at myself that I forgot it and there was a rainstorm last night. Now what do I do?

Sue said...

Thanks for the advice. I have had my wooden drying rack for 30+ years now and have just given it a light sand to get rid of the grey build-up and put it out in the sun to 'bleach'
Sue P

Anonymous said...

Cleaning with a solution of borax will eliminate and keep the mildew at bay. Rinse and dry thoroughly afterward.