how to: freeze drying laundry in cold weather

It’s winter. Not officially, but it’s here. When it’s cold enough to have frosty eyelashes and need to pre-heat the vehicle for 15 minutes before school, it’s winter.

With summer gone and the colder weather here to stay I was feeling desperate for the gorgeous smell of line dried laundry so I finally decided to try something I’ve been wanting to for years – “freeze drying” my blankets. It’s nothing new…and in fact a perfectly normal way of life for most of our great aunts, grandmothers and great grandmothers. Of course I have no intentions of line drying entire loads of laundry outside in the middle of winter, but king sized blankets and duvets is nothing for a modern mama to handle.

There’s a few tricks & tips involved so here you go.

1. Make a tea or coffee before you start because you’ll need something hot to warm you up.

2. Work fast. One blanket was enough to freeze my hands so wear gloves or mitts, haul it outside and throw it over the railing. If you want to use your clothes line, add the clothespins before you go outside to save time in the freezing weather!

3. Shake it. After an hour or so or once you see your kids go outside to try to smash it, consequently hurting their hands on it (it’s frozen, after all), follow them out and try to give it a shake or wiggle or just, um, kick it like your kids are even though you just yelled at them to stop getting their dirty boots all over your duvet. *ahem*. Lots of ice crystals and icicles should fall off. The thing is, you don’t necessarily know when it’s dry. The water evaporates (your blanket starts to give off vapor the second it gets outside) but it takes a while for all the moisture to be released. You can bring it back in, let it “thaw” a bit and put it back out if it’s still wet, or just keep it outside for the better part of the day after you give it a little shake.

4. Smile. Make your kids take a picture of you at some point during the process because you just momentarily turned yourself into a modern day Laura Ingalls. Feel free to do #3 during #4 :)

5. Bring it in at the end of the day or let it stay outside all night. It all depends on how thick the blanket is and if it spun out really well in the wash or not. Check it periodically and if it feels lighter it’s done. Let it warm up then fold.

Have you heard stories of your grandmothers and great grandmothers line drying laundry year round?


About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

9 thoughts on “how to: freeze drying laundry in cold weather

  1. Amanda, I love this post, and I especially love your humility and your humour! Keep up the great work of striving for excellence and not perfection.

  2. I line dry year round, but here in south Texas it doesn’t snow. We only really have one cold-ish month of the year. I’m definitely thankful for that,because it keeps our electricity bill fairly low.

    1. Oh how I wish it was warm year round here!!! I can’t even imagine how much easier life would be without the boots, snowsuits, hats and mitts and freezing cold mornings!! I’m not a winter person at all!

  3. I live in PA, smack in the middle of Amish country. Since moving here I’ve become obsessed with clothes lines…the are like country art…strung from front porches literally to the roof tops of barns. It’s beautiful! I never knew it was called ‘freeze drying!’ Thanks for sharing!

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