What does Independence Day have to do with literally, The Best Clothes Drying Rack? Well, I’ll tell ya. Independence Day is my husband’s absolute favorite holiday all year. It also happens to be the time when I get the most homesick because in comparison to what is available here in Utah—fireworks displays that you have to fight crowds and PAY you watch—ugh!—there’s just nothing like Central Ohio. You can see masterful arrays of fireworks in a different, nearby city 3 nights in a row and actually end up getting 6 displays in throughout those 3 nights as some of them will launch at dusk and some of them as late as 10:50 p.m. Then of course there’s the family barbeque with all kinds of crazy games that my oh-so-creative uncle comes up with each year. Yep, I miss Ohio. So, when I talked my husband into taking a roadtrip aka vacation with me for the first time in 12 years to go back and visit Ohio, I had visions of being able to enjoy all of these great things that I miss. But boy howdy, Mother Nature and I have got to get our calendars in synch, because I had no idea what kind of mayhem was going on in that neck of the woods until after we left for our trip. If you haven’t heard, there were hurricane force winds that swept through the Atlantic coast as well as more inland states such as Virginia and Ohio. These powerful, up to 100 mph winds came through with NO warning. Millions of people lost power but the majority of them lost it for over a week!! Ironically, some survived the bigger storm only to lose power the next day when a smaller microburst came through. The hotels were packed, hospitals were crazy with people needing access to oxygen and comfort to endure their illnesses, the shelves were cleaned out, gas pumps didn’t work, ATM machines were out of order, and there was an overall feeling of panic in every place we stopped once we got to our destination. (It’s a good thing we packed to be self-sufficient and always fill up as the car gets near the half-way mark.). You would think that all of that mayhem is what I was most inconvenienced by, but no, I have a much stranger radar than worrying about ice, fast food, etc. No, my problem is dealing with smells—lots of nasty smells because no one was showering or washing their clothes in the crisis. 100 degrees with a heat index of 115 is no picnic if you have a sensitive sniffer. Just assume that I’m right here, unless you too want to try it out for yourself and be surrounded by 5 nephews ages 2 to 17 who know how to clear a room with their nasty odors. “Use a wet wipe for crying out loud, Son—in fact, use the whole box of wet wipes until you smell nothing like a decaying rat carcass! I’m trying to eat my 4-cheese Italian Risotto and you’re eau de jour is definitely ruining the enjoyment!” Wet wipes only solve part of the problem though. Most folks rarely think about what’s necessary to clean their clothes—that is until I explain to them that the body gets rid of toxins/waste three different ways: perspiration, respiration, and urination. I’m sure that no one would dream of not changing the pants of a 4 year old’s “accident.” But the fact is, clothes that have been used all day in 100 degree weather also contain a whole lot of toxins—toxins that you don’t want to inhale, roll around and bask in. So yes, having alternative means of doing laundry really IS critical. Just as critical though, in my opinion, in having a way to do laundry without killing yourself, using unnecessary energy, and doing it in such a way that you know that the toxins are getting cleaned out of the clothes. Well, that’s where my friends at the company called Best Clothes Drying Rack come in. They take the hard, exhaustive work out of the equation and even incorporate forward thinking that even allows a person to maintain Operational Security if necessary. Oh how I love it when a product really “gets it” like theirs do! For starters, let’s talk about the arduous task of washing clothes. Homemade laundry detergent IS the best way to go in a crisis AND every day in your home. It gets the clothes cleaner without all of the fragrances, it’s more easy on the sewage system, and it’s pennies to use as opposed to those astronomical prices the folks at Proctor and Gamble charge. Here’s a recipe for homemade laundry detergent without having to expend energy grating anything. Yay! Use about ½ to 1 cup of soap per standard dishwasher load and about 3 tablespoons when using the bucket/plunger method.
Easy Homemade Detergent 3 Tablespoons Borax 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda 2 Tablespoons Dawn Dishwashing Soap (it's necessary because it cuts through the grease at all water temperatures) 1-2 drops of your favorite essential oil (grapefruit, lemon, dill, or clove bud etc. are great.) Place all ingredients in a one gallon jug. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the jug. Gently swish all of the ingredients in the jug until they are completely dissolved in the liquid. Set aside while you let the mixture cool. Once cooled, fill the rest of the jug with cold water. Don’t worry. You will get bubbles coming up and out of the jug, but keep an eye on the actually liquid level in the jug.
Next, you need to conserve water and physical energy by using the Best Clothes Drying Rack company’s patented plunger washer that pushes the water through the fabric on the plunging motion and pulls water out of the fabric on the pulling motion. You provide all the energy necessary—not the power company. Even better, it will not degrade your clothes as quickly as a modern-day washer and dryer will—I can’t think of a more important feature if I’m using it during a crisis. The last thing I need is to have to learn how to make new clothes! The less than $30 investment is well worth my while! So, how do you dry them without giving away valuable information such as “how many people are living in your home, giving away how well off you might be while others are suffering because you have the ability to actually wash and dry laundry.” My solution is definitely the Best Clothes Drying Rack for so many reasons—not the least of which is that I can use it inside, away from the prying eyes of my neighbors and yet it’s sufficiently well made with treated maple wood that I can use it outside just fine. (Confession, after seeing a picture online, I also used it to dry large amounts of homemade pasta! I loved that idea! You can also dry herbs and flowers on there nicely too!) Here’s something cool about it that even my semi-trucking friend will appreciate it. In spite of it’s large capacity for drying my king size sheets and large towels (with 24 feet of drying space), it then easily breaks down into a size small enough that will fit in my laundry basket. I love how the rack rotates for me instead of walking around it. But the kind of cool thing is that I don’t have to use all of the racks if I’m short on space or trying to confine it to a small corner. This is some smart craftsmanship that is well thought out and intended to last a lifetime. I’ll be purchasing at least 3 more since I’ve discovered so many uses for them. (They are a heck of a lot cheaper than the official pasta dryers which won’t give me anywhere near the space. The size of the pasta dryers now barely give me enough space to do enough pasta for 4. I like to cook for larger groups than that!) I love that there’s not a single piece of plastic on this unit and it’s all made here in the U.S. I love the price (only $40 bucks) and I love how smoothly it sets up. See this in action on this YouTube video. I also love that they have good old-fashioned business values. They will refund, replace, or repair anything that you might find amiss with the product. As such, this handy-dandy unit definitely qualifies as one of my favorite gadgets of the year! One other thing I think I should mention about with this drying rack--being able to use it in the home--is that in the event of a serious crisis such as nuclear or pandemic scenario, I wouldn’t want my clothes out in the open. Yup, that gives me a little peace of mind. Here’s another thing to share with you in case you want to stop using the electric dryer now. You may want to check out their improved design on the old outdoor clothesline hangers that you may remember from Grandma’s yard. It only requires a small 14’ footprint and can even be folded up and covered when not in use. I was astounded that it held 4 loads of laundry (132 feet of drying space)! Holy cow! And you won’t have to mow around it as it removes easily from the ground. I love this feature since I ran into my grandmother’s in the backyard because it was always open and waiting for any foolish kid to run into it. While I love the wooden unit that I can use indoors, there is virtue to drying clothes out under the sun as the sun's rays help kill bedbugs, germs and bacteria. I have to say that I love the company’s website as well. It’s a great resource. They aren’t just about selling their wares, they give any reader some very helpful tips on doing laundry by hand. They are conscious of time and money used for this very thankless and underestimated task. The fact of the matter is, having clean laundry is critical to maintaining good health—especially in a pandemic scenario. O.K. so I’ve talked about all of the great stuff and in the interest of being impartial in my review of this product I think that it would only be fair if I did share the one thing that I don’t care for with the company, but it could easily be changed. I don’t care for much the company charging a “restocking fee” if you return a unit. Ugh. You just know that some feeble-minded attorney thought that idea up and far too many small businesses are falling for it in a knee-jerk response to the injury of having a product returned. Such a fee never leaves a customer with warm fuzzies and good will; in fact it kind of adds insult to a customer’s injury—especially when you know you’re dealing with a small company. It’s not like it costs them money to put the product back on the shelf. However, in discussing this with the owners, they shared a couple of instances with me in which people ordered the outdoor clothes drying rack and in spite of all of the measurements being on the website when they ordered, they still ended up sending it back. I'm sure that was frustrating to the owners to have to pay to get it back (it's a 9 foot long package) then inspect it and then put it back. Just to clarify though, as is usually the case where restocking fees are applied, I did confirm with them that they never charge a restocking fee when a product is defective or has a problem. On the good side though, I find it very doubtful that I’ll ever return a unit—unless they were to ever lower their manufacturing standards. In fact, I’ll be purchasing a couple of others. And I love their commitment to using only American made, sturdy parts. (By the way, they are presently looking for American made clothespins with no luck. Apparently they just don’t exist here in the U.S. but I was fortunate enough to find some that went into production recently. You can find them at http://classicamericanclothespins.blogspot.com/)
Thanks to these great products, stinky men and boys won't get to use the whole "power outage" excuse for smelling horrible. We all know a lady never stinks, right? *grin* Let me know if you find any other great uses for these. You know how I love, love, love multi-purpose items!