29 March, 2010

Why Japanese don't use clothes dryers.

On a post I wrote last week about Japanese washing lines, Mrs Q asked this:
"I wonder why there are not many dryers? Is it lack of space to store a dryer?"
The answer to the second question is no. Our Japanese 'made and bought' dryer sits on a stand directly above our washing machine, so it doesn't take up any extra space. You can even by 2 in 1 machines now that both wash and dry.

I asked the first question of my Facebook friends (quite of number of whom are Japanese or are married to Japanese or live there). Here are a few representative answers:
"It's just not worth the cost. Too much electricity being used on too little clothing."

"Japanese homes have good places to hang out clothes, even if it rains."

"With 4 people in the house now it's tempting to get one...especially on rainy days like today it'd be handy. But then again winter is so dry, hanging up wet clothes inside adds some humidity to the air. We go with the "the sun and wind are free so why bother with one" crowd."

"A lot of Japanese homes I have stayed in (including future in-laws) hang dry things in doors in bad weather...  If they aren't drying well, they take them to the coin laundry to finish them up..."
I wonder if there is something of a traditional angle on this too - we've always hung it out, so we'll continue to do so? Japanese homes and apartments are certainly (almost) always built with a place for hanging stuff outside.

I'm even wondering if Americans will be forced to start hanging stuff out again, due to the expense and cost to the environment?

1 comment:

Mrs Q said...

I find that I need a dryer with 6 in our house. Maybe that's because my washing doesn't dry on the line in winter even if I hang it out early. I'll hang the flanelette sheets out but still need to finish them off in the dryer. Maybe it's the sub-tropical humidity too - on wet days it just doesn't dry hung up on a patio and there wouldn't be enough room.

We have friends from inland SA visiting us overnight and they keep saying how hot and humid it is and I can't believe it. The weather is perfect at the moment. Not too hot or cold. I think it's the humidity they're not used to.