Drying Laundry

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The next step was to try the microwave oven.

Unfortunately, the jeans were full of rivets, zippers and Chuck E.Cheese tokens, causing electrical arcs and crackling. Furthermore the microwave wouldn't allow any water vapor to escape, so the jeans weren't actually getting any drier.


Next, Brooke held the wet jeans up to this red neon sign, in the shape of a heating coil.

Unfortunately, the bright neon sign did not emit infrared light. It was only regular red with a little ultrared thrown in.

The water in the jeans wasn't heating up at all.

The next drying technique was on the barbeque grill.

Ahhh! Nothing beats outdoor cookin'!

The high-heat of the open flame rapidly evaporated the water from these burgundy shorts.

I wouldn't have minded crisp black stripes across them, but the black crunchy blotches were unacceptable. Maybe we should have wrapped them in aluminum foil first.

Next, I visited the nearby carwash, and used their wringer, (also known as a mangle), to manhandle a few ounces of water out of the jeans. This was a very effective method of removing water.

I should never have used that water in my hot chocolate.

Another way to physically remove the water would have been to use an extractor. Extractors are high-speed spinning drums that whip the clothes around like the Toboggan ride on the midway... like a super-high speed spin cycle. The Ellis Company has one that produces 480 Gs of centrifugal force.

Eventually we figured out the best solution to drying my laundry: I hung them outside on a line. 

It was a sunny 79F (29C) day in Sacramento. The clothes hung in a row, and their large surface area allowed plenty of direct sunlight to hit them. The breeze helped too.

  After three hours, the clothes were dry.

I rented a hydraulic press to fold my pants.

I weighed the clothes, expecting them to to weigh the same amount as when Brooke and I started. Curiously, they weighed 11 lbs. Somehow they had gained a pound. 

I guess some water remained in the clothes, even though they felt perfectly dry.

Thanks for reading all about the steaming hot world of clothes dryers!  This story is long enough already, so I'll save the recipes for next time.


More Cockeyed Science Club 

Laundry 1 2 3 | The Gatorade Spill | cockeyed homeContact Rob  

November 19, 2003.

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