10 Clothes Wringer Alternatives for When There's No Other Options

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clothes wringer alternatives

Have you ever investigated the dryer section of your washing machine? It is a lovely abyss of turning, wringing, and drying. What happens when it breaks? You're back to clothes wringer alternatives, but they aren't all ancient methods.

Try talking about washing and drying methods with your grandma. All the stories will surely have three elements in common: a galvanized bucket, soapy water, and a tired body weary of wringing clothes in a futile attempt to make it dry faster.

clothes wringer
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Such stories do throw better light on how easy our life has become due to technological inventions. However, the same equipment does bring in certain limitations, like occasionally breaking.

What do I do when I don't have a washing machine or a cloth wringer? Such a question brings the need to discuss equally robust options to replace the limitations of devices, and these are the clothes wringer alternatives.

10 Clothes Wringer Alternatives

Sometimes you find yourself without a clothes dryer or even a clothes wringer. Fear not, there's tons of items you have laying around the house, including laundry detergent substitutes, that can be used to get the job done. Here's nine of them.

Wring Clothes by Hand 

wring clothes by hand

The preliminary purpose of a cloth wringer is to wring the water out of your clothes so they can dry faster. The last thing you want to do is put soaking wet clothes in the dryer. The device allows the little moisture that is left behind to evaporate faster. All of that is indeed how it works when you have a cloth wringer.

When you don't have one, you do it the old-fashioned way. Wring them yourself by hand.  It might seem a bit counterproductive, but that is merely a lazy excuse. Wringing clothes by hand is as practical as using any tool and perhaps does the job better. Simply twist the clothes tightly lengthwise and watch the water run out.

Twisting clothes is tempting because it does wring out more excess water but you can stretch and place too much friction on your fragile fabrics. The better way to wring clothes by hand is to let them dangle vertically and squeeze from the top, working your way down, and letting gravity run the water out.

Of course, this only works if you're willing to put in the effort. Despite the arduous nature of this task, you save some money on electricity and you're signing up for a free natural work out, keeping gravity away from your now not-so-sagging biceps.


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Like wringing clothes by hand, clotheslines are a conventional manner of drying your clothes. Even after using one of the other clothes wringer alternatives, you'll most probably hang your garments on a clothesline anyway.

Drying your clothes outside may take time but it's the best way to make sure that the sunlight kills the germs, and there's no heated smell of half dried garments in your closet. Even many people that have washing machines and dryers prefer clotheslines to finalize their laundry. It helps avoid shrinkage and unpleasant odors in all types of bed sheets, clothes, and anything else.

We see the only plausible drawback here that drying your clothes directly on the clothesline will take a bit more time. But that doesn't seem like much of an issue as the advantages overpower the cons. The best ones are retractable so you can reel them back in when done, leaving no dangerous line in your yard or across your porch.

Clothes Drying Rack

clothes drying rack
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Very similar to a clothesline, a drying rack is a much more compact and convenient way to hang all of your clothes to dry without taking up a ton of space. Usually we'll hang them over the shower rod, over the back patio railings, or on hangers all over the home.

A drying rack offers everything you need to hang all of your clothes in one space, near each other, away from your living room or bathroom. You'll want to hand wring most of the water out first, and probably consider placing a towel beneath it to catch any dripping water you may have missed.

If you choose this option, make sure the room you're using is ventilated to a degree. The moving air will help the evaporation process occur. Placing it near an open window or screen door can speed things up, or in the sunlight shining through a secure sliding glass door or window.

Hair Dryer

a hair dryer is a perfect clothes wringer alternative to quickly dry a wet piece of clothing
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A hair dryer is surely sometimes a misleading term for this piece of versatile equipment. Should you forget to prepare a crisp shirt for a crucial meeting the next day? You have a single pair of socks but they're still half wet?

Well, a hair dryer will save you from the imminent doom. Almost everyone has a hair dryer at home, which might not be so true for other clothes wringer alternatives. The ever-present piece of equipment becomes your retrieve, the easiest alternative for dry clothes.

It is a remarkably effective short-term solution. However, we suggest a hair dryer only for one or two pieces of clothing. It'd take forever to try to dry an entire load of laundry like this. It's for drying out wet spots or maybe a pair of jeans or two, tops. 

Clothes Iron

a clothes iron can steam moisture out of wet clothing which makes it a perfect clothes wringer alternative
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A remarkably similar alternative to the hairdryer solution is using the traditional iron for drying your clothes. Most of us have probably done this at some point in our lives.

To use this method, you can place a thin towel over the ironing table. Place a second towel over the clothes that you wish to dry. The idea behind this trick is to vaporize the moisture using heat from the iron without directly applying the heat to your wet clothes.

The best thing about this method is that you are almost multitasking by drying and ironing your clothes at the same time. Make sure you regulate the temperature of your iron, as the sizzling water vaporization might become a problem.

It's better to work for a longer amount of time with a lower heat than to risk burning the fabric on your clothes or the fabric on your ironing board or ironing board alternatives.

Manual Washer & Dryer

manual clothes washer and dryer
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Let us consider a scenario when you are frustrated with the unprecedented electricity outages in your area. Or maybe you simply wish to cut down on that exuberant electricity bill. The situation is not as hopeless as it sounds.

The hand cranked manual washer and dryer combo is a beautiful, nonetheless useful alternative for a clothes wringer. The ease of use and the extra advantages over a typical cloth wringer makes a hand dryer an exceptional alternative solution.

These dryers also act as manual washers, where you simply must spin your clothes, water, and detergent together until squeaky clean. The only subtle problem with the manual dryer and washer is the evident manual work.

But that's not a big deal, especially if you're out camping or in an RV somewhere. It's a perfect upper body workout routine. Realistically though, the dryer simply helps you drip and sling the water out of the clothes. You'll still want to hang dry them somewhere since there's no heat applied. 

Washing Machine Dryer

washing machine dryer

The majority of the traditional washing machines are equipped with the function of washing and drying your clothes in a single sitting. Using a washing machine to dry your clothes takes significantly less time and attention than a clothes wringer since it's all automated.

While using most other methods, you need to be actively present to get the job done. However, once you adjust the settings of your washing machine's dryer unit, you can sit back and sip on some coffee until you hear the pleasant chime of a job well done.

Yes, it is true that in terms of the cost factor, a machine dryer is on the expensive side and increases your power bill. However, you'll save at least an hour of your time, making it worth the price. 



If any of these other options are not scalable or available to you, your last solution for drying your clothes is your neighborhood laundromat. These are run and managed by laundry professionals who can do it all for you, even folding, ironing, or hanging your clothes.

It can be a bit heavy on your pocket if used recurrently. But it is quite less taxing than buying a cloth wringer or washing machine when you are too busy to even to use them. The factor of convenience makes the laundromat a worthy choice. 

Rolling Pin

a rolling pin is a perfect alternative for a clothes wringer when you don't have one and your washing machine dryer isn't working
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Yes, at first thought this doesn't seem like an effective option. You're in for a surprise, though. A rolling pin or any of the rolling pin substitutes remove a more substantial amount of water from your clothes quite effectively.

It's a lifesaver when you still do not have any other options to choose from. Place your wet clothes over a flat surface. Now rock and roll, as you would do with a flatbread. It works just like a clothes wringer, just make sure the water is draining away from your workspace.

Mop Bucket

mop bucket
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If you have been unable to buy a cloth wringer or any other alternative, we mentioned. As a last resort, you can use a spare mop basket to wring the bulk of the water out your clothes.

You can drain your clothes in the basket attached to the bucket, just like you squeeze the water out of the mop. You'll want to hang dry the clothes to finish them off but this gets you most of the way.

Bonus Alternative: Dehumidifier

dehumidifier to suck moisture out of your wet laundry clothes
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A reader, Laurie, sent in a great clothes wringer alternative she's been using. She moved from a house to an apartment and didn't have hook-ups (and wasn't allowed otherwise) for a washer and dryer.

So she got creative and hung her clothes on a drying rack in one room, turned on a dehumidifier she had brought from her house, and closed the door.

She said it did a great job and emptying the water tank on the machine was really gratifying, seeing how much moisture was sucked out of her now dry clothes. One thing to consider are the disadvantages of a dehumidifier, most of which you won't encounter if you only use it for scenarios like this and don't run it constantly.

What is a Clothes Wringer?

A clothes wringer does seem like a prototype of an industrial mini machine from the early 1900's. However, its nature is very much domestic and very much as useful now as it was in the past.

A clothes wringer is a device assembled as two rolling pins placed very close to each other. Using a crank to turn them, they roll a piece of clothing between them, squeezing out any water that may be soaked into the fabric.

They don't get rid of every single bit of moisture, but they get you pretty close. The rest is left up to the sun, the wind, and evaporation.

Why Use Clothes Wringer Alternatives for Drying Clothes?

clothes wringer in action

A clothes wringer is undeniably a devoted solution for drying your laundry. However, it's a somewhat redundant option, so most people don't have them around. And when you're dryer goes out and you need a wringer, you never have one.

You'll also often find it challenging and annoying to fit the clothes in between the two rods of the wringer. The job is incredibly boring, too. If you have been collecting your dirty laundry into a pile, using a cloth wringer after washing such an exhaustive amount of clothes is almost a non-starter.

You'll regret the decisions once the job is done as you go to bed with weary, shaky arms. A clothes wringer will do an excellent job within the thin fabric, but thicker clothes often remain wet even after rolling it through the wringer.

What happens when you do not have the time to engage in your clothes' drying process constantly, or need one or two pieces dried, pronto? A clothes wringer seems much less of a valid option in such a case. 

How to Wring Clothes Without a Wringer!

A cloth wringer might appeal to many thanks to the sense of nostalgia, romanticization, and enjoyment in using our hands, just like using a washboard, but sometimes we just don't have one around.

The fundamental limitations and single type of use make it an almost futile purchase. With clothes wringer alternatives such as using an clothes iron or hair dryer, a clothes wringer falls behind in terms of functionality, usability, and service cost, especially considering we rarely need them.

Hopefully, this list will open new ways of keeping your laundry fresh and dry when you're in a pinch. Make sure you pay extra attention while using the mentioned clothes wringer alternatives as some may need more precaution than others.

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