Airing my dirty laundry....

It's summer!  But it is also rain season in Mexico.  And the past couple of weeks have been nothing but cloudy days with lots and lots of rain.

Don't get me wrong, I love the rain.  But I do have one very serious problem that just keeps getting bigger...


Six people.  Changing clothes daily.  (Sometimes more.)  And no sun to line dry the clothes.  Add to that, towels and bedding, and you've got Mount Washmore.

Why not throw the clothes in the dryer?

Most people in small town Mexico don't own a dryer.  Many don't for economical reasons.  Some have no where to put one.  (Which is my case!)  And a lot of them have no interest in one.  The few people that I know that do own a dryer don't like to use them because they are bad for their electric bill.  Light guzzlers.

Why not go to a lavanderia (laundromat)?

Whenever my grandparents and I would travel to San Luis, Sonora, we always did our laundry at the lavanderia, which just happened to be owned by one of Gramm's nieces.  I grew up thinking that lavanderias were commonplace in Mexico.  But I was wrong!  Although I've seen lavanderias in many places throughout Mexico, there isn't one in my small town.  There was one for about 2 months, but it closed it's doors due to a lack of business. 

Then why not wash your clothes and hang them indoors to dry?

I only do this for certain types of clothing.  I did it when I had to wash the kiddies' school uniforms.  And I do it with the socks and undergarments that I wash by hand.  The downside is that it takes most clothes more than a day to dry.  And after a day of dampness, they start to smell weird.  Not bad.  Just not clean.  Plus, the damp clothes hanging around the house aren't good for Nick's asthma.

So what are you going to do?

The same thing I do everyday during the summer.  I'm going to wake up early, hoping that it isn't going to rain.  Run a load of laundry.  If it isn't raining, I'll hang the clothes on my clothesline in my back patio.  If it starts to rain, I'll hang the clothes on hangers and hang them on my shower rod, along with the socks and undergarments that I washed by hand the night before.  If it stops raining, I'll run the clothes outside, hoping that it won't rain again until the clothes are dry.  But if it does start to rain again, I will bring the clothes back to the bathroom to continue drying on the shower rod.  It's a vicious cycle!

And on the rare days that the sun does make an appearance, you can find me participating in my own marathon trying to get as much laundry done as humanly possible!


  1. Lots of sun and lavanderias here. The first 6 months we were here I washed our clothes by hand and hung them to dry. I finally rebelled as it didn't seem like I was getting them clean and I ached for 2 days after doing it. (I have fibromyalgia and it doesn't take much for me to ache lots). We then used a lavanderia about 5 blocks from home for the washing but seldom used the dryer as it is fairly expensive. they use gas dryers and it wasn't cheap.
    We finally bought a washer and I love having it. No problem here with lack of sun so clothes dry really fast. One load is dry by the time the next one is washed usually.
    Good luck with your laundry, it sounds like a real pain in the butt. What do the other ladies do? The same thing as you are?

  2. I'm going to go hug my dryer right now. We have an unhealthy relationship. ;o)

  3. My mother in law has a washer and dryer, but prefers to wash her clothes by hand and hang dry them. I must admit her whites do get whiter then washing them in the machine.

  4. Hope your laundry is done fast! I noticed a few laundrymats where my husband lives, and i also notice that a handful of people have dryers. I think it is more humid though. So clothes get mildewy.

  5. I don't have a dryer and I haven't had one for about 12 years now, and as a matter of fact I've spent more of my adult life without a dryer than I have with one. I have never minded not having one except in the winter and like you Leslie right now it's been raining off and on for almost a month...very weird for my part of New Mexico! My house looks like a laundromat with clothes hanging up all over!

  6. My mother in law has a washer and dryer also and she still washes by hand for the same reason as stated above....the clothes just odnt get clean enough in her washer. That's why when we lived with them i washed the baby's cloth diapers by hand. in Reynosa we get alot of rain tooo, however there are lavanderia's everywhere. I do have a dryer....and it's electric. Power bill? Well since we rent....the owners have something set up with the power and we dont pay that much....dont even ask...cause I couldnt even begin to tell you. :)
    But when I didnt have a dryer...I found htat this worked really well. I would hand the clothes all over a room that we didnt use and keep the windows closed int hat room and put a fan facing the clothes and turn it on, ya know the one's that move back and forth. And int he morning or mid day the clothes would be dry. I LOVE my dryer.

  7. Your blog pic is so funny I have both flags at my door too the only difference in the US. REPRESENT!!!!!!

  8. It usually doesn't rain in the morning here, so as long as the laundry is hung up by 10 it's dry before the rain. If it's too rainy, then we hang inside and run fans. I can sting a lot of lines in our "spare" room because we have at least 4 hammock hooks in each room. Some places have what is called a drying room, it's a small roofless cement block building that collects the sun and dries your clothes fast, but I cannot imagine giving up the space to it!
    There are laundries here, they wash, dry and iron and either charge by the piece or by the kilo.
    So far we haven't had so many rainy days in a row where it's been a problem, but then again, it's just 2 of us.

  9. Bless your heart!! Those of us who have all the "stuff" really don't understand what people who don't have to put up with. And by "stuff" I don't mean luxury goods either. To me a washer and dryer are a necessity because of my arthritis. I thank the Good Lord for that.

  10. Without my lavanderia, I would be in a tough way in Melaque. Fortunately, three are within walking distance of my house.

  11. Ah yes, I'm in a similar situation at the moment!

    Luckily the sun has peeked out more over the last 3 days. Hope our sun makes it your way soon!

  12. I'd almost be willing to trade my dryer for more of your rain. But are you sure you couldn't put up a little brick enclosure of some kind outside and hook up a dryer there? You could just use it during the rainy season, if you wanted to cut cost. My dryer was outside for months before I enclosed the area. I did have a plastic cover on it.

  13. i don't know how you do it. When we moved to mexico, one of the first things we bought was a dryer!!! I can't bear to live without it!

  14. So true! I was visiting my husband last week and doing laundry for only 2 adults and one young child and it seemed like it would never end. The women on our street told me I should take my clothes off the line in the evening even though they weren't dry because it would rain that night. I didn't take their advice and of course the clothes were sopping wet in the morning!
    A dryer seems like a totally far out there luxury to me in Mexico. We don't even have an automatic washer, just one of the old-fashioned models that doesn't have a spin cycle! It's a pain!

  15. Just stopping by from SITS!

    Ummm WOW! I can't even imagine this cycle you go through. Shoot, I can't even im agine a life without a washer and DRYER! I'm so impressed with you and your "chipper" attitude.

    On the other hand, I'd TOTALLY take some of your rain, as it's blazing balls of hell here in AZ, added to with hideous humidity these days because it's only PRETENDING to think about raining.

    Anyway, good luck with taht laundry. That's all I meant to say.

  16. I feel your pain - I try not to use our dryer in the summer but we get pop-up thunderstorms all the time... i feel like it happens 5 minutes after I get the last item out on the line... or 10 minutes before I can get them off.. hope you get a bright sunny day soon!

  17. I'm with you here! I haven't had a dryer in 5 years and it rained for almost 2 weeks here in Toluca. Luckily, the sun has come to visit some in the past 3 days! I had one load that I didn't get down in time before a downpour and it was hanging out for 2 days before it finally dried. I am excited though...a good friend and neighbor has a brother-in-law in the US and he sent down a used washer/dryer combo. She already has a dryer (the only person I know with one) so I'm going to buy the other one from her!!!!! I'm thrilled.