The answer to this question is as varied as there are Amish communities. In some instances, the answer to the question of how do the Amish Dry Laundry In Winter would be: “the same as they do during summer. There are some Amish who have gas dryers, and they just toss their clothes in the dryer like anybody else year round. Although, I will say that’s unusual, the exception rather than the rule.
What is the most common way to dry clothes in the winter?
The most common method for an Amish person to dry their clothing, regardless of the time of year, is on a clothesline. During the warmer months, there’s no more iconic image of Amish country than dancing, colorful clothing flapping on the line, drying in the breeze.
But what if it’s 10° outside?
Clothes are still dry outside, they just undergo a “flash freeze" before they dry. According to SpeedQueen, my favorite dryer, the process works like this:
Drying on a line in winter is actually a form of freeze-drying thanks to sublimation – or ice evaporating from a solid state.
So the clothes will dry, they just may need to be laid flat once you take them in the house.
Still, other Amish will set clotheslines up in a basement and line dry that way. It can cause the basement to get a little bit more damp, and that is a slower way to dry. But it works.
Still, others will set up a line by their stove. Of course, you have to be very careful in doing that you don’t set up the clothes line too close to the stove and catch the closing on fire.
Innovative Ways to Dry
This was a drying method I spied in an Amish home in Canada. A platform has been constructed high above the wood stove to catch the heat. Items like shoes, socks, and boots can be placed on it to take advantage of the rising warm air.
Notice the little green "wheel" suspended from it? Perfect for drying small items. Not sure about the towel laying on the stove, hopefully they didn't leave that on there long. I wouldn't recommend that!
Bicycle Wheel Dryers
These contraptions are ubiquitous among the Amish. Most people just make their own, but this is one I saw for sale in Amish variety store..This is a "bicycle wheel dryer." Many Amish use this, fashioned from a bicycle wheel festooned with clothespins, to dry smaller items like socks, washcloths, and headcoverings.
They make for a convenient "indoor dryer" during winter and then can easily be moved outside to a porch or tree during warmer months.