This cereal box clothes dryer is made up of readily available materials; namely a cereal box and some clothes hangers. Other boxes can be used; but the dimensions of a large size cereal box produces a clothes dryer that is stable when applied to a door and has room to dry six to twelve shirts. It takes about 5-6 minutes to build a cereal box clothes dryer using simple tools or even kitchen utensils. When your cereal box clothes dryer wears out you can recycle it.
Step 1: Clothes Hangers
In either case both metal and plastic hangers are also generally recyclable. I recommend taking worn metal hangers back to the cleaners. You should investigate with your local garbage folks whether your plastic hangers can be thrown in with your plastic recyclables if they break.
Step 2: CBCD Best Practices & Savings
Unlike most other types of appliances, clothes dryers don't vary much in the amount of energy used from model to model. That's why clothes dryers are not required to display EnergyGuide labels. A dryer is typically the second-biggest electricity-using appliance after the refrigerator, costing about $.35 per load and up to $85 to operate annually. In addition the amount of CO2 generated to run the dryer amounts to approximately 5.6 lbs. per load. (Source: California Energy Commission, www.consumerenergycenter.org)
Based on these numbers I estimate that my cereal box clothes dryer costs nothing and is saving my family $36.40 per year and reducing the amount of CO2 our household generates by 582.4 lbs.
Step 3: Locate a Box
Step 4: Measure & Mark
I wanted the box to have some strength left so I measured in a little more than 2 inches from the bottom to place that slot.
The depth of the slot should be slightly less than half the width across the front of the box. For my 8-inch wide box I cut the slot 3 1/2 inches. If this slot is too thin (less than 3 inches) I found the box would fall of the door while loading. If the slot is too deep I found the box would tear apart when loaded.
Next I measured out where I would put the holes that my hangers would go into. I had a little more than 8 inches of space left to work. I make the holes for the hangers at least an inch apart so that air gets between the shirts while they are drying. Making the holes 1 1/2 inches apart gives me six holes on either side of the box. After you have marked the holes on one side of the box stagger the holes on the other side of the box so that they don't line up. That leaves about 1/2 of an inch between the hangers when fully loaded.
Step 5: Cut & Fold the Door Slot
I used a pocketknife to cut most of my boxes. An Exacto (razor) knife also works well. You could use a steak knife. When cutting the slot in the box be especially careful around the corners. You want the corner cuts to meet up. If you cut too far in either direction or if the cuts don't meet it weakens the box.
Step 6: Poke Holes for the Hangers
Step 7: Check the Fit and Try It Out
Bonus: If you have your shirt laundered and ask the Laundry to use medium to heavy starch You can often avoid any ironing.