Introduction: Simple Laundry Room Drying Racks

In our house we have a fairly small laundry room. I suspect that it is typical of many homes because it is also a corridor to another room. In our situation the shortest way from the kitchen to the garage is through the laundry room. Therefore two of the walls are taken up by doors. The two remaining walls are taken up by the washer and dryer on one side, while on the other side there is a soak sink with a cabinet both above and below it- all set back into a narrow alcove.

Step 1: No Good Place to Attach a Wall-Mounted Drying Rack

Even if my wife had wanted one, there was really no good place to attach a wall-mounted drying/sorting rack for clothes that do better if not put in the dryer, or are awaiting the ironing board.

Step 2: I Got an Idea While Replacing Clothes Hanger Rods in a Bedroom Closet

While replacing some old hardware for clothes hanger rods in a bedroom closet, I got the idea that I could put a socket type bracket on each of the upper cabinet doors and use a piece of 1” PVC pipe as the rod. My choice of a sturdy plastic tube and plastic hardware was because they were impervious to water and would not stain any of the garments with which they came into contact- such as might happen with a metal or wooden rod.

Step 3: This Ultra Simple Drying Rack Was Easy to Make

This ultra simple drying rack was easy to make:

1. I figured out precisely where the two mounting brackets needed to be and made a pencil mark, one on the inside of each cabinet door.

2. I measured the thickness of the cabinet doors to make sure the wood screws I would use to affix the socket brackets would not go all the way through. Then I used a drill stop on the drill bit to prevent myself drilling all the way through the cabinet door. (Some duct tape wrapped around the bit will work just as well.) And I chose a drill bit that would create an under-size hole so the wood screw would take purchase in the door.

3. Using the short wood screws I mentioned above, I attached the brackets to the inside of the cabinet doors.

4. Next I pushed the doors all the way open to where they touched the inner walls of the alcove and measured the exact distance between the socket brackets. I cut a piece of 1” white PVC pipe to that precise length I needed. Note- 1” PVC is one inch ID or inner diameter; the OD or outside diameter is approximately 1.25” which is conveniently the ideal size of pole for the support brackets.

5. I used a pocket knife and some sandpaper to smooth off the rough edges on the PVC pipe after cutting it.

Step 4: This Drying Rack Is Easy to Set Up

This drying rack is easy to set up:

1. When not in use, the cabinet doors close normally and the brackets do not interfere with anything.

2. The pole is stowed in the front of the cabinet just below the sink where it is easy to access.

3. When the drying rack is needed, one simply opens the cabinet doors, fetches the pole from below and puts it in place by first inserting one end in the closed socket and then letting the other end drop into the open socket on the opposite door.

Step 5: The Upper Cabinet Doors Can Only Open So Far Because They Touch the Walls

Because the upper cabinet is recessed into a tight alcove, the doors can not open any farther than 90°, which is good for our purposes as it keeps the PVC pipe in place. If the doors had been able to spread farther than that, it would let the pipe fall out of the brackets into the sink below.

Step 6: The Bottom Cabinet Doors Open Like Most Cabinets

This scenario in the upper cabinet is not the case with the under-sink cabinet because it comes out farther than the upper cabinet and its doors are flush with the outer edge of the alcove. That means the lower cabinet doors can spread open farther than 90° (like most cabinet doors) and there is nothing to hold the doors in place when I would insert a pole into the socket brackets. Ergo, I installed the same support sockets as on the top cabinet, but I match-drilled two holes in them along with two holes in the PVC pipe. These holes would accommodate a couple of 1/4" diameter quick release hitch pins, which would hold the PVC pipe locked into place. When not in use, we just leave the pins in the brackets.

Step 7: The Finished Result

My wife is very happy with this setup and mostly uses the rod in the top cabinet for sorting or drying clothes on hangers, whereas she normally uses the rod in the bottom cabinet for draping clothes over to dry rather than put them in the dryer.

Although for our purposes only one rod was desired in the top cabinet, it was obvious that I could have mounted extra hardware and put 2 or 3 PVC tubes in the bottom cabinet to act as a multiple rod drying rack with clothes draped over them. But my wife chose just one rod so that is the way I made it. Another person might want multiple drying rods.

Step 8: The Parts Needed

Parts needed:

1. 1” PVC pipe- enough for each drying rod needed

2. One set of closet pole socket brackets for each drying rod

3. Two ¼” inch diameter quick release hitch pins for each drying rod

Step 9: Tools Needed

Tools needed:

1. Measuring tape

2. Hand drill, either electric or manual, and drill bits

3. Phillips #2 screwdriver

4. Hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe

5. Drill Stop (or some duct tape)

6. Pocket knife, sandpaper