Create A Nifty DIY Towel Drying Rack With PVC Pipes

If you have a backyard pool, summer means many hours spent swimming. But when you're in and out of the water all day, it's a struggle to dry your towel enough between dunks to use it again. Laying it on the back of a chair or over a fence does nothing to reduce poolside clutter. And grabbing a new towel each time means you end up spending more time doing loads of washing than diving into the deep blue. 

Thankfully, you can craft a sturdy towel-drying rack in the comfort of your own home. All you need are a few PVC pipes, sand or rocks, a saw to cut the pipes to size, and a rubber mallet.

The frame of your new arch-style drying rack is made from 60 feet of 1-inch schedule 40 ("schedule" refers to the thickness of the pipe walls) PVC pipe. You can get 10-foot lengths of this pipe from your local home improvement store, or you can order it online from a place like Menards for $6.73 each. 

To join these lengths together, you'll also need four 1-inch three-way, 16 1-inch T-style, and eight 1-inch 45-degree elbow connectors — all also made from PVC. Tool-wise, you need the aforementioned mallet (for hammering the pipes together) and a cutting tool — an electric miter saw or something more manual like a plastic pipe cutter or hacksaw. If you use a handsaw, take note that you'll need to deburr the cut edges.

Assemble your towel-drying rack

Use your saw to cut the 10-foot 1-inch schedule 40 pipe lengths into four 30-inch, 12 38-inch, eight 2-inch, and 14 4-inch sections. Assemble the rails or bars first by affixing a T-connector onto each end of the 38-inch PVC lengths, set at 90 degrees. Then, place one 2-inch piece, a 45-degree elbow, and a 4-inch three-way between each T-connector. This forms the arch of your rack. Assemble the base by forming an open-topped cube with three-way connectors and four pieces of 38-inch PVC. Attach the arch to this base, and you're finished!

The rack might be a little light without damp towels, so store it inside when not in use, especially if it's windy outside. Alternatively, you can fill the bottom pipes with sand to weigh them down. If you're worried about the pipes coming apart, add some PVC cement to the connectors before fitting them together.

Get creative with other rack designs

This rack isn't only helpful in removing musty odors from your poolside towels. Use it to line-dry rinsed swimsuits, pool equipment, or even your regular laundry load. A word of caution: If you're using this DIY drying rack inside in the winter, keep it away from heaters and fireplaces. PVC starts to melt at just over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is just one towel drying rack design. The internet is filled with DIY iterations. You can build a rack that mounts to a fence and folds down when not in use. Use extra PVC pipes or wire as braces. Another configuration to explore is a towel tree. Instead of a traditional arch-style rack, PVC pipe arms extend out from a central trunk. If you want the arms to rotate, cement the trunk into the ground for more stability. Get super creative and add a fan to the base of the rack, or attach clothes pegs to a flat PVC pipe rack using a waterproof string and hang the contraption under your patio roof.