Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Line Drying Saves Me Money

Harness the sun's energy by running a line outside in your backyard or use individual wooden drying racks on your porch, or a sunny room. We have a line across two fences in the backyard for sheets and towels, and use two drying racks for the "smalls" both inside and out, depending on the weather. For items that need to be hung to avoid wrinkles, I have a portable hanging rack on wheels which holds an entire load of hangable laundry. On bad weather days, I dry sheets by hanging them on the ends of this portable hanging rack. I dry them overnight this way, and they are ready to be put away the next day.

Reportedly, line drying saves me on average $150.00 a year in electricity.

Other benefits include less wear and tear on your clothing(last longer, don't shrink as much), and the natural bleaching action of the sun, if you hang laundry in the sun. Drying my clothes on a hanger negates the need to iron most clothing. By not using the dryer, I don't need to clean a lint trap or worry about the exhaust line needing a clean-out.

Drawbacks - colors can fade in the sun, so should be dried in the shade or indoors. Sometimes turning them inside out helps if the fabric is medium weight. Line drying outside in spring is sometimes not feasible due to pollen. Drying clothes inside the home in a humid climate takes a long time, especially if you don't have a dehumidifier. Drying overnight works best for me.


Lady Farmer said...

I love drying my laundry on the line ~ when we actually have some sunshine. We are too damp here in the PNW to have anything dry indoors (unless in front of a fire in winter). I need to get one of those handy hanging racks!

Alexandra said...

My sister said the same thing when she lived in England. She said no matter what she did, things just wouldn't dry! It's very humid here, but mostly just in the warmer months, and I've got a portable humidifier(a must here in the summer). I know that you've got a much more pervasive and powerful humidity in the PNW. I guess that's why you can have such beautiful gardens! I must visit some day.

Eva said...

We do the same as you do, but use a dryer in the winter. We have too many clothes and not enough space to dry everything indoors in the winter. I love the smell of the laundry that dries outside. I somewhere read that it's also more hygienic to dry things outside. The sun kills many bacteria, more than a dryer does.

My mother has never used a dryer (we were six children). We had a special drying place in our yard. It was only for drying clothes and had lots of clothes lines. We also had a huge attic (we used to live in a farm house that was several hundred years old). That was where my mother dried her laundry in the winter. Most Germans still don't have a dryer. Now my mother has one of those drying "spiders" for outside. Do you know what I mean?

Alexandra said...

Yes, I have been trying to get my husband to put up a spider rack for years! So far all I've got is a droopy line over two fences, lol. It works fine for us, but a spider rack would be lovely. I had a better line a few years ago which held all my daughter's cloth diapers and then some. The tree was not there which made it a bit easier. I miss those German homes with the laundry lines already installed. Here, it's almost declasse to dry clothes outside in some areas. Mine is hidden in a corner, so as not to offend neighbors.

The sun is a great natural killer of bacteria...I forgot to mention this!

Eva said...

Your reply reminds me of our year in Durham. We lived in a new housing development and I, as a German, hung our laundry out to dry on the balcony. We immediately got a letter saying that that was not okay because it was ugly and would offend other people. Well, I didn't stop hanging out our wash, I just hung it lower so that you couldn't see it from below :). Here in our area many people dry their clothes outside, the Amish of course do, but also many "normal" people.
Leifheit makes great drying racks and a spider!

Alexandra said...

It's done in rural areas where homes are not as closely spaced, or relaxed areas, or "green living" communities/cities.

I'm not sure where the anti-laundry line custom came from...maybe a reaction against the immigrant tenements of the early 20th century? Somewhere along the line it became improper unless in a rural area, preferably in the back where no one was likely to see it.

I know it's more common here in the south(big cities not included) where traditions are more relaxed and casual. In rural areas, laundry lines are often seen as "quaint" and "folksy" by city people. Many consider it old fashioned.

Thanks, I'll pass the Leifheit informaion along to my husband. ;)

Otter Mom said...

My mother in law lives in a subdivision that prohibits line drying. They are not even allowed to have a line by their pool to hang towels. I think that's so wrong. I don't line dry, we get enough rain on a regular basis that it would never get dry! Also, the pollen issue could be a problem. But I remember how good the clothes smelled when my mom used to line dry when I was a kid.

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