Line Dry Clothes to Save The World

(or at least energy and money)

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Line drying is so easy, even a kid can do it!

So why aren’t more people air drying their clothes? I’m not standing up for dryer users, but really, it is a lot easier to just shove the wet load into the dryer that’s right there and push a button then to take the time to walk it out to the line, hang it all up, hope you have enough clothes pins and pray it doesn’t rain, take it all down, walk it back, fold it and then put your most likely very STIFF clothes and towels away.

Personally, I love how eco-good it feels to hang clothes out on the line. It is a total green action filled with love and respect to Mama Earth… But honestly, the end result sometimes leaves me feeling like a new slogan for line drying should be:

Line Drying: Say Hello to Saving Energy and Say Goodbye to Soft Towels!

Damn scratchy towels. They can almost ruin all the good things that go along with line drying like the exercise you do get while you enter this laundry Zen-like state hanging clothes. Something inside you will enjoy it very much, I promise. And it’s a great green action to tap into the natural solar and wind drying options available in your backyard. Your clothes will get dry, you’ll save money and you’ll acquire a sense of appreciation for the laundering process that you totally miss out on when you choose to be lazy and push the dryer button. All the green goodness really does help you overlook some of the rough aspects of line drying.

Maybe I should ask the experts over at Project Laundry List about the damn towels. I’m sure there’s lots of natural options to soften up the scratchy things like maybe adding vinegar to the wash or an all natural fabric softener that works like magic and doesn’t cost as much as you’re saving from air drying.ย  Because that would be silly.

But this is All Natural Me – We don’t line dry to save money…

We line dry to save the world!

tn48.jpg All Natural Me Wants to Know – How do you dry?

16 Replies to “Line Dry Clothes to Save The World”

  1. I line dry as much as i can…sometimes if it rains i let my laundry pile up…

    although if i’m really in a jam…wait untill off-peak energy hours, use of energy is cheaper…check with your local power company!!

    and there’s always the drying rack in the bath tub overnight…for light delicates or handwashables…

    i feel better about my exsistence on the earth even though it’s not as convenient as a dryer….i know i’m not wasting and i am saving the needless burning of fossil fuel.

    learn to love the sun….worship the sun..it gives you life

  2. Our family line dries! Although truth be told….our towels get put in the dryer for about five or so minutes to soften…evereything else is fine straight from the line. ~much love

  3. I try to line dry, but truth be told – more often than not I use the dryer. The only reason for this is that I have really bad migraines that are triggered by light … so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that going out in the sun to hang my clothes (and my usual “free time” for this is mid-day during the boys’ naps) isn’t too good for me. With the boys being so little still and our house being the way it is there really isn’t anywhere to set up indoor racks. I told my husband I wish I could rig up a pully-line system where I could pin the clothes up indoors and then run them out on the line — kinda like the images you see of lines hung between city buildings!
    That said – I LOVE LINE-DRYING!! I do it in the winter even (obviously when migraines are at bay)! If it is going to rain I will often rush out there just to hang up the clothes (ESPECIALLY the towels!!) so they can get that beautiful rain in them!
    I use vinegar as my softener as well. I’ve heard it keeps your clothes from fading as quickly in the sun as well (and for the most part we don’t have a problem with that, so I guess it works).

    Oh – and just have to throw in this fun history fact: people used to lay sheets over large herb bushes (such as lavender and rosemary) in order to scent them as they dried. Makes me want to plant these type of bushes underneath my line!

  4. I am proud to say that we are now line-dryers. For my birthday in July, my favorite present was our new contraption to hang our laundry on! We had been in an apartment for 2 years, so it wasn’t really convenient to line dry everything. But, thankfully after our last move, we have a large yard for our new “dryer”.

    I must admit however, the scratchy part kills me too…so when I pull the towels down, I fluff them in the dryer for a couple of minutes on low, and the stiffness is gone. I know I’m not completely earth friendly when I do that…but it is much better than the 60 minutes it used to take to get soft towels! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Nickie,
      You can, if your dryer has thi, use the “air” setting for a few minutes. It’s using the dryer, but no heat, so that is good. This is also good for removing pollen that may get on clothes from line drying during high pollen days.
      If you have to use some heat though you can use it as a chance to add some scent to your clothes: just add several drops of your essential oil of choice to a small “rag” cloth & toss in the dryer with the clothes. Anything more than 10 minutes seems to kill the smell, but 10 mins or less & your clothes have a nice scent (I love to do this in the winter with peppermint e.o.!).

  5. Does anyone have tips for line drying in more humid climates? We’re originally Colorado natives where it was super simple to line dry and now we live in Atlanta where….well obviously some days it feels like you could wash your clothes outside instead of dry them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you live in a humid climate can you line dry your clothes effectively? I’d love to if it’s possible so help if you can. Thanks!

    1. Brandy,
      We live in Southwestern VA and it gets just as humid here! On really humid days it can take all day or more for clothes to completely dry, no matter how hot and sunny ~ and even then sometimes they’re still damp to the touch. If I know we’re going to be having humid days I either don’t hang, or only hang clothes that I don’t mind leaving out for several days till they’re dry. I make sure to hang most clothes inside out to help hold off bleaching (sometimes wrapping the bottom hem of a shirt over the line & clipping it like that rather than allowing it to flap open and catch the breeze).
      Also, try to bring your clothes back in before it begins to get late .. the later it gets (at least here) the damper clothes will be. Try and get them while the sun is still up.

  6. I live in a semi-arid climate zone, and I have always line dried. In fact, I don’t even own a dryer. Somehow I managed even when the kids were small.

    One of the tricks I have learned over the years is to hang the laundry in the evening and take it in as early in the morning as possible. This has two advantages: 1. the laundry does not seem to go stiff and hard, as you are all talking about; 2. it reduces the danger of fading in our strong sun.

    This system does not work that well of course in the wet season. But luckily I have also always had indoor lines for those times.

    Just think what can be learned on reading all of this. I never knew about the vinegar that can be added to the rinse. I will try, and then get rid of chemical laundry softener.

    Maybe some drops of one’s favorite essential oil in the rinse will also leave the desired fresh smell?

    1. I’ve been wanting to get back to line drying, but know that one of our dogs would find the chance to play “tug-of-war” to irresistible. I will have to try hanging them in the evening, when the dogs come in, and then taking them back down in the morning when we let them back out.
      As far as addding scent: if you’re used to commercial softeners with scent, it will take a while for your nose to detect much.

  7. I’ve been thinking of line-drying for some time now. I’m glad that someone posted a link for an outdoor pulley kit, as I would love to be able to hang them out the window…or inside.

    I do have herb bushes too, and Mama Taney shares a great piece of advice for drying sheets with a natural scent! Thanks for that!

  8. Ok so I’ve been telling my husband for the 100th time to get a clothes liner for our back yard. We live in an electric house, so using the dryer is very expensive. He finally got the liner and I was excited. But then he was complaining that the clothes doen’t smell good! Ok, the towels may be stiff and the clothes smell like the sun, but it beats paying hundreds and hundreds more every month. And his family lives with us and I don’t think they like to use the liner cause they prob like the convience of pushing the button. And my son and I have allergies, so they were like hanging the clothes outside will make it worse cause the pollens will stick to it. But his allergies started a week before I hung it outside! And he still has it even I don;t hang his clothes outside! Any opinions?

    1. I posted something really similar above (ok actually I’m just tweaking the old post here) – but here it is tweaked for you ๐Ÿ™‚
      *To combat allergy concerns (and we have them too – so I KNOW this works) — You can, if your dryer has this, use the โ€œairโ€ setting for a few minutes. This removes pollen and possible other allergens that may get on clothes from line drying.
      *For the “Scent Issue” – Just add several drops of your essential oil of choice to a small โ€œragโ€ cloth & toss in the dryer with the clothes, on LOW heat. Anything more than 10 minutes seems to kill the smell, but 10 mins or less & your clothes have a nice scent (I love to do this in the winter with peppermint e.o.!).
      ~ You can do them both at the same time if needed and combat two issues in one swoop. Yes, it involves using the dryer, but at least it is very minimal usage, which is better than a full-run time! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I ‘solar-dry’ most things, weather permitting, but use a horizontal pole instead of a clothesline, an actual clothes rod as used in a closet. Mine was a second-hand find from a clothing store, supported by a. I hang the clothes on plastic hangers and they dry just fine. I’ll rotate them sometimes and take in the dry ones. Don’t have any trouble with fading, either, since they don’t get full sun.

    Putting them away is a snap, I just hang up up again in the appropriate closet. I have a clothes rod in my linen closet, too, so my sheets and towels just hang up as well. Drying shirts and pants on hangers makes them look neat, as if, pressed, and the sheets look like they have been ironed.

    Labour-saving and space-saving, too, in my tiny backyard here in Toronto.

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