By guest_author on ט׳ באלול ה׳תש״ע (August 19, 2010)
Drying your laundry outside on a clothes line can save you quite abit of money and is easier than you may think. Yes, I am talking about the good-good-old-fashioned method of hanging your clothes on a laundry line to dry. Over the past decade or two this has become somewhat of a rarity. In fact, many developments and even entire cities now prevent you from hanging your clothes outside to dry. It is a shame, especially when skipping the dryer has quite a few benefits including being better for the environment.
I just love the smell of air and sun dried laundry. There is nothing else like. No fabric softener or scented dryer sheet can come close to that smell. Your clothing will also look better after drying out in the sun. Sunshine is a very powerful stain remover and will get your whites whiter. Unfortunately it will also fade color over time in dark clothing, so don’t leave it out there any longer than you need to.
The biggest reason to use a laundry line is that you will save quite a bit of money over time. Let’s start with the obvious. Your dryer uses quite a bit of power. That power isn’t used if you take a few minutes to hang damp clothes outside. By the way, hanging up laundry isn’t has hard or labor intensive as you may think. Just take them outside, pin them on the line and then let the air do the rest. After that it’s just a matter of taking it down, folding or hanging your clothes and putting them away (something you would still need to do with the dryer anyway).
You should also keep in mind that dryers aren’t exactly cheap. By using yoru dryer less (or not at all), it will last much longer, thus putting off the purchase of a new one. This alone adds quite a bit to your overall savings. But it doesn’t stop there…
Dryers put off quite a bit of heat and during the warmer months, your air conditioning has to run longer and harder to compensate, adding to your power bill and thus the total cost of running that dryer.
I’m sure you have noticed that dryers aren’t exactly gentle on clothes and wear on them over time. That of course results in you having to go shopping for new garments more often. Of course that can be fun, but it also can cost quite a bit of extra money over time (which you could be saving by hanging your clothes out to air dry and thus being able to wear them much longer.
Does all of this add up to suggest that you need to throw out your dryer? Of course not. But I hope the points above inspire you to rethink using it for everything. Sheets and towels for example are easy to line-dry. String up some twine across a spot in the back yard and hang them out to dry. Next you may want to give drying your whites out in the sun a try. I am sure you will be impressed by the stain removing powers of the sun.
You may also want to consider getting a small drying rack that you can use either inside or outside depending on weather conditions. Use it for shirts and blouses as well as socks and the likes. The rack does not use a lot of space and it is light and easy to move. Best of all it will keep your clothes looking their best longer.
Another great way to save on laundry and be more environmentally friendly is to make your own laundry soap. Here’s a recipe for my favorite homemade laundry detergent . It cleans as well as any commercial product and is quick and easy to make. I also like this easy homemade laundry detergent recipe. Give both a try and see which one you prefer.