Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let It All Hang Out: Why Line Drying is Better

In my part of the world, it is now officially summer.  And summer usually means sun-filled, warm days.  Those days are p-e-r-f-e-c-t for line drying your clothes.   Instead of firing up the dryer, why not harness the power of the sun and fresh air to dry your clothes?   While it may sound like a major inconvenience, I can attest that it really isn't.  Whenever possible, I hang our family's (clean) laundry out to dry.  Sure, I have a dryer like most modern households, and I use it (as little as possible), so I won't pretend like I don't.  It's kind of a philosophical thing with me, but I won't bore you with that.  Back to hanging up the clothes... It doesn't really take that long to hang them up, and if you do it right, there is no need for ironing (score!!) when you take them down and / or fold them!  So here are some reasons why line drying is better:

  • Saves energy.  The average dryer uses 875 killowatt hours of electricity a year. 
  • Clothes last longer when air dried vs. being beat up against other clothes in the dryer.  All that lint you get from your dryer is the result of your clothes breaking down.
  • Save money!  If you're saving energy (lower utility bills) and your clothes are lasting longer... you are automatically saving money.  A little tidbit of info:  Over its expected lifetime of 18 years, the average clothes dryer will cost you approximately $1,530 to operate.
  • Save time- yep, that's right.  I may be going out on a limb here and I am sure some would argue against it.  But if you hang up your clothes right, you won't have to spend time ironing.  They will be crisp and ready to wear!
  • Make some Vitamin D!  In the 10-15 minutes it takes you to hang up and take down your clothes (rough estimate based on personal experience), you can get a healthy dose of sunshine.  In addition to aiding in the absorption of calcium, there is new research to suggest that Vitamin D can do a lot more than that for us. 
  • Breathe some fresh air.  Studies have shown that the air inside our homes can be 10 times more polluted than the air outside.  So enjoy some deep, cleansing breaths while you're hanging up your duds.
  • The sun is a natural disinfectant, brightener and stain remover.  
  • And finally, your clothes will smell great!  I don't know anyone who doesn't like the clean, crisp smell of clothes or linens that have been hung outside to dry.  Even if you don't use fabric softener (another topic for another time), your clothes will smell clean and fresh.
Granted, I live in a place that allows such things.  Many places with HOA's (home owner's associations) do not allow it, which is kind of funny since clothes dryers didn't really become common household appliances until the 1940's.  So if your city, town or neighborhood doesn't allow airing your laundry, there are alternatives such as collapsible drying racks that you can put up inside (or on a deck or patio in your back yard if you want to be sneaky!).  

For additional reading:




A Google search for clothes lines or drying racks will return oodles of options from which to choose.

1 comment:

  1. Good offering miss Amy.

    This is a great "BlueZone" activity