Have Fun Hanging Out–The Laundry, That Is

     My very favorite household job is hanging out the wash.  I enjoy just about every aspect of it–the feel of the damp clothes, pinning the items to the line, the faint dampness that fills the air in our dry New Mexico back yard. 

     Then there is the pleasure of taking the dry clothes off the line.  They smell great!

     So why am I writing about laundry?  Because using a solar, wind-powered clothes dryer (aka the clothesline) is a pleasurable way to act on behalf of Mother Earth.

     Letting your dryer sit, inactive, while you air dry your laundry saves significant energy.  Any household appliance that generates a lot of heat, like a clothes dryer or a dishwasher, is a big energy guzzler.  In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, clothes dryers are the second biggest user of household energy.  The energy these machines consume is so great that the Energy Star efficiency labeling program for appliances does not even include dryers.

     There are more advantages to air drying your clothes than saving energy:

  • You will likely save more than $100 per year on your utility bill.
  •  Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
  • Clothes smell better, without adding chemicals used in the dryer that may be toxic to the body and the environment.
  • You needn’t fold clothes the moment they are dry, as with a dryer, to keep them from wrinkling.
  • Your clothes will last longer.  No lint.
  • Clothes won’t be shrunk or twisted, as with a dryer, and there is no static cling.
  • Then of course there’s that heavenly smell.  There’s nothing like it.

     You may be saying you don’t have room in your yard for a clothesline.  Not to worry.   You can air dry your clothes indoors just as easily.  Just choose one of a variety of indoor clotheslines.  Many of them are retractable, so they stay out of sight when not in use. 

     Fortunately, a clothesline is not a big investment of money.  Whether for outdoor or indoor use, there are a great many types of line available.  On one online site, I saw lines ranging in price from $22-$290.  Many sturdy lines cost well under $100.  

     So I hope you’ll get started.  You might just enjoy it. 

     If you want to browse online for the clothesline that works for you, visit the Clothesline Shop:


     For lots more info about air drying laundry, visit Project Laundry List:


     Finally, I attach below a short excerpt from an article I loved reading years ago and have never forgotten.  Written by Craig Wilson, “Three Sheets to the Wind:  the Only Way to Dry,” was published May 8, 1999, in USA TODAY.

Clothes hanging is a work of art. Done properly, it can put a Calder to shame. It takes on a life of its own. Shirts shudder. Pants dance. Towels flap and snap.

And the smell! Let me die with my face in a sheet that’s been hanging on a clothesline all afternoon.

3 Responses to “Have Fun Hanging Out–The Laundry, That Is”

  1. Sondra Says:

    Thought you might be interested in knowing that in our subdivision, we cannot hang out laundry. . . .nor have a laundry line at all. . . .interesting what ‘advances’ we have in this world, we get to have a lovely view, and a nice and safe community. . . .but cannot ‘go back’ to the simplicity of hanging out laundry.

  2. April Says:

    This banning of clotheslines is something I’ve been thinking about. I know that many ‘upscale’ housing communities have covenants that forbid clotheslines. I happen to think this is a silly, snobby attitude. Maybe as people’s consciousness is raised, along with the price of energy, people will return to the pleasure–and practicality–of hanging out their laundry.

  3. Retractable Clotheslines Says:

    Nice Post!!! This blog is brilliant as it nourishes and inspires those who are concerned about mother earth. It illustrates how line drying techniques could be effective and help manage electricity consumption, which would have been used by clothes drying appliances. It also describes the advantages of air drying e.g. line drying clothes in sunlight acts like a disinfectant, the clothes smell better and need not be crushed in dryer’s drums. I gone through one of the web site http://www.breezedryer.com/ that also works on protecting the environment by emphasizing on using air drying techniques.

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