5 reasons to line-dry your laundry

I‘m not a luddite—I love technology. I love the ways it enhances our home life in so many ways, from storing our food at adequate temperatures, to washing our clothes so that we don’t have to work our hands raw with a hand-cranked wringer.

But there’s something soothing about line-dried clothes. I love hanging out laundry to dry when it’s warm, watching it flap in the breeze and shine in the sun’s reflection.

(And fellow Americans—did you know that most of the world line-dries their laundry as default? We’re the exception here.)

Here are some of my favorite reasons for line-drying clothes during warm weather.

1. It saves money.

This is the obvious one. Dryers use up a lot of electricity—almost more than any other household appliance. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that an electric clothes dryer accounts for almost six percent of a household’s annual electricity consumption.

That may not sound like a lot, but consider how many items in your home use electricity. If you average $100 a month for your electric bill, your clothes dryer accounts for $72 per year. That’s almost another month of electricity in your home.

All I know is, when we line-dry almost exclusively, our electric bill is considerably lower. That’s a good enough reason for me. A portable drying rack isn’t too expensive (and it folds up nicely by the washer), and clothespins are only a few bucks.

2. It saves the clothes.

Yes, dryers make your clothes softer, but they also weaken the fabric’s fibers faster than if they had been air-dried. All that lint after a cycle in the dryer? That’s fabric slowly wearing off of your clothes. It’s gradual, sure, I prefer buying fewer quality clothes, so I want them to last as long as possible.

clothesline

3. We go through less laundry.

Since line drying takes a (tiny) bit more of my time, I’m more aware of whether our clothes actually need to be washed, or if they could be worn another time. I’m not sure, but I think it has something to do with the act of hanging out our clothes being more an activity than just tossing them into the dryer.

 

4. It uses fewer chemicals.

The sun is a natural whitener, so when you put thoroughly wet whites out on the line, the stains fade naturally. No need for bleach. In fact, I hear putting wet whites directly on fresh grass to air-dry gets them stunningly white.

Dryers cause static cling, and the ingredients found in dryer sheets is a criminal line-up of carcinogens. Line-drying takes cares of this need.

5. It’s therapeutic.

I genuinely like hanging out clothes to dry. Most of the time, it’s a few minutes of peace with my thoughts, doing something quotidian and methodical with my hands. It’s a simple act of service for my family.

When life isn’t crazy, I usually do a load of laundry several times days a week in our small, European-made washer. It’s a quick and painless process, with a toss into the washer, then a trip onto the clothesline.

A few hours later, I take down the clothes, fold them immediately, put them away, and… that’s it. So, not that much extra time than using a dryer, except for the few minutes to hang them.

I get some good thinking done. While my body is busy doing something rote and routine, my mind is free to wander.

Tips for clothes drying

• If you don’t like the stiffness of line-dried clothes, you can give them a quick spin in the dryer for five minutes after they’re dried. It’ll soften the fibers a bit.

• Plan your laundry colors with the sun’s peak. I aim to have my whites drying in the late afternoon, when the sun is at its brightest here.

• Clothes will line dry even when it’s cooler or wetter. Simply put them under a roof, like a covered patio or balcony. And if you have a drying rack (as opposed to a permanent clothesline), you can bring your drying laundry inside overnight.

• Get the kids involved, and this will eventually be normal to them. My four-year-old hangs the clothes in all sorts of artistic ways (which I often have to re-do later), and my toddler loves emptying and restocking the clothespin basket, handing me one as needed.

Don’t let this be another “should” in your life, but give it a go, if your neighborhood allows it. (Americans, you’ll be joining the rest of the world.)

p.s. – 40 ways to go green at home (besides recycling).

If you feel like the chaos outweighs the calm in your home,

first, take care of the basics.

You already know what to do—you just need to do it.
Focus on just ONE thing at a time, and you'll conquer the overwhelm.

 

224 Comments

    • Mrs. Not the Jet Set

      I love to line dry my clothes too! I made myself a clothes pin apron. There is something about wearing that apron while hanging clothes that makes me feel connected in spirit to my grandmother.

      Mrs. Not the Jet Set´s last blog post…The Millionaire Next Door Book GiveAway!

      • Amy

        I LOVE a clothes line. I’ve finally got my first place with a yard (bye bye city life!!) and my first claiming of the space was to set up a line for my cloth diapers. I really should expand and do all our clothes, which for some reason I hesitated at. My grandma, though, reminded me about how I’ve always loved line drying, back when I was a little 8-year-old helping her hang up their laundry on their old Iowa farm. Something about those wooden clothespins was just delightful… And it looks so beautiful and tidy when you’re done! And, Reason #7, it’s a fantastic way to spend some peaceful time outdoors.

        Ps, Mrs. Not the Jet Set, tell me more about this clothes pin apron!! Do you have a pattern or pic you could share?

    • Rosetta

      Does anyone know why garments/linens smell the same no matter where they’re dried (Alaska, Kentucky, California)? I love the smell and have lines on my back porch. I’m just curious about what in our environment makes this happen.

    • ron

      good frost kills germs, old wooden pegs, lay woolens flat to dry, I have done it so often……

  1. Shelly

    We just started line drying our clothes this summer…I love it!!! I don’t know why, but they seem to dry faster…maybe its luck, but I’ve always been able to immediately switch the washer to the line…unlike waiting for the dryer!

    You’re totally right about the calming effect of hanging the clothes! Like your son, I remember running through the sheets on the line…much to my mother’s displeasure! Didn’t realize it until I typed this, but I always walk through the clothes instead of going around to get back indoors….love the feel of cool damp sheets billowing in the wind! Ahhhh…summer!

  2. Leanne

    Here in Australia line drying is pretty much the norm. It’s great for all the reasons you outlined. Some days it’s about all the quiet time I get! I sneak out to the line and just enjoy the fresh air and solitude. Other times, my kids love to help with the pegs (they’re too small to reach the line).

    I love Melissa’s reason as well. Line dried clothes seem to smell so fresh. I’m sure some days I can smell the sunshine 🙂

    The (rotary) clothes line also makes a great jungle-gym for when mum isn’t watching 😛 I found mine won’t wind up today because my little people have been swinging on it *sigh*

    Leanne´s last blog post…Benefits of pets for kids

  3. se7en

    I love line drying and even though it is mid-winter we are persevering and only doing washing on non-rainy days… My motivation in the past was because I just love sun dried clothes: http://www.se7en.org.za/2009/02/01/saturday-spot-the-laundry

    But just recently our national electricity company decided to up our electricity tariff by a 1/3 – ack! And now simply for frugality I will not use our tumble dryer unless absolutely desperate. Tumbling has definitely become a luxury and is not affordable for the average family in Cape Town.

    se7en´s last blog post…Teaching Kids to Declutter in Se7en Steps…

  4. Brandie

    You’ve inspired me – we live in a home with a “old-fashioned” clothesline in our backyard, but I have never dried a single thing on it (other than draping the slip and slide over it).

    I don’t know if I’m ready to make the move to dry all my clothes on it, I can definitely see drying our towels, sheets, rugs, etc. (And give me time, I might progress to the rest…)

    Brandie´s last blog post…Normal

    • Elizabeth

      I have been line drying since I was old enough to do my own laundry and helped my mother long before that…so 50+ years. I use my dryer for the piddly things that drive me nuts when I hang them…socks, underwear, tees that will stretch on the line, etc. I genuinely enjoy the rest, so why diminish a good thing. And I’ll keep the dryer things until all the wash loads, no matter the color, are done, so that I am not drying teeny loads. Sheets are the absolute best. Towels can always be thrown in to air dry for a few minutes if they are too hard…I don’t add softener. Take tiny steps…no reason why anything has to be all or nothing.

  5. breanna

    fantastic post! read the title and thought, “meh” but by the end of the post I was like, “I MUST START TOMORROW!!!”

  6. Aimee

    Tsh, it’s SO therapeutic! I’m sure few people realize this until they’ve actually sat back on the porch with an iced tea and watched little footie PJ’s swinging in the breeze.
    Great post!

    Aimee´s last blog post…Pecan-Streusel Coffee Cake

  7. steadymom

    I totally love the smell of line-dried clothes, but I have to admit – I REALLY love using our dryer. In fact I whisper a little prayer of thanksgiving for technology every time I put a load in!

    We’ve line-dried in the past – when we lived in the UK and in TX before we got a dryer.

    Jamie

    steadymom´s last blog post…The Little Red Hen Revisited

  8. Nicole

    my cousin just purchased a house with a line out back and i was jealous to see it. we live in a townhome so i’ve not tried it here.

    previously, when i lived overseas, line drying was the only way. i have to admit that some of my clothes seemed pretty stretched out and tough after that period of life.

    any suggestions as to how to keep clothes from stretching out during the line drying process?

    Nicole´s last blog post…Summer Vacation for the Soul

    • renee @ FIMBY

      It depends on the clothes you own. We wear a lot of quick dry outdoor wear – for outdoors, camping, hiking and casual home wear. These clothes keep their shape very well because of the polyester in them. But I know what you mean about cotton stretching out.

      renee @ FIMBY´s last blog post…Raspberry love

    • Tsh

      Do you hang them upside down? We hang all our basic shirts and pants upside down, and they don’t stretch out. Anything wool, definitely dry flat.

      • Kika

        I do notice a difference with my favorite t’s so those, I dry on my drying rack rather than the line and they don’t lose their normal shape.

    • Rache

      I hang trousers and jeans by the hem to stretch them and prevent creases so I do t have to iron. Tees and elasticated items should be hung by their strongest point- the collar or shoulder seam or the waistband of trousers / skirts to stop the weight of them pulling the fabric out of shape. You could also use hangers on the line. Some things are better off dried flat – heavy knits and delicate items that might stretch. I’ve learnt the hard way, my parents have a laundry room and dry inside so outdoor line drying was new to me when I moved away from home, and I lived with stretched hem tees for a couple of years!

  9. Kylie

    Hi, Im kinda shocked thats its not the norm in the US? Here in NZ we all have clotheslines and we usually only use the dryers in winter – and not all have them. We recently purchased a dryer as I have just had my second child and where I live it gets very cold in the winter. I hang mine and my husbands clothes on the clothes horse in front of the fire but the kids clothes go into the dryer (only in winter), and I miss that fresh wind smell lol. I must admit that I have never used a dryer sheet before :-p and don’t actually know what they are! hehe
    Kylie

    • Tsh

      I’m pretty sure the U.S. is the only country in the world (and perhaps Canada?) where line drying isn’t the norm. In every country I’ve been, both to visit and to live, almost no one has a dryer. That’s the case where we live right now. 99.9% of the people line dry their clothes.

      • Mrs. White

        This is so interesting!! It is amazing to hear how other families in other countries live their normal, day to day lives.

        Blessings
        Mrs. White

        • Tammy

          Your right Tsh, line drying isn’t the norm in Canada either. Many communities are not even permitted to have a clothes line, because of “aesthetics” and the possibility of lowering home values in the area… sounds ridiculous to me. Luckily, we live in a community where clotheslines are not banned, but we are the only ones I have ever seen who hang our clothes out to dry. I love the process too and often have good chats with our neighbour from deck to deck while folding laundry from my drying rack.

          • Lori

            you are right – in Burlington, Ontario you can not have a clothesline

          • Angel

            This is true but also, changing. The government can’t push people to conserve energy on one hand and then disallow clothes lines on the other. 🙂

            I finally got my line up this summer and I really, really, really love it. I got metal clothes pins that don’t break and will hold ANYTHING from Lee Valley. They’re awesome.

            I’m totally going to make myself a clothespin apron! What a great idea.

            And I echo the therapeutic comment. Something so calming about hanging clothes. I love it

            I only wish my line was longer 🙂

      • Shannon

        You’re very right. I have lived in NZ, Aus., and Japan. I now live in NY and NO ONE here in my town dries their stuff outside. They look at me like I have three heads when I tell them that I do. I love it though, my little bit of Kwi here in NY.

      • Elizabeth

        I live on the East Coast of Canada and clothesline are quite common, other than wintertime. My children live in Ontario and are not permitted to have a clothesline. I get so frustrated to listen to their politicians talk about ‘green initiatives’ without even realizing how hypocritical it is.

    • Samantha Mason

      Hi I’m kinda shocked to see for yourself just to theartofsimple.net/5 reasons to line dry your Laundry/

  10. Joan

    Not only is line-drying ‘not the norm’ in the U.S., in many places it’s illegal!

    Check this out for more info: http://www.laundrylist.org/index.php

    When I moved to Italy from the States, I was very disheartened by the lack of electric dryers, but I have since learned to embrace natural, line drying as a way to save money and the environment. (I do miss fluffy, soft towels!)

    • Tsh

      Yes, I do miss fluffy towels as well. Sometimes we’ll throw those in for 15 minutes, either at the beginning or at the end of the drying process, and that seems to do the trick.

    • Clara M

      It’s grounds for eviction in my apartments. =(

      And there are no hook ups for either a washer or dryer in the apartment. But they have a coin op laundry room in the buildings. So you can go pay them even more money to get your undies clean.

      • Vcwalden

        This spring I moved into a rent controlled apartment complex. According to my lease it’s not allowed to dry laundry on our patios. We have to pay $1.50 to wash then day a load of laundry. I have gotten around this by only paying to wash only full loads of laundry (usually I only have 1 load a week for clothes and one extra load a month for a load of sheets/towels). I hand wash single items if I really need them in between loads. I put an extra shower rod in the shower, I do the laundry in the evening, hang during the night (I have a collection of pants hangers I got free from the stores when purchasing clothes) blouces/shirts on regular hangers and the rest on the pants hangers, and in the morning I put everything away. I don’t think I spend anymore time doing it this way then using a dryer! I make my own laundry soap, use vinegar in the rince and my clothes smell great! My neighbors think I’m crazy but I think I’m being smart!

  11. Shannon

    With little ones I also find that it’s a nice break to the morning to get out and hang laundry. After getting dressed, breakfast, and some chores we go out at around 10 and hang laundry while my boys play in the grass. They like being out there as much as I do.

    Shannon´s last blog post…The Benefits of Fermented Food: Introduction

  12. Stephanie Cosme

    Thank you SO much for the link to Soapnuts! I have been searching for a good natural alternative to detergent. Naturally I just bought a new bottle yesterday, but back to the store it goes.

    Stephanie Cosme´s last blog post…just for you, internet

    • Tsh

      I adore Soapnuts. I’ll never go back to using anything else.

      • MightyMighty @ Letters

        How much do you think soapnuts cost per load? They look expensive.

  13. Stacie @ newmommyhelp.net

    I had no idea of the energy cost of using a dryer. We don’t have the option to line dry because of HOA rules. Ugh.

    We use soap nuts too. I don’t think we need a softener now, but I do like to add essential oils for a fresh scent.

    Stacie @ newmommyhelp.net´s last blog post…When Should I Begin Potty Training?

  14. Deb

    I love to hang my laundry on the line!! Like you, I usually spend a lot of time in prayer or just praising God for the beauty and the sounds around me. I’ve actually had people be sad for me because I must not have a dryer since I’m hanging out my laundry!! Seriously!! I just smile and tell them there’s a perfectly good, working dryer in my laundry room. I just love to hang it outside.
    Blessings!
    Deb

  15. Tricia

    One point not mentioned about line drying, and at least for me is very important…I won’t line dry during allergy season which for us is spring and fall. Wet clothes would attract pollen spores and I’m miserable enough as it is without actually wearing the pollen on my clothing. Winter is out, obviously, so, for us, that only leaves the summer to line dry.

  16. Meghan

    Tsh, what kind of clothes line do you use with your limited space? I don’t even have a covered porch or balcony, so I’ve always thought I’d have to wait until I have my own yard. Any suggestions?

    Meghan´s last blog post…sometimes

    • Tsh

      Mine is like this. I definitely didn’t spend $50 on it, though! But I love how compact it folds up — I store it between some cabinets and the wall because it folds up to about four inches wide.

  17. Ann

    Great post! We don’t line dry as we just don’t have the room in the back yard and I think our HOA would flip out if I used the front yard. However, our laundry has become much more eco-friendly over the past few years. First, our son was born with VERY sensitive skin. We switched to detergent with no perfumes or dyes (no more expensive than regular), and cut out the fabric softener and dryer sheets. Honestly, I like our clothes better since we switched. No powerful scents, so residue on the towels – just clean clothes. The other big change? Our old washer/dryer finally need to be retired and we bought a front loading washer. I couldn’t believe the difference. My clothes dry in less than half the time. Amazing!

  18. genny

    I started line-drying my clothes several months ago as part of my ongoing effort to go green gradually. Changing habits is not hard, it’s just habitual! I have found that it is actually easier for me…not only does it save money and help the environment by lessening my impact, but while it takes longer to hang the clothes than to toss them in, that is easily made up for in time because I fold the clothes as I go. My habit in the past has been to take clothes out of the dryer and leave them there…sometimes for weeks…I hate to admit…as more and more clean clothes piled up and got wrinkly (I dislike folding). But since I’ve started line drying, I fold immediately, put away sooner, and lessen the need for an iron because the hanging of the clothes often is enough. Overall, it’s cut my time with the laundry!

    genny´s last blog post…Tomatoes!

    • Tsh

      Yes! I do the same thing, too. I love folding as I take the clothes down. Such a time saver.

    • Jen

      My kids (10 & 13) are responsible for their own laundry. We began hanging our laundry on drying racks over the winter months and they’ve grown to love it simply because it means they don’t have to fold their laundry or put anything away! They simply grab what they want to wear from their drying rack – LOL. This summer I am using our drying racks out on the deck for faster drying of my laundry as well as my husband’s and the household laundry, but the kids still enjoy having their racks in their rooms so we just put them in front of their window fans for faster drying.

  19. Meg Evans

    I’ve been using drying racks since last summer. I’d love to have a line, but there’s no place to run it, so for now, I have to make do with the racks. I love taking the time to hang out all the laundry. Slowing down the process makes it seem like less of a chore–if that makes sense. Since it takes longer than the dryer, I can only do two loads a day max. Now I’ll do maybe one load a day, and it feels like just part of the daily rhythm–hang the clothes out in the morning, bring them in warm and folded at supper time.

  20. lorchick

    i LOVE line drying! (can you tell? considering my blog name? LOL)
    you forgot to mention the SMELL! Man, oh, man. See, we’re fragrance-and-chemical-free over here, for the most part, because my mom has Multiple Chemical Disorder Syndrome. (allergy-like reactions to chemicals including ‘fragrance’ and ‘parfum’ from ingredient lists)

    In the winter time I dry things on a rack in the basement, my furnace is down there so it’s actually not too too bad. But nothing beats the summer, with the breeze and all… YUM

    some other tips:
    -if you are trying to get a smell, like smoke or fabric softener, out of say, a thrifted garment, leave it up on the line for *a few days and nights*. The wind and the sun and the dew will do it’s work. I’ve done this for some FANCY PARTY DRESSES for my then 6mos-daughter. It was the only thing that could get the smells out without damaging the garments!
    -don’t have room for a laundry line, you say? You can buy retractable ones! I got mine at canadian tire, and I will pick up another in fall to put in my basement. Not as convenient in some ways, but it tucks away nicely.

  21. Lindsey

    I’m a HUGE fan of drying clothes out on the line. I’m one of the lucky few in my area who can line dry. Most people are not allowed to due to neighborhood covenants. When I lives under those restrictions, I would set up two folding racks outside to dry my clothes. In the winter I like to set up the racks over our heating vents inside which helped to dry them quickly. I had never heard of those dryer balls, I’ll have to try them out. I admit I hate ironing, so I do put a handle for items in the dryer so I don’t have to iron out any wrinkles!

    Lindsey´s last blog post…making more dish towels

  22. Sarah

    I line dry my clothes, towels, sheets and diapers as much as possible. Living in Texas, there’s plenty of sunny days and I’m constantly surprised by how fast things dry out there on the line!
    I find it incredibly therapeutic to hang clothes on the line and I love to take that time to listen to the world around me that I’m often too busy to notice. The birds are singing, the breeze through the trees ruffles the leaves and the locusts can be heard in the distance. It is very peaceful.
    My only tips for line drying are to hang sheets, folded in half, open side down (keeps leaves, grass or what-ever from getting stuck in the crease and the corner pockets.) Hang clothes by their bottom hem to pull out wrinkles as they dry (pants/shorts get hung by their legs.) Fold towels length-wise and hang from their ends, also to pull out wrinkles.
    Enjoy your day!!

    Sarah´s last blog post…Redefine your Pillows!

  23. ran

    We don’t line dry now, but when my boys were little and both in cloth diapers, I line dried them. I can still remember when I would think I could get one more load dried on the line, before winter set in, in IL, and would bring in board stiff diapers! I loved line drying, and yes it was a bit of solitude and peace to go hang them out. Now my boys are grown and I am working full time, which doesn’t allow much time for laundry.

  24. Chele

    I do love the idea of it but with 6 people in our family the dryer really is convenient! Maybe when they are all out of the house! LOL.

  25. Karla @ Mom's Potluck

    I’ve used 1/2 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle of the wash as an alternative to fabric softener. It also removes the musty damp smell that towels can sometimes get.

  26. Denise

    I arrange my laundry loads so half of the wash goes out on the line and half in the dryer. So in the end I have a 2:1 ratio But I really should hang most of it out.. need more line space though!

  27. Cheryl

    I love line drying my laundry – LOVE IT! I find it to be quite meditative, plus I love the smell. People are always commenting on my laundry line of clothes.

  28. Tsh

    About line drying being illegal in certain parts of the U.S., here’s an interesting little news feature story: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5153411n

    Frankly, I’m a bit embarrassed to be from a country that values the aesthetics of a clothesline over saving money and energy! And in fact, I rather like the look of clothes drying in the breeze.

  29. RF

    We also use vinegar in the rinse cycle (instead of fabric softener) to soften cloths and help remove all the soap residue. We turn our colored clothes inside-out to help prevent fading. And we hang almost everything upside down. It works well! We put ~1 load of clothes in the dryer every 2 weeks or so. I have several shirts that become stretched out and loose their shape when we line dry them; and these are primary the shirts I wear to work. And I too miss soft, fluffy towels – but I think it’s worth it.

    • karen martindale

      to fluff up line dried towels put them dry into the tumble dryer for one minute only. They come out all fluffed or hang them in the rain.

  30. patti

    I started line drying last summer when our energy bill was super high. I love it…our clothes are fresher and so is my mind (a bit of free therapy).

  31. Milehimama

    I did the math and figured out it costs me 50 cents per load to dry my clothes in the dryer.

    I have the formula to figure out how much it costs here:
    Save $ Drying Clothes

    My husband hates the feel of line dried clothes – but fortunately, for $2 a week his work’s uniform service will do his workclothes!

    Milehimama´s last blog post…7 Quick Takes

  32. Anitra

    I rarely hang clothes to dry. Why?
    1) It takes longer – tossing everything in the dryer takes about 2 minutes. Hanging a load up on the rack takes 15-20 minutes, and another 5 minutes to take down again.
    2) We don’t have a clothesline, only a little folding rack. So I can only do 1 load at a time, and it generally takes several hours out in the sun to dry the clothes.
    3) With heavier clothes like pants, or the inserts to our pocket diapers, I usually end up having to put them into the dryer ANYWAY.

    It’s a great idea, and when I was growing up, my mom did it every time the weather was sunny. It just doesn’t work for us.

  33. Lee

    I line dry all of my clothes, some of my daughter’s, and none of my son’s.

    My favorite tip that I figured out this year is a rolling clothes rack. I roll it over to the washing machine, hang my clothes straight out of the machine on to the rack, and since we don’t have a “laundry room”, I roll it into the guest bedroom out of site while the clothes dry . When we do have guests, it collapses easily and goes under the guest bed (I got it at the container store). This saves oodles of time over taking them out to our porch, and works in all weather.

    Lee´s last blog post…Photo of the Day

  34. Heidi @ Mt Hope

    What timing, Tsh! The other day I got so disgusted at having to run my dryer on a really hot day (we were getting ready to go on vacation, and I *had* to get the laundry done). I had no line nor clothes pins. While on vacation, I visited a friend who is very environmentally conscious and also lives a beautiful farm life. I got jealous of her clothes line. 🙂 Immediately when we arrived home, I purchased a really nice drying rack. Our last 4 loads of laundry have dried in the sun. Wahoooo! I was *just* returning inside after hanging up the last load and read this post.

    I am going to dry as many loads outside as possible. The issues that might be tough: with 3 little boys, we go through *a lot* of laundry. This would be okay, I guess, if we had a large clothes line outside, but the drying rack is not going to be able to hold all our laundry. We also live in a damp area. There will be many months of the year when drying outside isn’t feasible. I’ll try bringing the drying rack inside. Also, I don’t really care for the stiffness of our clothes when they are dry, and I don’t really want to go to all the effort of line drying only to put it all back in the dryer! Maybe at some point I’ll prefer stiff clothes. 🙂

    I also think I am going to invest in a rotary clothes line for outside so that I have room for more laundry.

    I haven’t used dryer sheets in a very long time. Decided I’d just deal with a little static clean and avoid the cost/chemicals.

  35. EB

    I’m pretty sure line drying is forbidden in our HOA, but we have a retractable line, and I’m careful to only have the line up when there’s stuff on it. No one can see except the people who live in the house behind us b/c their house is 2 story.

    EB´s last blog post…3 birds, 1 stone

  36. Shannon

    I had my manfriend install the brand new clothes line that I’ve had in the garage for a few years. I LOVE IT. I wait for sunny days to do my laundry.

    But it’s been rainy and wet for a week. Does anyone hang out clothes when it’s cold (13C) and damp, but not raining?

    I can’t hold out much longer!

    • Kika

      Where I live 13 C could be considered warm 🙂 I’d definitely put the clothes out even though it’ll take longer to dry. Sometimes at the end of a coolelr, humid day my clothes may still feel a bit damp and I’ll end up throwing them in the dryer for few minutes.

  37. Kimberly

    I am planning to begin as soon as I can walk on our grass. (new sod) I just recently read that a new Colorado law allows for retractable clothelines overriding HOA rules and regulations. Our neighborhood rules have kept me from doing it in the past. I am so looking forward to getting started!

    Kimberly´s last blog post…In a Pickle?

  38. sarah

    I have tried in the past to use a clothesline, but I tend to think my clothes smell absolutely awful after being out there. I wonder why this is? (sometimes my hair smells the same way and I have to wash it when I get back inside because it makes me feel ill.) Perhaps there are chemicals in the air? Also, I’m lucky if I have a chance to throw my laundry quickly into the dryer – I suspect hanging up clothes somewhere might take a wee bit longer than I have. Of course, then there is the problem of where to hang clothes here. We share an outdoor space with the owners, but there is no line out there (and if the dog is out, I can’t go out – she barks her head off and runs at me). I’d bet someone here has a creative solution that I’m not thinking of! 🙂

  39. Becca

    No one has mentioned that the truly lazy can hang their clothes on the line, right on hangers! You would have to hang them anyway, so why not hang them wet? (doesn’t work so well for jeans because if they are folded over they take forever to dry). It even saves things from dents from the clothespins.

    Yesterday was humid, but i really wanted to dry the cloth diapers outside anyway. They took 4 hours before I brought the folding rack in, and they weren’t even dry, but it was starting to sprinkle. Ironically the microfiber inserts were much drier than the heavy duty prefolds.

    Becca´s last blog post…Making the Trek to the Bishop’s Storehouse

    • Tsh

      I’ve never thought of that before! But that’s so simple and brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Kika

    I love my line and even like crunchy towels! When I use my dryer (which is most of our harsh winter) I use dryer balls and dry certain things on rack (my undies/t.shirt, for example). During high-allergy season I dry my sheets in the dryer too b/c my allergies are ridiculous. In many ways I find the line easier – I can fit three loads at once and not worry about folding straight away.. .they can all be folded at the end of the day. Still, if I’m feeling particularly stressed it feels easier to use my dryer. When I look out my kitchen window and see clothes drying on my line I feel HAPPY.

  41. Lee

    Can I add one more thing? When I want something dry extra fast on a hot day, I hang my clothes on the porch from the “ribs” underneath the porch roof. That way if it rains, I don’t have to be home to rescue my clothes. Also, we are renting and I don’t have to get permission to put up a clothesline.

    Lee´s last blog post…Photo of the Day

  42. Rachel

    I love to line dry our clothes. For all of your reasons, and then these others: I love the way they look on the line, in the sunshine – especially the linens; my bedsheets and cloth napkins are crisper than when they come from the dryer, and I don’t even have to think about ironing them; and finally, line drying is a ritual that refuses to be rushed, and I love that little bit of mandatory slowness in my day.

    Rachel´s last blog post…Mama Said There’ll Be Days Like This

  43. Janmary, N Ireland

    I LOVE to dry my clothes on the line, and here in Ireland it is the norm – despite the amount of rain we get!

    I posted about this at the end of May on my blog – with photos of my line, and was amazed to discover this was not the usual thing to do in many places.

    I too love to pray over the clothes while I hang them (when I remember) and I love it when my kids “help” too.

    Janmary, N Ireland´s last blog post…Online Poster Printing Canvas Print Giveaway

  44. Faerylandmom

    Currently, I can’t line-dry for lack of a line. Or rack. Or the $$ to get either, even used. Too many other priorities…which bums me out. BUT…I have discovered a marvelous product that eliminates the need for drier balls, fabric softener, or dryer sheets. Charlie’s Soap. It’s not as cheap as making your own, but it’s cheaper than commercial detergent, because you only use 1 Tbsp. of powder for a FULL load. 🙂 Very nice. And…my clothes come out of the drier sans static, VERY clean-smelling (no fragrances in the soap), and SOFT.

    That’s my story for now…still holding out hope for a line very soon. 🙂

    Faerylandmom´s last blog post…I *Knew* It!

  45. Melodie

    Along the lines of the sun’s bleaching effects, it is the only way to get out the stains of a breastfed baby’s poop. Those yellow poop stains look awful but they completely come out when line dried. Not when dryer dried though.

    Melodie´s last blog post…Foodie Fridays: Simple Pleasures

    • Tsh

      Yes. And I find for non-breastfed poop, too! 🙂 I was so surprised at how well those poop stains come out just from the sun.

  46. smilinggreenmom

    Great post!!! I just bought a line and clothespins too 🙂 I am so excited to get it ready and am even more excited now 🙂 Thanks!

  47. Zoe

    I LOVE to use my Solar Powered Clothes Dryer! 😀 I like “crunchy” towels. Who needs a loofha. hehehe… I love the smell of them, how white they get my daughters cloth diapers. I also like to hang my jeans on the line. They stretch out extra and it makes me feel like I have lost weight! hehehe

  48. Kelly Feinberg

    I have a little rack that I set outside, but I need to find a way to have a line. I don’t really want to buy a freestanding line–too expensive. I’m intrigued by the last picture. Maybe I can anchor something to the house? Anyway, great ideas here.

    Kelly Feinberg´s last blog post…More Recycling in the Garden

  49. desiree fawn

    We are finally moving to a house in two weeks & I’m SO thrilled to have an opportunity to line dry our clothing — AND our diapers!!

    desiree fawn´s last blog post…Fawned Friday

  50. pam shensky

    I do not think my family of 30 years has ever slept on sheets dried in a dryer. Line dried sheets are so sweet and remind me of my childhood. I wanted to add that all five of your reasons are great, but there is one more – clotheslines are essential in tie dying. My 14 year old daughter is reviving the sixties here and tie dyed 15 T shirts – check out the picture on my web site http://www.sketchesofmyday.com

  51. Asha

    Have never seen any other way than line drying around here… I’m not even sure if we get clothes dryers in India 😀
    Silks and handlooms are always dried indoors or in the shade because they tend to fade faster or shrink.
    I wear a lot of handloom cottons with vegetable dye prints – which also needs to be handwashed and starched!

    • Tsh

      When we first moved here, I hadn’t thought about how line drying is the norm in every country but America. So we had to special order our dryer from the appliance store, and it took six weeks to arrive. Now, I hardly use it — it’s mostly a counter for my laundry basket and clothespins! Every now and then it gets use, but very rarely.

  52. Kim @ whatsupbird

    I have line dried for years both inside and out. I think drying ruins clothes and makes them wear out faster. It pains me to think I of what I paid for a nice top and then watch the dryer suck the color out of it. Also I purchase boutique clothing for The Bird and no way that stuff is going in the dryer. Mainly it is our better clothes, but I figure every little bit helps. I have a great picture of my laundry hanging under the market umbrella on the porch last summer and will have to add it to a blog post.

    • Max

      That is SOOOO incorrect the truth is that the rays of the sun make colors fade out of shirts sooo much faster than in the dryer.

  53. Elspeth

    I’ve been line drying every since we bought our house six years ago and the previous owner left her traditional pulley line hanging in the back. Works great for diapers and naturally bleaching those nasty stains.

    Indoors, we have a mounted rack on the wall along the tub. The Leifheit Telegant is a life saver when it’s raining outside. When not in use, it folds away in a second and looks very discreet.

  54. Laura

    I love it but the neighborhood does not…also Line drying is not nearly as effective in getting rid of germs…say the ones clinging to your underwear or from someone who was sick…using the dryer is the only way…especially if you are like me who uses cold water washes. You even have to be careful when you transfer wet clothing cause you can contaminate your hands. I say this cause most people don’t know. We have an imunosuppresed person in our home so we are careful.

  55. Peggy

    I had to laugh when I read your post. I have two aunts who LOVE to hang their laundry on the line. And I hate it. It was my job growing up to put the laundry out and take it off the line so maybe that is where it stems from. And because I tend to do my laundry at night (when my electric rate is lower) using a clothes line would not work. I remember flinging bugs off clothes. And my mother rewashing what the birds hit. So since I have so many trees around me, line drying was not on my list of priorities. Although I will admit, I do love the smell of sun dried laundry.

  56. Carol

    I love line dried clothes! I’d dry everything on the line, but dh doesn’t like crunchy towels. I’ll have to try the dryer for a few minutes and see if I can fool him! I don’t like laundry per say, but I love using a clothes line, you’re right, it’s kind of therapeutic!

    Carol´s last blog post…7 Cheese Tortellini Salad

  57. Carmen

    I don’t line dry my clothes outside right now, I use drying racks inside. We used to live out in the country with a clothesline in our backyard. Blankets, sheets, comforters, etc. dried outside on the line smell just heavenly!!!! That’s one of the best smells. I agree line drying your clothes makes them last so much longer. This is a great post.

    (I popped over from Nester’s bl0g)

    Carmen´s last blog post…Hooked on Fridays

  58. Lorilee

    I have been blessed with clotheslines in each of the 3 homes I’ve live in as an adult. My Mom and grandmothers all had clotheslines. I use my dryer in the winter when I am teaching and the days are cool and short! I love the smell of line dried sheets and towels. I also get to watch the birds and butterflies in my yard while I am hanging out the clothes. Our neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA (thankfully). My clotheslines are in the backyard and we have a privacy fence. I also have 8 chickens tucked away in a small run in my yard!
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

  59. Rowena @ RiseFallNeverQuit

    I also come from a country where line-drying is the norm. There were only a handful of families in our little town who had dryers (but I don’t think they use it either). I agree with you, it saves a lot of energy and the fabric does not wear out so fast. Unfortunately, now that we’re living in a small flat (with a very active toddler), hanging clothes would not be a good idea (for now).
    But just like breastfeeding, I think hanging clothes is now gaining more popularity than in the past decade. And that’s a good thing!

    Rowena @ RiseFallNeverQuit´s last blog post…Six Things You Should NEVER Tell a Mom

  60. Debbie at the Shabby Bungalow

    I only found out recently that it wasn’t common practise in the Us to not hang your washing on the line. Here is the UK as soon as we get any decent weather which is far and few between we stick our washing on the line – I love it! Here is apost from my blog and a fellow American commented on the washing on the line and thought it looked nice 🙂

    http://theshabbybungalow.blogspot.com/2009/05/so-happy-with-my-console-table.html

    Debbie at the Shabby Bungalow
    xxxx

  61. Satakieli

    Growing up my mum always line dried everything. If the weather was bad (as it so often is in england) there would be row upon row of laundry along the large stair banister and every radiator in the house. It would always cause lots of condensation to gather on the windows on cold sundays while my mum was cooking a sunday roast dinner, one really potent memory from my childhood.

    Drying clothes in a dryer was always a weird concept to me, when I got married to an American and moved to the states I found myself without my own yard and nothing to hang laundry on to dry. I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do and ruined a lot of my clothes in the dryer.

    Now we live in Germany, we live in an apartment. The only place we’re allowed to hang a line is in the basement (which is full of spiders and other such creepy beasts) the yard is shared so we can’t hang anything there. I ended up buying one of those indoor clothes lines from IKEA and setting it up in the spare room. On cold days I end up recreating the condensation on windows memory from my childhood. I love it.

    Satakieli´s last blog post…Break

  62. Stephanie

    Oh how I miss line-drying my laundry. I was able to do it in my first 3 homes, but we are not allowed to hang laundry here, and I miss it. Line-dryed bedsheets – yummy!

  63. Melinda

    Yes, I’ve been drying clothes on the line for 2 yrs now for my family of 6. All my friends pity me and my lack of a dryer but I don’t mind. Except on rainy afternoons which are frequent in Florida in the summer. But the rest of the year I enjoy my quiet outside time. My load per day record was three. I was able to dry two on the line and one inside on the drying rack:). I’m rather proud of that:).

    • Teri

      The family that lived here before us had a large family. I got 5 loads of wash on the line. It’s a triple line and it’s very long. Love it.
      It’s funny I think they were large, they had 5. We have had as many as 9 kids living here ( we’re foster parents).

  64. denise

    i typically line dry my clothes in the house causing one bathroom to be covered in laundry. i too line dry because we do not by great quality clothing, and line drying DOES make them look nice longer (i’m also an obsessive ironer). today however after reading your post i ( my husband really) moved the laundry line outside under the patio.
    i am looking forward to brighter whites!

  65. Jessica M.

    I really enjoyed this post. I grew up with my mom line-drying our clothes. When we were just barely tall enough, Mom gave the job to my younger brother and me. I have memories of STRETCHING to reach the line and trying to pin the clothes on with my eyes closed to avoid looking into the sun. 🙂

    I love line-drying clothes for my family now. As many have already stated, I feel it’s therapeutic…a chance to quietly think while still doing an important task. And it’s a great excuse to go outside more frequently.

  66. Lauren

    I agree with all of the points you mentioned. I’ve been line drying my clothes for years now, and have been saving money up until I got a sensor based dryer. Now, I don’t feel guilty using my dryer.

  67. KimC

    We live in Texas, and I’ve been line-drying everything for our family of 11 for about a year now. We started out draping clothes anywhere we could when the dryer broke, but when we graduated to “real” drying racks we decided not to replace the dryer.
    I’m totally in love with <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80119043"my huge IKEA drying rack. It holds nearly 3 loads of laundry, making it painless to keep up with laundry, even with a family of our size. It works indoors or outside, and folds flat when not in use – though it’s nearly always in use for us.

    KimC´s last blog post…Help: need parts for my Kitchenaid FGA

  68. Lynne

    Leeanne from Australia wrote about her kids using her rotary line as a jungle gym. My daughter did too. She used to swing and swing for ages. Imagine – a three year old with actual calluses on her palms and fingers from all that swinging! Her tiny hands felt like a workman’s.

    Incidentally, I’ve never used a clothes drier in my life. It’s outside on the line for probably 90% of the time, and anything I can’t dry outside gets hung on a clothes rack inside. I live in New Zealand in one of the more temperate zones.

  69. Jen

    Wow, so glad I’m not the only one who finds line drying meditative! It really connects me to my Grandma who died this past Easter.

    • Jen

      Our province passed a law making it legal for any and all to have clotheslines in spite of the communities that have forbid them.

  70. jen

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to line-dry my clothes. Thankfully our neighborhood isn’t that hoity-toity and so I have retractable clothes lines that I use daily! My favorite part is the smell—nothing better than crawling into bed with my sweetie between crisp, sweet-smelling line-dried sheets!! Yum! Great post!

    jen´s last blog post…Happy Birthday, Payton!

  71. KimC

    Does anyone read all the comments this far down the line? I forgot to ask: what do you do about lint? After line drying everything for a year, I still haven’t found the answer to that question. Our dark clothes are sometimes so covered in lighter fuzz that they hardly look fit to wear.

    • Mrs. White

      Are you washing your clothes along with towels? That might be the main problem. If not, I have no other answer!

      Blessings
      Mrs. White

    • Karen

      Yes they do read this far down!
      Lint is from washing the wrong things together, all dark washed together would have no light lint to show. wash fluffy stuff together a good windy day helps blow lint away and gets clothing very soft.
      Karen

  72. Teri

    Found you from Nester……..
    Yes, I hang up my laundry. Even have a wooden rack for those items I don’t want the whole world to see. I use the rack on the patio. Love the smell of fresh laundry off the line. I love the smell of it. I don’t have to iron as much as when I use my dryer. Yes, I am a throw back & iron. As for the fuzz on the clothes, you just have to be careful not to mix things too much in the washer. Like, never accidentally wash a pull-up in with the jeans…….it’s a tad messy.

  73. Amber

    I LOVE this post and am in 100% total agreement that line drying laundry is wonderful for so many reasons!! My husband just told me the other day that even HE finds it relaxing to hang up our laundry on the line! Yeah, this is coming from a man!! So seriously…there is just something special about it. <3

    Amber´s last blog post…Fashion from the Fields

  74. Michelle

    I totally agree with your reasoning! After we adopted three more children, I began seeking in earnest ways to become more frugal. Hanging laundry saved us $165 a month on our electric bill! Homemade laundry soap for 5 cents a load was another huge saver. Using white vinegar as a natural fabric softener and deodorizer has been another natural money saver (pun intended). 🙂

    We recently moved cross country and we’re renting until we find a house we want to buy. Last weekend at a yard sale I found an umbrella clothesline for only $2 and two HUGE bags of old wooden clothes pins (the kind without the springs, my favorite)! I was over the moon and still am!

  75. lvlc @ FromMomToMom

    What I love about drying clothes outside is that somehow they smell fresher. I wish I can do this at home but I live in a small apartment where cloth drying lines or racks are prohibited! 🙁

    lvlc @ FromMomToMom´s last blog post…Kids and lies… to laugh or to …..

  76. ChristineG

    Thanks for this terrific reminder with some great practical tips. I am such a frugal, natural type, but the dryer is a big holdout for me.

    ChristineG´s last blog post…All in a Nap’s Work

  77. melinda

    Another reason to line-dry: The clean laundry smells great! I’ve been a line-dry person for 20+ years. MKW

  78. RS

    I grew up with line drying. In the summer, we’d hang whites outside, but everything else was inside (didn’t want the colors sun-bleached). Occasionally had to chase down a sock or two from the neighbors’ yards.
    In the winter, we had set up lines in the basement. Had a dual purpose, since it was so dry in the winter, it helped humidify the air without needing to turn on the humidifier.
    In the summer, unfortunately, we end up running our de-humidifier all the time. It’s humid where I live, so it ends up running a lot anyways, I’m not sure how much less water would be pulled from the air if we were not line drying.
    When I was away in college, it was the first time I ever used a dryer and was appalled with how quickly the elasticity my socks & undies fell apart. There wasn’t any room to line dry, but the second I was living on my own again, I went back to line drying.

  79. Aiming4Simple

    It does take a bit more time to line dry, but not much. It’s a great way for those of us who feel nature-deprived to get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! And my kids (even my 2-yr.-old son) usually want to help me before I even ask!

  80. Leah

    I line dry the vast majority of my clothes, and I love it. I started it to save on bills ($1 to dry in my last apartment) and then just found I liked it better. I dry my clothes indoors almost all the time on drying racks. It’s great during the winter, as it adds a little extra humidity to the air.

    I first learned to air-dry in Europe while studying abroad. The place I was living literally didn’t have a dryer — everyone hung up their clothes. I loved seeing that. Economical and earth friendly is a great combo 🙂

  81. Down Comforter

    Both my mom and my grandma hung everything out to dry. I do hand quite a bit of our things out on the line or in the house. But this has inspired me to do more.

  82. Mrs. White

    I do line dry some of our clothes. But we live in a rural town in Vermont and it is very cold here. It takes a couple of days for the clothes to even come close to being dry, so it is hard. (Even in July!) We have not had much sun at all this summer. I have seen some of the old, historic houses and they have permanent clothes lines on their covered front porches. These housewives had to hang up the laundry even in the winter. How is that possible? (smiles)

  83. Meaghan

    There is just something nice and refreshing about line-dried clothes!

  84. Margaret

    I have included you in Buddy’s Extra Best Blogs of the week with a link to your blog. I hope this brings you many new friends. Great post,

    Margaret

  85. Justin

    Line dried laundry is a no-brainer on clothes that don’t need special attention. Huge savings.

  86. June

    We are going to start line drying our clothes too! It brings back memories of my childhood and will not only be a money saver, but being green too. 🙂
    .-= June´s last blog ..Bookshelf Makeover for $3 =-.

  87. Lynn

    If you like to line dry, you’ll enjoy the Project Laundry List website: http://www.laundrylist.org.

    A fun site with lots of ideas and sources for purchasing all kinds of drying racks.

  88. wandermom

    Hey, I’ve been line-drying for a few months now. Since I like numbers and I was curious about the actual financial impact of this, I monitored the change in my electricity bill: month over month, turning off the dryer has reduced my electricity bill by 15%.
    A nice savings don’t you think?
    .-= wandermom´s last blog ..TBEX Trip Report =-.

  89. Mary Contrarie

    I got rid of my dryer two years ago. I use a clothes drying rack . Then I can move it inside or into the sun or next to the woodstove. I just find it very convienant and flexable. It also saves lots of money!

  90. Jenny

    This post inspired me to buy a drying rack a few weeks ago. It has been my latest favorite purchase! I’m running my dryer much less now and am looking forward to my next electric bill to see if it has helped me out any. Though I am in TX and am having to run the AC so much that it may be difficult to tell – the bill is so high to begin with! Anyway, I’ve loved the idea that I’m doing something good for the environment and my pocketbook! I may even buy one more drying rack or look at installing a line. I have 3 small children one of which is a 7 month old with bad reflux (tons of burp cloths and bibs being used) so we go through a lot of laundry! Sometimes my next load is ready to be dried and the one already hanging isn’t dry yet even in the TX heat.

  91. montanna

    So glad I cam across you blog! I’ve just started to line dry my families clothes, still finding my niche, but I love it!
    .-= montanna´s last blog ..{i want them all} =-.

  92. Michelle

    love the way my sheets and towels smell after line drying. They always smell so fresh and clean. I also DO NOT use fabric softener (liquid) for my towels. They do not absorb as well when you use the stuff. Plus the roughness of the towels help to exfoliate your skin!

    I have noticed that by using the dryer my clothes seem to wear out much faster. And I am easier on clothes now than when I was a kid. So I am back to line drying like when I was growing up. If it is raining or snowing I will use the dryer. I live in NC now, so when it is really cold I will use the dryer as well. But I prefer the clothes line.

  93. BeccaJane

    I LOVE to line-dry my clothes, but I don’t love the stiffness. We live in college housing, so we have to take our clothes to the laundry room and pay to use dryers….so I don’t have the option right now of throwing them in the dryer for a few minutes! So for now, I use dryers….but someday when we have our own house with a backyard, I’d love to have a clothesline!
    .-= BeccaJane´s last blog ..Trying So Hard =-.

  94. Jen

    I have come to love line drying since moving to S. Africa. I never thought I would but I love all the reasons you listed. Whenever we move back to the states I plan on still line drying my clothes in the summer months. Here I don’t even own a dryer and the weather is great for line drying all year long. Because the sun is hotter here than the states I always turn them inside out for hanging. This keeps the color bright!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Tour Guide Destination :: The Waterfront =-.

  95. Jenn

    Hmmm…you wash 5 loads of laundry a week, and save $72 per year.

    Lets say that it takes you 6 minutes to hang a load, and 6 minutes to take it down (can you really do it that fast? I can’t!)…that means one hour per week hanging laundry. So 52 hours per year.

    To save $72.

    Yeah, there is the “clothes last longer” thing…but I don’t even spend $1000 per year in new clothes for my family (of 5 kids & two adults). So even if I saved 50% of that…which is impossible since the kids do grow…I’d only be “earning” $11 per hour for the time spent hanging laundry. My time is more valuable than that.

    I do line dry diapers occassionally to help whiten them.
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Cesarean Rate Information in PA =-.

    • Garry

      Ahh the usual ‘opportunity cost’ argument against something like line drying. You must however consider, would you actually be working during those hours in which you hang up the clothing? (Many jobs have set hours and there is not much of an opportunity to be earning instead of hanging clothes up for a few minutes every few days). If the answer is ‘no’ then the opportunity cost is in fact $0 and yes you have saved that $72. By the way, $72 can be a lot of money to some people, especially families with kids.
      By the way, if you adopted the hang the clothing straight onto clothes hangers and then hang those you can actually save time too.

  96. Kristin Evans

    We just recently moved to South Africa and I came to the realization that most places in the world line-dry their laundry. We do have a dryer which I still use for towels because I like the softness, but I totally love line-drying!

    You are right, there is something therapeutic about it! I love the look of clothes drying on the line plus I love the smell.

    By the way, I also love your site! Just found it the other day and can’t stop reading posts! I’m about to be a first time mom and really need the hints you have here! Thank you!
    .-= Kristin Evans´s last blog ..Dinner Guests =-.

  97. Folks call me Dill

    I enjoyed line drying this past summer. I didn’t do it with each load, but did it as much as time permitted. Our electric bill was 1-2 hundred dollars less than others in our neighborhood. But what really sold me was when I hung our pillow case covers out and how white they turned out!!! I had tried bleaching them and even oxy clean to try to get them white. NOTHING worked, except the sun! Amazing!

  98. ~M

    Tsh, are you still using Soapnuts? How do they work on odor…my husband can stink up a shirt like nobody’s business!

  99. Yasmine

    I absolutely adore the smell of clothes dried on the line in my garden. Even when I’m folding it at the end of the day, I take a few seconds to smell each item (I know, weird!), it’s something unique, you can’t reproduce that smell with chemicals! Here in Quebec, Canada, we can dry our laundry outdoors and every house has a clothes dry line. But we can do it only in summer, our winters are very, very long and very cold with 5 to 6 meters of snow… I must admit that I even have a “mental picture” of clothes drying outside that I use in order to relax in my office when it’s get too stressful. I close my eyes for a few seconds, I see an orchard in bloom with clothes on the line moving slowly in the wind…helps instantly.
    .-= Yasmine´s last blog ..Longing for one more journey =-.

  100. Syvar

    My wife is a huge fan of air drying. If she’s having a bad day, she’ll wash a load of laundry and then hang it out to dry. It invigorates her and completely changes her mood. This is so much so that last year for Christmas her gifts included a 40lb bag of cement, an in ground clothes line and a big black tub. Since we moved to Vegas, she hasn’t had a clothes line. I was able to make her a portable one that sits on our zeroscape patio. Now she’s a happy girl again.
    .-= Syvar´s last blog ..Welcome Ashoka to the conversation. =-.

  101. karen martindale

    light colours reflect light, dark colours absorb. (Test this on a sunny day by putting a dark towel and a white towel on the line together.)
    Why am I saying this? Well apply this to your laundry choices so that on a sunny day do your white wash first give it longer on the line, do a coloured wash second.
    On a sunny but damp day choose a coloured wash. It will often get dry or near, even in light rain.
    In good weather hanging the washing out quite wet last thing at night gives it time to drop out any creases, especially if there is a bit of a breaze. No ironing!

  102. Jane

    We are a family of seven (5 children) living in the S of France. I wouldn’t dream of buying a dryer for all of the reasons you have listed above. It means that the first thing I do every single day of the week is get up, go downstairs, feed the dogs and while they are out, I hang, unhang, load laundry. It is a huge task, but it’s one that I am accustomed to. For those who have always had a dryer, it would be hard to convert. But when you always have and there are a million financial and ecological reasons to continue, it is just natural. And yes, the clothes last WAY longer!

  103. Christy B.

    I love hanging clothes out to dry at my mother’s place–the smell, the process, and yes, the peace! We never did toss them back in the dryer, as they were folded straight off the line, so we wore a lot of cardboard sweaters. 😉

    First time at your blog–lovin’ it!

  104. Heather

    I don’t live in the US, I’m from the UK. I understand that there are various bylaws that unfortunately prevent many residents from line-drying laundry in their areas. It seems to me that outside of the Americas- I’m talking UK, Australia, and Europe, it’s common to see laundry drying in the breeze on a clothesline or “Whirly” on the lawn.
    Even in apartments and flatted dwellings, there is usually an area designated for the washline, and residents share the space.
    I had never heard of clothes being dried in a tumble-drier throughout the year….
    Yes, in the UK during the winter months it can get very cold, and almost impossible to completely line-dry. What do we do? We take the almost-dry clothes in, pop them in the drier for a few minutes, air them and then they are done.
    In Grandma’s Day, everyone made us of free, eco-friendly natural resources to take care of this often huge task.
    I have four children, and I do about four laundry- loads a day. Yes it is a lot. So in order to be as eco-friendly as possible, I was at 30C, use quick-wash cycle, spin well, then hang them out on the line as early as possible, and take them all in at night.
    Couldn’t imagine my electricity bill if I had to rely on my tumble -dryer….!

  105. Dan

    We use the dryer 🙁
    We used the line for several years until our oldest son was diagnosed with pollen allergies, hay fever, etc. Think of your clothes and clothesline being a giant sweeper that cleans the sky by collecting the pollen on your clothes. After he went away to college we started using the line again, but because the other kids have allergies, though not as sever, we have to run everything through the dryer to try and clean off the allergens.
    I’ve noticed that the stuff even bothers me and while I’m willing to put up with the aggravation of sneezing and such, I don’t think it is fair to submit the kids to the torture. I suppose I could give them medications, but if the dryer fixes the problem…

  106. Star

    I love to line dry my clothes! Grew up in Fl. where it was possible to line dry year round. Now live in Maine and it was an adjustment, I so looked forward to the days when the laundry could go out on the line. I’m the only one in the neighborhood who line drys. Unfortunately my allergist has nixed my line drying. As I’m allergic to many pollens.

  107. Megan

    Hi there,

    I would LOVE this … if I didn’t live in Seattle – where we are having the most horrible summer weather EVER! Rain every day… not above 65. YUCK.

    But I love your site! I just saw something that my friend posted and now I am hooked. Thank you for all that you do – it is inspiring!

    • Dianne - Bunny Trails

      Oh my goodness. 65 and rain sounds GLORIOUS!!! We’re frying in Colorado – 90s all the time and NO rain, NO relief, just stinking hot. Wish we could trade!! 🙂

  108. Cassandra

    I put things like comforters and sheets outside as none of us suffer from allergies. We live on a busy road so they don’t alway smell as fresh as I would like. One of the biggest problems, at least the last few years is the weather here in Oregon. Today for example, it was pouring when I woke up and continued to rain until late this afternoon. Maybe summer will get here next month…

  109. Heather

    Love this. My husband was putting a clothes line up for me this past weekend, while I’m out of town. I can’t wait, especially for hanging cloth diapers and sun bleaching them. Sometimes a few moments to yourself each day – whether it’s praying, running or just hanging clothes, is priceless.

  110. Laundry Lady

    I love line drying my clothes, with the exception of jeans and bath towels. I compromise. I laundry day I line day almost everything but I run one load through the dryer of items that we prefer tumble dried. I sometimes throw line dried prefolds in there too to soften up a bit. It is a little hard to put a stiff as a board diaper on a baby. I do love the way it makes my diapers smell, though I doubt our city air is all that fresh. Since we do most of our laundry one day a week, I wish I had more clothesline space. Sometimes I have to wait for things to finish drying before I have room to hang up another load. Plus, if I’m lucky I get six months of the year to hang out clothes before it gets too cold and rainy. But I too find it relaxing.

  111. sabrina

    So glad you re-posted this! My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him to stop by costco and pick up their drying rack ( a long clothes line won’t work for us), but he did it anyway. I am so excited to start using it! I love line-drying my jeans, so I don’t have to SQUEEZE into them when they are fresh out of the dryer. They tend to stretch out so much after 1 wear that they fall off. Not so much with line drying.

  112. Barbara

    Great post. I grew up with line dried clothes every summer in Oregon; my mother had a clothes line installed in our backyard that included six lines. The comment about your toddler giggling made me smile and remember how much I loved to watch my mom hang the laundry so I could then go running through it with my brothers. I also remember the towels drying quite crispy; but a quick spin in the dryer softened them up… I really need to get a line up in my backyard – if it ever stops raining here in Washington! 🙂

  113. Bozzy

    Hi Tsh!

    Hahaha really good tips. My grandmother still uses that kind of method of drying clothes. And our clothes lasts longer like 6 -8 years. Imagine that. nothing beats the natural method of doing things. Aside from that, as you see you clothes hanging… it feels rewarding because oyu have to put effort on cleaning your clothes and not relying it all on machines from cleaning to drying.

  114. Lea Stormhammer

    This is a VERY interesting discussion.

    We have talked about line-drying at our house here. I don’t have a clothes line and can’t put one in (per housing codes for our city, if we had one we could leave it but we can’t install a new one). I do have a large, portable drying rack that I use for sweaters and other things that don’t do well in the dryer and I did use it for drying things when my dryer was down and out a couple of years ago.

    My question is this: My experiences with drying line/rack have mostly been negative. Spots/bugs/bird poo on feshly washed clothes. Taking 4-5 days for clothes to ‘dry’ to damp and musty smelling. I’m assuming the bugs, etc are due to living on a lot with several trees and very little direct sun but my grandmother, who line dried everything except in the very dead of North Dakota winter, had the same problem with tiny black spots appearing on her clothes that I do.

    I’d love to save some ‘extra’ money and extend the life of my clothes, but we honestly don’t have enough clothes to wait 4-5 days after washing for them to dry and I don’t want to have to re-wash and re-dry everything to remove spots, bugs and bird poo (which is VERY hard on the clothes)!

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Lea

  115. Kristy

    All of the above Top 5 reasons in the blog
    but the main two for me would have to be enviromental and money.
    It makes you more conscious, more aware.

  116. Diane

    I have been hanging my clothes out all summer and it makes me so happy! I told my husband repeatedly that it makes me feel like I’m on a farm and takes me back to my youth. Not that my mom hung our clothes out often, but my grandma did and it makes me feel that carefree feeling of summer days past.

  117. Laura

    We have a large family & when my hubby set up our clothesline with 8 lines on it , it made all the difference in the world. Now, I can get 4 loads done by 10 am. Much faster & more peaceful than being cooped up in the house, stuck doing laundry.

  118. Tracey

    Have you ever lost any laundry in the wind? I suppose it’s no different than the dryer eating socks!

    • Kristy

      good quality pegs is what to use. 🙂

  119. Kathryn

    I REALLY wish we could line-dry our clothes, but DD and I both suffer from pollen allergies (and related asthma) 3 seasons out of the year. I switched to dryer balls several years ago, and they work great–thanks for mentioning them. I’ve got a few other suggestions for ways to reduce dryer use, for those who are like me and can’t line-dry:
    1. Set up multiple drying racks and/or install a wall-mounted retractable clothesline in your laundry room or bathroom, if you have the space.
    2. If your washer has an adjustable spin speed, set it to “fast” to wring more water out of the clothes.
    3. Dry several loads in succession to take advantage of residual heat in the dryer. To be the most energy-efficient, dry low-heat loads first, then medium/high-heat loads.

  120. Anu

    Can anyone come up with a disadvantage for line drying 🙂

    Havent got the chance to read all the other tips by everyone. but will do soon.

    Meanwhile I have one — dry the clothes inside out. If you live in a place where there are birds, this comes very handy to combat the bird droppings. Also it helps the pockets and seams dry faster.

    • Dianne - Bunny Trails

      How does drying them inside out help with bird droppings? Now they’re on the INSIDE of your clothes. Ewwww.

      • Kristy

        lol. Dry under cover – verandah, patio, laundry, spare room whatever.

      • Anu

        Ewwww..is the right word :)…And that piece goes back to washing. Sometimes even after 10 washes, when the clothes come out fresh, the stain stays. So inside out it is better.

  121. Lara H

    I’ve always wanted to get a clothesline set up, especially to naturally bleach out my cloth diapers. You’ve motivated me to make it happen! 🙂

  122. Amy

    Love line drying!! I tend to leave stuff in the dryer and then forget about it. When I walk by the sliding glass door and see the clothes on the line I am reminded I need to take care of them. I can be a little scatter brained around the house so this keeps me on track.

  123. Kim @ Homesteader's Heart

    We moved about 7 months ago to a new home. It took about a month to realize what the thing hanging outside the house was.(It was a retractable clothesline!) I thought I’d give it a try and I was hooked. I immediately saw $50.00 shaved off of our monthly electric bill. That’s HUGE! We pay a lot for electricity here in Florida and in the Summer the A/C runs a lot! I will admit that it’s been harder to do now that it’s scorching outside and the afternoon thunderstorms roll in. I’ve had to use the dryer a few times lately and I honestly don’t like it. I really enjoy hanging the clothes out. To me it’s very therapeutic. But the mosquitoes are eating me alive out there. *sigh*

  124. Stephanie Pease

    I used to line-dry all my clothes, and I miss it. My good habits got killed by a lot of things, including my active boys, but the thing that’s really stumping me is the location of the line. The line is in a part of the yard that’s shaded after about 1pm, and it slows down the drying process a LOT. If the clothes are left on the line overnight, they get this weird smell that I have no explanation for – I use homemade powder detergent. So if they don’t get out first thing in the morning, I feel like its impossible. Of course, this is a bit limiting with two boys to get out the door for the days activities… Any ideas for what the smell might be and how to get rid of it? I think that’s my Waterloo…

  125. Betty-Jo

    I would love to hang my clothes out. My aunts always did and to this day my 70 year old aunt still does. I think it was her therapy as us kids were growing up ;D the only reason I don’t hang my clothes outside is spiders lol I have arachnophobia. Do any of you have the problem with spiders getting on your clothes as they dry? We live in the country…there are places in our yard that have no trees though so it would be nice to have line dried clothes. I am enjoying your blog immensely.

  126. Jennifer

    I have no idea if this has already been mentioned (no time today to read through the comments;) but I will check later and see if anyone has any tips about hang drying in townhouses – not a lot of space, pretty sure the strata won’t allow lines outside, and I live near Vancouver BC and we get a LOT of rain), but I DIY’d three dryer balls out of some old holey socks and they seem to be working pretty well…

    Instructions:
    You will need about 4-6 men’s tube socks for a single dryer ball.
    Take three of the socks, fold them together into a rough sphere and shove them into the toe of Sock#4.
    Twist the toe to “seal” off the socks and then turn the sock inside out. Twist and repeat until you have a “sock ball.” If you think the ball should be bigger, just toss the sock ball into the toe of another sock and repeat until it looks finished to you.

    Taadaaa!!!!

    Jennifer

  127. Dianne - Bunny Trails

    I so want to line dry my clothes. The problem is that we have a TON of trees on our property. I can’t come up with a good place to hang a clothesline. I may be able to do the kind where you dig a hole and cement the pole into the ground. But with all our trees and birds and squirrels, I’m concerned that I’ll have tree crud, bird poop, and rotting apples bits on our clothes. I need to pursue this a little further.

  128. Kristy

    Before I started visiting US blogs, I didn’t realise that people actually used a dryer ~all the time~ to dry their clothes. As in… didn’t even HAVE a clothesline… that really ‘spun’ me out (no pun intended!).

    We are in Australia, have hot summers (can kill the elastic, fade clothes) and freezing winters (rain for days on end, temps in the single digits (celcius)). We have birds here, and trees and mad ants and other stuff but line drying has predominantly been the norm. You work around whatever challenges there are.

    We have a line under cover (we don’t even own a dryer), and that’s what we use, but most people dry out in the open. I do know in the tropics up North of Aus where my parents are, that the humidity and endless rain can be a problem, but people simply line dry inside on racks or under the verandah as needed.

    It just blows my mind that it’s a ‘novelty’ or extraordinary in some countries, for people to line dry and that running yet another appliance full time (more emissions, consumption) is seen as ‘ok’ and perfectly normal. Which is not a… whatever the word is, it just surprised me, is all. Good luck to all those giving line drying a go! 🙂

    A bunch of nappies flapping on the line is enough to make me grin 🙂

  129. Kristy

    eta our spiders only tend to take up residence in clothes if you leave them (dry) on the line too long.

  130. Ginny

    I’m guessing some commenters have already mentioned; but for an Aussie like myself it seems extraordinary to read an article about line-drying. Here it’s just normal, the done thing, just what you get used to doing from a young age. I guess a great deal of Aussie households would own a dryer, but it is viewed [in this household anyway] as a luxury to be used only in the direst of circumstances. Cost is the main reasoning I guess, but also tradition – our houses are not really built with big laundries to accommodate a whole inside drying operation.

    An observation from what I’ve learnt. We live in the tropics where summer is the difficult time for us as far as getting everything dried. During that time I use my own system that doesn’t require a dryer. The clothes go on racks, sometimes on the patio, sometimes inside, and are positioned under or beside an electric fan. With the fan going at it highest setting, the clothes dry really quick. And yes, it does use power, but WAY less power than a dryer; and we would generally have the fans running anyway to prevent the growth of mould in the house. [But I have to admit that sometimes when everything gets too much, sometimes a load of washing will get 1/2 hour in the dryer just to ‘finish’ it off.]

    My routine over the last few years, for when things are busy, is to make a habit of hanging one load of washing on the line last thing at night. It feels a big strange hanging the clothes out in the dark! But this means that as soon as the sun is up, my washing is starting to dry, and it frees my morning when I am often busiest.

    I am also loving a routine I have been using the last year or 2 is that all school uniforms/sports uniforms go on a rack that the children can access. I used to find that I was often asked “Where is my ……….?” only to discover that the item in question was on the line [wet with dew], or in a basket somewhere waiting to be sorted. Of course, the children can’t yet reach the line, and I was sick of hunting through baskets in a mad rush in the morning, so now the children know to go straight to the rack and find what they need themselves. It has made things SO much easier for us. [And I have to admit that my husband’s uniforms are also in the same system, because he also was one to ask “Where is my …………..?” ]

    Thanks Tsh for a great article.

  131. Tiffany Larson

    I was taught to line dry my clothes (inside) so I don’t know anything differently. The only things that go in the dryer for a full dry are towels, sheets, socks and undies. Everything else is hung up. I definitely notice that it keeps our clothing in better condition. I’m a huge proponent of it!

  132. Lori

    I’ve tried line drying before but it just doesn’t work here. I live in San Francisco, where it’s “damp” year-round. Stuff just doesn’t dry here! Plus, I live on a major bus route so whatever I’ve hung outside to dry gets covered in black particulate. So not only are my clothes & linens covered in black gunk, they’re still wet! It was maddening.

    After giving it a good try (about a dozen times!), I gave up. The dryer is my friend!

  133. catlin Evans

    I’m an American living in Australia. It’s amazing how line drying is just what most people do here. If people use the dryer they usually feel like they have to explain that it’s been raining for days or something. They’re amazed and mystified when I tell people that it’s not even allowed many places in the US. I get lazy sometimes, but I’m getting there!

  134. Judy

    I like the smell of line dried clothes. Somehow the scent of fabric softener does not smell so great when clothes come from the dryer. Plus drying the sheets outside is so retro. It reminds me of my childhood.

  135. Karen

    There is real skill in line drying; Know your line, which bit gets the most sunlight, a taller bit of line may be best for a long sheet or towel. A bit which goes over a plant is good for short things like dusters.
    Use those dangly devices with pegs attatched to get lots of small things together in little space (also easy to bring them in quickly if it rains).
    Match your wash to the weather, wash towels on a windy day and they will be as soft and fluffy as any conditioner laden, tumble-dried softy. (Even on a damp but windy day you can get washing amost dry.)
    Dark clothes on a sunny but damp day ( black absorbs the suns warmth, white reflects )
    In really hot weather hang very wet washing out in the evening, it will dry flat and need no ironing and will not be faded by the sun.
    A line slung over a paved area drys washing so much quicker than over a lawn. Here in high rainfall, Lancashire in the NW of England, a housewife pondering if the weather is condusive to drying, might quote the traditional saying ”is it drying th’ flags?’
    She would not mean the star & stripe kind of flag flapping on American porchs, but the stone flags that traditionally paved the back yards and alleyways of our tiny terraced houses. If they were still wet then it was not drying weather.
    I once lived in an area of London where the ground landlord was the church, covenent forbade the hanging of washing on a Sunday.

  136. Chelsey

    I line dry (when it isn’t cold or raining) and one thing I like is that it doesn’t set in stains like a dryer does. If a stain didn’t come out the first time around I get a second chance to get rid of the stain.

    I do hang inside sometimes and when I do I hang all my shirts on hangers so they can be transferred easily to the closet afterwards.

    My mom hangs clothes year round. She has to shake snow off of them sometimes. I’m just not that dedicated. lol…

  137. Sarah in GA

    growing up in Nigeria my mom had no other option but to line-dry clothes. when we moved to the Netherlands we found that even though the weather was often damp and rainy people still always line dried their clothes. they had ingenious racks that hang over the stairwells so that the clothes had plenty of room to hang inside. even in damp, they were able to patient and wait a day or 2 for the clothes to dry.
    i now live in the South of the US and i still try to line-dry as much as possible. IKEA has great drying racks for inside on rainy days. however, i noticed i must have gotten lazy when my mom came to visit for a month, was in charge of laundry, line dried every thing, and we noticed a significant decrease in our utility bill. that encouraged me to get back to line-drying again! 🙂

  138. Trinity

    A great tip I found for softening line dried clothes is to add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. I have done loads with and without (when I miss the rinse cycle) and it works great. I buy it buy the gallon but I have a small bottle I use to fill my measuring cup fast without lugging the gallon around or having it on the counter taking up space.

  139. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

    Since I live in a rainy place (and live in an apartment) I don’t line dry. But in the future when I have my own home (and maybe live in a warmer place) I’m definitely planning on line drying.

  140. Shari

    I’ve never wanted to hang our clothes to dry simply due to them not being soft afterwards. Embarrassingly enough, It never occurred to me that I could put the clothes in the dryer later, or when they’re almost dry. I don’t use fabric softener in the dryer. Living in the extreme dryness of Southern Nevada, clothes will probably dry as quickly outside (or maybe even inside) as they would in the dryer!

  141. andie

    hanging my clothes out to dry on my balcony was my favorite household chore when we were overseas. it was so peaceful and i loved listening to the sounds of the city. we didn’t even own a dryer and i only missed it for a couple months in the winter when things took a long time to dry (long time, as in 3 days!).

    we don’t have a place to hang our clothes up here (i don’t know if it’s legal or not, either), but i’ve still been hanging most of our clothes on a drying rack inside. they just last so much longer that way. and i’ve been hanging our wet shirts directly on the hangers. they dry just as well and i don’t have to hang them up later (i’d much rather fold than hang, personally).

  142. andie

    and i think it’s so funny that that dry rack is on amazon for almost $50. ours was like that, but so much bigger, and probably about $10! (of course, no stainless steal, though.)

  143. Audrey

    During the summer vacation from school, I would clean house and wash clothes for my mother. The favorite part was hanging clothes out to dry, especially the sheets and towels. At one time I did not have anyting to wash, so I took the clothes pins out of the bag and washed that, just so I could hang ‘something’ on the clothes line 🙂 Now, many years later, I still enjoy hanging clothes out to dry; not on the type of pole clothes line my mother had ( could hang a couple loads of clothes + ) but in a small squared section on my patio.

    **Still Hanging** 🙂

  144. Marcia

    Another reason to “hang dry” is to get a lot more years of life from a pricey appliance. My electric dryer is 28 years old and has lasted so long because I line dry clothing outdoors except for the winter months. And in winter I hang some clothes in my basement to dry. It just makes sense on so many levels.

  145. Sharon W

    I have never seriously considered line drying because I’m creeped out at the thought of bugs getting into the clothes and me bringing them back into the house. Is this an unfounded fear???

  146. Kelly

    How about 2 reasons NOT to? Sort of said tongue in cheek, but a complete reality where I live.
    1. Fine grain red silt and wind. ‘Nuff said.
    2. House within 45’ of a major roadway thru our small town-you know that saying about airing your laundry….

  147. Ryann

    We live in an apartment without a washer or dryer, so hanging clothes on the line saves us a lot of money (probably more than what we would save just paying the energy bill), and some time at the Laundromat. My only hang up is getting enough line put up to dry a whole load of laundry. Right now I can only dry 1/3 to 1/2 of a washer load at a time. I’m working up the nerve to ask our manager if I can run a line on a pulley system to my neighbor’s balcony…

    I’ve discovered that eco-friendly laundry soaps, like Seventh Generation and Full Circle leave line dried clothes less crunchy than mainstream brands.

  148. Devon Cole

    I’m so surprised how many people line dry their clothes. I also line dry my clothes as often as I can, although hauling out a heavy basket of wet clothes right now 8 months pregnant is not easy and I’m using the dryer mostly. In the south I’ve noticed that some days it’s just too humid to line dry since the clothes have to hang so long in the humidity they fade too much. Haven’t noticed a reduction in my electricity bill but compared to others I know our electricity bill is significantly lower. Cottons do stretch a lot and like someone else mentioned I hang them by the shoulder seams and that helps immensely. Personally I couldn’t live without a clothesline.

  149. Kyle Suzanne

    In Texas it dries faster on the line then in the dryer during the summer.

  150. Cabbage

    I hang all my clothes to dry, but not by choice. We live in Japan, where dryers are expensive and usually inadequate. Since I’m a working mom, I don’t like the time it takes, but I (secretly) find it therapeutic, too.
    The drawbacks are there, too. Clothes do come out stiffer, so you have to compensate with liquid fabric softener in the wash. A few tablespoons of white vinegar in the last rinse mode also does wonders. Also, hanging things out on a dry, listless, windless day will also end up with crispy clothes, towels and sheets. Plus, I’ve noticed my nicer cotton tees don’t have the same bounce, but stretch and wear out faster. My husband and kids’ clothes don’t have this problem. Doing laundry during Japan’s rainy season is like running up a sandy hill.
    And, the biggest problem for working parents, you have to hang it out in the morning, and get it in before the sun sets.
    But one benefit is that we use fewer clothes. I’m constantly in a cycle of wash, hang, put away, wear. Sometimes we just skip the put-away part. I don’t have dirty laundry sitting around for a week in the basket, so we wear the same 3-4 shirts over and over. Over a few years, I’ve learned that we just don’t need to OWN that many clothes, which was a heavenly revelation for a penny-pinching family with twin boys. (twins = double the price of everything you buy, no hand-me-downs.)

  151. Andrea

    I love this post! Yay for clothes lines!! Forgive me if this has already been covered, I don’t have time to read all the comments, but if you hang your clothes on the hangers and then put them on the line this way it will save you time. You only touch your clothes twice, coming out of the dryer and then going into the closet, opposed to coming out of the drying, going on to the line, coming off of the line, going into the closet. Your only adding the step of walking the clothes out and back in again verses, pining and unpinning, then folding/hanging and putting away. The more things you can hang on hangers the better this works. I even found that I can hang shorts, skirts, and pants with belt loops if I use a cheap shirt hanger from walmart. You put the hanger throught the back belt loops. Works great! I also keep some pants hangers for the others that don’t have belt loops. This way everything gets dry without creases from folding over hangers.

  152. Christie

    We saved $50 the first month I tried line-drying, so I was hooked. The bill went from $160 to $110.

  153. Evaleen Locke

    I love line drying clothes! It gives me satisfaction knowing that I can do it for free and that my clothes come off the line smelling so good! I live in Texas and in the height of summer (and sometimes in the spring) a load of laundry can dry in minutes. I grew up in upstate New York without a dryer and dried my clothes next to a wood stove. It was always a nice change to hang them on the clothes line in the summer. I get great pleasure from seeing everything hanging orderly on the line.

  154. Alvina

    Wow … its interesting tips. I also agree if the clothes dryer will spend a lot of electricity. I prefer to use solar energy because I believe the sun will not be left behind stains on our clothes. Clothes dryers also we will quickly lead to tangles and will save our spending.

  155. Kim

    I line dry all my clothes in the summer, but I especially like line-drying bed sheets. They end up so nice and fresh, and a little stiff — which makes them feel fresh to me. Plus, I find that when I do need to put my sheets in the dryer (in winter time), they usually end up balling up and don’t get dry in the middle.

  156. Megan

    My husband and I installed 2 posts and 2 lines in our backyard because I wanted to start line drying our laundry. But every time I do our clothes smell… and not in a good way. I’ve tried researching it but EVERY site is just talking about how wonderful line dried clothes smell, so of course if everyone else’s clothes are smelling great then there’s not much need to go into detail about why mine stink. I know line dried clothes usually smell fantastic. But mine do NOT. They just smell like dirt or something.

    They’re definitely not sour. I keep coming across that situation… I am taking them immediately out of the washer and hanging on the line. They’re not too smushed or doubled up either. That was the other “answer” I have come across.

    So does anybody have any ideas as to what the problem is or how to fix this? I don’t want to have to use they dryer all the time, especially in the summer. I just don’t know how to get that ick smell out or what’s causing it in the first place. It’s definitely not pleasant though. And it’s not faint, either. It’s a “I’m here and I smell weird” statement that I’d rather not have my family be known for.

  157. Pam

    Yes, i’ve been line-drying for a few months now. Since I like numbers and I was curious about the actual financial impact of this, I monitored the change in my electricity bill: month over month, turning off the dryer has reduced my electricity bill by 15%.

  158. Mike

    As far as I know 6% of $100 is $6 not $72, or I misunderstood something

  159. naturally attached

    I really enjoyed reading this and i’m so excited to see how many other people are into to line drying. I have been so sick of running my dryer I am planning on putting up a clothesline ASAP! I’ve been using what i can outside to dry my cloth diapers and even doing that, there’s something therapeutic about it.

  160. Rebecca

    Line drying is great if you live in a country that has somewhat reasonable weather year round. We live in Alberta, Canada and are lucky if we have 1 months of summer a year. And even during those 2 months, the days are very unpredictable, it can be sunny and beautiful one minute and raining the next.

  161. Pam

    You guys are sadly right about Canada, I was really sad when my sister (very green person) wasn’t allowed to set up a clothesline and received complaints over clothes drying racks. When I bought my home it had an old clothesline setup and since I saw it I KNEW I wanted to use it. My husband lived in Sweden for 8 years so he’s used to line drying. He does think I’m a bit crazy for wanting to indoor line-dry in the winters but if I’m going to start off with a 1 month goal and keep building until that machine is not needed (well ‘wanted’) anymore. My area has tons of old clotheslines in yards but besides me I’ve only seen 1 elder lady using hers (I’m 25).

  162. Grover

    I line dry about half my clothes. As an apartment dweller I have limited drying space so I do a dryer load about once every ten days and hang the big stuff out on the balcony. I hate the way laundry smells when coming out of an aging, shared dryer, doubly so if someone has used a dryer sheet recently. So the towels always get the air dry treatment as do the jeans, aprons and kitchen towels. Actually I like the scratchy feeling of air dried fabrics and would happily dry everything outside if I could figure out a workable solution.

  163. Lisa Bashert

    I love hanging up my laundry for all the reasons mentioned above and more. The smell, the meditative time, the sounds of birds, the economy, the connection with my grandmothers, the sunny bleaching factor, the connection with Spirit, the sense of responding to nature and realizing when it’s a good drying day, maintaining sustainable skills, etc.

    I have tried every drying rack and line system known to humankind! I have a retractable line, an outdoor synthetic line, cotton lines in the basement, folding metal racks, folding wooden racks, etc. I’ve always wanted to try the kind that is on a pulley that can be raised up to the ceiling! I’m lucky — down in my basement, our furnace helps dry the laundry hung up on lines and racks down there. Almost nothing (jeans, towels, quilts) takes more than 24 hours.

    Even when cheap folding racks break, I’ve hung up the good sections with eye bolts & string, and keep on using them. Most of my racks, I’ve gotten from thrift stores, second hand. The only one I bought new was from Ikea — love that one, it holds an entire load.

    Some realizations: I used to tumble towels in the dryer (used the old liquid detergent cups for “dryer balls”), but frankly, I just don’t care enough — in fact, I kind of like the stimulation on my skin of crunchy towels. Making my own soap is easy and I can make it smell pretty (ylang-ylang). Always make “pockets” as you hang up the items, to catch the breeze — it makes everything dry faster. Thus, I hang knit boxers from the waistline, with one side drooping — the breeze opens them up. I hang men’s shirts from the hem with one button fastened — they balloon out in the lightest breeze. I hang jeans pinned inside the back placket (above the rear pockets) with the zipper open. Most casual pants and skirts are hung that way to catch the wind. Synthetic men’s pants are hung with the crease, from the cuffs (no pin marks). I usually hang tees from the hem — but yes, sometimes they stretch. Since they’re mostly super casual wear, I don’t mind — I like ’em roomy. But if it’s a tee-shirt that I want to remain “nice,” I hang em in half, with the pins just under the “pits,” to hide the pin marks. They still dry plenty fast, folded over like this.

    I kept the dryer around for more than 3 years while I decided if I was REALLY committed to line drying and, finally, I just had it hauled away.

    I really resonated with the person who said clean clothing used to accumulate in baskets, getting wrinkly and never getting folded or put away — YES. Now I fold as I remove it from the line, it goes right into the basket and right into the drawers. (I’m less good about it in winter — tends to hang around on the racks until the next laundry day…)

    Someday I’d love to replace our creaky nasty 25 year old washer and get something more efficient! Someday!

  164. Krys

    I use a Wonder Wash which costed me $50, and a spin dryer that takes most of the moisture out of my clothing. Hanging them up for an hour leaves them damp enough to get the wrinkles out, and I don’t have to wait more than an hour or two for dry clothes. I dry my dark colors overnight (even though they probably dry faster) in my bathroom and my light colors and whites outside in the sun. Since I make my own laundry detergent and wash my comforter every so often at my parent’s house, laundry costs me about $150 to start it up and $20 a year and it’s ZERO work.

  165. Kate

    Hey, awesome points thank! Was wondering what you do in the winter? Do the clothes still dry in <50 degrees F?

  166. Andi

    I started hanging my clothes to dry about a month ago. I expected it to be a drag, but I LOVE it. I don’t use a clothes line- I use a massive drying rack & a smaller one in our basement. After my clothes are finished washing I run them through the dryer for 10 minutes & then I hang them on the rack to dry.
    Things I don’t hang to dry: sock & undies (I did at first, but they felt stiff & don’t hold their elasticity) & linens.
    What I love that I didn’t expect: it totally keeps me up on our laundry!! I used to wash & dry & stick stuff in baskets & it would sit, sit, sit for days (often longer…) until I would fold it. Now I fold it when I take it off the racks & I can’t put more on the racks until I remove the previous load. Also- I don’t really have to iron anymore! The stuff doesn’t sit & get wrinkled in the dryer & hanging it dry eliminates most of the wrinkles. Win-win. 🙂

  167. Kate

    I have always line-dried my clothes, as has my mom and my grandmas on both sides. I’m from Wisconsin, USA, and nearly everyone in the neighborhoods I’ve lived in has had clotheslines. Usually, you just find sheets on them, but my family likes to put up jeans, sweaters, etc – everything but underwear – on our outside line. The intimates go on our indoor line.

    Even when I went to college (and now in my little bitty apartment) I’ve had a clothes rack to line dry what I could. Admittedly, I only met one other person who didn’t think that was weird (and she was also a Wisconsinite).

    I absolutely LOVE the smell of summer sun dried sheets. 🙂

  168. Amanda

    I just put my first load of the year on the makeshift line I have. I love that I can take a chair and a book an sit inside the little fort of damp clothes to cool off and relax. I also loving that I’m not pumping heat into my already hot humid home and I can keep the central air off.

  169. Diane

    I just started air drying (via a clothes drying rack) and love it! I live in CA and find my clothes dry just as fast on a warm sunny day as they would in a dryer. On those overcast days, I still air dry the clothes, it just takes another hour or so to dry. We have a tiny (and I mean tiny) back porch, that exactly fits three accordian style clothes drying racks. I put the clothes out before I leave for work and they are beautifully dry and so fresh smelling when I come home in the afternoon! I have been using soap nuts for the past three years and will not go back to traditional detergent. I feel good reducing our carbon footprint and have a little extra money in my pocket, not the utility company’s!

  170. jefferson faudan

    i think in terms of the clothes stiffness when air dried depends on the cloth… this usually happens to a pure cotton shirt but not with the mix materials shirt…. the “stiffness” of the clothes however softens when it’s already worn as far as i noticed.

    i think the advantage of line drying clothes is the fact that it doesn’t make a person’s clothes stink nor the sweat of the person make the clothes stink.

  171. CR

    In addition to the electricity savings, keeping the house cooler, and being outside, line drying your clothes greatly reduces the need for ironing if you hang them the right way. Even button up shirts will require less ironing if you pin at the top of the shoulders, smooth the collar down and then fold it allow it to lay over the line. Use your fingers to smooth out cuffs, buttoning areas, hems, etc. Shaking wrinkles out before hanging will also decrease drying time.

  172. Alanna

    Hanging bedding and towels out on the line is my FAVOURITE domestic/household job. It IS therapeutic, like you mentioned. And the smell………mmmmmm……….It also makes me feel connected to Grandma and the big old farmhouse and farmyard.

  173. Sneha Kachhara

    I loved your article. In countries like India, people are still using line drying because 1) they can’t afford fully automated washing machines(yes, majority of them can’t) and 2) They have got plenty of space to do so. Line drying have been so incorporated into our culture(India) that we’ve got designated places for them, mostly the terrace. Every family in sub urban areas and small cities own terraces with in built drying wires/lines holders. My favorite memory is running between freshly washed clothes because in summers it gets way too hot and the wind makes the whole experience heavenly. The wetness and the fragrance is heavenly. Bonus points if your mother(usually) has been out of the shower and hanging the clothes. Every child just loves to go and cling to her mother when she is fresh out of the bathroom and hanging clothes. Hell, we’ve got songs on this phenomenon where the heroine is standing with open dripping hair and the hero just can’t take his eyes off her! Seriously, loved your post.

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