Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Line Drying

A few weeks ago when my dryer broke I put up a clothes line and started hanging laundry outside. At first I thought, ok, I can do this. Maybe a few loads a week would be managable to hand out on the line. I didn't expect it to turn into a long term habit. I didn't think that is was very realistic that I would be able to hang all of my laundry out since there is 6 of us in the family and it seems like laundry is a never ending chore for me.

But I was wrong. I love hanging my clothes and now I hang all my clothes with the exception of socks(there are just too many of them!) I have permantly changed the way I do laundry. It really has worked out well for me. Here are a few things I have learned about line drying.

1. Toss towels and jeans in the dryer for 5-10 minutes after line drying to get the crunchies out of them.
2. I hang all of my dark clothes in the shade to avoid fading.
3. Hang shirts upside down to avoid clothespin marks.
4. Bring clothespins inside each night to avoid getting them wet with dew and making them start to splinter.

Have any suggestions you would like to share?

Linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. I've heard that stains come out with the sun...Pasta, blood, etc all the hard things!

  2. I use an old radio flyer wagon to bring my wet laundry from washer to clothes line.

  3. I use a clothes line most of the year. I have a milk crate on its side for me to put my laundry basket on while I am hanging or taking down clothes. This saves my back!
    Never ending chore is right! I am doing laundry for 2 adults, 2 teenagers, 3 children, and all of my daycare stuff! I feel like I spend more time with my washing machine and clothes line than I do my own husband.
    For the socks, each of my children (and my husband) have a lingerie bag that they put their socks into when they take them off. When I wash their socks, about once a week, I zip the bag and toss it in the machine. When I hang the clothes out, I just hang the bag up. When the clothes are dry, the socks usually are also, and the entire bag just gets put into each child's pile. No more sorting and folding socks for mom!!
    All of my clothing, and especially dark stuff, I turn it wrong side out before I wash it. Then when I hang it up to dry, the sun is not fading the outside. My kids have gotten so good that all of their laundry is wrong side out when they bring it to the laundry room.
    Last thing, clothes the good ones. They are a better quality and don't splinter on you. My first set was from Walmart. I LOVED those ones! Then I was at the Dollar Store, and bought cheap ones, and I HATE them!!
    I think thats all :)
    Enjoy the quiet time while your hanging laundry :)

  4. a ha!~ told you it was awesome! It is so cool just how much faster it is to get the stuff done too.
    Watch your utility it will be going down nest month!

  5. I finally got my clothesline up this year. We're also a family of 6 and when I do the sheets it takes up all 3 lines but they fit. My biggest problem was the stiff towels but someone also suggested the dryer for a few minutes and it helps. Now I just have to plan laundry days around the rain.

  6. Kimberly-

    Great idea on the socks! I love it! I may just have to try that out! It would take some serious training to get my kids to do what you have done. Great job!

    I put my basket on top of the kids little picnic table to save me from bending over so much!

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  7. I'm a huge nerd when it comes to line drying. :>) You can see my Frugal Friday post on it here. I enjoy spending a bit of time outside hanging things, and I love not having to use the dryer so much.

  8. We don't have shade or dew here! But, we do have LOTS of dust! And 25MPH+ winds (on a regular basis). Line drying here would end up with dusty clothes--if they don't blow away altogether in the high winds.

    Plus I can't imagine hanging four loads a day outside when it's 110º for 4 months of the year.

    Enjoy your shade! I keep in the only shade here--indoors--and am thankful for a gas dryer which is inexpensive to run.

  9. I agree with you! My dryer broke two years ago and I have never had it fixed. I have gotten two clothes drying racks for my winter and rainy day laundry. It is great to now how much money I am saving as well as the more important aspect of I am at least doing a little bit to protect the planet for my kids.

  10. When my dryer went on the fritz and I lived in an apartment (no place for a clothesline), I put my clothes on hangars and used door jams for makeshift clotheslines! The hangars lined the laundry room and spare bedroom doors. You could use this idea on rainy days. Put the clothes on hangars on their owner's door jam!

    Another idea - put them on hangars to hang outside and use the clothespins for spacers. No folding to do and the clothes will already be hung! Use plastic shaping hangars NOT wire ones!

    If you have cheaper hangars that leave shoulder marks, you can put the shirt on and dampen your hands and pat the ridges down. For years I did this to make my shirts last longer because the dryer is what wears out your clothes.

    As far as crunchiness of clothes, I find that wearing them a few minutes softens them, but I always preferred dryer towels. Blessings to you!