A few years ago, our dryer broke. And because our dryer broke, twenty-plus of my sons “nappies” suddenly needed to find a home before they were useable again. It was also early Spring. Since it snows well into May in Utah, I set up make shift clotheslines in our sun room and let nature do her trick and drip dry our clothes. This lead to an amazing discovery: line drying is an amazing GREEN trick (in terms of the environment and its money saving value). I learned there is no better ‘whitening’ disinfectant than the sun, and one can forgo the harsh perfumes, dyes and chemicals in fabric softener and bleach. I took my ‘invention’ outside that summer. (Obviously I didn’t invent line drying, but it was such an ‘ah-ha!’ moment for me, it felt that way.)
Drip Dry DIY
At home, we don’t do anything fancy: wood clothespins and some thin rope between our fence and a post from our deck. Sometimes (ok, most of the time), when I’m outside with the gentle summer breeze blowing in my hair and a basket of unmentionables and mentionables on my hip, my mind wanders and suddenly I’m a sun-kissed curvy bombshell akin to that Italian goddess in Il Postino. Who knew laundry could be so sensual?
It’s not that line drying will suddenly make you the lead character in a foreign flim or romance novel, but it could leave your laundry 50 shades whiter and put some extra cash in your pocket with savings on your energy bill.
Already an air-drying master? Please share your tips!
Interested in giving it a go? Here’s a few helpful starter sites:
Line Drying Your Clothes:
- TLC’s How Stuff Works: Tips for Line Drying Your Clothes includes answers the big question on how to keep jeans and towels from going “stiff’.
- TammysRecipes has great tips, including building a lower line so kids can help too (think socks!) Hello family F-U-N time! We are definitely doing that this year.
- Greenest Dollar – the mother-load of articles includes ideas for all types of air drying – for those in banned communities (who knew line drying was so controversial?!?!) and tips for inside drying.
- You can purchase clothes lines, but if you’re the DIY type, here’s a six-step tutorial on building your own.
I’m sticking with my own make-shift variety for now, but will close by wishing you a happy and green Earth Day!