Ever since we moved into my in-laws’ basement, we have been drying our clothes on a clothesline. It started with more as a “When in Rome, Do as the Romans” reasoning, but now it has become just what we do.
Here are a few of the reasons we love using a clothesline.
- Obviously using a clothesline saves on utilities. Appliances with a heating element are a sure energy suck. Whether your dryer is gas or electric, not using it will save you money, though the amount will depend on where you live and what kind of dryer you have.
- Hanging clothes out gives you an excuse to get outside and enjoy some sunshine. It’s easy to get so busy with things indoors that I don’t even go outside (except to tell my kids to come in for dinner).
- In addition to time outside, my clothes hanging time is typically alone time as well. The kids can manage for the ten minutes it takes to hang or take down the clothes. The silence is golden, if you know what I mean.
- The sunshine will naturally whiten your whites. Cloth diapering mamas probably know this trick. The sun naturally bleaches out stains and keeps your clothes looking spiffier!
- You clothes will last longer if you use a clothesline to dry them. All the friction in the dryer wears out clothes more quickly.
- You clothes will have a natural fresh scent.
- Sometimes it’s faster than the dryer. In the summer, by the time I’m finished hanging the second load of clothes (our clothesline holds about two loads worth of clothes), the first load is already dry (I hang them consecutively)!
- You can check to see if stains came out. I don’t know how many times I have intended to check to see if a stain came out before I threw the clothes into the dryer. If you catch a stain before it goes into the dryer, you’ll have another chance to get it out. Once it’s in the dryer, the stain will most likely be set-in permanently. Hanging clothes out on the line, gives me a chance to handle and check each item.
- I usually hang all my socks together on the clothesline. When I take the dry clothes off, I match socks as I take them down. I also fold towels and blankets as I take them down.
It’s not for everyone
Of course, using a clothesline won’t work for everyone. If you live in a really humid climate, a clothesline might not work very well. Some home owners associations have regulations against drying clothes in your yard. If you do your laundry at night, then a clothesline probably won’t be very effective.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
I have heard from readers who have made a clothesline work in situations where others might not. For example, Celeste says:
I live in a one bedroom 740 sq foot condo. I have a rack that I bought at the Amish market that we hang stuff that can’t go on a hanger. Hanger items go on the shower rod in the bathroom. This system works all year because it’s against condo regulations to hang clothes outside.
Some people just prefer their dryer, and that’s okay too. There are plenty of other ways that you can choose to save money. However, if you are looking to cut down on your utility bills, then give the clothesline a fair try!
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