Creativity Magazine

Repost — Back to Basics: It’s Time to Get a Clothesline / Start Line Drying

By Legosneggos @LegosnEggos

This is a repost from last year, on a topic I feel strongly about — going green, especially when it saves money and adds quality to our lives!:

Going over our rising electricity bill each month gets me down.  One major source of our problem that I’ve been suspiciously eyeing is our old electric dryer, which has been requiring a double-run for the past few months to get clothes past the damp stage.  So I decided this weekend that I’m doing something drastic.  You got it — I’m getting back to basics and utilizing the solar dryer and installing a clothesline in my backyard. I don’t think that 4 hours is too long to wait for a load or loads of laundry to dry.

Why switch to drying via clothesline, especially when you have pets that could potentially tear down items and run with them?  I must take my chances given the following information:

  • Electric dryers use five to ten percent of residential electricity in the United States!(Some say it cuts their electricity bill in half!)
  • Save money (more than $100/year on electric bill for most households).
  • Conserve energy and the environment.
  • Clothes and sheets smell better.
  • Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?
  • It is physical activity which almost anyone can do.
  • Sunlight bleaches and disinfects

According to Breeze Dryer ”Clothing hung on a line lasts longer and smells fresher. All that fuzz that collects in the dryer’s lint basket is actually your clothing breaking down thread by thread. By line drying half of their washloads, an average family can save 720 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.” and considering it saves money, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the best ways to green your home.

OK, it’s green, a “fun” family activity, a built-in exercise regimen, and a money saver, so I’m sold.  I honestly don’t think it will much hurt the aesthetics of the backyard, and it will serve as a constant reminder that I am indeed doing all I can for my family, a sign of conscience and thrift!

Still, I’m a little concerned since where I live is not arid like Arizona or Colorado.  It’s a hot but subtropical climate with an incredible amount of humidity.  I hope the clothes dry swiftly, so we’ll see how that goes.  But my mother used a clothesline in this same area, as did her mother, and as did hers, so I’m sure it works just fine.  I’ll just follow these line-drying tips and hope for the best.

So, yep, I’m soon to be a bona fide line dryer.  I’m sure that I’ll also become a load forgetter.  And I’m even more certain that, as soon as I pin my first load of tediously washed sheets to the wind, our months-long drought will end as the tardy monsoon season arrives.

On a positive note, this change may necessitate some bygone fashions to match — at least that cute apron collection I’ve been flirting with ordering. For today, though, I guess I’m off to Home Depot this evening to pick out some bulky metal architecture to install since I don’t want to literally clothesline my kids when they run and play in the back. I think I’m leaning toward the rotating umbrella type, but we’ll see. Household Essentials 4000 30-Line Outdoor Parallel-Style Clothes Dryer with Steel Arms

Household Essentials 4000 30-Line Outdoor Parallel-Style Clothes Dryer with Steel Arms

If I get sold on this, then I’ll probably want to get chickens next.  Actually, I’ve been wanting home-laid eggs for a while.  But my family, knowing what a bleeding heart I am, will prevent that because I can’t stand to keep even a chicken cooped up. And then there are my crazy dogs again…
LegosnEggos UPDATE A YEAR LATER: We’ve been line drying our family’s clothes for a year now, and I’m proud of how much we’ve saved on our energy bills, which has totaled over $300 (due to our old, inefficient dryer finally biting the dust). I’m glad we started this, as I think the morning outdoors are good for me, and it’s also good exercise to stretch and hang clothes!  Also, it gives the kids and me time to talk while we’re putting stuff out/taking it down. It’s somewhat fulfilling and a stress-reliever.  Plus, it’s perfect for springtime, folks!
We’ve found that the only caveat to line drying is getting soft towels, which is impossible off the line.  So we save all our towels for Saturdays for about 30 minutes.  I wash them all at home and then take them in a basket to the our local laundromat’s large economy dryer for about $1.00 per week — so it’s still a deal.  We just can’t take the stiff-as-a-board towels, but that’s the only drawback!  Enjoy your savings, your exercise, and your time in the sun.
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