Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Use clothesline to save money, energy

By Sara Noel
For The News-Sentinel

Air-drying clothes has made a big comeback. For years, it seemed most of the clotheslines were used during summer and found in the country.

You can save a lot of money by air-drying your clothes, even if it's only once in a while or partially. Try it for a month, and check your savings. If you can't afford an outdoor clothesline, have neighborhood restrictions (visit www.laundrylist.org/ for information on what you can do) or allergies, install a retractable line indoors, use a drying rack or simply use hangers.

I asked members of my online community to tell me why they do it. Here are the top reasons they shared, excluding saving money on electricity:

♦Fewer chemicals: Dryers create static. If you air-dry your clothes, you don't need fabric softeners. If you find air-dried clothes too stiff, either add vinegar to the rinse cycle or toss them in the dryer for just a few minutes. Most clothing softens if there's a good breeze, if you give it a good snap when it comes off the line or after an hour of wear.

Karen in Kansas shares: “Use the slowest spin on your washer to help prevent wrinkles from high-speed spins. The clothes come out of the washer less wrinkled and also much wetter. … Take clothes out of the washer and hand-smooth them. That helps relax wrinkles. I occasionally will spritz a few things with a fine mist spray of water and smooth out wrinkles with my hands. You can also use wrinkle release to get wrinkles out before you hang them.

Stiffness is generally caused by detergent buildup. I use Charlie's Soap ( www.charliesoap.com). Low-grade cotton will always remain somewhat stiff when line-dried. Better-quality cotton (Egyptian or Pima) will dry soft.”

To make your own wrinkle release, combine a tablespoon of liquid fabric softener and a cup of distilled water in a spray bottle. And your laundry will have that fresh outdoor scent.

♦Clothes last longer: There's far less wear and tear on your clothes when you air-dry them. You won't accidentally shrink any clothing from the wrong setting or from over-drying.

♦Time saving: On sunny, breezy days, your clothes can dry faster on the line. You can use plastic hangers on the line, too. Plus, you can leave home and not be concerned with a possible fire.

♦Cooler home: Your dryer heats up your home (and the planet) while it dries your clothes.

♦Joy: There's something almost therapeutic about hanging clothes and watching them blow in the breeze and removing clothespins when they're dry. Air-drying is quiet. You won't hear any of the noise from a dryer. You'll benefit from the time spent outdoors enjoying the sun, fresh air, nature, quiet time and a little added exercise, too. Plus, it's better for the environment.

Denise in Illinois adds: “I love the feeling I get when I take down a load of clothes from the lines - plus, I feel a connection to the women of our family in generations past.”


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP