Greetings! This post originally ran on Aug. 13th last year. But since summer arrived and I’ve been in full outside-drying-clothes-mode, I thought it would be good to share these ten reasons again. Enjoy!
I’ve loved the idea of line drying clothes in the sun since fifth grade. (Lame, I know.) My teacher was a kind hippy-type woman; I remember her colorful flowy skirts and rocky jewelry. One of my strongest memories from that year is a single sentence from a conversation with this teacher. I remember her saying, “I just love drying my clothes out on a line. They just smell so fresh and clean, don’t you think?” I dumbly nodded, like I had a clue. I agreed, like I had actually seen clothes hanging on a line before or even smelled them. She made it sound so lovely. I imagined her long peasant skirts waving in the sun, infused with clean mountain air. Surely such a mountaintop drying experience would make the clothes extra resistant to unpleasant odors. It sounded magical, and I decided then and there that someday I would become one of those cool people who line-dries their laundry. Read on for ten reasons why you should be line-drying your laundry.
I am proud to announce that I am one of those hip clothesline dry-ers. I’m also a little ashamed to admit how much I love it. (Although you’ve probably gathered that it’s a lot, since I’m dedicating an entire post to the clothesline.) I get a thrill out of pinning wet clothes with a small wooden clip to a line. I love straightening Caveman’s shirts to ensure they don’t dry with too many wrinkles (because there’s no way I’m gonna be ironing). I love seeing the line sagging with baby blankets waving at me in the breeze. And you know what? They do smell fresh. I love knowing that we’re saving electricity and using God-given energy from the sun to dry our clothes, diapers, blankets, socks. Anyways, here’s the list.
1. It saves money. Every time you run the dryer, you’re using 30-40 cents. If you’re using a gas dryer, it might be as low as 15-20 cents per load. Yearly, the dryer amounts to roughly $85 to operate, according to the California Energy Commission. Those numbers may not seem like a lot, but they add up over the years. Line-drying costs nothing.
2. It gets you outside. When you sit at a computer all day, it’s difficult to squeeze out time in the sun. Putting clothes on the line or taking them off is a great excuse to get some fresh air, even for just 10 minutes at a time. I hang laundry while Red plays outside. It’s a win-win.
3. It’s downright therapeutic. Somehow, the rhythmic actions of clipping clothes on a line is a stress reliever for me. The combination of being outside and snapping the wooden clips often helps me relax. It’s no substitute for a massage, but it works for everyday stress maintenance.
4. It makes the earth smile. I imagine so, at least. Saving electricity means saving coal that gets burnt, which saves fossil fuels getting released into the air, which saves the ozone layer and saves us all from global warming. At least, that’s how I remember it from grade school. It does work something like that, right?
5. It helps you do laundry faster (if you so desire). Put one load on the line, put another in the dryer, and you can dry twice as many clothes at once. And BAM! Laundry day is over that much quicker.
6. You’ll be that cool neighborhood line-drying enthusiast. Yes, that is what they’re calling it these days. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
7. Natural bleach. After an hour or two in the intense Colorado sun (or 20 minutes, with the heat this summer has brought), you’ll notice your whites are brighter and stains are more faint. True story.
8. It will give your clothes a longer (happier) life. Dryers can be really rough on clothes. The heat and heavy tumbling thins threads faster than a gentle nap in the sun will.
9. It takes you back to a simpler time. A time when butter was churned by hand and bread rose on the window sill. Line drying is a welcome break from Facebook, phones beeping, a mile-a-minute life. It’s even better when you braid your hair and pretend to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
10. It’s kind of a workout. I said kind of. And that’s coming from the girl who had a baby 12 weeks ago, so “in shape” is something that would not describe me right now. However, there is something to be said about the whole bending down to pick up clothes and then raising your arms above your head. That’s aerobics, friend!
So there you go, 10 reasons to start line-drying your laundry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go braid my hair…