Thursday, August 27, 2009
Frugal and Green tip #2 Hang your clothes
Simple huh? People have been drying their clothes like this forever. Many of us have memories of clotheslines in the backyard. But first why should I do this? According to this site it costs almost $14 per 8 loads of laundry dried. That adds up quickly. I found on Wikipedia that for every use it means 4.4 lbs or 2kg of carbon.
Line drying your clothes has other benefits too. Your clothes will last longer. All that lint you've been removing is actually in large part your clothes. They shed part of their fibers every time you put them in the dryer, causing them to wear out faster.
Then there is the smell of your laundry. Instead of a chemically created smell of freshness, you can crawl between sheets that are truly fresh. The sun naturally kills all kinds of bacteria on our clothes as well.
So how do you do this? I know that in some places homeowners associations have banned clotheslines for aesthetic reasons. In my neighborhood, I'm free to do as I wish. In my case I have a line that consists of 2 T posts set in the ground with cement. The lines go from one to the other. You can also get an umbrella line that will swing up when not in use. If you don't want holes in the ground you can run a line from your home to a tree or another building such as a shed.
If you absolutely can't dry outside, no problem. Dry your laundry inside. Folding drying racks are inexpensive and can very often be found at yard sales. You can also hang your clothes on hangers and suspend them from your shower rod. In the winter it gets very cold here. The oil heat I have dries out the air badly. I put the drying rack by a heating vent to speed up the process. This also helps to humidify the air.
When I started to line dry I thought it would take a lot of time and be a major chore. In fact its been quite the opposite. The only increase in time is the few minutes it takes to actually hang the clothes. It really is only a few minutes and I find it quite relaxing. Taking things down takes no more time than pulling them out of the dryer.
It took me a bit to figure out how to hang everything in proper order. I find that grouping like items helps. I have also found that giving your laundry a quick snap before you hang it helps with wrinkles. If you are worried about those crunchy towels you can leave them out overnight. The dew works as a natural softener. Rain does the same thing.
Its not rocket science, so get out and do it!