Setting up a clotheslines in your backyard is a simple way to save some energy and money. Every time you do a load of laundry, you have an opportunity to let the power of the wind and sun dry your clothes.
Take advantage of the last few weeks of nice weather this fall and get a clothesline system in place ready for the spring. If you live in a warm climate with mild winters, you might be able to hang clothes to dry outside most of the year. If you’re in a climate with rougher winters, or where it rains a lot, there are tons of indoor line options (able to fit any space). Here I’ll be focusing on outdoor clotheslines, since that’s what I use.
Why use a clothesline?
- Saves money and energy
- Easier on your clothes (they’ll last longer)
- Avoids use of chemical scents and disposable dryer sheets
- Leaves clothes smelling naturally fresh
Tips for success:
- Explore different line options and pick the one that’s best for your space
- Add 1/2 cup white vinegar during the washer’s rinse cycle to soften clothes. I have not tried this yet, but have been told that the vinegar does not leave a vinegar smell on clothes.
- Use less detergent in the washer to avoid starchy clothes
- Take advantage of windy days (wind will help clothes dry faster)
- Take advantage of sunny days for removing minor stains from clothes
- Snap clothes a couple times before putting on the line to loosen (this helps avoid starchy feeling)
- Turn colored clothes inside out to prevent fading from the sun
- Pin shirts by the bottom to avoid stretching
- Space clothes out, avoiding overlapping, to speed drying time
- Throw clothes briefly in the dryer once almost dry to soften and shrink up (you can even throw a tennis ball into the dryer to help soften)