Why I quit line-drying my laundry

Those of you who’ve been here since the start of The Frugal Girl (lo, these 4.5 years ago!) will remember that I was an enthusiastic line-dryer back then.

IMG_4904

But these days, most of my laundry is going into the dryer.

Why?

Well, I’m a big believer in choosing frugal tasks that you don’t despise (assuming you have the luxury of choosing at all). And after line-drying my laundry for over a year, I was starting to despise it.

Maybe if my family was smaller, maybe if the weather was warm and sunny more days of the year, maybe if I had more time…then ok, I might still be line-drying.

Oh. And if it actually saved me more than a couple hundred dollars a year, that would give me some fresh motivation.

(I did the calculations, and was a little surprised by the dismally small number I came up with for a year of hanging my laundry.)

So, between the despising of the whole thing and the fact that it wasn’t saving me that much money, I decided to, uh, hang it up.

Hee.

And I am way, way happier since I switched back to using my dryer more regularly.

I do still hang up some of our clothes, like things which are especially prone to fading or shrinking. But most of ‘em go into the dryer.

Is it a little more spendy than line-drying? Yeah. But I’d much rather use my time to bake bread, make yogurt, shop at Goodwill, mend clothes, and pack lunches.

And the very handy thing is that all of those activities each save me significantly more than line-drying ever did.

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How do you feel about line-drying? Love it? Hate it?

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Joshua’s 365 post: Lily, all grown up

Comments

  1. says

    I love it, but only when the weather is nice and warm and many things I find just do much better in the dryer, so I have been less hard on myself for using it in the summer more.

  2. Tina Ray says

    I like my sheets and blankets dried on the line but I agree with you. It isn’t a fun chore and with the high efficiency dryers, I will free up my time as well and use my dryer! :)

  3. Heather says

    I LOVE line drying our clothes and do it every day that I possibly can. I don’t necessarily do it to save money…..more because I love the way line dried clothes smell, less shrinking, less wear and tear from the dryer.

    I don’t think it is time comsuming either, maybe 5 minutes to hang a load and 5 minutes to take it down and fold. It also fits my schedule well because I hang it out in the morning before leaving for work and take it down in the evening when I get home. I don’t let my dryer run when I’m not home, so this allows me to get that load of laundry done in the morning before leaving at 7:30am.

  4. Janet says

    I line-dry my sheets because I like the smell. Like you, I used to line-dry everything, but I realized the time involved wasn’t worth it. It was such a production with the bug spray I had to put on, hauling the baskets up and down the yard, and it seemed like half of the time it would rain.

  5. says

    I’m in Australia, where line-drying is the norm, so I always think it’s a bit funny when people from the US make a big deal about it. It is definitely more sunny here, which makes it easier, but even when we lived in the US for a year, my mum strung up a clothesline in the basement.

    Living in an apartment, I dry my clothes on a rack in my bedroom. Since it’s only me, I only do one or two loads a week, and it takes about five minutes to hang up. If the clothes don’t fit on the rack, I hang some over chairs or door knobs. I like the way the clothes smell that are dried naturally, and that I don’t have to worry about shrinking or setting stains.

    • says

      Had to pop in here! It’s the norm in the UK also. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s culturally ingrained. Our weather is rubbish in the UK (okay so slight generalisation) but regardless we line-dry (of course some people don’t!!)! It’s a game. Put it out, take it in, put it out again…beat the rain! Then you pop out and it gets soaked! We talk so much about the weather over here that line-drying adds a whole new dimension to the conversation. Typical British phrases are ‘it’s a good drying day’ or ‘I wish I’d put the washing out – it would have dried’ or ‘typical I’ve put the washing out and it looks like rain’.

      • Anne says

        We have the same weather attitude here in Eastern Canada and probably the same ingrained attitude for line drying. Can’t wait for the snow to melt off my deck so I can get back to line drying again.

      • says

        I’m going to pop in too .. also from the UK. I have a sheila maid line dryer which I use in my house – and is hung above the stair well. I simply couldn’t afford to use a clothes tumble dryer. It eats electricity! And it is noisy which means it’s no fun to be in a room where the machine is. Anyone who is thrifty in the UK will be amazed a self-billed frugal girl doesn’t line dry – and then they’ll think oh yes, from the States they don’t worry about carbon use much there.

        • says

          Nicola – I’ve spoken to the Hubby previously about getting one of these as I am fed up with airers standing around when it’s so cold/wet no amount of outdoor time will dry the laundry. We have some space we could put one. I’ll show him your comment and get him to check them out. Think this would be ideal for us!

        • says

          It isn’t that we don’t worry about carbon here – it comes down to some peoples’ preferences. You wouldn’t catch me dead line drying…one, it’s an utter pain in the butt. Two, my Homeowners’ association doesn’t allow it. And even if they did, I live out in the country, where ticks and other bugs abound – I am NOT bringing that in my home, for my kids to wear buggy clothes, etc.

          The main reason though? It is a negligible savings of around $70 a year for us – I can save $70 elsewhere. Sometimes, it all comes down to a ROI – if I saved triple that, I’d consider it…but it’s just plain not worth it. :/

          Not to mention my husband has awful seasonal allergies…pollen on all of his clothing, towels, and sheets is misery for him, and misery for me, trying to avoid murdering him for all the hacking, snorting, sneezing, and coughing he does from May through October every year. Oh, and not to mention..I live in Wisconsin. I’m not about to figure out what days i can and cannot do wash. Too inconvenient.

      • says

        So funny to see the cultural differences! I am an ex-pat Brit living in the States, and I rarely use my dryer either. It just seems so exorbitant and frivolous; like most Brits I still judge the weather most days by it’s drying-power!
        But, all that aside, is it really only an extra couple of hundred dollars a year?!! I have three little ones (two of whom are in cloth diapers) so we do two loads of laundry every day. There are certainly days where I think I going to go bonkers between trying to get things hung to dry, and the drying racks cluttering up the warm spots in the house …. but I just can’t quite bring myself to put things in the dryer, unless the savings really were negligible …

        • Amanda says

          hi – also from Australia!
          I think it’s about more than money, but energy usage. In the same way I wouldn’t drive my car when it would take me 5 minutes to walk, I can’t justify using the dryer unless it was really necessary.
          We have clothing on racks over floor heater vents in winter and also sometimes draped over dining room chairs, but that’s just the way it is. ( I have 3 kids and school uniforms)

          • K in OZ says

            Hi – also from Australia. I don’t know if my dryer still works, as I haven’t used it 8 months or more. It goes on maybe once or twice a year when I am desperate in winter.

      • Westie says

        Yeah, it’s funny here. I lived down under for decades and everyone line dried. Lots of people even had drying closets. Being from the US, I thought it was weird at first. But once I got used to it, I loved it.
        Back to the US and people are only motivated if they save a ton of money and they act like it takes huge amounts of time. From what? The average of 6 hours TV watching they do here in the States.
        There isn’t a lot of ways to cut costs. Not really. Most savings in the US is focused on “spending to save”. They don’t think in terms of the costs of owning the dryer in the first place, repairs, the environment. American have a lot more and are lot more miserable. Kiwis and Aussies never had it to begin with and it’s not problem.

    • Amanda says

      Same – here in South Australia, it’s line drying all the way. I remember when we had some Californians come to stay and they were gobsmacked that we hung our washing. (Gobsmacked (coll.): rendered speechless).

  6. Beth Anne @ Thrifty Living says

    I always loved the way sheets smelled after being on the line growing up. With our small town home backyard there is no space for a clothes line, so any line drying happens indoors. Most things go in the dryer, but I nearly always hang our cloth diapers to dry. When I’m short on time I throw the inserts (never the covers) into the dryer because I’d rather have dry cloth diapers than spring for the much more expensive disposables. It’s all a balancing act to be sure!

  7. Julie says

    We have a long rod hung next to the laundry room in our basement. We hag dry our “no-dryer” clothes on hangers then just transfer them to the closet. All the remainder gets dried in the dryer. It does help us flip laundry quickly and we can do this year round. We have triplets so the kid clothes is a major issue, which currently is all dried in the dryer. We also sort the clothes in hampers by dry, hang, whites, towels. And then when loaded are further broke down so the darker colors are together. Ultimately, you have to do what makes you happy and pick a system that does that!

  8. Carmen says

    I love the smell & feel of line dried items, so I line dry.

    Also, whilst I agree the cost savings don’t add up to much, I do resent the c 50 cents it costs to dry a load, so hang it up instead. I do 7-10 loads/week, which I think would be about $150/year (I’m converting from British pounds so the 2 numbers above might not correlate fyi!)

    In reality, I’m hanging laundry up inside for at least half the year.

    Laundry is my favourite chore. Probably because it is so easy & relatively quick. Dishes, bed changing, vacuuming and cleaning are ones I hate. Oh and the never ending requirement for cooked meals! I would really love to enjoy homemaking chores. I actually find it soul destroying.

    • Elaine in Ark says

      Yes, laundry is easy! When my sister complains about having to do laundry, I tell her it’s not like you have to go down to the river and beat your clothing against the rocks! You throw it in the washer, then throw it in the dryer. Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!

    • says

      Hmmm, so I see on here about $.37 per load or $.50 per load in the dryer. This means for me someone who does about 4 loads per week, that is about $70 to $100 per year. I doubt it is enough for me to do it. Especially as I do all my wash on the same day and would have to split it up to line dry, as it takes more than an hour to line dry a load! Not even sure a load would fit, as I have a fairly large washer. Doubt they would allow line drying outside in our new condo, either. Our house did, as our one neighbor did line dry during the summer. If she did it other times of the year, it was inside.

  9. Jean says

    I do like line drying and generally had started as soon as the weather was better and as soon as the yard allowed here in the NE. That being said, last year when construction started the clothesline came down. And also, we have a heavy tick problem here and having brought ticks in with the laundry and having had them on me, I am very nervous of doing my line drying.
    I do have a large drying rack and I also use hangers for those things that I just don’t want to put into the dryer. All of that lint is breakdown of the fibers.

  10. Battra92 says

    I never hang up my clothes to dry. That’s what my wife is for. ;-)

    In all seriousness, I will help her hang up the laundry but I never actually use the washing machine. I never saw it as a huge deal and actually my wife is anxious to start hanging clothes up again.

  11. Jo says

    I love line-drying. I don’t have a yard or very many nice days to hang, but I have a drying rack and an expandable clothesline in my basement that I hang about 3/4 of my stuff on. I have clothes that are years old that have never seen the inside of the dryer, and I have stuff that only gets hung when I’m somewhere that I have an outdoor line (like all my towels). I love the smell and I love the time I get to be outside in peace hanging laundry.

  12. says

    We are selective line dryers. And living in rainy, Seattle our indoor line system really helps. That said, I’d estimate I do one dryer load for every 3 loads washed. Not perfect, but cuts way down.

    Line drying is definitely not an all or nothing for me.

  13. Mrs K says

    I actually like hanging my laundry but can’t do it alot because of my schedule. Also, in the spring I can’t hang sheets because of seasonal allergies. Putting my head on a line-dried pillowcase is a recipe for disaster!
    I hang laundry when I do it on the weekends. I also have a big drying rack that I use for stuff that doesn’t go in the dryer.
    Electricity is sp inexpensive here ( compared to the rest pf North America) that hanging laundry is more for my pleasure than the savings!
    I totally agree that if you despise a frugal activity, you shouldn’t do it and you cam make up for it otherwise.
    Love your blog by the way!

  14. says

    I had committed to doing it when we moved because I had calculated for every day we used the dryer, our electric bill was going up at least $2 (higher in the summer). Since we did laundry almost every day of the month, that was adding a ton to our bill!

    But then I discovered our new house had a gas dryer. It works beautifully and costs almost nothing to run. So we use it instead of line drying.

  15. says

    I still do my “line drying” the way that I have for years. I decided a long time ago that hanging out all my “smalls” was too time consuming, so what I do is put big heavy wet things like Jeans, coats, blankets etc on a couple of racks that we have out on our deck. This way I think I save half the cost of drying by putting only maybe 3 or 4 things from each load of clothes out. Of course during the cold/wet days of winter this doesn’t happen as much as it does during the warmer sunnier days of Summer, Fall and Spring.
    That’s what I do to save money, and the Earth anyway. :)

  16. silverilex says

    When I lived in the Southern US, hanging out laundry was a quick and easy alternative most of the year. However, living in the UK where it is cool- if not downright cold!- and rainy a good portion of the time, line drying has become long-awaited luxury of a few weeks of a dry mid-summer. On the cooler dry days, it can take all day literally (sometimes DAYS for jeans and other heavier items) to dry one load of clothes outside. So… much as I cringe at times, my dryer gets a lot of use most of the year.

    I think that with so many options of frugality/eco-friendly living, a person really needs to pick and choose which ones are the best for them and their households.

    All the best to you and yours :-)

  17. Kathy says

    I won’t line dry outside due to year round allergies, I do dry some on hangers inside and on drying racks.

  18. HeatherS says

    Hanging laundry is one of the few chores I actually enjoy but there have been times when I have given myself a break and just used the dryer in order to speed things up. I think it also depends on your climate and what season it is. Sometimes I just don’t have 2 days to wait for something to dry indoors as we don’t own a ton of clothes. I also never hang dry anything during high pollen times due to allergies and while I love the smell of sheets dried outdoors, it isn’t a good thing to sleep on when your allergies are bad so I never hang dry sheets anymore.

  19. Meredith says

    Since we live in a townhome, I just own a portable one I got at IKEA and I usually only use it in the summer time. I live out East too and right now, it would just take too long and the sporadic rain is driving me nuts. It all goes into the dryer right now. I’m not a huge fan of it anyway because of the crunch that comes with the end product…so it usually will go into the dryer for five minutes or so to get that out. I’m a happy dryer person!

  20. Amanda says

    My mom line dries everything. Even in the dead of winter. Her clothes will be frozen on the line. It doesn’t seem to even occur to her to use the dryer. I prefer to line dry but if it is cold or I’m feelin busy I don’t hesitate to dry them.

  21. says

    You probably reached the point where you felt like you were “managing” the laundry instead of just doing. I know that feeling.

    I do think it’s a matter of picking and choosing the frugal activities that you get the most bang for your buck, both economically and emotionally. None of us can do every frugal activity, every week. So you discovered one that you enjoy less than others. now you’ve freed yourself with time and cheer to move on to those tasks that you do enjoy.

    I go back and forth on hanging laundry. I don’t have a line, but a rack on wheels. I am doing laundry for 5 and there aren’t enough places for me to hang all that laundry and still get to everyone’s wash each week, if I’m drying inside. (In Seattle, WA — drying inside is the only option most days in fall, winter and spring). During summer, I’m more inclined to hang dry as the rack can be moved out onto the deck where laundry will dry within a couple of hours.

  22. says

    We have a gas dryer, designed to turn off after the clothes are dry. I line-dried everything exclusively for over a month and there was absolutely no difference in our gas bill! I do love crisp towels and the smell of line-dried sheets, but since there really wasn’t a savings, and because my laundry is in the basement, it is just easier to use the dryer!

    • KimN says

      Same here with the gas dryer that turns off when the clothes are dry (rather than a timed run). I hung my clothes out for three summer months and it made absolutely no difference in my bill. I found it incredibly time consuming, with 2 toddlers and an 8 year old, that is a lot of pieces to hang up. I felt like I could better spend that time doing something else. Plus, we have an awful, awful, washer that tangles all the clothes in knots and stretches everything out (especially necks and sleeves). I need the dryer to shrink everything back to the appropriate size. So I too decided to hang that up. Finally, I must be the only one, but I don’t like the way line dried clothes smell or feel. Maybe I’m weird though :)

  23. says

    Love your honesty. I am a devoted machine-dryer, save for specific fragile items. It saves me precious time that I use for other valuable tasks. I am a firm believer in picking one’s battles.

  24. Kristin says

    I hang my own clothes to dry on a rack and hangers in the house, mostly to reduce the wear on the clothes. (I have 15 y.o. t-shirts that still look brand new) I tried hanging our clothes outside a few years ago, but found that we had more allergy problems when I did that abated when I stopped. My husband doesn’t like his clothes being stiff, either, so his clothes and the kid’s go in the dryer.

  25. Lisa P. says

    The only thing I line dry is cloth diapers. Everything else goes in the dryer due to all the members of our family having various seasonal allergies.

  26. Anne says

    I love line drying my clothes for the fresh smell, the bleaching effect of the sun on my whites and the general experience of it all. My neighbor calls me the Irish washer woman. But then, I have never focused on line drying as a frugal activity, but focus rather on the environmental slant and hope that I have saved tons of CO2 from the atmosphere in the 25 years I have been doing it. I cloth-diapered my children a couple of decades ago and line dryed most of the diapers then too. But I can easily see that if I didn’t get those other benefits from the experience and was only doing it to save money, I would not want to adjust my laundry schedule to the weather forecast either. I had gotten the impression from some of your articles (ie. homemade popsicles and less packaging) that you were on the frugal path for environmental reasons too, but I realize that I may have just read my point of view into it. Have enjoyed the blog for at least 3 years now and miss seeing it everyday. Thanks.

  27. says

    Spending time outside, in the sun, listening to the birds, watching the dogs play, *and* saving money at the same time?

    Love it.

    You cannot beat the scent of line-dried clothes, especially sheets. I don’t line dry in the winter, so I wait impatiently for that first nice spring day so I can start hanging laundry up again!

    • says

      Me too! When we were looking at houses, I specifically wanted one with a backyard where I could put up a clothesline. That would have been a deal-breaker for me. I’m really surprised that there are so many people here that find it objectionable. Like another poster said, it’s not like we have to go down to the river and beat our clothes against a rock!

  28. Gail says

    We have been line drying for about 5 1/2 years. Don’t even own a dryer. I think we save about $300ish a year. Which is nice but I don’t mind the line drying. Takes about 5-10 minutes to hang them up and less to pull them off. So I guess I’m spending about an hour a week which saves me about $6 (7-10 loads) a week. I love the way they smell and how much longer clothes look nicer. The dryer is terrible on fabrics. So I guess I save there too. But really we are so use to it that it doesn’t even impact our lives. I still do all the other things I want. Garden, bake, household chores, work, etc… It hasn’t taken away from anything. I can however understand despising a chore. There are things that I will go the easiest, most convenient route just because it makes my life happier and less stressful. After all, there is more than one way to skin a cat as my grandmother use to say. :)

  29. Kaylen says

    Love it – in summer it’s a great excuse to spend time outside in the sunshine and in winter using indoor racks injects some much-needed humidity in my house. But I don’t have kids, so the amount of laundry I need to dry is much less than for you.

  30. Lisa M. says

    I tried line drying long ago and came up with the same results. It’s good in theory, but is not convenient at all. I do, however, “line-dry” almost everything else in our laundry room. The ceiling is unfinished so all the copper lines are exposed—they make great clothes lines! I hang up everything that might possibly shrink. So, yes, I do line dry, I just do it indoors :0)

  31. says

    I don’t mind line drying laudrying because it’s something I grew up with. Much like washing dishes by hand, I don’t think it saves significant money but I’ve gotten used to it, so it would feel strange otherwise. I agree with others who’ve said sunlight makes laundry smell great. I use the dryer for bedding and towels though to make them fluffy.

  32. Susan says

    I love your picture of the sheets on the line.
    Our first house was built in the 1950’s & it had a clothesline,
    My husband said he would get a friend to pull out the posts.
    I almost fainted ( well, I was shocked) & asked for new
    Clothesline to string & could he find some aluminum
    Type paint for the posts. He did.

    I loved hanging sheets out & enjoyed that in spring &
    Summer. I had a blue gingham clothespin bag to
    Hang on the line with real clothespins.

    When we built our new house, in the covenants, It

    Specified, no outdoor clotheslines. I wouldn’t
    Have put 1 here anyway but so enjoyed hanging
    Out our sheets.

    I used to wonder about the original owner of the house &
    How she must have used her clothesline. When we
    Moved, I left the clothespin bag & pins for the new
    Owners.

    Some clothes I dry on a rack or hanger but not to save
    Money. More to save some clothes from the dryer.

    I miss that time of my life sometimes,

  33. says

    I’m in the “love it” camp. In fact, yesterday was the first day I hung laundry this year as we finally got a warm, dry day and I was so excited. I’ll take just about any excuse to do something outside instead of vacuuming or scrubbing the toilet :) I find it’s a nice little mental break, rather meditative and soothing. A couple of my neighbours also line dry and there is just something so satisfying about seeing all of our laundry hung out on a warm sunny day…it makes the neighbourhood feel more “alive” somehow.

  34. Joyce says

    I do love hanging up the laundry, and the smell that comes with it when I hang it outside. In winter I hang it as well, some in the laundry room, some upstairs in the spare room. Clothes that go on hanger, um… go on hangers. I think the best part of the process is NOT having loads of clothes hanging out in baskets to be folded…or opening the dryer to find a load to fold (I fluff some of the clothes in the dryer prior to hanging) when my daughter does HER laundry. In order to hang the next load, you have to make enough time to fold the ones hanging.

    I think my clothes last longer, but as you shop at Goodwill I would imagine they have been dried already. You do what makes you happy. I totally agree with your tradeoff of use of time too. :)

  35. ~Dorthey says

    I use to Line Dry when my 2 kids were little .
    Then I had my Hubby hang 3 lines in my Garage
    Still Fresh air but no Sun to Fade My Laundry.
    I still use my InGarage Clothes Lines for Jeans & Towels
    but I do throw them in the Dryer for 15 mins in High
    To Soften them up. I use it mostly in the GOOD Weather
    For Jeans & Towels, Blankets, Sheets & Some Cotton Shirts.
    Cuz I HATE, HATE, HATE Ironing so most Shirts / Clothes
    Go in the Dryer & IF taken out Right away I won’t have to
    Iron …. Making me very Happy !!!!
    My other Pet Peve is DUSTING :/ Don’t like it ;)

    • ~Dorthey says

      PS
      I don’t buy Paper Products Anymore like paper Napkins & Paper Towels ( but I’m keeping my T Paper !!!) so I have a Basket full of Cleaning Rags, Kitchen Towels /Cloth Napkins To wash every week & they do go in the Dryer :/ too much time to hang up & not enough room on my 3 Garage lines :) I wash the Cleaning Rags Separate from the Kitchen / Cloth Napkins 50mins to dry each load every other week :) I hvalot of Cloth Napkins 10-1/2″ squares for Lunch n Snacks & sometimes Dinner. ‘ 16-1/2-18″ squares for messier foods (BBQ etc ) y’all should try Cloth Napkins way cheaper & good for the environment !

  36. Tina S. says

    I love drying clothes outside, but it’s not allowed where I live (condo complex). Our patio faces the southeast so it would be perfect many months of the year. I think not being allowed to do this is just the biggest waste.

    Line drying inside is problematic because we already have a problem with moisture in our condo (bottom floor unit, Pacific Northwest location). We do dry a few things inside, but have to be careful (mildew issues).

    I am always envious when people talk about their big clotheslines! :)

  37. MeAgain says

    I’m in the “dislike” camp.

    Why?

    In my experience, line drying both inside and out:

    -Clothes smelled worse
    -Fit worse
    -Texture was crunchy/rough/horrible

    I love my dryer and have no qualms about that. We are a petite family, so the dryer is ESSENTIAL to getting our clothes to re-shrink each week…or else we’d look like a family of hobos! Plus we only do 2-3 loads per week, and I already have a strong disdain for folding laundry, so this is what works for me to make the task more livable. I’m also grateful to have such an option!

  38. Michelle says

    I love the smell and feel of clothes and sheets that have been hung out to dry. However, there’s so much dust and pollen in the air that it makes it unbearable to use. In a year, I can probably hang my laundry successfully for a total of 1 month, and my laundry room is on the 3rd floor, so I’d have to carry it down 2 flights of stairs. Therefore, my vote is for the slightly costlier DRYER.

  39. Holly says

    I hang inside. Our association does not allow outdoor lines. About half my item, things that do not need wrinkles out or dog hair sucked off by dryer and that end up in closets get hung. In the dryer I learned adding a dry bath towel cuts drying time approximately in half! Great! For energy conservation and because it keeps upwith the washer now.

    • says

      That’s amazing and bizarre! I wonder how it works? Maybe the towel absorbs some of the moisture, but still somehow feels dry? Hmmm…. seems to defy the laws of physics!

      • Holly says

        Yeah its wierd but it works. Supposedly, the dry towel gets hot and holds heat so the dryer stays hotter inside and keeps the moisture filtering out the vent. I just ran across this tip when looking up how to speed up dry time last week. Low and behold it worked! Especially fast on smaller loads. Energy companies should advertise this! Who doesn’t want faster drying?!

        • Dawn says

          Does anyone else use those knobby blue dryer balls? I notice a big difference when I do. They cut the dry time and the static.

  40. Kayla says

    I love line drying my cloth diapers outside bc they get nice and bleached and save on wear and tear. I tend to hang up most items in the summer but use the dryer almost all the time in the winter. I use an indoor rack for the delicates that need to be laid flat.

  41. Vicki F. says

    I use my dryer. I have severe allergies, so I don’t want my clothes outside collecting pollen. I also hate the stiff feel of clothes hung to dry, especially towels. I would have to run them throuh the dryer for a little while, at least. I also hate to iron, and my huband’s shirts and pants for work would have to be ironed. By using the dryer, I can just hang them up straight from the dryer with no ironing. To me, it is well worth the cost of running my dryer. I just make sure I use it efficiently, using the sensor that cools the clothes down when they are dry.

  42. Vicki F. says

    I use my dryer. I have severe allergies, so I don’t want my clothes outside collecting pollen. I also hate the stiff feel of clothes hung to dry, especially towels. I would have to run them throuh the dryer for a little while, at least. I also hate to iron, and my huband’s shirts and pants for work would have to be ironed. By using the dryer, I can just hang them up straight from the dryer with no ironing. To me, it is well worth the cost of running my dryer. I just make sure I use it efficiently, using the sensor that cools the clothes down when they are dry.

  43. says

    Being that I tend to do about 4 to 5 loads of laundry all in one day, today, I have no idea how one would line dry them all. I guess I would have to stop doing the laundry all in one day. Nah, I will line dry. Not sure how much it would save to line dry though, would be curious.

    • says

      I meant to say, I will machine dry. *grumble* Already had two cups of tea today. Maybe I need another? Sorry, for a Monday, I am way too tired. Couldn’t sleep late at all this weekend due to that spring forward time change.

  44. Kim C says

    I haven’t lined dried much because I despise it too! In fact, I despise laundry in general. I don’t know why, but it’s really the only chore around the house and I have to make myself do. My dryer finally broke early last year and it was going to cost over $159 just for the part to fix it. Hubby suggested we try to find a newer style dryer (front load with round door) on Craigslist. We did find one where someone was moving out of state and it was only 2 years old and $250. It dried so much quicker than my old dryer that we were amazed! Then our washer caught on fire 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and we decided to buy one of those front load HE models on a pre-Black Friday sale. Since they don’t have to fill up to wash the clothes they just toss the clothes through the water they use much less water. It was around $500 with free delivery and hook up. They brought it on Black Friday and I started washing clothes. I had quite a pile by this time because I had been just washing what we absolutely had to have both at my mom’s and in the tub. The new washer is much faster and spins the water out of the clothes so much better that my dryer is even more efficient than before. Our water bill dropped about $25 a month and the light bill dropped about $30 and it takes almost no detergeant. I was using homemade before, but didn’t want to risk damaging my new washer. So we are seeing about $55 a month in savings. Yes we spent quite a bit to get them, but it won’t be long until they’re paid for. You want to know the best thing about them? I don’t hate laundry near as bad as I used to because it doesn’t take as long to do it! I LOVE that! Our previous set was about 10 years old and we were always having to fix something on them which was also a pain. In the long run, I think we made a very smart decision and we are saving energy which is always a good thing!

    • Diane says

      Don’t be afraid to use homemade detergent in a high-efficiency washer. Just be careful not to use too much. I have been using it for several years with good results. I think I followed a link over at The Non-Consumer Advocate to find my “dry” recipe. I originally used the liquid recipe from The Simple Dollar, but I’ve sworn off that version and the blog, too.

  45. says

    Love it! Here in Canada, I only hang it out from March to November. But my Mom used to hang it out year-round and in the winter, bring in the frozen stiff garments lol.

  46. Dawn says

    I’m in the “do both” camp. We live in the country, and I love the smell of clothes dried on the line. But it’s cold and snowy here in the winter, and wading to the clothesline under those conditions isn’t very appealing to me. However, we heat our house with a wood furnace, and I can dry clothes quickly on lines in my basement at that time of the year. The hardest time for me to line dry is the “between” seasons or during rainy spells in the summer. Clothes dried on my basement lines under these conditions smell very noticeably musty. For those times, I use the dryer. Plus, I dry the small stuff in there year round, so I don’t have to hang up socks, washcloths, etc. for the 7 of us.

    The kind of dryer you have must make a big difference in how much it costs, (along with how much you have to use it, too, of course.) Our dryer is an old 70’s hand-me-down, and the months that I have to use it more, I notice quite a difference in our power bill. Propane is pretty pricey around here, too, so I think it would be the same whether our dryer was gas or electric. If I used it more, I’d upgrade to something more efficient.

    Maybe where you live makes a difference in how much you enjoy hanging up laundry. In the winter, I do it to save money, plain and simple–and it works for me because I really don’t mind it. But in the summer, though my hands might be hanging up laundry, I am lost in the sights and sounds of everything going on around me–listening to the oven birds singing their “teacher, teacher, teacher” off in the woods somewhere, revelling in the green of the trees against the blue sky, smelling the aroma of the flowers drifting in… (Ouch! I have spring fever so bad. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget the black flies and mosquitoes this time of the year.)

  47. says

    I live in an apartment building, and we hang our clothes to dry on a rack. We have a new baby, and we are using cloth diapers, so there is a full load of laundry every other day. We have to pay to use the dryers, so we definitely save a worthwhile amount of money by hanging it up, and that helps me not despise it :)

  48. says

    I’m with you! When we travel, I HAVE to line dry – and it takes SO much more time. I don’t mind doing it for a few weeks here and there, but wouldn’t want to HAVE to do it at home. Even though the clothes dry quickly, the wrinkles set in on the line if the fabrics are natural. Then, it’s forever with an iron. I’ve gone to wearing synthetics when we travel to make it easier, but at home, I use a dryer! (we have very little sun here, unlike our travel destinations)

    Add to that – in our community, line drying outdoors is illegal. (I do hang things in the basement – but it’s just not the same)

    Last time I looked, the dryer cost about 35Cents an hour. My frugal philosophy is to consider what hourly wage I am making for the extra frugal-work I’m doing – and 35cents/load just doesn’t do it for me!

    • ~Dorthey says

      I’m gonna have to get my Hubby to put a meter on my Washer & Dryer & see what it’s costing us to Wash / Dry …
      Never thought of that.
      We did find out in Nov 2011 it was costing us $30- a month for our UpRight Freezer. So we pulled the Plug on that gave to the City Recycle. $30- a Month ????? That’s like Making Payments on Food U already PAID for…. :/

  49. Annie says

    Dear Frugal girl,
    Did you think about the energy you were saving when line drying? American as a nation is probably one of the worst offenders when it comes to waisting energy, and with your thinking – it is easy to see why.
    Kind regards
    Annie

    • Kristen says

      I did, but as I mentioned in another comment, I can’t do every single possible thing to be perfectly environmentally friendly, and I doubt most of us do. To some degree, we all pick and choose, and I’m choosing not to do this one thing. But I do choose to drive less, eschew most disposable products, repair things instead of buying new, buy second-hand, wash my laundry in cold water, buy some local food, and so on.

  50. says

    Love love love it, and can’t wait for the snow and daily rain we have had the last 5 weeks to end so I can get back to it. Clothes smell so fresh, sheets and quilts….I just melt when I get in a fresh bed at night after they have line dried outside.

  51. says

    I don’t have a line now, but when I did I loved hanging out the clothes. We have long, cold winters here in Wyoming so it is a rite of spring. And we’re also a computer nerd family, so I enjoyed the time out side. I told my kids that it was to save the clothes not electricity; I believe blue jeans last longer this way. No wrinkling when they get left in the dryer too long. And no waiting for the dryer to catch up before starting another wash. But my husband and kids all hated the clothes line; I’m sure I’m the only one who gives a sigh at its loss.

  52. Rebecca says

    I’m taking a sabatical from bread baking for the same reasons. My kids (3) go through almost a loaf a day. I was baking twice a week and making 5 loaves at a time because that was all that could fit in the oven. We loved it, but I burned out! So I’m taking a few months off and using the time for other things around the house I need to catch up on.

    I do line dry outside in the summer, but not in the winter. We don’t have room inside to hang everything. And I don’t freak out if it is laundry day and is raining out, I just toss stuff in the dryer. My days are so full that I refuse to schedule my laundry days around the weather. But in the summer my laundry dries faster outside than in the dryer. But when it is cooler it can take 8 hrs or more to dry a load and I do 6 loads a week for a family of 5.

  53. says

    Tucson, AZ in June when the temperature can only be described as the hot breathe of hell, sheets dry in about 10 minutes. I line dry year round here because the sun is always shining and the humidity is always low.

  54. Debbie says

    I do not own a dryer and love to hang my clothes on the line. I love the smell of them when I pull them in and the natural way the sun brightens them. I find peace in watching my clothes flap in the breeze. When it rains I use a dryer rack but do not find it annoying.

  55. says

    I never line dry outside, mostly because it`s too cold and unstable weather, but also during summer I stay away from it, because I`m very allergic so having clothes dried outside is a very, very bad combo! We don`t have a dryer, so we hang up all the laundry inside on drying racks.

  56. Mona says

    See I like the way you think Kristen. You inspire me to do much more than I have before I read your blog. Before I never attempted anything because I knew I could not do EVERYTHING. But now I know it’s ok if I can’t do everything as long as I’m doing some of the things it’s more than nothing. For example when you do the “day in the life” posts, I see that I don’t do nearly as much as you in one day but if I look at my days now and compare to before, I’m doing much more! Good for you for putting your clothes in the dryer if that gives you more time to do more important things.

  57. Jen says

    I love line dried sheets and clothes, but unless I want to break the ice off, I can only do it about 5 months a year here. Less the rainy days!

    I do a combo in the winter–throw everything except delicate stuff in the dryer for about 45 minutes. That gets off the dog hair and gets it well on the way and then I hang it on racks to finish up. I haven’t calculated the cost savings but our electricity is quite high.

  58. Lindsey says

    I line dry because of guilt about adding to our environmental woes. A lot of items are hung up wet on hangers and left to dry that way, but other things are hauled outside.

    I had never heard of living in a place where they prohibit line drying?! Talk about being intrusive and also contributing to environmental degradation. Would not work for me.

  59. says

    I’ve just recently let myself off the hook with this one as well. One of my cats has a bladder problem and it means I’m doing a LOT more laundry than I used to… and it’s big stuff like towels, blankets and kitty beds. So I decided that it was OK to let myself use the drier to make my life easier, especially because it means I can do the laundry whenever… I don’t have to plan in time for it to dry outside. This is good because peed-on things need to soak in enzyme cleaner to get the smell out, so that means each load takes 2-3 hours.

    But I think I have a somewhat schizophrenic relationship with line drying in genera. Part of me LOVES it. I love the excuse to be outside, especially when it’s nice, and in the summer I HATE running the drier because it adds more heat to an already stifling house. I also love the crispness and fresh smell of line dried clothes.

    BUT… my HE washer leaves incredible amounts of lint on things (I suppose having 4 cats doesn’t help this.) I’ve tried sticking stuff in the drier for a few minutes before line drying, but it doesn’t seem to help much… and to be honest, I get really tired of spending an hour with the lint brush to de-lint a load of laundry!

    The other issue I have is birds. My clotheslines are near/under a big tree. It doesn’t affect the drying because of the angle of the sun they’re still sunny, BUT we’ll get big swarms of birds sometimes, and when that happens, well… they sometimes poop on my laundry… which means that I have to wash it all over again! UGH!

    And in the summer time, I can’t hang things outside in the evenings or on weekends because my next door neighbors LOVE to BBQ, and unless I want my clothes to smell like some combination of lighter fluid and hamburgers, I can’t hang them outside when there’s a danger of them firing up the grill.

    And then in the fall there are allergies…

    Soooo… basically, at this point I’ve decided that if the stars align so that I can easily hang things up, and feel like I want to do it, then I will. But otherwise I’m gonna use my highly efficient gas drier and be done with it!

  60. Dimi G. says

    I’m truly shocked that you choose not to line dry and you put it out there for all to read. !!!!! Surely it shouldn’t be about saving time and /or money , which clearly here is not the case—-it’s about the ENVIRONMENT. Every bit counts. I know you do so much already, but, surely the future of our children shouldn’t ‘wear it’. Your blog has changed my life , inspired me, today I feel sad!!! Dimi

    • Kristen says

      Well, here’s how I look at it. There are about eleventy billion ways to be kind to the environment, and I cannot do them all…time and money won’t allow for it.

      And I would imagine that’s the case for most people…except for those of us who have little in the way of time or money limitations (for example, if I were a single person with no children, I’d probably have more time and definitely a lot less laundry), we’re all picking and choosing.

      I try to choose ecological practices that work for me and my life situation.

      So, for example, I wash my laundry in cold water, air-dry some of it, and put the rest in the dryer.

      I buy local beef in bulk and local, unpackaged chicken from a local market. But local milk in glass bottles isn’t very easy to come by (and requires a longish drive, which obviously requires fuel!) so we drink supermarket milk.

      I own a car. It would be great to walk, but my neighborhood has a pitiful walkability score. So, I batch errands and frequent shops that aren’t far from my house.

      Organic food is great for the environment, but buying 100% organic isn’t feasible for us. So, I focus on buying unprocessed foods and buy organic when I can.

      If you do every single possible thing for the environment that you possibly can, then I bow to you! I’m not in a place where I can do that, though, and taking an all or nothing approach is definitely not the solution. :)

    • says

      Kristen’s right, you can’t do everything, and what’s easy and simple for one person might be asking a lot from another. We’re all different and have different circumstances to deal with.

      For example, I haven’t traveled more than about 50 miles from my home in 20 years. Yup, no planes or trains. For me, this is easy and enjoyable so I do it. I also drive less than 1000 miles per year, and have chosen to remain child-free, which is probably the biggest thing one can do to reduce their environmental impact. I won’t go into the other stuff I do like using a push mower, and composting, and buying local food, and not buying any new clothing except for socks & underwear, etc, etc.

      But I recognize that those are things that are easy and enjoyable for me, and not everybody falls into that camp. For many people those things would be HUGE sacrifices, so I don’t expect everyone to do them.

      On the other hand, I do use the drier on occasion and refuse to set the thermostat below 70 in the winter because I just can’t take being cold all the time. Now, you can criticize my choices if you like, but I’d put my carbon footprint up against that of most Americans any day!

      I just think that to a certain degree we’re all living in glass houses where the environment is concerned, so throwing stones is not gonna help anybody. We’ll get much further by supporting each other and trying to spread the word about the green choices we do make, rather than playing “greener than thou” and criticizing everybody who isn’t exactly like us.

    • Lesley says

      Wow. Stunned at this passive-aggressive comment and brainwashed thinking.

      You know, some of us have bigger concerns in life than whether we run the dryer. We don’t have unlimited time. We might have allergies, or a neighborhood where outdoor drying isn’t allowed (as it can look awful when people don’t take down their wash, thus lowering property values). I’ve spent the last year caring for a terminally ill relative and homeschooling a special-needs child. I refuse to be guilted over something as minor and necessary as drying clothes.

      Do you ever ride in a car? Take a plane to go on vacation? Go to the movies, where kilowatts are wasted for your entertainment? Run the heater when you could just wear several layers of clothing? Run the air conditioner in the summer? I could easily criticize you for each and every one of these decisions.

      This is an awesome blog. She has so many great ideas. To be so downright hateful to her – and anyone else who dares to use a little electricity – is bizarre.

  61. Andrea says

    Well- back home in MO, I used to line dry the majority of everything during the summer months… some days it was really fast. Now that I am in the PNW and don’t have a line to dry them on- I miss it sometimes. I don’t miss the spiderwebs or spiders for that matter. lol But I miss being able to hang out rugs and larger bedding to air out and such. I can’t imagine line drying here with all the rain and it never really gets hot hot. (if that makes sense). Hopefully our next house will have more of a laundry suite and I can at least get one of those indoor racks to accommodate sweaters and other delicates. I definitely notice my clothes wear a lot faster when I dry them or as I call it- rotary iron. LOL! I used to be so specific about Woolite washing my nicer shirts and darks and line drying them…not so much anymore.

  62. says

    Just a note about those of us who are unable to dry things outside because of local laws. I COULD choose a house with a big yard out in the country, where I could air-dry to my heart’s content. Then, we’d use thousands of dollars more in petrol every year, and waste hundreds of hours in commute time. How does that make more sense for the environment?

  63. Tarynkay says

    I have an older electric dryer. I also have a baby and we cloth diaper and use cloth napkins, etc, so there is a lot of laundry. I kept careful track line drying vs. not line drying for a month and realized that I save about $20 a month just by using the clothes line instead of the dryer. I do put everything in the dryer for 10 minutes on no heat to bash out all of the stiffness and wrinkles after line drying. $20 a month is a big deal for me for doing something so easy. But even if we saved far less, I think I would still line dry just b.c of the massive amount of energy it saves.

  64. Stef says

    I had no choice visiting over seas to line dry or use the drier.(we didnt have a drier) lol. So I really thought it was different and fun but then after hanging them up a couple of times and noticing how wrinkled and how much time I had to use, ironing! That is not frugal or time efficient! Let alone, noticing some rusted brown marks left from the drier rack! I think if I had a special item, that I HAD to line dry, its ok, I find THAT efficiant and practical. If done at home, on a hanger in my laundry room (minus the rust). hehe. I actually feel sorry for those without a choice, it is a hassle, let alone winter time…..

  65. Susanne says

    I LOVE line drying clothes. I am home all summer and dry most everything outside when weather permits. It doesn’t work as well during the school year when we are all at school every day. But even then, I will occasionally hang a load out in the morning and gather it in the afternoon.

  66. Tanya says

    I love hanging my laundry to dry for the simple reason: less wear and tear on your laundry. Also in that way you get fresh air (when the weather is nice). I live in British Columbia so it rains lots here, when it’s not raining it gets hung on the line outside, otherwise I hang it in my basement(I have an umbrella wash line set up in the basement, works great!) Also what better way to get exercise. The only time I don’t hang dry my laundry is after I have a baby (I have 2 children 14 months apart- now 21 months and 6 months). So for me the benefits are greater than the savings , that said ” a penny saved is a penny earnt”

  67. nebuchudnessar says

    I always line dry, in Australia it costs too much to use the dryer.
    I figure it only takes me a couple of minutes to hang them up, so it is worth it for me

  68. Amy says

    We have an electric dryer and three (soon to be 4) small children, some in cloth diapers…so we definitely see big savings line-drying. It’s a chore, but like many of the chores of my day I find some grace in it. Standing outside in the sun, ignoring the two oldest bickering over something silly, accomplishing something productive, even if it’s small: these make the difference some days. Our crazy-low electric bill help, too. I do get frustrated when I realize it’s 8 pm and the dew has fallen and the clothes that were dry are now damp again, but mostly it’s worked out for us. Even if we have to toss some clothes in the dryer, I always try to line-dry the biggies: diapers, blankets, towels.

  69. Fanny says

    Hi Kristen,
    If there’s one chore I love to do, it’s laundry! And ironing! I love taking care of my clothes, it’s not a chore to me.
    Of course, I live by myself for now, so I only take care of my clothes & linen for 1. But still, I love it! I do laundry 3 times a week (which is much more than other single people I know, as most people hate doing laundry they put off the task for as long as they can). Compared to washing the dishes or vacuuming my ridiculously small Paris flat, I’d take laudry and ironing any single time!
    So as I told you I live in France, and most people do not use their dryer, if they own one. I think that’s a very Northern American thing to do, actually. We live in fear of clothes shrinking, stretching weirdly or overall getting “weaker”, a.k.a. having to buy clothes more often. Most people I know only tumble dry their linen or towels… the stuff you don’t wear and that’s very resistant.

    Anyway, I think I should specify that I own a HE washing machine – it’s standard issue over there, they actually don’t sell your “regular” machine.
    I live in an apartment, so I cannot “line dry” my clothes per se (as I don’t own a garden, ha!) but I have a “clothes horse” (I hope that’s the right word?) which works wonders in my overall dry apartment. Everything I hang there is dry overnight. When I have a family I think I’ll tumble dry the bed sheets and towels and stuff, but no more than that!

    It’s a good thing that tumble drying doesn’t cost you much every year though. I think if you really don’t like the whole taking care of laundry thing, maybe you could have your kids do some of it? The easy stuff like their own bed sheets or something. That’s a way for them to take responsibility and they’ll need to learn this someday anyway :)

  70. Linda Sand says

    I always loved the smell of line-dried clothes. Until I lived in a house where the lines were under trees. Can you say birds? Not so clean clothes.

    My daughter hung hers outside in the winter in Minnesota. If they are stiff they still have frozen water in them. When they soften up they are dry. :)

  71. Lee says

    I prefer line drying to clothes dryer. Power prices in Australia have risen horrendously in the past 3 years. We pay our bill quarterly. Last year it rained quite heavily and ended up using the dryer almost every day. My power bill for winter was, are you sitting down, $1100. When I do not it and just line dry, we pay $600 – $800 per quarter depending on the season.

    • Lindsey says

      Your fuel bill sounds heavenly to me—I live in Alaska and in the winter our oil bill (so, not including electricity) averages between 600 and 800 dollars each month. WHen it is 45 below zero for a prolonged period, it can be even higher, and you don’t dare turn the heat down too low because in the corners it will get too cold and the pipes will freeze.

  72. Carol says

    I quit when I started finding ticks on the dry clothing. We put lines up in the basement for some things and for things that don’t completely dry within a reasonable time in the dryer.

  73. Katie says

    Hey Kristen, how did you figure out how much it cost to run your dryer for a year? Did you use information from the manufacturer or measure the energy use directly? I’m always curious about how much energy my household appliances use.

    • ~Dorthey says

      There is a Meter u can Buy for $20-$30
      It measures Kiliwatt hours or in English
      Appiliances but ours won’t measure our
      Front load Dryer only b’cuz of the Plug
      on the Dryer.
      This meter is how I found out that our
      Old upRight Freezer
      ( that we got rid of in Nov/2011) was costing
      us $30- A Month. …. Yikes ! Got rid of it Fast !

  74. Chris Ward says

    I live in Oklahoma and we dry line year round. I love it and don’t find that it takes that much more work than using the dryer. We started for environmental reasons, and as a matter of fact, we took it one step further and use water from rain barrels to wash our clothes when it is available, and I don’t need the water in the garden. Good for you for at least trying the dry line method.

  75. WilliamB says

    I think about it occasionally for my white shirts, for the bleaching effect. But my yard is thoroughly overhung with trees – a recipe for having to redo the laundry pretty darn often both from birds and nut/berry falls. Technical exercise gear gets air-dried, the rest goes into the dryer without a second thought. My new(ish) washing machine is HE and I always use the extra spin cycle.

    BTW, FG, one of the recommended links is to a 2008 post about home-made laundry detergent failure. Did you find a recipe that works for you?

  76. says

    102 comments!, who’d have thought that line drying was such a HOT BUTTON?
    I enjoy line drying but I’ve come to believe that a mix of line & dryer is best for me.
    For those who complain abour stiff clothes I think that the amout of breeze you laundry gets influances that. I found that some things come out so stiff I had to iron them before I could wear them therefore defeating the purpose.
    I do enjoy the ritual of line drying though.

  77. says

    We actually prefer line drying over the using the dryer. The smell of the clothes is so much fresher and it helps prolong fading and other dryer type issues. We do dry some items but not often at all. We have an umbrella dryer outside in the summer and we have a dryer rack indoors for the winter. We’re used to it though and I was brought up with it all my life as I didn’t know many people that had a dryer back home. We hung our clothes all year long in the UK. The thing is, we all do what it best for our own families. If you despise it and it only saves you x amount and you value your happiness and time over the $$ saved then do what makes you happy!! Cheers

  78. Jane says

    I live in a part of the world where almost everyone line dries. Sunshine here most of the year. So it surprises me that this is a dilemma for other people. :) Generally I enjoy doing it because it takes me outside and really there are worse jobs like dishes or playing dress ups. And I love seeing the different size clothing and colours of our family blowing in the wind. Makes me feel blessed. When I had two in cloth nappies I would have loved a dryer through.

  79. Amanda says

    I can’t honestly say that I’m incredibly eager to start line-drying my clothes, though I did it with our diapers where we used to live. But even if I wanted to, our current neighbors smoke so much that our clothes would absolutely wreak of cigarette smoke. It even happens if I leave stuff to air-dry in our garage. No thanks!

    Thanks for explaining your thought process. We can’t all do *everything,* can we?

  80. Lcg says

    Good for you! One woman can only do so much. Consider also you might just be taking a break. I took a six month break from it, swearing I would never go back. Guess what? I line dry about 75% now. Nothing wrong with a break!

  81. Linda says

    I use the dryer….I absolutely hate stiff crunchy clothes and towels. Not worth any savings to me because of the end product.
    Bad memories of stiff towels and jeans from my mom’s years of line drying!

  82. says

    As a kid, we would line dry more than use our dryer. The older I’ve gotten the more I turned to using the dryer. It seemed more convenient. Now, I’m attempting to line dry more. Line drying in this area in the spring/summer would not be possible. The pollen is so thick, it covers everything in a yellow hue. When, I remember or have the time, I will use an indoor drying rack.

  83. says

    I understand why you do not line dry anymore. I myself use the dryer mainly for towels and a few other things. Seem like if I put my jeans in their they shrink. lol. My sweater I do wear alot ( mostly cotton they shrink in the sleeves ( have long arms. )
    We have to choose what to do and not . We only have 24 hours in a day. ( Gosh I could use a few more).Anyway untill we walk in that persons shoes we do not know the things they have to do.

  84. Cori says

    To those of you living in countries where line-drying is the norm…does anyone ever talk about the pollen affecting their allergies? I like to line dry, but my husband can barely function because of his allergies and I’m afraid I’m going to have to give it up.

  85. says

    I agree on the line drying except – cloth diapers! They take forever to dry in the dryer so I dry them in the sun when possible – no hanging! I just lie them on the patio table. This also gets out those pesky stains better than anything else I’ve found. :)

  86. says

    Great post – as your family grows its harder to find time to hang clothing out. I found myself getting stressed about it as well. I still line dry when it’s nice outside and I have time, I don’t try to go overboard with it. Line drying cloth diapers is the best!

  87. Courtney says

    I use a dryer for everything but sweaters and even they go in on fluff once dry. I hate stiff feeling clothes, weather doesn’t cooperate, and I love love love the smell of dryer sheets. I say to heck with line drying!

  88. says

    I am going to start by saying I LOVE to do laundry. I have also never line dried really (I hang some of my tops up on a pole my hubby put up in the laundry room to prevent shrinking and fading). I remember helping my Grandma by carrying the bucket the clothespins went in and well it wasn’t fun. I have lived my entire life either in the desert (wind and dust) or Pacific Northwest (constant rain). Neither of those climates is conducive to line drying. My HOA specifically does not allow it at this point anyway. When shopping for a dryer when we bought this house 5 years ago I looked at things like energy consumption, cost of use, and speed of drying. We ended up with an energy saving natural gas dryer. I think it costs less than $10 a month and is very environmentally friendly. It also dries a load faster than the washer washes which makes for less time doing laundry. If you weren’t happy with line drying, then I don’t see what the big deal is with you using your dryer.

  89. Sarah says

    I’m not a big fan of it either. And it didn’t make one iota of a difference in our energy bill the year that I line dried. Really, I want to know how it helps people save money on utilities because it didn’t help us at all. And it’s a huge pain with baby/toddler clothes… all those little socks and what not. Ugh.

  90. Yvonne says

    I umm hate dislike line drying very much. Growing up we did not have a dryer and my sisters and I always had to hang and take down the laundry. In the summer we would hang it outside and crawling things would attach themselves to the laundry and we would need to shake them off ugh..in the winter we would hang them in the basement …and there were spiders there …so NO I will not do any line drying EVER again in my life I hope.

      • Randi says

        I don’t like it either, but we live in a very hot and sunny area( in the summer) of Socal so most things will dry really quickly. That being said, I line dry bathing suits, bras and underwear and some other quick drying items. I wont line dry sheets or towels. I hate how they smell. I’d rather smell my bounce dryer bar : )

  91. Patti says

    This post is so timely. I, on the contrary, LOVE line drying. So much so that on a trip to England many many years ago all my photos were of clothes drying on lines throughout the countryside. My husband and I have always used line drying, inside in cold weather and out when the weather permits.

    It’s not for any financial savings, and I don’t remember my mother doing a lot of line drying as our clothes dryer was in the kitchen. But there is something nostalgic and romantic about it, plus we like the crisp feel of clothes and bedding, and they last longer.

    Mind you , we don’t have children and I suspect that would change my mind instantly as I’m not THAT much of a romantic to spend my days pinning clothes on a line.

    Enjoyed your post.

  92. blah says

    What fresh smell is everyone talking about? My clothing smells disgusting (like grime) whenever I line dry it outside.
    Do all you people who say it smells “fresh” live in a forest of pine trees far away from things like cars….or something?

  93. crazy cat lady says

    I grew up line drying clothes in all seasons but the winter (my parents have an umbrella clothesline) so it was just the norm for me. I line or air dry 100% of my laundry for several reasons. (I air dry inside or outside on a balcony using a drying rack– I will admit to looking at the weather report when it comes to timing my laundry).

    1) I live in an apartment complex with a shared coin laundry room. To dry a load is $2, so when I spent $32 on a deluxe drying rack, I looked at as the cost of drying 16 loads. By now it has more than paid for itself. Even if I had a dryer I’d probably never use it.

    2) I am highly allergic to dryer sheets that most people use in the dryers. Using a shared laundry facility, I safely assume that someone has used them in the dryer and not cleaned it out. My skin will break out into hives if I wear something that’s come into contact with dryer sheets.

    3) I have worked for environmental groups in the past before and I do so for environmental reasons.

    4) It makes your clothes last longer.

    I don’t mind things like stiffness, wrinkles, etc (besides anything that goes on a hanger is dried on a hanger). They’re just par for the course.

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