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Reasons to(mostly)give up your dryer

This is sort of backwards, I know! I should have talked about the benefits of line-drying and then done the how-to post. Oh well. This is what happens when you blog with no plan.

Of course, the main reason that I line-dry is that it saves money. The amount you save will vary, depending on whether you have a gas or electric dryer and how much you pay for your electricity, but I’ve gathered that a clothes dryer is one of the top energy consumers in the average home. I’ve read estimates that say drying a load of clothes costs anywhere from $.33-$1.00, and Michael Bluejay’s electricity site says that air-drying will save you $133 a year. I’m not sure how many loads per week he’s assuming there, though, and he’s assuming 10 cents per kilowatt hour, which is lower than what I pay.

So, unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to the “How much will I save?” question…all I know is that air-drying is most definitely cheaper than using the dryer, and that’s all I really need to know!

Another nice side-benefit is that my clothes never have static cling. While I do implement some de-stiffening(I know…that’s not a real word) measures, my clothes are still not soft enough to be anywhere close to clingy. This means I don’t have to use anti-static spray or fabric softeners, which saves me even more money.

The sun removes stains from my laundry. This doesn’t work on stains such as permanent marker, but it’s great for organic stains such as tomato sauce. It’s really quite amazing to see.

I never have to worry about accidentally shrinking a piece of clothing. I did that a lot when I used my dryer…I had a few items I wanted to air-dry, and I kept accidentally throwing them into the dryer along with everything else. Since I don’t throw much into the dryer anymore, this is not a problem. It makes clothes shopping a little simpler too. No longer do I stand in the fitting room trying to somehow figure out what size a shirt will be after it’s been washed and dried!

Our clothes last longer. I’m actually sort of going on faith with this one. Since I’ve only been doing this for a year and a half or so, I haven’t had the time to see whether this is true. I’ve read it many different places, though, and it makes sense. Clothes are on the receiving end of heat and friction in the dryer, and over time it stands to reason that this would start to wear them out.

It’s better for the earth. Air-drying uses no electricity, and quite obviously, if we use less electricity, we don’t have to produce as much. Producing electricity isn’t exactly a pollution free process, so producing less will help keep the earth cleaner.

I think that’s all I have to say on the topic of laundry for now(although I will keep you updated if I manage to make some successful homemade detergent!). If I missed anything important, feel free to add a comment!

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Thursday 26th of June 2014

Hanging your clothes outside in the sun also gives you the benefit of the disinfecting effects of the sun.


Monday 3rd of June 2013

Just for the record, making your own laundry soap is very easy & takes very little time.

Here's what I do to make mine: 1 cup of 20 mule team borax 1 cup of arm & hammer super washing soda 1/4 cup of baking soda(NOT baking powder-the two are completely different) 1 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap

Add the powdered ingredients into a container(I use a glass jar with a wire closure)

Grate the Fels Naptha bar into a powder(a hand grater & a second hand food processor make this much easier & faster)

After the Fels Naptha has been grated into a powder, pour into the container with the rest of the ingredients & mix well. Also might want to mix well before each use.

Use 2 Tablespoons per load...3 Tablespoons if your clothes are REALLY dirty.

That's it! that is all there is to it.


Monday 22nd of March 2010

Well, living in Italy, air-drying is the norm. Not that the weather is sunny all year round: in Oct-Nov goodbye sun, it starts raining and then snowing. Personally, I just hang my laundry inside, some on a rack which I hang on a door, and some directly on the heaters! Not a fancy sight, I know, but unless I have guests, who cares? Clothes are dry in a few hours, and besides it makes the air inside less dry. :)


Thursday 28th of January 2010

I don't own a dryer. I have three sets of clotheslines--outside, in the kitchen, and in the basement. I live in Wisconsin. In the winter I either add salt to the rinse water for things I want to freeze dry outside... or I hang items in the kitchen or basement to dry.


Monday 2nd of November 2009

We are sort of halfway to line drying! We hang up the heavy items, like jeans, sweaters, blankets, sheets etc. The smaller items like socks, underwear etc we put into the dryer - saves time in hanging the 'smalls'. Also, if some of the line dried items are stiff you can throw them into the dryer for a few minutes to fluff 'em up.

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