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!