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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.


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


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.


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.


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


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Monday 19th of June 2023

Ha! I re-read this post and am so late to the game commenting, but some of the other comments really tickled my funny bone. Back when our A/C wasn't doing a great job of cooling our house AND we were having a drought AND we had 100 degree days on the regular, I would line dry in the summer. The clothes always smelled terrible when I brought them in - no matter how I washed them or what I used. It was a pain in the neck and I was literally the only one doing it for a family of 6. Plus, it made my patio look like a slum and the bugs that also like fresh laundry? No thanks. I also stopped making my own detergent. It was a passing fad, in my opinion. More work than cost savings and the clothes didn't smell nice. My mother uses her dryer to store dog food and bottles of olive oil. She loves her clothes line that is actually too tall for her to reach and is in a very dirty part of the yard with no grass underneath. Again, no.


Tuesday 17th of September 2019

I use a hanging rack to line-dry all clothes, not so much for savings but more because I feel it's better for clothes. I usually do laundry at night, hang it up, and by morning it's dry. Yes this takes a little longer but I hate doing laundry so even if I used the dryer, the clothes would probably stay there for a couple of days. I do, however, dry towels and sheets in the dryer and yes they stay in the dryer for a few days.


Saturday 20th of July 2019

Line Drying Saves Hundreds if Not Thousands of Dollars. I often tumble dress clothes just till warm then hang out for a wrinkle free fresh pressed look with half the effort. Sheets, blankets and towels are must on the line, Sheets and Blankets can go out any day that will dry them, I prefer to do my towels on windy days so that it whips them soft, remember to fold the towel over the cam border for a more equal dry, that part of the towel is thinner so if is the part over the line they dry nicer, yet 5 minutes in the dryer before or after hanging will whip em right up. I like my jeans nice and stiff, and I hang them from the tops, take my hands and smooth out the wrinkles for a nice smooth dry on jeans,


Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Yeah, I have a chronic illness, & moved from Canada (mostly tumble-drying) to Australia (where mostly people line-dry things). At times when I'm feeling alright, and the weather is nice, it's alright to line-dry things. But I'm finding that it's MUCH easier to get behind on the laundry - like when you only have space to line-dry 1 load at a time, and/or during the winter when the weather is cooler and wetter... when I'm having a symptom flare-up or I get sick, I can get behind on it, and it's super hard to catch up on it when you can only do 1 load every day or 2. Or if it unexpectedly rains....

And of course, line-drying heavier items like jeans or towels can be tricky, especially during the winter. They take ages to dry unless it's hot or full-sun for a good while.

And I've heard that the dryer shortens clothing life spans, and that's what all the lint is, but you still get plenty of lint when you line-dry. I just find all that lint ends up sticking to my clothest, and requiring me to roll it off - ie. even more work. There's a lint trap in our washer (which was also new to me) and it's so gross getting all that wet, chunky lint out with your bare hands, not to mention less time-efficient. Towels are almost universally linty and I find that line-drying is worse for that, too; I went most of my life with minimal after-shower lint, but since moving here, I find it really difficult to not have lint stuck all over me after a shower. It's just much harder to get off without the dryer to help. And as for the lifespan, many of my clothing items lasted several years when I used the dryer, but then I tend to only wash my clothes if I have a reason to (like smells, stains, or animal dander that I'm allergic to).


Friday 13th of July 2018

I quit using my dryer 11 years ago and actually sold it last year after it had sat unused for 10 years! The one thing I want to add to the conversation, though, is that since I stopped using the dryer, I've never lost another sock. So it has to be the dryer that eats them! :)

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