How to Save Energy By Using Clotheslines Instead of Electric Dryers

How to Save Energy By Using Clotheslines Instead of Electric Dryers

How to Save Energy By Using Clotheslines Instead of Electric Dryers

Hanging laundry out to dry on a clothesline instead of using an electric clothes dryer can significantly reduce your energy use and save you money on utility bills. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to effectively utilize clotheslines and drying racks to dry your clothes naturally.

Benefits of Line Drying

Using clotheslines and drying racks provide numerous benefits compared to electric dryers:

  • Saves electricity – Clotheslines don’t require any electricity to operate, saving the energy needed to power an electric dryer. This cuts utility bills.

  • Saves money – Less energy usage directly translates into cost savings on your electricity bill each month. Over time, significant savings can be achieved.

  • Better for clothes – The heat and tumbling of electric dryers can wear out fabrics faster. Air drying preserves the color and shape of clothes longer.

  • No lint buildup – Lint and debris that collect in dryer vents and pipes are eliminated. This reduces fire hazards.

  • Less wrinkling – Line dried clothes tend to wrinkle less than machine dried items. The fresh air naturally smooths fabrics.

  • Environmentally friendly – By minimizing power consumption, line drying reduces your carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation are lowered.

Choosing Your Drying Setups

You have various options when selecting clothes drying setups:

Outdoor Clotheslines

  • Permanent outdoor lines between two poles or screws drilled into the house. Allow for at least 15 feet of space between endpoints.

  • Umbrella or rotary clotheslines offer circular drying space that can be folded up when not in use. Position in an open, sunny spot.

  • Retractable clotheslines can be extended when needed. Mount on the house near laundry room windows.

  • Portable drying racks give flexibility as they can be moved as needed. Sturdy metal or plastic poles with woven line.

Indoor Drying Racks

  • Wall mounted drying racks fold out from the wall. Open up near windows when drying.

  • Standing drying racks with multiple levels to hang clothes vertically. Made of steel, wood or plastic.

  • Ceiling mounted retractable drying racks get laundry up and out of the way. Lower to load/unload.

  • Closet drying racks maximize available space. Set up temporarily or permanently inside closets.

  • Over the door hangers hook onto the top of doors for quick impromptu drying space.

Getting the Most from Clotheslines

Follow these guidelines to effectively dry your clothes on clotheslines:

  • Hang laundry in the morning so clothes have the whole day to dry in the sun and breeze.

  • Place clotheslines in a sunny spot, not shaded by trees, buildings, etc. Full sun helps clothes dry faster.

  • Allow sufficient spacing between hanging clothes so air can easily circulate around each item. Don’t cram too tightly.

  • Adjust the height of lines/racks to suit the items being dried. Lift longer garments up high so they don’t drag on the ground.

  • Use quality wooden or plastic clothespins that securely grip items without scratching or tearing delicate fabrics.

  • Check clothing every so often and remove dry pieces promptly. Don’t leave outside overnight.

  • Bring indoors if rain threatens. Alternatively, cover with a tarp if showers are brief.

Maximizing Energy Savings

To maximize energy savings when line drying:

  • Only run full loads in your washer to reduce the total number of loads needing to be dried.

  • Use proper spin cycles to remove excess moisture from clothes before hanging so they dry faster. High speed spins extract more water.

  • Dry similar fabrics together so load is uniformly dry and can be removed from line all at once. Delicates take longer than towels.

  • Avoid over-drying in sun as that can damage fabrics. Feel for dryness and promptly remove.

  • Use dryer only when essential – for a few stray items, during bad weather or when time is limited.

  • Clean lint filter regularly if you do occasionally use your dryer. Lint buildup forces longer drying times.


Drying laundry on clotheslines and racks instead of an electric dryer can lead to significant energy savings and lower utility bills each month. The fresh, air-dried clothes last longer too. Follow the tips outlined to select suitable drying setups and efficiently get the most from line drying your laundry.