How to Save Money By Drying Your Laundry on a Clothesline
Doing laundry can be expensive, especially with the rising costs of electricity and gas for running clothes dryers. One simple way to save money on your laundry is by drying your clothes on a clothesline outside instead of using the dryer. Here’s an in-depth look at how drying laundry on a clothesline can help you save.
Benefits of Line Drying
Line drying your laundry has a number of benefits beyond just saving money:
It’s Energy and Cost Efficient
- Clothes dryers use a lot of electricity or gas, which costs money.
- Simply hanging clothes outside to dry is free once you have a clothesline set up.
- You can save $100 or more per year on utility bills by line drying instead of using the dryer.
Clothes Last Longer
- The heat from dryers can damage fabrics over time.
- Line dried clothes tend to hold their color and shape much longer.
- Less wear and tear from line drying can extend the life of your clothes.
- Heat from dryers often results in shrinkage, especially for cottons.
- Line drying avoids high heat so clothes keep their original dimensions.
Fresh Outdoor Scent
- Hanging laundry outside gives clothes a fresh, clean scent from the air.
- Dryer sheets can’t match the natural outdoor smell.
- Many people find line-dried laundry simply smells better.
Choosing a Clothesline
There are several good options for clothesline types:
- Rope clotheslines – Inexpensive and easy to set up temporarily or permanently.
- Retractable clotheslines – Convenient reels that extend across a yard and retract when not in use.
- Umbrella clotheslines – Umbrella shaped stands with lines radiating from a central pole.
- Laundry racks – Stackable racks that can hold folded clothes or hung items.
Consider yard space, portability, and cost when selecting the best clothesline for your needs. Rope or retractable lines are good for smaller spaces, while umbrella types work well for larger yards.
Setting Up Your Clothesline
Proper set up helps ensure your clothesline will function efficiently:
- Set up in an open, sunny spot so clothes dry fastest.
- For permanent installs, anchor poles firmly in the ground.
- Stretch rope tightly between poles so sagging is minimized.
- Set retractable lines high enough to avoid draping on grass or dirt.
- Angle umbrella style lines toward prevailing wind direction.
Make sure your clothesline is accessible from your laundry area and easy to reach for hanging clothes. Positioning near a side or back door is often ideal.
Hanging and Drying Clothes Effectively
Follow these tips for quicker drying and fewer wrinkles:
- Hang clothes immediately after washing so they don’t sit.
- Space items out along the line to allow air circulation.
- Use clothespins on a tight line to avoid drooping.
- Hang shirts and dresses upside down by their hems.
- Fold larger items like sheets over the line before clipping.
- Turn items inside out to minimize fading.
- Check clothing tags for any line drying instructions.
Take clothes down promptly once dried to avoid re-wetting if rain showers pass through. Fold or hang dried laundry right away to prevent wrinkles from setting in.
Maintenance for Long Term Use
A few simple maintenance steps will keep your clothesline working its best:
- Take lines down before high wind or snow seasons to avoid damage.
- Wash rope lines periodically by hand or in the washing machine.
- Check poles and install hardware each season for any repairs needed.
- Wipe down metal parts with protectant yearly to prevent rust.
- Retract retractable lines when not in use to maintain spring function.
With proper care, most clotheslines will provide many years of reliable service and savings.
Drying laundry on an outdoor clothesline can take a bit more time and effort than tossing clothes in the dryer. But the benefits for your budget, the environment, and your clothing make it worthwhile. Follow these guidelines to start saving money and enjoy fresh air dried laundry.