Line Drying

Long-time readers will know that I like to save money in any way possible. I've even gone above and beyond to find creative ways to save money.

In other words, I'm incredibly cheap.

Like so cheap that I look in the trash at u-scans for coupons (often for FREE items) that people have discarded. It's not as gross as it sounds. I promise. But I digress.

In April we went off-grid once a week while we were doing a unit study on electricity. While we were off-grid, we officially made our foray into hand-washing and line-drying. I don't intend on ever going back. I LOVE line-drying. There's just something about the whole process that makes doing laundry so much more enjoyable. Yeah. I said "enjoyable" in relation to laundry.

I wondered why I hadn't started line-drying my clothes sooner. What was I afraid of? The lines were incredibly easy to install. We got clothes lines at HomeDepot & installed them to our fence posts. We have 2 lines going across our entire back yard (i.e.-the sand pool).

I had heard in the past that line-drying makes your clothes stiff. When this didn't happen to my clothes that were line dried, I set out to find out what I was doing wrong. Because my clothes weren't something must be wrong.

Turns out I wasn't doing anything wrong. If your clothes are stiff after being line-dried it's because they still have detergent on/in them. In other words, they weren't rinsed well enough. I've heard this is less of a problem when you use homemade detergent which is probably why I wasn't having that problem.

I can't give you specifics on how much money it saves. I've been so stuck in the muck of the health care bill, that I couldn't handle any other math. Here's what I figure, though. When I use the dryer, it uses electricity which costs money. When I line dry the clothes, it costs me nothing. That's enough math to convince me! Not only that, but line-drying your clothes will make them last longer.

In my opinion, anything that's free is something worth trying! If you don't have the money to buy an actual clothes line, then start with twine, or use your fence. Get creative! It will save you money! (Perhaps even enough to allow you to buy the line?)

I'm also considering hanging a line or two in my garage to allow us to line-dry through a Michigan winter. 'Cause something tells me snow, uber-cold temps, and wet clothes just don't mix well.


elsie said...

Hi Amy,

I love to line dry my clothes! My husband built me a clothesline when we first bought our house. You're right though, they usually get stiff, especially the towels. I wonder if I'm overloading the washer and they don't get rinsed well enough. I'm excited to try the homemade detergent recipe as well!

I don't know if you remember me. I met you at the park in Zeeland (two little girls and I'm expecting) and invited you to our church. Hopefully you and your family will have time to come visit soon! Take care and good luck with starting homeschooling again! :)

Dianne said...

I went to line drying this summer to save money as you I did not do the math either...the only items that come out stiff for me is occasionally the towels...for me that is a great memory as my grandmothers always came out that way, and for whatever reason to me that meant they where clean and sun can not get a better smell than btwn the home made laundry soap and line dry...we figure we are saving a fair amount of money as well.