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Hung out to dry May 5, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in family, personal.
Tags: , , , ,

Some days I don’t feel like posting about science or engineering or anything like that.  This is one of those days, and I’m feeling more domestically inclined.  (Perhaps it was baking muffins that got me on this kick.)

Over a year ago, a relative of mine was featured in the local paper because of his attempts to minimize energy use and how this was connected to his ministry (he was a minister at a local church, at the time).  I actually didn’t know how far he’d gone in his attempts until reading the article, and I have to say I’ve been trying to think of ways to do things like this ever since.  The picture included with the article showed him in his basement with lines hung all around, drying his clothes.

A couple months ago, I decided that there was no reason not to try something similar.  When I was a kid, we had clotheslines in the back of most of the places we lived, but I never really liked those.  I don’t know how many times I brought in clothes that were covered in dust or seeds…or even bugs!  I also had no idea how I’d hang lines around my basement (or how to keep the kids from playing with them and turning them into a place to hang and launch toys.) Instead, I bought a couple of clothes-drying racks and set them up in my basement.  I figured it would cut down on use of our dryer (extending its longevity), cut down on energy use, and help keep some of our clothes from coming to an early demise.  (I think I read somewhere that heat destroys cotton over time, and I’ve seen it with a few of my own things.)

I tried to talk my husband into using them, but I don’t think he likes them a whole lot.  He is giving it a try…at least for now.  We’ve determined that several of our work clothes just simply can’t be dried on the rack because they get too wrinkled.  (I’m sorry, but I really don’t iron clothes unless absolutely necessary.)  Also, jeans take forever.  I keep trying to get myself onto a schedule (like I was a few years ago), where I did specific loads of laundry on specific days (Mondays was whites, Tuesdays was jeans, etc.).  I think it would work much better than just doing things on the weekend…and running out of space.  I am also trying to think harder about what kinds of clothes will dry well on the racks and try to avoid those really wrinkly things.  That’s difficult, however, as you can’t always tell how well they’ll work until you see what they look like wet.

The end result is that we’re drying about half of our laundry on the racks, while the other half is still going through the drier.  I still feel guilty that I’m not doing all of it this way, but I keep telling myself that every little bit is a step in the right direction.  (And, hey, if it cuts down on expenses, even better.)

(Thanks to Ukko.de for the picture!)


1. nicoleandmaggie - May 5, 2012

I figure I did enough of that hanging laundry in childhood. (In the backyard in good weather, in the basement in bad.) I <3 our dryer and I'm willing to deal with some of the drawbacks. (I do hang most of my delicates, but I do those around once every two weeks during the school year and less often during vacation.)

mareserinitatis - May 6, 2012

It’s not the hanging that bothers me…just when they get wrinkly. Hanging clothes doesn’t seem like nearly as much hassle as ironing. But then again, I’m prone to burning myself. :-)

I do like my dryer, but I think I should probably like it less. It is probably one of the most energy-inefficient appliances in our home.

2. karifur - May 5, 2012

You could try hang-drying your work shirts, then throwing in a dryer for a little while with a damp towel to fluff them up & get out the wrinkles; this works surprisingly well and doesn’t really use extra energy because you would have been using the dryer for the towels anyway.
This also works very well for clothes that get crispy and/or scratchy when air-dried.

mareserinitatis - May 6, 2012

Awesome! I’ll give that a try some time.

3. George - May 6, 2012

We dry all our clothes outside on the line. Surprisingly, the rental office does not complain. For us, the jeans dry in less than 1 day while other clothes even dry faster. I am not so sure if it is as fast in the basement where there is no air to dry the clothes. To my surprise I found that it is possible to dry clothes outside in winter snow as well! I love line drying, it is free and good for the mother nature!

mareserinitatis - May 6, 2012

How in the world can you dry clothes in winter? I’d expect they’d just freeze.


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