New! Solar Dryer!

As we all know, hanging your laundry on the line saves a lot of electricity because dryers are one of the highest energy users of a household.

lines of laundry criss-crossing between tenements in New York City a long time ago
Okay, so it’s not really a new invention.

So go ahead and set up a clothesline in your backyard just in case . . . you ever actually use it. Sometimes on a perfect sunny day when you have a lot of time, there is nothing more perfect than hanging your clothes out on a line while the Easter bunny hides little treats for you in the flower garden. No, really! It does happen sometimes.

But I should warn you that even if you have the time and willingness to hang stuff up, don’t expect line-dried clothing to be soft and fragrant as flowers. I don’t know who started that rumor, but it’s wrong. Line-dried clothes are stiff and wrinkled. You can take them off the line and throw them into the dryer for five to ten minutes of air fluff if you must.

Or maybe you’re comfortable with looking rumpled. (I’d put a little illustrative photo of me here, but I’m bashful.)

The nature and dryer combo

If you’re in a hurry, or just lack patience, you can save some electricity without hanging every blessed sock out on the line. Just hang a few of your biggest and heaviest things. During the winter I often hang a few heavy items by the wood stove. It lightens up the load and can shorten the cycle substantially.

When using the dryer, use the moisture sensor.

Experiment with what level of dryness is comfortable for you. Some people want their clothes absolutely baked; others aren’t so sensitive.

Don’t use the wrinkle guard option. Instead, do a five minute spin right before you’re ready to remove the clothes if they’ve been sitting for a while.

Clean the lint screen after every load. I’ll bet you never heard that before.

laundry line going from house to high up on a barn
The Amish use a pulley system to hang their laundry up really high, where it’s safer from farm dust and (low-flying) birds.

 

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