This past weekend, a child in our neighborhood saw me hanging our clothes on the line. “Why are you doing that?” she asked, “Don't you have a dryer?”
I stifled a laugh and replied, “Yes, but this saves money and the environment.”
But her question made me think. Why do I choose to hang clothes out on the line?
1. To save money. During the summer months, when I can hang out our laundry to dry almost every day, I knock off $50 from our electric bill.
2. To make my clothes last longer. You know that wad of lint you pull from your dryer vent? That's your clothes wearing out faster. Your tossing some of your clothes and money into the garbage when you empty the lint drawer.
3. Relaxation. Yes, you read that right. Something about pinning clothes out on the line relaxes me. I think it has to do with the fresh air and the beautiful earth God created for us.
4. Prayer time. When I hang up an article of clothes, I pray for the person they belong to. It may only be fleeting, but each of my family is covered in prayer when I dry clothes on the line.
5. The scent. No bottle of scented laundry softener can measure up to the sun and wind dried scent of clothes on the line.
Here's a few tips when hanging clothes on the line. I hang all pants and shirts from the hem. This leaves no clothes pin marks on the shoulders and collars. The weight of the waist keeps pants from looking wrinkled and allows the thicker waistband to dry completely.
If you can't abide the feeling of stiff towels, then pop in the dryer for just five minutes. They'll fluff up without padding your electric bill.
I use an old wide mouth Mason jar to hold my clothes pins. It's both decorative and functional.
What's your favorite thing about laundry? Do you have any tips for me? What chore do you enjoy doing?
This post is featured on The Better Mom and Conerstone Confessions Titus Tuesday.
Heather Day Gilbert
Love the images this conjures up, and so glad we’re moving to a place with a clothesline soon! I pray as I take clothes out of the washer/dryer now, but love the idea of praying as I hang them on the line.
You’ll have to post pictures of your new place, Heather! I find myself more in a hurry or grabbing handfuls of clothes when I transfer from washer to dryer, the clothesline makes me slow down. 🙂 Congrats on your new place.
I like the saving money part! LOL Having our family increase to #5 is going to require saving money any way we can!
Yes, the saving money part is nice. And I still don’t see how something so tiny can make sooo much laundry, but those babies do.
This is great! We just moved into our new home recently and are looking to add a triangle/umbrella style clothes line in the back and I’m so excited to start using it!
Working Kansas Homemaker
Nicole, congrats on your new home. Have fun w/ your new clothesline. I’m sure you’ll love it and the memories you’ll be making in your new place. Thanks for stopping by.
I love hanging my clothes out to dry. We are not permitted to have a clothes line (neighborhood association) so I use a couple of drying racks and if I need more room, I use hangers and my patio furniture. Now I need to figure out how to hand sheets. 🙂 Bonus: No static electricity!
You’re right, no static! I’ve tried drying racks and I do use them some in the winter. But the one I have is small and when I’m gone at work, I worry about the dog running by and knocking it all over. Way to go for not letting your neighborhood association deter you from drying your clothes outside.
Erika @ Slowly Natural
I love hanging out clothes to dry for exactly the same reasons you listed! Thank you for posting! Dropping by from The Better Mom!
So glad you stopped by, Erika. I hung a load this morning before work & look forward to taking it down this evening.
I so need to get back to putting my laundry out on the line again. Got a new dryer this year and haven’t gotten back into the habit. It’s such a good money-saver and as you mentioned…a relaxing quiet time.
I would love it if you would consider linking this up to Titus 2 Tuesdays. This is right down the alley of why TTT was created.
Hope to see you there.
Kathy, I love your site and link-up. Thanks for inviting me. I treasure learning things from the older generation, some wise women there.
I have a beautiful, heavy duty, 4 lines on pulleys clothesline. It’s the best!!
A few of the positives. Sometimes things dry more quickly on the line than in the dryer, there is less (or no) shrinkage, the sunshine disinfects, fewer wrinkles.
One drawback is pollen and dust if you live with someone with asthma or allergies. A little time in the dryer once they are dry would likely remove that.
I made a clothespin apron so the pins and little chain links that I use to keep the top and bottom lines together are right at hand. I learned to always bring the pins in with the laundry, they stay like new for years as long as you don’t leave them on the line.
Go! Use your solar clothes dryer.❤️
Before I left Florida last winter, our dryer broke. Instead of buying a new one, I hung out all of my laundry to dry. We had only a short clothesline so I had to really stick with that whole one load a day mantra; I was lucky to get a whole load on the line at once. Florida sun can be harsh on colours, though– I could only hang things out after noon when the back porch was in shade. Just one more reason to be thankful for our overcast Washington skies.
Melissa K. Norris
Vanessa, I love your perspective of looking at things from the positive. Sometimes I tend to grump at our overcast skies, but there is always something to be joyful about. Thanks!
Thanks! And thanks for linking up!
I had to move away from my little country home to an apartment in the city. I miss it terribly… I use my balcony to hang out my clothes on a drying rack. I think I am the only woman that does it here in the complex. It keeps towels fresher longer to hang them out between uses. tip: chip-clips and clothespins are interchangeable. Both will hold a bag closed or hold clothes on a line.
I was just in the city this past weekend, Elaine and I saw clothes draped over the balcony drying. It made me feel at home and I thought, there’s a kindred spirit.
Love your tip about the chip-clips! I even use them to hold folders and papers together in a cinch.
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I love to hang out the wash. My mom use to do it when I was a kid and it just seems like it is the right thing to do… the only down fall I have is the farmers feel they have to spread there cow poo after I hang them out .. but why stop when the summer is over i keep going well into the fall and when the first spring breeze starts. thanks for the blog.
Thanks for stopping by Dawn. Not a good idea to hang a load out on a windy day if your husband is getting ready to mow the lawn. Green confetti stuck to your clothes is not my idea of a party. I’ve even hung clothes out on a sunny day in February, though they’re rare and far between.
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I love hanging clothes on the line for all the same reasons you do. It just makes me smile on the inside. One thing I’ve started doing is adding a little white vinegar to my clothes during the rinse cycle. Softens the clothes even further especially the towels and jeans which can sometimes dry a tad stiff. There is something quite spiritual for me about hanging the laundry out. Blessings and thanks for sharing.
I add vinegar to my laundry too. I love how it helps cut the musty odor that my washing machine sometimes gets. Happy to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I do agree… . . I hang out in the summer. But not now in winter when there is 50 cm sow and -15 degrees Celsius. . .
Melissa K. Norris
Annika, I don’t get to hang our clothes out in the winter either. It’s usually just too rainy though normally we get a few snow showers. Looking forward to spring.
Thank you. I enjoyed this. I love hanging my clothes out too. One thing I do know to do is wipe the line off with damp cloth good b4 hanging your clothes out after it has set from winter. My lines are under trees and it does get dirty. Thank you for the prayer idea.
Faye, excellent tip. Yes, the lines can collect dirt and make a line on your clothes if not wiped down every now and then. Thanks!
My husband thinks I’m crazy to hang up clothes in the summer time, we did it growing up to make the dryer last longer, and keep it cooler in the summer. And I say as long as I have a yard to do it in I am going to hang up clothes. We just don’t normally hang out underwear or things like that, its fine out in the country, but if you live in town its not such a good idea if you want to keep on decent terms with your neighbors. The 50 bucks a month is a great incentive to keep doing it, bonus for my personal spending budget!!
Thank you for the article! I’ve been looking into using a cloths line to dry my cloth diapers and this gives me more reasons to go for it!
I love hanging out laundry also. I used to tell my kids it’s our solar powered , wind generated
drying machine. I am old school I guess, but I used to especially like hanging out diapers.
With my 8 th baby, one of my older daughters hand made a set of flannel diapers with a floral print on them. I would think of art when I hung them out, I had my own method
of making everything look orderly on the clothesline. When I was finished I would stand back and watch the breeze ripple through the clothes and I would consider it my own bit of art work for the day. The simple things in life are best, the things done with love.