Line Drying our Laundry

We didn’t have a dryer in Germany.  All of our clothes dried on this rack from OBI for about 20 euros.

It filled a big chunk of our living room every time we set it up.

Then our laundry took over 24 hours to dry on wet winter days.  Nobody gave us funny looks; line drying clothes was the norm.

Now we live in the Rocky Mountains (where there isn’t intense humidity) in the heat of the summer.  A lot of our neighbors are using dryers.  But not us.  The dryer here is just collecting dust because living in Germany reintroduced us to the laundry habits our mothers and grandmothers were doing for years.  I love it!  Here’s why:

1. We save money. Dryers suck up more energy than almost anything else in the house when they run.  There’s also the added expense of buying a dryer.

2.  The temperatures are perfect for line drying right now. It’s summer.  Running a hot dryer doesn’t sound too appealing in our already hot house.

3.  We generate less laundry. Line drying clothes takes a little more time to set up each time, so we get a little more wear out of things before they go in the laundry (especially in the winter!).  Here are some laundry tips we’ve found.  We find our towels especially don’t need to be washed quite so often.

4.  Our clothes last longer. Remember our family’s No New Clothes Challenge?  We’re not buying new clothes.  We’re using what we have, which means we’re doing what we can to make them last.  Dryers weaken fabrics over time.  All that lint in our dryers is particles of fabric getting prematurely warn from our clothes.  In our dryer days, our biggest problem was worn heels in our socks.  Not any more.

Sadly, a lot of home owner associations ban lines for drying laundry outside.  And if you’re like us, clothes can’t be hanging out in the breeze due to allergies.  That doesn’t mean you can’t still line dry clothes.  Hang them in your house.  Build a rack in the basement or garage.  Set up a rack in the laundry room (Amazon has a good selection we’re eyeing).  Put dress shirts on hangers to dry.  Or find places to hang laundry in the house.  That’s what we’re doing thanks to the lack of a fourth solid wall in each room…

How do you dry your clothes?  What are the benefits you love about the system you have or what would you change?