~ if it's above freezing, or not, clothes are line dried ~
1. It annoys the Home Owners Association. Frankly, I don't understand people who carp about the environment and then use a dryer. So many HOA's have rules against clothes lines where clothes can be seen by other residents. Seriously? You're going to get annoyed because you see my unmentionables? How old are you?
2. It saves a lot of money. Dryers use a lot of electricity and the older the dryer, the more electricity it uses. According to some sites the energy hogs are heating and cooling (think heat pump), water heater, lighting, washer/dryer, refrigerator, oven, TV/DVD/VCR, dishwasher and finally, computer. The next water heater I purchase is going to be an “on-demand” gas powered water heater which should really push down the electric bill. I mean, why pay to keep water heated 24/7 when it's only used a very few times a day?
Daddy retired from VEPCO, now Dominion Resources, and used to say, “If you're leaving the room, turn the lights off; you're not paying for a dime more electricity than you use.” He's right and now I'm very conscious of my electrical use. Last year, I bought a convection oven and it's used most of the time and costs far less than my 1914 Acorn stove oven, plus food bakes in a lot less time. This is very important when I've misjudged my time and am ravenous.
I no longer have satellite television and only watch a DVD a couple of times a month. It's a time consideration; most of my time is used on the farm or in the house and there's little to no extra time for watching DVD's. Now that I'm without sat television, I'm more aware of the amount of hours I wasted watching television, even “good programming” such as PBS, Nat Geo, History, etc. Yes, I do miss it but my decision was easy based upon time and needs not to mention how much money I was spending to watch half dozen programs. Do I miss it? Yes, there are many nights I'd love to sofa crash, turn on the tube and get lost but since I've removed that temptation, I don't.
~ clothes line dried year 'round ~
3. It's more exercise. My washer and dryer are upstairs, which is where Dave wanted them because he said, “Most of our laundry will be generated upstairs.” While that's true, it's also true I've always line dried my laundry, all year 'round and lugging a huge basket full of wet laundry downstairs then same basket of dried laundry upstairs, means some serious exercise. In winter, if it's snowing, sleeting or doing some other nasty kind of weather, I use a clothes rack, also known as a clothes horse, to line dry inside. The upside of that is the increased moisture in the air means no static electricity.
4. Clothes smell better. Really, clothes just smell better when line dried in the sun. Nothing, not even lavender, beats the small of sun dried laundry and using dryer sheets in the dryer means, eventually, your towels and wash clothes aren't going to absorb water as well.
~ photo take very quickly in Romania ~
5. Sunlight is a disinfectant. There's no need to use bleach and if you want to boost your detergent's whitening and disinfecting power, use a half cup to cup of baking soda.
6. No wrinkles. On a windy day, clothes will line dry with few to no wrinkles.
7. Clothes last longer. In a dryer, clothes are being rubbed together, somewhat violently, which produces lint. Lint is the result of clothes losing fiber and will eventually wear clothes out much more quickly.
~ Sandra with Romanian weaver ~
8. Eliminates static cling. Lovely in and of itself!
9. No shrinkage. Have you ever, mistakenly, shrunk something because the dryer was on an incorrect setting? Yeah. Me too.
10 Softer clothes. If you must use a softener, use white vinegar.
11. Time spent in nature. All right, so it's not a walk on the beach or a traipse in the forest, it's still outside in nature. On a beautiful day, it's glorious, even if you are hanging out laundry or getting it off the line.
12. Line dried sheets with line dried nightgown...'nuff said!
~ I made these spider web fabric shawls ~
Good equipment is paramount in any operation, including line drying clothes. A double T pole, opposite ends with good, plastic covered wire stretched between means long years of drying pleasure. My lines have been replaced three times in nineteen years which is remarkable, considering the winds that scream down this valley. Just last week, we had winds of sixty plus miles per hour and empty lines take a toll; when lines are full of wet clothes, the lines are ripping back and forth, back and forth continuously.
Yesterday, I replaced one line, probably should have replaced the other but I was expecting Donald, Mary's husband, after work to put up barb wire on a fence line, and fixing one was gracious plenty. What it takes a man 15 minutes to do, it takes me an hour, not including the figuring out time.
~ I hand crocheted this rag rug hung on fence ~
I've some of my grandmother's clothes pins and would love, dearly love, to replace them with exactly the same kind. That's not happening because, as we all know, they just don't make 'em like they used to and 'em means everything. Please, whatever you do, do NOT buy cheap clothes pins; you're wasting time, money, effort and, probably, clean clothes when the pins break and clothes fall to earth.
As an aside...Dave once bought an expensive gas grill and his friend said, “Good grief, Dave, don't you ever buy anything cheap?” Dave looked at him and said, “No, I can't afford to.” There's a lot of wisdom in that simple statement.
If you don't know about Lehman's, Simple Products for a Simpler Life, in Ohio, visit when you have time and plan on spending some pleasurable time perusing their it. Lehman's is the primary source for old order religions such as Mennonite and Amish; most of what they offer is non-electric, hand's on and stuff you've not seen for years, even decades. For example, they have pant stretchers which I've not seen since I was a teenager. For 25 clothes pins you'll pay $6.95 but if you buy 2 packs, you'll pay $6.00 each.
~ clothes, frozen on line ~
In Vermont, if you can believe it, a law has been passed “protecting the right to dry laundry outdoors” even though “many people—due to community, landlord, or zoning restrictions—are still prohibited from letting their clothes dry naturally in the sun.”
Oh yeah but they're “environmentally correct” in all other ways...snort, chuckle, guffaw, laughing out LOUD! As an aside, does anyone else see the absolute and total irony in the words “community restrictions”? Can you say o.x.y.m.o.r.o.n.? Can you say s.t.u.p.i.d.? Can you say... ain't no way I'm living that kinda life! These are the same people who passed a law stating truckers cannot leave their truck motors running when they're catching the few winks required by law. Let's see now...we want our “stuff” but we want to be environmentally correct and not release any smog into the air and, by the way, it's okay to let the truckers freeze to death. Sheesh!
But I digress.
The Vermont Country Store, another delightful mercantile, has clothes pins; Theirs are 25 pins for $9.95 but the words RIGHT TO DRY are printed, in red, on each and every pin, letting your neighbors know where you stand. Unless, of course, you live in a “community” where such shenanigans as line drying your delicates are prohibited.
~ crazy quilt, circa mid to late 1800's ~
The last place I found to purchase wooden clothes pins is Lee ValleyTools and is, probably, where I'll buy my pins. I plan to as they look very similar to my Grandmother's pins and, at $4.95 for 50 pins are more than reasonably priced.
I will admit to using the dryer...sometimes. Like today, the day started out bright and sunny so I threw my blankie into the washer; by the time blankie was finished washing, it was raining. That blankie is important to an excellent night's sleep for me so it's going into the dryer.
What about you? Do you line dry? Why or why not? Nosy minds want to know!
Blessings ~ clothes lines and pins ~ clean blankie ~ Romania ~ gift of travel ~ gift of line dried clothes ~ the work of our hands and hearts ~