29 Reasons to Hang Out your Laundry BY: ALICIA BAYER

Clothes on the line can be a cheery backyard sight

While you may already know a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea, you may not realize just how many reasons there are.

Here’s 29:

  1. You’ll save about one dollar in energy costs for every two loads of laundry that you hang on the line (even more for heavy loads), or about $1,500 over the lifetime of an average dryer.
  2. The sun naturally bleaches and disinfects (if you don’t want your clothes lightened, hang them in the shade, hang them inside out or hang them for less time).
  3. You’ll greatly reduce your fossil fuel usage. Five dryers burn as much fossil fuel in a year as one car.
  4. The stretching and exercise is good for you.
  5. Your clothes will smell wonderful.
  6. Your clothes will last longer.
  7. You don’t have to listen to noisy clothes dryers.
  8. You can do it part time and still make a big difference. If you’re reluctant to hang out your undergarments or you don’t like the way certain things feel when they’re line dried, wash and dry those separately and hang out the rest.
  9. It reduces wrinkles, especially on large items like sheets.
  10. It’s an excuse to get more fresh air and sunshine.
  11. You’ll reduce your chances of electrical fires. Washers and dryers caused 17,700 fires in the United States in 2006, the vast majority of which were dryer fires.
  12. It’s a simple way to deodorize particularly musty or smelly items. Instead of trying to mask odors in the dryer with heavily perfumed fabric softeners, just leave them outside longer than the rest of the laundry and let the wind and sun fade the odors and freshen them naturally
  13. It’s an opportunity to slow down, meditate and connect with the outside world.
  14. Clotheslines create a nostalgic look and bring back happy memories for many people.
  15. Your dryer will last longer and won’t need to be replaced as often.
  16. It’s an opportunity to spend time with your kids outside. Either talk with them while hanging laundry together or watch your little ones play while you hang.
  17. It frees up time. With dryers, you need to take clothes out right away or they wrinkle and create more work. You can leave clothes on the clothesline until you want to deal with them.
  18. Hanging clothes on a drying rack inside is a natural way to humidify the house, especially in dry winter months.
  19. It sets a good example for children and neighbors.
  20. Kids can use the clotheslines to make blanket forts or to hang giant art projects.
  21. It saves money on dryer sheets and eliminates static electricity.
  22. There is a wide variety of clothesline types available these days, including retractable ones, wooden ones, space saving ones and even portable outdoor ones. Check out some styles at the Clothesline Source or consider installing an inexpensive retractable line like this one Green Living installed on a deck. If your neighborhood frowns on clotheslines, you can even install an attractive wooden “hammock stand” the way this homeowner did.
  23. It lets you offgas items that are treated with chemicals or made up of unhealthy elements, such as vinyl shower curtains or tablecloths. If you buy these items, hang them on the line for a few days to offgas the pthalates and chemicals outside instead of into your home.
  24. It makes items like shirts, dresses and sheets delightfully crisp and fresh.
  25. It can even be done in freezing weather. It takes longer, but Wikipedia explains: First, the moisture in the laundry items will freeze and the clothing will become stiff. Then the frost on the clothes will sublimate into the air leaving the items dry.
  26. It allows you to do more laundry in less time, since it typically takes much less time to wash clothes in the washing machine than it does to dry them. No waiting for the first load to dry before you can wash the next load.
  27. It keeps clothes from shrinking.
  28. It’s fun and relaxing.
  29. It’s a simple way to go green.

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