{Green Living} Put Some Sunshine in Your Laundry the Eco-Friendly Way

Laundry – It seems to breed at my house!  It seems that no matter how often I do the wash, the amount of it stays constant.  I like to do the laundry, though.  Especially during the nice weather, because that means I get to spend more time outside in the sunshine, hanging my clothes to dry.

Line drying laundry is making a comeback.  A generation or two ago, the backyard clothesline was a common sight  but with the electric clothes dryer becoming a household staple, hanging wash out to dry naturally has fallen into the realm of the quaint.  Today’s generation is once again realizing the advantages of the good old-fashioned clothesline for drying laundry.

Naturally dried laundry smells sooo wonderful!  There is nothing like the fresh, clean scent of line-dried laundry.   The sun is also a natural sanitizer and is able to bleach your whites to a nice, bright white – without chemicals.   Clothes last longer because there is less wear and tear on them than tumble drying, and there is the advantage, of course, of reducing our energy consumption.

6  Tips for  Hanging  Laundry.

Over time, through trial and error, I have developed my personal method for hanging clothes to minimize ironing.

  • For jeans and pants:  Pin your jeans, shorts and pants hanging upside down with one clothespin per leg.  This way, the weight of the waistband will pull your pants nice and straight.
  • For shirts and blouses:  I hang them upside down, too, with one clothespin at each side seam.  I used to pin them at the shoulders, but then I ended up with a weird wrinkle at each shoulder.
  • For T-shirts and knits:  I actually will dry them for a few minutes in my dryer because otherwise it seems the ribbing on the neck is too stretchy.  The few minutes in the dryer helps to shrink the ribbing back in place.
  • For towels:  Okay, I might be different, but I actually like towels that are stiff from being line dried.  They smell marvelous, and the texture reminds me of a big luffa – refreshing!  However, if you like your towels soft and fluffy, take them down from the line when they are almost dry and finish the job in the drier.
  • Bright and dark-colored clothes:  One advantage of drying clothes in the sun is its ability to bleach and sanitize.  This can also be a disadvantage when it comes to colored clothing.  To avoid fading, place your clothesline in the shade or hang your colored clothes earlier or later in the day when the sun is not at its peak, and then take them down as soon as they are dry.
  • For the urban dweller:  If you don’t have a place for a large clothesline, you can put your clothes on hangers (not metal) and pin the hangers on a small line.

If you haven’t tried line drying your laundry, you must give it a try!  There is nothing like putting a little sunshine into your laundry ~

Enjoy the sunshine!  Mary Ellen

Photo via Flickr

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  1. I love the smell of laundry which has been hung outside in the breeze! For the last two years my laundry was dried that way. Now we are crashing with the in-laws and they don’t have a line, but when we have our own place again, I will definitely be puttting up a clothes line.

  2. Thanks so much for these great tips Mary Ellen! For my mother, a child of the depression, clothes lines were a sign of poverty once dryers were available, so I never learned “how to hang” from her. I do love to line dry in the summer, and your tips will refine my technique!