There’s something about hanging out my clothing on the line, a beautiful day shining love and the natural bleaching goodness of the sun down upon my deepest of secret pleasures. Who could imagine being overjoyed at the thought of hanging laundry? I for one. Something about using Nature’s element to its fullest potential gives me great gratification. And when I lay down at night with the smell and feel of clean reverberating next to my body, a sense of calm and enviro-friendly justice in its finest form overcomes me.
There are so many benefits to eliminating or reducing automatic dryer usage in one’s life, with little extra work and numerous benefits associated with the practice:
Air-drying is better for your clothes. Laundry machines toss clothes around, causing wear on the seams and sometimes snagging things with zippers. If you use a washer and dryer, you subject your clothes to twice as much tumbling as you would if you used only a washer. The heat of the dryer causes elastic to break down and T-shirt lettering to peel. It can also distort the shapes of knit garments.
Air-drying reduces wrinkles. If you remove clothing from a dryer immediately and hang or fold it, most items are relatively unwrinkled; however, this requires careful timing. How much time does your dryer save if you have to hang around waiting for the cycle to end or face a session of tedious ironing? Clothes which have been properly hung for air-drying will dry in the right shape, virtually wrinkle-free, and will be waiting when youÕre ready to get them.
Air-drying completely eliminates static cling. Electric dryers produce static electricity by rubbing clothes over each other repeatedly. Avoid this process, and you’ll avoid the static! You’ll also save money on fabric softener. True, air-dried clothes feel a bit stiff at first. Just remind yourself that the stiffness means clothes are freshly washed, and soon you’ll find that those “nice soft clothes” feel dirty!
Air-drying is good for the environment. In many areas, electricity is produced by coal-powered plants. Reduce your electricity consumption, and you’ll reduce the burning of irreplaceable fossil fuels.
Best of all, air-drying is free! If you use coin-operated laundry machines, you know that dryers account for at least half the expense. If you own a dryer, you’re paying for extra electricity and repairs. Just read these tips, set up your own air-drying system, and you’ll never pay another cent to dry your clothes.
Here’s a few stats for you. Did you know that:
- electric clothes dryers use 6 % of residential electricity in the United States (Project Laundry List)
- the US Department of Energy rates dryers as the second biggest muncher of household energy (refrigerators rate right up there as first — CNet News)
- a washer and dryer are found in 9 of 10 single-family American homes (I wonder how many clotheslines / horses are found in the same homes?)
- clothes dryers are blamed for 15,000 household fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries counted each year by the Consumer Safety Product Commission
Wiki-How offers some tips on how to dry your clothes outside. Have fun and experiment with what works for you.
How often do you naturally dry your clothing? Join in on the fun and throw any tips or advice this way :).