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Keep it hangin'?

Mamas, how do you dry?  Sarah asks:

My husband and I have been thinking about air-drying our laundry on a clothesline in the back yard. I'm wondering if other urbanmamas are doing this? Does it save you money? Is it really time consuming? I quickly checked out Project Laundry List (Right to Dry) but they don't seem to have much practical information about line-drying. Other than putting up a clothesline and buying clothes pins, are there secrets or tips you'd like to share? Finally, I'm wondering if you line-dryin' mamas hang your skivvies outside? Somehow the thought of hanging my panties and bras outside makes me blush…

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We line dry in the warmer weather and love it. We have a line we hang across our back deck so the skivvies are proudly displayed, anyone we know well enough to have in our backyard is welcome to look at my undies. I know it does save some money (I think my hubby did the math and figured out that a load in the dryer costs around 75 cents)and doesn't take me all that much longer, but I also really enjoy the act of hanging laundry.

I grew up with a clothesline and have some practical advice...don't hang it under a tree or electric line (bird poop, need I say more), give clothes a good shake before you bring them in, sometimes bugs will find a nice dark home (although not leaving them out overnight reduces this alot), also consider finding one of those retractable lines so it's easy to hide, sometimes you don't want to look at an empty clothesline.

Happy drying!

Also, if you have a nice dry basement, you can hang your unmentionables there either on a line or on one of those wooden racks you can buy. We use the basement to line dry during "inclement weather."

I think the question is really whether it's worth your time to hang things. It's not the quickest process in the world. I do enjoy it, as does Sagu above.

We have one of those collapsable clothes lines with a central post. You can get them at Home Depot, but you might have to ask for them because they are often not in sight/reach without a ladder. I tend to hand the "unmentionables" on the inner rows of line, closest to the pole, and larger objects outside.

Hanging clothes on the line does take a little longer then just shoving the clothes in the dryer, but is enjoyable, and it does save money and, more importantly to me, energy resources. The kids also like to help, and the clothes smell nice too.

Buy lots of clips- Dollar Tree sells pretty good sized packages, and for only a dollar! Also make sure to take the clothes down before mowing the lawn, or else you'll be shaking grass clippings off all the clean clothes.

We have one of those collapsable clothes lines with a central post. You can get them at Home Depot, but you might have to ask for them because they are often not in sight/reach without a ladder. I tend to hand the "unmentionables" on the inner rows of line, closest to the pole, and larger objects outside.

Hanging clothes on the line does take a little longer then just shoving the clothes in the dryer, but is enjoyable, and it does save money and, more importantly to me, energy resources. The kids also like to help, and the clothes smell nice too.

Buy lots of clips- Dollar Tree sells pretty good sized packages, and for only a dollar! Also make sure to take the clothes down before mowing the lawn, or else you'll be shaking grass clippings off all the clean clothes.

Oops, sorry for that double post.

I've been hanging most of my laundry for years, though I've never had a yard. We have a collapsible wooden rack that works beautifully, and has probably saved us a thousand bucks over its lifetime. It does take extra time, and clutters up the apartment, but we have low standards for interior decorating, it saves money and energy, and I also like the zen process of hanging clothes. If you are lucky enough to have a yard, you can also enjoy the antibacterial and bleaching benefits of sunshine!

I'm not sure if it saves us money, but we do hang dry (actually mostly hang dry). For a few clothing items that tend to get really hard, we put them together in the wash and then use the dryer for about 5-10min and then hang dry. It helps with the kids sweaters. I do it year round. we set up half of our garage with clothes lines and the racks to dry items flat. if its not too cold we leave our garage door open a little bit to have the air circulate. our son has really bad allergies so I am limited on when I can hang things outside (depends on the pollen levels). The kids love how the bedding smells after being dryed outside, they also love how warm everything is when we bring it in.

When I lived in Kenya we washed our clothes in the sink and hung everything to dry. We had one tent for the unmentionables (we called it the underwear banda)because in Kenya, it's not ok to have your underwear out on the line. Kenyans that would actually talk about this said they hung their underwear inside their regular clothes. Maybe I'll try it in our backyard at least once in a while.

there are so many kinds of indoor dry racks. No clips to keep track of! I move mine outside in summer and they take less room indoors than trying to string line. Our son has been a big help hanging and putting dry clothes away. Good Luck!

We used to have a line back in NY and my undies used to always pry loose from their clips and find their way onto the patio below. I would love a line here, and this post has reminded me how much I miss line drying.

Still, we use a rack to dry about half our laundry. I like that it requires less energy and it also helps reduce wear and tear on the clothing. We had the same wooden rack for almost 10 years that just cracked a few weeks ago. We noticed that there was some moldy stuff that was forming on the wooden rack, so we replaced it with a metal-frame rack.

As to the questions: Does it save you money? I think so, but I'm not sure. Is it really time-consuming? Hanging laundry is much more time consuming than just chucking the load into the dryer. But, as mentioned by posters above, there is a therapuetic quality of hanging laundry and I also love that our girls now enjoy helping hang the laundry. They are now capable of hangiing a whole load on their own.

I live in England with a hubby from Portland and new baby and we have been thinking about moving to Portland. I am so glad to read posts like this! In England everyone hang drys in their garden when it's good weather. It's so much better to have the sun dry your clothes than use energy. Here are my tips: If it's not a windy day you don't even have to bother with clips which will save you time (also they tend to leave a little dent in the clothes). You are pretty certain to get a line across your clothes where you hang them, so for t-shirts and nice tops I first put them on a hanger and then just hang them onto the clothesline. That way you might not even need to get out the iron so you'll be saving even more energy. I'm lucky here because no-one cares about their underwear hanging out (which is funny, because in most other respects I think we are more reserved). But I, also, tend to put underwear on the inner sections so you end up not really being able to see them (I have one of those trees with a central post - it folds up really easily so you can put it away when not in use). The smell of laundry dried outside is unbeatable!

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