Our dryer has been acting oddly again recently, so we started hanging out our laundry as much as we could, so as to not overtax our clothes dryer. The results have been interesting.Of course, here in America, it’s almost sacrilege to suggest hanging out laundry. For all of the environmentally friendly policies out there in the public realm, many towns and cities (and neighborhoods) have laws and codes against clotheslines! When we lived in the trailer park, we had rules against hanging out our laundry too.
I’ve come to realize there are several reasons why you should at least consider hanging your clothes to dry.
Saving Big Money
When we received our electric bill the next month, after hanging out at least half of our loads, it had dropped almost by 25%. We were both shocked.
Further research showed that most dryers cost about $.50-1.50 per load to run. Given that ours was an older dryer that we got off of Freecycle about 5 years ago, I’m sure our number was closer to the big number.
I didn’t really think the dollar or two per load was that much (at least not enough to inconvenience myself by hanging my clothes out) until I really started to think about it.
Given that we do about 1, sometimes 2 loads of laundry per day, absolutely yes. Thirty loads per month at $1.50 per load would mean $45 in added expense per month. Ouch! We’ve estimated that we have saved nearly $75 per month by hanging out laundry, though it’s hard to be too specific given that we’ve tried to do other things to lower our bills too.
Saving Your Clothes
When you go over to your dryer to start up a load, you probably have to empty the lint trap first, right?
Where does that lint come from? I’ll tell you where. That’s the wear and tear on your clothing from being run through the dryer. Yikes.
Now, I know it’s been quite hot and dry this spring and summer, but I’ve been shocked that the “inconvenience” I thought hanging out laundry was really isn’t. Here’s why.
1. Clothes dry in about 30 minutes – 90 minutes, depending on the humidity and other environmental factors. The dryer always takes 70 minutes.
2. Matching socks are much easier to find when they are hanging up on a line vs. in an overflowing sock basket.
3. Handle your clothing and laundry less, because you can fold your clothes as you take them off the line, unless you need to iron them.
What about the time it takes to hang your clothes? I have found that it takes only about five or ten minutes to hang each load of laundry. The time savings from being able to fold clothes and match socks more efficiently more than makes up for that.
Except for that brief period when the neighbor’s cottonwood trees were blooming, the laundry smells and feels fresher after hanging out in the breeze. This is especially true of my bed linens and blankets.
Natural Fresh Air and Exercise
I’m been really focused in on getting healthier lately, and so I’ve enjoyed the moments of fresh air and moderate exercise that hanging my laundry out gets me. I’m the sort of person who would stay indoors when it’s too hot outside. This activity forces me outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and move around a little.