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I live in Tennessee where TVA, our electric supplier, has raised our electric bills 30% in one month. I have started really trying to be more frugal. I purchased a indoor clothes line and strung it up in my basement. I bought it off ebay for $25.00, and it will hold 2 loads of laundry. It usually dries in less than one day. With a family of five, I do at least 1 load per day, I know this will help with my electric bill.
When drying your laundry outdoors, instead of using pegs, hang as much washing on clothes hangers as possible. Separate the hangers using pegs to stop them gravitating together.
Using hangers in this way has 4 advantages:
Also those peggy hangers that are meant for your smalls can also be used for larger items such as small towels and pillow cases. This also frees up space and helps to bring your washing in quickly
To save on utilities and clothes softener, I line dry many clothes in the house then put them in the dryer on air fluff. It's amazing how soft they become.
By Maria Elena from Gwynedd Valley, PA
Do you line dry your laundry only to discover when it's dried out that it needs ironing? Try putting 1/3 cup of vinegar in the washer. Vinegar will take the soap residue out of the laundry and your laundry will be lots softer.
By Queen Bee from TN
Carrying laundry baskets has become a major problem for me as well as the bending and hanging laundry due to fibromyalgia and back problems. But running a dryer isn't economical. So, I load two round baskets instead of using one large basket with my laundry to make them lighter and carry them out the door and put them in a children's wagon. The wagon holds both baskets. I attached a bungee cord to the handle to keep it upright when I am not hanging on to it. I then pull the wagon to the clothes line and hang up my laundry. No bending and minimal carrying.
We recently moved to mid Tennessee and have only a washer. I have completely enjoyed hanging clothes out on the line to dry. Who knew?
Anyway, I remember my great aunt, who NEVER used a dryer, always had this nifty little cloth bag that she carried around while hanging her clothes out. Take the pin out of the bag, put it back in....over and over. I started out using a similar bag. Now, here is where it gets simple! One day, I forgot to bring the bag out with me when taking the clothes down from the line, so I just put the pin back on the line. The next load that went up, was soooo much easier to hang out - took less than half the time.
Since we tend to wear the same items over and over, the spaces between the pins pretty much stay the same on the line. Easy!
Hanging clothes on the line not only helps to keep down the electric costs, but makes clothes smell so wonderful!. I have not dried my towels, which take so much time to dry, in a dryer for the past 3 years.
I love hanging our clothes outside to dry, but don't like stiff jeans. My late mother-in-law taught me to turn them inside out when I hung them on the clothes line. They end up soft and wrinkle free. It also helps to slow down the fading of the jeans.
Enjoy many benefits from using your clothes dryer less. You'll save energy and money by running it less. In colder, dryer climates and seasons you'll put moisture back into the air by hanging your clothes to dry; therefore, running a humidifier less if you use one.
Hanging laundry on a clothesline is one of the best green activities you can do. I used to struggle with my fitted sheets, though, trying to hang them straight when they have elastic all the way around.
When line drying, it's often convenient to use clothes hangers. If the weather is windy, the hangers can easily get knocked off by wind.
As I remove clothes from the washing machine to hang outside, I put socks together so that I can hang pairs side-by-side. I pin the socks on the clothes line at the toe--not at the opening.
If you use a cotton clothes line, try boiling the next replacement rope in salt water for a half hour before you put it up. This will take out all the tangles and prevent wet articles of wash from freezing to the line in cold weather.
If you line dry your clothes, you can still use dryer sheets to freshen your clothes or towels. Remove them from the line and place them and a dryer sheet in a large bag or basket with a lid.
I have found that leaving your clothes on the line over night causes them to smell funny. I think it's because of the dew. It might depend on what part of the country you live in whether or not they don't smell from the dew.
I got myself a portable clothes line. I stand it out on my front veranda to dry clothes. It's great, saves power and is protected from weather. It can be set up in a garage or carport.
I occasionally hang my clothes to dry inside during winter months to counteract the lack of humidity from using electric heat.
Today I ran out of clothespins as I was hanging my laundry out to dry. We recently purchased a house, and the previous owners left behind, among other things, a lifetime supply of coat hangers in the closets. I looked through them for the kind with clips to use as clothespins.
A lot of us still hang our clothes out to dry during the nice days on clothes lines that require you to use clothes pins. A lot of us leave the clothes pin bag hanging on the lines to use the next time and end up with dirty nasty looking bag...
This is a tip if you have a garment which isn't soiled or sweaty but has been worn, and which you want to freshen. Just hang it on the clothes line in light rain, and simply leave it there until dry.
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Here's a tip that can save you time drying your clothes. This is a guide about chain clothes drying line.
This is a guide about installing a breezecatcher rotary clothesline. Making a sturdy foundation for your clothes line will give you years of energy saving when taking advantage of the sun and breeze to dry laundry.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
When you hang out socks on the clothesline, which is the best way to do it so the tops don't stretch out?
Why are my clothes wrinkled after washing? I use homemade laundry soap, use vinegar during rinse, shake my clothes before placing them on clothes line; but still wrinkled.
G from from AZ
This may be too simple of a suggestion, but if there is no breeze on the day you hang them out, they'll stay wrinkled and sometimes stiffer.
Maybe you could try using the slowest spin speed on your washer. This way it doesn't press the clothes too tightly together when spinning. It may take a little longer to dry them but I don't think they will be as wrinkled. Also, I'm sure you probably do this but shake each item before hanging on the line. Hope this helps.
Linen & cotton tend to hold wrinkles. Aside from shaking my laundry, I also rub (smooth) the wrinkles out with my hands while wet & you'd be surprised how this helps. Also give them another good shaking after they are dry.
I use fabric softener & everything, but if it isn't windy the stuff is still wrinkled after drying.
I dry clothes on an inside rack, they come out wrinkled, when they dry I put them on fluff cycle in the dryer for a few minutes, this does they trick and its almost as though they were dried from the start in the dryer.
If you clothes line is high enough, try clothespinning a heavier piece of clothing to the bottom of a lighter piece ie. a pair of jeans to the bottom of a cotton T-shirt. This should help pull down on the tee and get rid of some of the wrinkles. Helps stretch them back out after a wash as well.
The more cotton you have in your clothes, the more wrinkled there will be. I don't like using the dryer for more than I have to. When left to dry naturally, they are softer, smell better and last longer. BUT, the wrinkles! What I do is put everything in the dryer for about 10-15 mins and then immediately hang up.
I shake them out and straighten the collars and what not. Then hang around the house or outside in the shade. I have done this for over 30 yrs. I hate to iron clothes, when I was a kid, it was my JOB to iron the family' clothes, so I really HATE it. If things need ironing, they don't get worn again. This way of doing it, works really well.
Also, if something like rayon or whatever comes out really wrinkled from the last spin in the washer & it's advisable not to iron it at all, i put it thru the normal wash (with luke warm water) and on the last rinse, I don't let it do the final spin. I take it out of the washer dripping wet, hang up and smooth out the material and over the next couple of hrs, I keep straightening it, till the front and back of the garment doesn't stick together.
This is a whole new world of changes. It seems there should be a better way to unwrinkle,crease,pleat,etc... than the "CAVE DAYS" of ironing on boards. I will take collored shirts still damp out of dryer & button every other button,on a flat surface,straighten the button line,bend the collor for it's style,hang on a rod,& hand press sleeves & cuffs. It takes less time do this than it did to type this!! Still,there's got to be an easier way.
I hang all shirts on plastic hangers immediately from the washer and hang the hangers on my clothesline with a pin on both sides of the hanger. This cuts down on the wrinkles.
If there is no breeze ouside, your clothes will probably be more wrinkled. If you notice, a nice breezy day causes less wrinkles.
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Hanging your wash outside saves big bucks, but can also leave your clothes stiff. I started putting my clothes in the dryer for about 5 minutes to let them soften up. A couple of times, I've forgotten and left it in there the entire cycle. This defeats the whole purpose of hanging the clothes out to begin with. I started leaving a timer next to the dryer and setting it for 5 minutes. The sound of the timer reminds me about the clothes. (The dial on my dryer won't set for such a short amount of time)
By Deanna from Cedar Park, TX
I am assuming you put them in the dryer BEFORE you hang them out? (09/26/2007)
I put my clothes on the spin cycle of the washer a few times. Not only will the clothes dry faster on the line, they also come out soft and not hard.
Good idea! I use liquid softener but clothing (esp. 100% cotton) is still a bit stiff. Your idea may work just as well on a no-heat cycle. For towels, to avoid that "wrinkled" look, I fluff them in the dryer on no heat for a few min. before hanging outside. They look much nicer and also not as stiff. Kudos to all us line-dryers! (09/26/2007)
Actually it works better to put them in the dryer FIRST for 5 minutes, then hang on the line. Try it! (09/26/2007)
One thing I've learned about those made-from-cardboard clothes. Use home made laundry detergent! I noticed that new clothes that I'd never washed in store-bought detergent don't get stiff at all. I harbor a secret suspicion that manufacturers put something in to make clothes nasty-sandpapery-stiff just so they can sell fabric softeners (just look at who owns what companies!) Clothes that I'd been washing in other detergent for a while take many washes to start softening up, but whatever they've gotten full of does wash out--eventually. Towels are the toughest, but even they come around in the end. I have found an extra rinse cycle to be beneficial with very dirty or stiff clothes, and as someone else posted, a nice windy day helps too. And I also whack the clothes hard against my leg when I take them off the line, though mostly to remove any moths or other bugs that have decided to set up camp on my laundry before they end up setting up camp in the house.
Final verdict from Mama Gina's Laundry Room: avoid store-bought detergent like the plague! (Anybody ever wonder why there are so many detergents that irritate your skin? I've heard of things like ground glass used as an abrasive. Nifty) (09/27/2007)
I found many years ago that hanging clothes out in the early morning or early evening works best. Also, you MUST bring them in AS SOON AS they are dry. The first couple of loads, you'll be checking several times to catch them just as they dry. After a little practice, you'll know just how long each fabric takes. I have done this for a long time and do not have trouble with stiff clothes ( I do not use liquid softener)
I run my bluejeans through the dryer for a few minutes before I hang them up to dry. They don't have wrinkles or dry as stiff. (01/29/2008)
A half cup of white vinegar in the rinse water helps to remove the detergent that has built up on the clothes. It acts as a natural fabric softener. And no, the clothes do not smell like vinegar at all. (07/01/2008)
How can I soften wind dried laundry?
By Jenny from Eastern Shore of VA
When I had clothes lines, all I ever did was use liquid fabric softener in the laundrey. However, the clothes do dry nicer if there is a fairly brisk wind. I never had any trouble with the towels or anything feeling stiff. (04/18/2010)
It's not easy, but you can try using 2 parts water with 1 part fabric softener and 1 part of rubbing alcohol or 100 proof vodka. Mix these together and put in to a spray bottle. This is the recipe for the "wrinkle remover spray" but I bet you could spray your wash while it's on the line and already dry, about 10 or 15 minutes before you take it down. The alcohol is added to make it dry faster.
You might also try using "Calgon" water softener in your wash or rinse cycle. With Calgon in your wash cycle you'll only need half your normal amount of laundry soap. Also, it helps to shake your clothes as you take them down.
My dryer has been broken for many years and I always hang my clothes in the shade on my porch and or indoors and mine are never stiff. (but maybe I don't notice after all these years!) I will say, that I save LOTS of money on my power bills by line-drying!
* Also, hang your dark clothes inside-out so the UV rays don't fade your clothes. But the UV rays are wonderful because they kill bacteria and viruses! (04/19/2010)
Try putting the line dried clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes and taking out immediately, and hanging or folding. Saves a lot of electricity, but gives you softer clothes and linens. (04/19/2010)
If you make homemade laundry detergent, as per some of the recipes from this site, the clothes will stop being stiff. It's additives in the store bought detergent that cause this. It takes a while to wash out of the towels, but it comes out eventually. As a bonus, it makes things much nicer for sensitive skin! Think of this, if you go out in the rain, do your clothes turn to cardboard on your body?
Best wishes! (06/19/2010)
By Gina J.
Remember with allergies, asthma, pollution, etc, the amount of time you want your clothes on the lines. We have highway traffic going by. If I can smell their diesel, I know it is on my clothes. I get a daily allergy alert from Pollenex. On low count days, I know it is safe to hang out laundry. It gives a couple days ahead of time potential amounts. This also means the environmental contaminants will be less too.
Don't leave them over night, your morning clothes will be full of pollens, possibly sap and bird poop. (06/21/2010)
To save on your electricity try hanging your clothes outside. Most permanent slacks come out really well if you hang them outside. Be sure to fold them the way you want them to dry and hang them from the bottom of the pant leg. I hang my clothes outside especially in the summer and it takes no time for them to dry.
I love hanging my families laundry out to dry in Spring and Summer! They dry in no time, they smell great and to me its' very relaxing! My two labs especially love napping underneath the laundry as it blows in the warm breeze!
By Chris, Benson, NC
We hang our laundry year-round, spring, summer and fall outside and winter inside. We've found that hanging things inside during the dry, cold months helps add humidity to the air and that helps keep our skin from drying out! (08/06/2004)
I hang my clothes all year round, I put them directly on the clothes hangers Spacing between, I drape my socks and underwear over a cloth clothesline
Everything dries and takes a lot less space, I use skirt hangers for my towels, I even use 3 skirt hangers for A sheet.
If you need to soften up some things, such as towels, just pop them in the dryer for 10 minutes after they have dried outside, and you will still save a lot on energy! (07/13/2007)
you can put them in the dryer and turn it to air drying this doesn't heat them up just fluffs them (07/16/2007)
If your clothes are stiff when line dried try this. Hang your clothes out in the late evening and leave over night. Bring them in as soon as they are dry in the morning. They will be so soft.
I like the feel of linen shirts that have dried in a clothes dryer with fabric softener. But to save money, I dry them on an outdoor clothes line.
I love to hang clothes on the line. How do I get them to feel like they came out of the dryer and not so hard after coming off the clothes line?
When the weather is warm, dry your clothes outside. You save both water and energy by hang drying your clothing.
When the weather is warm, dry your clothes outside. You save both water and energy by hang drying your clothing.