One way to save money is to line dry your clothing rather than using a dryer. This page contains line drying clothing tips and tricks.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
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
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. The towels will be soft if you take them off as soon as they dry. Do not leave clothes more than the drying time. Bring them in as soon as they are dry.
By iruiz27 from S. TX
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. When you hang your clothes to dry, your house smells good like clean laundry. Or if you line dry outside, you're clothes smell so good when you bring them in.
It's already been mentioned here that if you don't like the rough feel of your hang-dried clothes to put them in the dryer for about five minutes. If you can deal with rough towels, though, they make for great skin exfoliators after a shower or bath and soften up after the first time using them.
By Britt Y. from Boston, MA
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. When the clothes are dry, I fold the sock cuffs together before unpinning them from the clothes line. This way, the socks are already mated when I fold the clothes to put them away. (I do my husband's socks this way--my socks are just taken down and folded over so that they are together in the basket.) This saves time since I'm not hunting for mates when I fold clothes!
By Glowgirl from Watertown
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
I use lengths of painted, rustproof chain instead of cotton or nylon cord on my clothesline poles. Then I hang the clothing on hangers and put on the line. When they're dry, all I have to do is hang them in the closet! Towels can be hung the usual way, with clips.
By Beth from Danvile, OH
I occasionally hang my clothes to dry inside during winter months to counteract the lack of humidity from using electric heat. It helps prevent static shock and adds a pleasant smell of fresh clean laundry to the air. Large items such as sheets can be draped across the couch and are dry by morning. If you must have the fluffiness of machine dried clothes toss them in for a few minutes before you hang or after they are dry. This will save a ton on electricity by not using the dryer as much and the added warmth from the more humid air will keep the heat pump from switching on as often.
By EChante B
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.
Not everyone has a basement, so why not use one in a room in your home where you don't actually live, like a spare bedroom. You could put the clothes line in the closet and retract the line when not in use. My retractable line is the diameter of a paper plate and maybe 5 inches wide. Very small.
In one week I was able to hang 7 loads of laundry on my line. Some loads were jeans which would have required more than one run on the dryer. I never waited more than 14-16 hours of dry time. Also, I forgot to add, my basement isn't heated or cooled. Hope this helps someone.
By Karen M. from Greeneville, TN
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.
By shellmax from Boddington, WA
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!
By April R.
When line drying delicate clothing or when the line is exposed to the weather all the time and gets dirty, it's often convenient to use clothes hanger. If the weather is windy, however, the clothes hangers can easily get knocked off by wind, leaving your clean clothes on the ground.
However, you can use a simple rubber band to lock the hanger in place. Just wrap it a few times around the hook, and then lock it in place as shown in the pictures.
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.
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.
One day, while the sheet was still on the bed, I sewed a small colored dot to mark the center point of each long side just where the sheet folds over the edge of the mattress, (about 6 inches above the elastic). Now when I get to the clothesline, I just pick the sheet up by the dots and attach it to the line with the clothespin at that spot. No more fumbling around to hang it straight.
When I take the sheet down, I bring the two dots together and anchor them with a clothespin. This folds the sheet into quarters instantly. I finish folding it the rest of the way when I bring it inside.
By libadmin from Clovis, NM
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 cut one sheet into 3 pieces and layer the clothes between the pieces. Can't leave them long enough to wrinkle, but it works great with towels.
By Kelli from Sentani, Indonesia
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Here are questions related to Line Drying Clothing Tips and Tricks.
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
By Denise C.11/12/2011
Spray clothes with water and pull on the clothing to straighten out the wrinkles.
When you hang out socks on the clothesline, which is the best way to do it so the tops don't stretch out?
Instead of hanging them on the line, hang them on a folding clothes drying rack. I also use my rack for hanging underwear and washcloths. Since I don't have a gas/electric dryer, everything has to be hung up. I don't know what I'd do without my folding dryer. --sarsi
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
When the weather is warm, dry your clothes outside. You save both water and energy by hang drying your clothing. It also decreases the wear that dryers inflict on your clothing. You can even hang some clothing inside when the weather is bad if you set up drying rack in your laundry room.
I need advice on hanging laundry on a clothes line so that they smell nice and don't have funky spots where they were hung and aren't stiff and scratchy! Help Please (my dryer is broken and can't get a new one). Thank you!
Cindy from Fowlerville, MI
I have a couple of ways to avoid clothes pin marks. If I'm going to tuck in a shirt or wear it under a jumper, I hang the shirt upside down. That way the "ears" are at the bottom where they won't show. If it's a shirt I'll wear untucked, I turn the shirt inside out and hang it by the shoulder seam right by the top of the sleeve. When I take it down and turn it right side out, I usually can't see the clothes pin mark at all. In fact, it's good to hang most things inside out because if your clothes line is in the sun, your clothes will fade some. At least this way the fade is on the inside. Also, just the act of turning things right side out again will soften them a little.
I like to wear knit shirts but don't like clothes pin marks on them either. Although the inside-out-by-the-shoulders works well, I have even better luck hanging them inside out on plastic coat hangers on the line. They always look fine with no marks when I turn them right side out again.
Good luck--line drying is a great way to save money and not waste resources. (09/12/2006)
By Katie A.
Do be careful to not overlap materials. Some more delicate things can fade in the sun, and you might want to dry them on a hanger on your shower bar.
Try to keep a large basket near the back door so that you can do an emergency snatch-grab in the event of sudden rainshowers. : ) (09/13/2006)
Editor's Note:It often works well to put clothing in the dryer for a little while, then shake out and hang. That way they have lost most of the wrinkles. It's true it isn't practical for everyone but for many it is. (02/29/2008)
In Australia, dryers are far more uncommon than clotheslines, which go under the name, usually, of Hill's hoists or clothes hoists.
We're really blessed at the moment, in that, where we rent has both an undercover set of parallel lines and an umbrella-shaped rotating hoist. It's full-on Winter at the moment, so the washing is all undercover.
We do use inside racks, but it's only if it's really urgent. My dd insists on sleeping in a sleeping bag on her bed (go figure!), and she's staying at her brother's during the school holidays that are on now, so I've finally washed her sleeping bag, gave it an extra spin and have it hanging over some exercise equipment in the lounge room, which is the only room in the house we can afford to heat. It's dried nicely, and has no pong to it.
I don't use fabric softener, for many reasons - a mix of laziness, frugality, suspicion of yet more chemicals in our systems and waste down our drains, and I don't think we really need it. But of course it's a personal matter.
Anyways, try Phancypages, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how interesting it is. I'm not the webmistress, Nita Holstine is, and has been for years.
Dominus tecum (07/10/2008)
ByLeonie in (brr!) Southern Australia
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?
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.
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.
To save on your electricity try hanging your clothes outside. Most permanent slacks come out really well if you hang them outside.