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.
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
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 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.
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
One day, I forgot to bring the clothespin 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
You should always hang clothes by their biggest part to dry it quicker. They are not dried just by the wind or the sun but also because the water goes down and drops to the ground. If you hang jean by the legs maybe you will save time on ironing because it will straighten the legs but it will take more time to dry as the water will concentrate at the bottom. Gravity laws are everywhere even when drying clothes.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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?