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.
When I got married in 1973 this was the way most people lived. It was quite common to have a washing machine, but no dryer. I got a dryer when my first child was born in 1980. I have a gas dryer now, but I still try to conserve. I tumble dry the clothes for 10-15 minutes to remove wrinkles, then put the clothes on hangers to finish drying.
I have 2 retractable lines in my garage. I can hang 2 loads. I do one load a day, every 3rd day I do two. I hang on my husband's side of the garage while he's at work and it's dry by the time he comes home. If I have 2 loads, I hang on my side and park outside or hang it while I'm out running errands. Garage is unheated, but warmer than outside in the winter.
I live in a small space and have an indoor clothes line in our hall. I screwed some "j" hooks on both sides of the wall and then zigzagged a couple of bungee cords through the hooks. I even have a couple of tension rods in the hall to give me more hanging room. I wash our clothes during non peak electric usage and when the wash is done I put the washer on the spin cycle 2 or more times to spin out as much water as possible so the clothes will be dry in the morning. Sometimes I will even use the tension rod (shower curtain rod) in the bathroom to dry clothes.
When we bought our house it had a "garport", a carport with a garage door. I was working out of town and my husband put up 2 clothes lines, one is a plastic laundry line, the other is a chain. I can hang clothes in all weathers. Just make sure it's well anchored in case it gets super breezy.
My mother dried the clothes in the basement in the winter and out doors in the warm weather. Now I live in sunny Colorado. We have an area intended for passive solar heating of the house. The narrow cathedral ceiling reached above where it can be seen from the living space. We build a small balcony off the master bedroom with a clothes line. They hang in this warm area, un seen from the dining room below!
We use three folding drying racks which hold 1 load of laundry. Drying our clothes on drying racks has increased our house humidity during the winter so we don't have the expense of using a humidifier.
(submitted via email)
This a great idea Karen. I have had one of these clothes lines for years. In
fact I am on my second one now as the first one broke after a number of
years of use. I hadn't thought about sharing the idea but am so glad that
you have now as it will definitely help with the electric bills.
Thank you, Karen, for the inside clothes line tip. My house gets very dry in the winter and I have to use a humidifier. If I hang up my clothes to dry inside it would take care of the dry air.
I'm surprised that the TVA has raised rates. Maybe they need the money to work on cleaning up all that coal slurry that leaked and try to prevent future leaks. Have you asked?
I love your suggestion about using the closet door to expand hanging space. I dry my clothes indoors on a portable clothes hanger, because my landlord thinks hanging clothes outside is not stylish. I do it, rather than using a dryer, in order to not waste the humidity in the winter nor overheat the air in the summer!
I live in Buffalo, NY, which is very humid except in the coldest weather so, I use a Vornado fan -only uses 60 watts and very powerful- to keep the clothes from getting moldy before they dry. It works for me.
I moved to S.TX, where hanging clothes on a line is a way of life! But, we have rainy/humid winters. I bought a retractable line from our local hardware for about $10. It is used for undergarments, which I never put in the dryer anyway! I hung it in the closet area that now houses my heater and washer. I do casuals one day and better wear another day.
I use hangers and hang them on the shower rod, turn on the electric heater and they are dry in a few hours. I wash 2 large towels at a time, and hang them on the rod, turned once on each side. I have been doing this for 3 years and I do not miss the dryer. Of course, in the summer, the clothes dry in less than 30 minutes, if windy, in less time! I use a lot of softener. I do miss the softness in the towels!
If you have a patio or somewhere to put up a chain you will have a very good line to dry clothes on hangers,also hang them over a door,a chain is also handy in a closet or behind a door to hang clothes,good luck.
I have an extra shower curtain rod over my bathtub where I hang blouses on hangers and hang my jeans and pants. I hang underwear on some hooks attached to a towel rack on the tub. Works for me but I will use something else for lager things like sheets when the weather warms up. I don't wash sheets every week in the winter; can't afford the electricity. Good ideas here.
I lived for 14 years in a tiny house that had no room for a dryer, only a washer.
How I loved to hang the clothes out (except in January in Iowa!) It made me think that my mother, grandmother and those came before us, would do likewise. My grandmother passed away in 1932 and my great grandmother in 1939, yet it made me feel close to them, although I never met them.
I referred to my clothesline as my "solar powered clothes dryer". How impressed people would be, until they realized what I was talking about!
Getting back to the subject at hand, if you have no room for a clothesline indoors, put a wooden drying rack in your bathtub. Just be sure to close the shower curtain when company comes!
PLease please please, if this sounds impertinent or disrespectful I dont mean it to be. I'm just fascinated -Why dont people in USA dry their clothes outside? I live in NZ and like you want to keep the power bills down, we never use driers unless its pouring with rain. The sun not only dries but sanitizes as well. Please reply I am very interested.
I live in an apartment and even tho I have a patio and a place to put a clothes line, we are not allowed to. Many home owners associations will not allow outdoor clothes lines. I believe the reasoning is that having clothes hanging out of doors is "un-attractive" Sad, huh! When I owned my own home, I enjoyed hanging clothes out to dry, and the savings in my power bill was a bonus.
I'm so glad to hear that so many people are using air drying methods. I have a line that my husband put up under our front porch. The house is on a full basement/garage, so the porch is even with the level above the garage. We hang our laundry there all summer long, and until it gets too cold in the Fall. We dry our laundry on plastic hangers inside when it's really cold. We have a wood stove to supplement our heat pump, so the air needs some humidifying.
Once dry, I just air fluff them in the electric dryer to soften them. Big savings! Our electric Co-op has been charging higher than normal rates this winter. The "wholesale power adjustment" was over $12.00 this month, plus now we are paying a "renewable energy" tax on top of that. A $200. electric bill for this past month is enough to confirm my frugal intentions!!
I have been line drying my laundry for many years. I live on Long Island, NY and our electric rates are one of the highest in the country. So when we bought our house in 1991, I started to hang up the laundry, either in the basement when I can't hang them outside or definitely outside any other time. I had a clothesline installed in my backyard and it is used constantly, weather permitting. We had replaced the dryer that was in the house when we bought it and if I have maybe 48 hours of use on it, that is a lot. And we bought the house in 1991, I think we replaced the dryer a couple of years later. I would rather use the money saved for anything else than high electric bills. I even bought the folding ones for overflow when I am hanging items in my basement. Even now, as a widow with no kids, I still hang up everything.
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