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The clothesline is one of the world’s best inventions.
So simple….a line and a pole.
So dependable….the sun comes up pretty much everyday.
So effective….I mean air always dries your clothes!
No wonder it’s been used for thousands of years by so many civilizations! Until the 1950’s, everyone used “solar dryers”, but even when electric dryers hit the market in the 1950’s, the cost prohibitive at $200! That equates out to $2,046.03 in today’s dollars! Many families stuck with the “tried and true” clothesline!
Not only that, the humble clothesline comes in many forms to suite your needs, whether you live in the country, suburb or city. There are even clotheslines and drying racks for the indoors, how fabulous is that?
Personally, I have the “warm weather” system and my “cold weather” system. In the summer, I use my outdoors clothesline all the time, like everyday that it isn’t raining! My teenagers know that they need to get their laundry out on that line as well!
In the colder months, I have wire racks in my small laundry room that I hang as much as possible on hangers to dry. I also have a drying rack that I hang smaller items and sweaters on. I use the dryer from time to time, especially during long periods of cold and ice, but let me tell you, the first day I see where it’s dry and above 45 degrees or so, I’m out there hanging up clothes and blankets! Then I’ll bring them in and toast them up in the dryer!
I’ve seriously considered purchasing a retractable clothesline something like this one to drape across the garage or inside another out-building for use in the winter.
Still not convinced? Here are 6 reasons to get you thinking about incorporating this into your sustainable household.
1. It saves your clothes – You realize that all that lint in your dryer’s trap is really your clothing, right? Dryers are very hard on clothes and since we try to buy better quality clothing, and less clothing overall, I want these items to last! You could make the argument that the sun fades clothing, however, with normal drying time I haven’t had a problem.
2. You get outside – Anytime you can get outside to do a little exercise, that’s a good thing! I love the few minutes it takes to hang a load of laundry out, the sun hits my face and fresh air fills my lungs. It’s a gentle form of exercise that most can do, as long as you don’t overload your basket.
3. The clothes smell fabulous – To be honest, if hanging clothes out actually cost money, I would pay to do it. Why? The smell of laundry that has been hung outside to dry is unmatched. No other smell like it! I sleep like a baby on sheets that have that outdoor smell!
4. Save big on electricity – If you are trying to bring your electric bill under control, minimizing use of a heat-producing appliance will certainly help!
5. Be more sustainable – Taking advantage of natural resources that provide sun and air to complete a task for me, for FREE, is just the most awesome thing. I mean, why not???
6. It’s just a beautiful thing to see – If you ever drive through an Amish community, you’ll see laundry hung out to dry in every yard. It’s just a beautiful site, so natural, so nostalgic. Doesn’t it just make you feel warm inside?
If you’re married to someone who is handy, or are handy yourself, you can certainly build one from scratch. But if that’s not the case, or you can’t find the time, purchasing “solar clothes dryers” will certainly be worth the investment on many levels.