The Advantages of Clothes Line Drying

A reader makes an environmental, economic and aesthetic case for clothes line drying of laundry.

| April/May 2006

  • clothes line drying
    A gas or electric dryer won't give your laundry that fresh scent that only comes from clothes line drying.
    Photo by Fotolia/David

  • clothes line drying

Unlike most of our city cousins, many of us country-minded folk still practice the art of hanging our just-washed laundry on clothes lines to dry.

Why do this when a clothes dryer is available? One reason is the lovely fresh scent that lingers on the sheets and the clothes. All the fabric softeners in the world can’t create the sweet smell that sheets carry after they have been blowing in the breeze all day.

Clothes line drying allows the sun to bleach the whites with its ultraviolet rays, while also killing some bacteria. Using no commercial bleaches is great, especially because the majority of us residing in the country are on septic systems and shouldn’t use bleach.

Hanging clothes on a line instead of using a dryer is more economical, as well. Do you ever wonder where all that dryer lint originates? From your clothes, of course! Dryers wear out clothes faster than the more “old-fashioned” method of line drying.

I find it therapeutic to spend time outside attaching a basketful of clothes to the line. The peaceful sounds surround me while I exercise — leaning over to pick up an item, stretching to pin it to the line and removing the clothes when they are dry.

If the clothes feel a bit stiff or wrinkly when they’re dry, you can always stick them in the dryer for a few minutes. Very little electricity or gas is used for this touch up, and it solves the problem of stiff or wrinkly laundry.

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