Clothes dryers can be huge energy hogs in any household. Running your dryer can add big bucks to your gas or electric bill every year. Probably the best way to cut these expense is to line dry clothes. And, with the summer finally in full swing, it’s the perfect time to swear off your dryer and start hanging clothes on the line!
Line drying clothes, though, does have its drawbacks. It can make clothes stiff and wrinkly and it takes more time than simply tossing them in the dryer. Fortunately, there are solutions for each and every one of these problems, starting before you even head out to the clothes line.
Here are ten tips to help you line dry clothes and save a nice chunk of change in the process!
#1. Use Less Detergent
Actually, you should use less detergent whether you line dry your clothes or not. Detergent can build up in fabric and make garments stiff and uncomfortable when you line dry clothes. Try using only half of the recommended amount of detergent when you line dry clothes to prevent buildup and stiffness.
#2. Add Vinegar to the Rinse
Skip the fabric softener and use plain vinegar in the rinse cycle. Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of vinegar, depending on the size of the load. Vinegar is an amazing fabric softener, and it can help keep fabric soft when you line dry clothes. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than commercial fabric softener!
#3. Line Dry Clothes on the Right Day
Sunny days seem like the perfect days to hang clothes, right? Not necessarily. Sun can fade dark and bright fabrics, so these should be hung on cloudy days if possible. On the other hand, sun is great for bleaching and brightening whites. Windy days are also great for line drying clothes, since the air movement can not only help clothes dry faster, but also help keep fabrics softer.
#4. Use Hangers
Most of us have probably been taught to line dry clothes using clothespins. Seems to make sense, but hanging clothes on hangers during line drying can save a ton of time! When the clothes are done drying, just take them inside and hang them up. On windy days, you may need to use a rubber band to keep the hangers from blowing off the line. You can also clip a clothespin or two between each hanger to keep them from bunching together.
#5. Space Out
The laundry, that is. Hanging clothes too close together on the line prohibits air circulation between them, which will make them take longer to dry.
#6. Finish in the Dryer
The stiffness when you line dry clothes can be the worst feeling! You can help alleviate some of the stiffness by finishing the clothes in the dryer. You can pop them in the dryer on ow when they’re still slightly damp, or air fluff them when they’re completely dry.
#7. Clean Your Clothes Line
Being outside, your clothes line can get covered in all sorts of nasties! Before you line dry clothes, take a few moments to wipe off your clothes line with a clean clothe to remove dirt and grime that can stain clothes and other fabrics.