Monday, July 7, 2014

Why We Love Our Clothesline

Have you ever used the clothesline to dry your clothes? Growing up my mom always hung clothes out to dry, as did my grandmother. Even in the winter, my parents have a clothesline in front of their woodstove.  Although it may sound silly to some, I feel that line dried clothes are one of life's simple pleasures. And learning to find happiness in simple things is truly the secret to fulfillment.

So what are the benefits of having a clothesline? Besides the obvious fact that you'd be saving money and energy by not using your dryer, there are plenty of other reasons to line dry! Have you ever read some of the scents on detergent bottles? Here are a few: "Spring Breeze" "Mountain Fresh" "Natural Elements" and "Morning Meadow". Notice how these are all mimicking natural fresh air scents? What better way to make your clothes smell like clean fresh air than to line dry them? I find that our clothes smell fresher and cleaner when they are line dried. 

Peace can be found in a multitude of places. That being said, many people feel that hanging clothes and watching them blow in the breeze is relaxing. Sure, it's quick and easy to toss a load of clothes in the dryer and it does take more time to hang out clothes, but sometimes doing something by hand is good for the soul. Sometimes, slowing down for a few minutes to compete a simple task helps you to recharge mentally. Simply spending time outside to hang up clothes can be therapeutic! 

Line drying is also much more sustainable and better for the environment than using a regular dryer. 15-20% of all domestic energy usage can be attributed to dryers alone! And in a single year, residential clothes dryers emitted 54.72 metric tons of CO2 (Project Laundry List). Imagine if everyone line dried their clothing just a few times per month. That could have a very positive impact on the damage we are doing to our environment!

Sunlight naturally bleaches clothing, so your whites will stay white and existing stains will fade! Sunlight also is a disinfectant. Your clothes will also last longer, since they aren't being tossed by the dryer each week. When you are hanging up each individual item of clothing your wear, it helps you be more aware of how many articles of clothing you and your family are wearing through the week and can encourage you to be less wasteful in your clothing choices. 

Some worry about their clothes getting stiff when line dried. There are two things you can do to prevent this. The first is make sure you aren't using too much soap. We tend to overestimate how much soap we need because we want to ensure our clothes are clean. If stiffness if an issue, try reducing the amount of detergent you are using slightly. Another option is adding 1/2 cup of vinegar into the washer with each load. This acts as a fabric softener. Don't worry, your clothes will not smell like vinegar!

If you haven't been line drying your clothes, you should give it a try. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!


  1. I love hanging out laundry. The clothing wears longer and nothing shrinks.


  2. i just found your blog and thought id pop in and say hi. i always line dry our clothes we do have a dryer but have not used it in 6 years {mmm maybe i should give it away}. you have a lovely blog ill be back to have a longer read.