Do you Dry your Laundry Outdoors on a Line? And if not, Why not?

@GreenMoo (11842)
April 7, 2008 2:09am CST
On another group I was on, we were discussing laundry. i was completely gobsmacked by the number of people who were surprised when I said that I dry all my laundry on a line rather than a drier. I do have a drier which i can use in emergencies and when it's really wet, but I actually prefer to have my laundry outside. Firstly, it's free. It doesn't cost me any electricity so that's good for my pocket as well as for the environment. Second, my washing comes down smelling of the outdoors. Even when I lived in a more built up area I still thought the clothes smelt better having been on the line that when they came out of the dryer. Thirdly, if I hang them nicely then they only need folding. I don't have an iron, so that's pretty important. So, how do you prefer to dry your wash? Do you dry it outside like me (or infront of the stove in wet weather), or are you too fond of your drier? And why do you prefer one over the other? Really, I'm genuinely interested to know now that I'm thinking about it!
2 people like this
19 responses
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
7 Apr 08
I do like some things line dried but we don't line dry anything. We don't have a line set up but there are other reasons. One of the main ones is the unpredictable weather down here. It can be a blue sky and then next thing you know it's raining. On top of that we have some nasty bugs that like to come in with clean laundry, mainly scorpions (although the type here aren't deadly they do still sting) and palmetto bugs (if you don't know these picture a cockroach bigger then your thumb and can fly). The last reason is due to physical limitations. Trying to lug the laundry out there and then hang it up let alone take down would be difficult at best and down right impossible on my bad days. I have severe back injuries which make even doing any laundry hard let alone having to lug it around the house to the backyard.
@GreenMoo (11842)
14 Apr 08
Oooh, I can't imagine finding scorpions in the laundry *shock*
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
15 Apr 08
Oh we have some nasty bugs here in Florida and they can be anywhere. We also have giant grasshoppers, I'm taking six inches long huge onses. So hanging clothes out to dry you never know what might be on them.
@ruby222 (4848)
7 Apr 08
Moo...im not following you ..honestly!!!lolol...I am a line drier...I religiously hang mine out...and run in and out to save it from the rain!!!...im afraid tumble drying it..would go against the grain...if the radiators are hot...and thr weather is wet..then the washing goes on the radiators...or i have an airing rack....years ago my friend ..she was a little bit better off than i was!!!...she has a heated cabinet..i cant think for the life of me what it was called!!..but it was the size of a washing machine...and inside there were wooden rails...you hung your clothes on the wooden rails and then popped the lid on it..then switched the heat on....well that was all very well in theory...but when the clothes came out...oh dear...you have never seen anythinglike it!!!!they were like boards!!!!!!..and they were so dry...that there was no chance of them ever being ironed successfully anyway!!!!!!!.....oh i wish i could think of the name of that heated cabinet....
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Apr 08
Yeah you are. You want to come & live in my house with the dust bunnies don't you? Just admit it! Never heard of the heated cabinet thingie, but I have a sort of heated rail thing like a towel rail that I would use more often if it didn't take up so much space. If it's raining I normally just drape stuff over anything that'll support it. We have lights on wires, and one day they're going to come down under the weight of all our damp underwear!!
@ruby222 (4848)
8 Apr 08
LOL Moo...you will electrocute youself!!!!...
• United States
18 Apr 08
During the summer, yes, we usually hang our clothes. They dry quicker, and it doesn't waste any electricity doing so. My grandmother set up a line in her basement for all her clothes to dry year round, but she still uses the dryer for all her towels. As long as my clothes don't have that dry soapy feeling too them, I'm good. I'd rather have my jeans go through the dryer, but my shirts I don't mind. Guess it all depends on the wind!
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
20 Apr 08
A line in the basement for drying clothes when it's wet outdoors would be really handy.
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
10 Apr 08
In the summer time i dry my laundry on the line. During the fall I try to as well. Spring is too mucky where i lilve to dry clothes out doors (the end up with puppy prints or cat paws from trying to climb or pounce) Winter I use my dryer. They take much too long and take on a basementy odour if i hang them to dry downstairs and upstairs theres never anywhere to hang them nicely without making them hang goofdy and have odd folds in them. I love them smell of outdoor dried laundry.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
20 Apr 08
I love your comment about your wash coming back inside covered in little pawprints! I can relate to that, as my cats jump up at the luandry too. One of them actually managed to pull the whole lot down once, but it doesn't seem to have stopped them!
@cheenlly (3483)
• Philippines
8 Apr 08
Definitely we use to dry our laundry outdoors under the heat of the sun because that's what we get used to as we are in a tropical country and it save a lot of electricity and besides in my opinion as i have tried using a drier it will just shorten the life of the clothes as it will get easily fade out and torn. maybe only it's good when it raining season when there's no heat of the sun then i will use drier but not everytime.
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
You know cheenlly, you're the first person to mention the life of the clothes and I think you're absolutely right. Using a drier must be hard on them. Sadly, I don't think people in this throw away society really care about that.
@JudithP (295)
• Canada
7 Apr 08
I know a lot of city dwellers have no choice but to use a dryer but I live in the middle of no where so my clothes line is my life line. I hang clothes outside until I can't stand the cold anymore. I love the smell. There isn't a fabric softner sold that can compare to the smell of the great outdoors. I also love the savings. I have lines strung up all over my basement for when the rains come. I do use the dryer if I absolutely have too.
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Apr 08
I love the money saved too. I can't understand why folk would pay for all that power unnecessarily.
@wickedangel (1636)
• Dominican Republic
7 Apr 08
Living in the Dom Rep I take the opportunity to dry my laundry naturally. As you say it costs nothing, it smells better and they are easier to fold (I don't iron over here). Even when I was living in London I used to hang my washing in the bathroom to let it dry naturally. I did have a washer/drier but I never used the drier as that was for emergencies only and they (lucky for me) didn't crop up!
@GreenMoo (11842)
8 Apr 08
You sound just like me on this point WickedAngel :-)
7 Apr 08
I don't have any choice. My hubby doesn't own a dryer. I used to use a dryer all the time when I lived in the States. It gets your clothes nice and soft and it doesn't take very long. Here in the UK, I have to put the clothes outside or use a clothes horse. The clothes just do not get soft, especially the towels. The clothes are like sandpaper. I do use a fabric softener but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. It always kind of urks me when I can see peoples' laundry hanging out in their frontyard. Sorry, but I wounldn't want anyone else looking at our drawers!!! I have to remember that in the warmer weather to pull my clothes inside out so that they do not fade. That is something else that I had to get used to. We use a dryer when we go on vacation and it just seems like it takes forever with the dryer over here and it tends to ruin the clothes in the process. They just don't seem to last as long.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Apr 08
Isn't it funny, the things we have to get used to in different countries? I've never understood the softness thing. My towels always feel fine to me. I wonder if it has something to do with how long it takes for things to dry?
@gemini_rose (16193)
7 Apr 08
I am very lazy when it comes to going out to peg the washing out, I have a lovely big garden and a long washing line yet I hardly use it. I have a tumble dryer and 2 adults and 2 kids, so sometimes it just seems easier to stick it in there. And very costly. So I have told myself that I am going to use that line this year and I am going to save some more money!!
• United States
8 Apr 08
When I was a child, up until about the age of ten, my clothes were line dried. Out on the line, I refused to wear jeans. As that was the "in" thing I was totally "out", I would not wear stiff clothes! Period! A year or around there after word, we started using a dryer, I tell you what!!!!! It makes all the difference in the world, the softness you get from a dryer, especially now, with dryer sheets!! Yummy! I would never put my children through the stiffness of line drying! My dryer broke once,,,,,,I totally have a laundromat phobia, but I was totally there. I didnt want them to hate their clothes the way I did.!
@gemini_rose (16193)
8 Apr 08
I remember stiff jeans all too well ha ha!
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
I find this stiff laundry thing really weird, because I don't find my jeans stiff at all! I guess it must have something to do with how quickly it dries? Gemini-Rose, go for it with your resolution! Think of the money you'll save on electricity!
@twoods90 (185)
• United States
8 Apr 08
I do mine in the dryer...becuz i am very lazy..and do not wanna go outside to do it
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
Surely you still have to load & unload your drier? It can't be that much more work to walk outside, and you get to enjoy a break out there at the same time!
@Rosekitty (19438)
• San Marcos, Texas
8 Apr 08
Hi GreenMoo I wish i had a clothes line..I miss the smell of the clean clothes but since i was so fortunate to have a BBQ place move across the street all i smell now is that..LOL..don't want to go to sleep smelling that all night long LOL..so for now i have to make do with the drier or do my laundry at 2am!!
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
I used to do all my laundry at 2am to make the most of cheap electricity LoL. I've been behind myself recently & doing my laundry at night instead of the morning. I'm still putting it out, and it only takes a short while for the sew to burn off in the morning.
@tjades (3592)
• Jamaica
8 Apr 08
Now that is one luxury I absolutely enjoy living in the tropics. I hate it when it becomes rainy and I have to dry by other means amnd I also hate it when the rain catches my wash on the line. I love feeling the warmth of the clothes as I remove them from line and I also just love to sniff them. (lol)
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
I don't think sniffing your clothes is too peculiar! If there is the scent of flowers or whatever in the air it's caught up there in your laundry. far nicer than those horrid artificial drier sheets you can buy.
@Cocoa33 (921)
• United States
8 Apr 08
i used to do my laundry on the line. it was easier to do and i saved on my electric bill. i would do it now, but i can't due the fact i dont have a close line. its good to do it in the summer. during that time you used a lot of energy when using the ac. its a good way to help go green and help the environment.
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
Hey cocoa, could you not just sling up a piece of rope between two solid objects? You don't need a proper clothes line. My line is a rope between two trees, and I have another between two posts we banged in.
@gratitude (181)
• South Africa
8 Apr 08
Living in a block of flats, I at first found it a shlep to walk up and down the steps (52 of them)to keep checking on how dry washing was. But the main reason why I stopped hanging washing downstairs on the line was THEFT. I have tumble dried my clothes now for over 5 years, knowing that what I put in to dry will come out again! As I only need to do washing once a week, the dryer does not chew my electricity that much. Towels come out so much softer than when they are put outside to dry, and yea, your clothes dont come back with weird smells from surrounding fires etc.
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
That is terrible, that someone would stopp to stealing your laundry. In those circumstances, I can completely understand why you use a drier.
@yona06 (585)
• Indonesia
8 Apr 08
In my country people rarely own dryer machines, probably because it costs a fortune and the electric consumption is outrageous. But I've used a dryer once in the States and I have to say using a dryer is nice, if not for the electric consumption. The clothe dries quickly it really does come out softer than when you hang them out on a line because with a dryer you can use that softener thing.
@GreenMoo (11842)
18 Apr 08
I hate the smell of those softener things. Yuck!
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
7 Apr 08
I prefer to dry my clothes outside in the fresh air, and hopefully I can get my s/o to put up a clothes line this spring. We had one at our old house but not at this one. I can't dry is uniforms outside do to the nature of his work, but everything else can be hung out to dry and it smells so much better.
@GreenMoo (11842)
13 Apr 08
My clothes line is just an old piece of rope slung between two trees. I have a rotary drier too, but I've not made a hole to stick it into yet.
@littleone3 (2065)
7 Apr 08
If its a nice day i will hang my washing out on the line as i prefer to dry it outside.Like you i love the smell after it has been outside. If not and we have the heating on i will put it over the radiators to dry. Only as a last resort will i use the tumble dryer as it costs alot to run.
@GreenMoo (11842)
12 Apr 08
This is why I can't understand why people immediately put stuff in their dryers - it costs money! Perhaps I'm just mean?
• United States
7 Apr 08
I dry the laundry outside on a line because we have a huge space for drying laundry outside and besides you can save some electricity, but of course not in the winter time. Today is a nice sunny day and I started to hang the laundry in our backyard.
@GreenMoo (11842)
9 Apr 08
I'd love to have an area under cover to dry clothes on rainy days, but until I get one I have to do them in front of the stove & elsewhere in the house.
@tang20 (20)
• United States
7 Apr 08
I absolutely hate drying clothes outside. I don't think they smell of "outdoors". I someone bbq's, that smell is all over your just washed clothes. Your jeans are like cardboard when you try to put them on. Clothespin makes on all your shirts. No way! Dryer all the way for me.
@GreenMoo (11842)
7 Apr 08
I guess I'm lucky that I don't have neighbours polluting my atmosphere & making my clean laundry smelly. I don't find this stiff thing with my line dried clothes, and so I was wondering if it has something to do with how long it takes for the clothes to dry. I don't know. Maybe someone will pop up & tell me.