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Do You Line Dry Your Laundry?




Line drying: so simple, so frugal, so green.

And yet, kind of a pain. In green blogger circles, you sometimes here this confession: I no longer line dry. We all have a finite amount of time in the day, and it could definitely be argued that the time and effort you spend line drying might be better spent participating in writing letters or making phone calls to your representatives regarding your concerns about climate change.

I have many frugal friends who rarely touch a dryer. My friend Heidi even considers hanging her laundry somewhat therapeutic or meditative or something. Even though I've fallen off the line drying wagon I still always line dry certain types of loads:
I line dry small loads (sometimes just draping things over towel racks and shower doors and over the edges of laundry baskets) because it's not that hard and it just seems like such a waste of energy to run the dryer (some might say running the dryer is always a waste of energy). I rarely run small loads, but when I do, I ease my conscience by skipping the dryer. 

As for diapers and second-hand clothes, I always line dry those because nothing beats line drying for removing stubborn odors. By line drying, I can get away with going a week-plus without washing diapers and training pants. Because my 20-month-old is nearly potty trained, even after a week I'm still running a very small load, but by then we are almost out of wipes (we are running a sort of hybrid family cloth-TP household here) and the other stuff is really beginning to smell like ammonia. Still, I only rinse and run a regular cycle to clean them, and sometimes they still smell a bit when I take them out of the wash. But then I line dry them, and it's all good. Many folks also love line drying for removing stains.

Used clothes also often need several days hung outside to stop smelling. Only this time I'm not trying to get rid of that ammonia pee smell, I'm trying to get rid of the smell of the arsenal of synthetic fragrances present in conventional laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets. It never ceases to amaze and concern me how persistent these odors can be despite repeated washings and days hung outside in the fresh air. But by washing with RLR Laundry Treatment (which cloth diaper users use for removing detergent build-up from their diapers) and then line drying second-hand clothing and hand-me-downs, I can usually get the smell faint enough that I feel OK about letting my children wear them.


Do you line dry? Why or why not?