Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hanging Out Day

I mean laundry, not loitering. Project Laundry List designates April 19th as our National Hanging Out Day, to draw attention to both energy consumption (electric clothes dryers use 5 - 10 per cent of the residential electricity in the U.S.) and local ordinances prohibiting clotheslines (The Right to Dry campaign).

Other than this post, I couldn't participate. One of the first things to consider if hanging clothes out to dry is the weather. Now while that might mean rain in most parts of the country, here wind is the big decider - sandblasting clean clothes is not a good idea. Today the barometer really dropped - a cold front was coming through, so I knew it wouldn't be a good day to hang clothes out. The photos are from a couple of days ago. We're on both a well and a septic system so, not wanting to overtax either, I'll only do one load of laundry a day. One retractable clothesline for the big stuff, combined with a collapsible wooden rack (that will also fit inside the bathtub, or can be placed in front of the woodstove in the winter) for the little things, fit my solar drying needs perfectly (in the photo, that's also our down comforter draped over a table and chairs to solarize before being stored away for the summer).

A few things to think about when hanging clothes outside to dry: 1.don't put your clotheslines under trees - birds hang out in trees. 2.turn dark clothes inside out if you're worried about them fading. 3.hang your clothes from the part closest to your waist when worn - shirts from the hem, pants from the waist (unless you want a crease down the pant leg, then hang them already creased - Mom had metal framework stretchers that she'd slide inside the legs of my Dad's dress pants) 4.cotton stretches when wet - leave a bit of a gap when hanging knit cotton T-shirts so they won't dry stretched out. 5.if your clothes are too stiff, go ahead and throw them in the dryer for just a little bit when you bring them in, just to soften them. 6.line-dried clothes last longer - that lint in your dryer used to be part of the material, you know. And the best for last: 7.line-dried cotton sheets just smell so good!


Anonymous said...

I didn't get to hang anything out either. It was cold and misty here all day. I will be hanging clothes out on Monday - my regular wash day. It should be nice then.


Ciara said...

what a great idea, I try to dry outside whenever I can, now if i could only convince my husband. LOL.
I love your blog I've lurked for awhile so I've tagged you for a meme if you get a chance come & check it out.