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Topic: not using dryer

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Subject: not using dryer
Date Posted: 11/30/2014 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/25/2010
Posts: 262
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When our air conditioner went out one summer I quit using the clothes dryer to avoid adding extra heat to the house. My husband built me a nice clothesline on pulleys and I discovered that hanging clothes on the line isn't that much work.

When the AC was repaired I kept hanging out the clothes—but only sometimes, depending on my mood and the weather and the time of day (because I've discovered that clothes are always damp in the morning when hung out overnight).

Later I bought an indoor clothes-drying rack, and now I rarely use the dryer except for towels—so once every week or two.

I figure that this is good in several ways. It's cheap (well, after the purchase of the rack, which I probably spent too much on), it uses no electricity or gas, it doesn't pump heat into the house for the air conditioner to remove in hot weather, and it causes much less wear and tear on the clothes, since the dryer seems to be what's hardest on clothes. Our clothes are lasting much longer—which I can prove, because I bought myself and my daughter underwear at the same time about the time she moved out, and when she came home for a visit the difference in wear was astonishing.

It's actually not that time-consuming. I generally do no more than one load of clothing a day; by the next day the previous load is finished. I don't put hanging things on the rack, but instead shake them out and hang them directly on hangers in the laundry room. (I'm grateful for the hanging bar built in there.) Although it does take me more time to hang them than to stuff them in the dryer, it's less time than I feared it might be, AND it means that I don't have to return to the laundry room a third time—and on a schedule. Plus, the clothes are hanging out where everyone can easily retrieve their own stuff, which sometimes (not always!) means less sorting and folding for me.

It may be that there is more wrinkling without the dryer (though I'm not sure about that), but that wouldn't matter in my case, since I was never great at getting clothes out of the dryer on time anyway. If I felt the need to iron everything, then I'd rethink the energy savings, but I rarely feel the need to iron.

Many of our clothes actually feel better when they're air dried, although I admit that my husband's socks and underwear dry pretty stiff. They lose their stiffness immediately, though, so he doesn't mind.

I'm sure I save some money on the gas and electricity, but the greatest financial benefit is not needing to replace clothing as often as before. And since growing cotton is very hard on the environment, that's another benefit.

I've read about people in the past despising hanging out the clothes, because they saw it as a symbol of not being able to afford nice things. For me, though, it's a sign that I'm doing good, and I enjoy it. :)

Date Posted: 12/31/2014 4:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,426
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In the winter if you hang indoors it helps humidify the house as well. 

(In the summer that's not such a good thing, but it's nice in the winter)

We dryer the sheets (too big) and the towels (I hate scratchy towels) and pretty much everything else gets hung on a drying rack. If we are home and it's a nice day we can set the rack on the back porch.

Date Posted: 1/17/2017 1:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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After line drying, I tumble most items a few minutes to get rid of wrinkles and scratchy feeling.

Actually, top loading washing machines are the hardest on clothing....all that jerking and pulling every which way.  Drying too hot is also hard on fabric.