While line drying laundry is generally a straightforward process, certain knits and blends require special attention to prevent stretching and marking from clotheslines and pins. This article provides five helpful tips to ensure superb results when drying laundry on an outdoor line.
How to Get Perfect Results From Line Drying Your Laundry
With the rising cost of electricity, many families are returning to a previous generation’s approach to drying laundry. As line drying has become something of a lost art, most of us could benefit from a review of basic techniques for drying our delicates and knits out of doors. Yes, there’s a method for drying clothing on a line, and these tips and tricks will help you get perfect results.
- Indoor lines work very well provided that you live in a dry climate or run your air conditioning during hot, humid weather. Dehumidifiers also remove moisture from the air, allowing wet clothing to dry. Otherwise, without a breeze, humidity will slow the drying process and mold and mildew will set into fabrics quite quickly.
- A spinning carousel or rotary umbrella clothesline is more efficient than a long line. It requires less space but can still hold three or four machine loads, and all within easy reach. A long, outdoor clothesline is a useful alternative if you don’t own an umbrella type clothes line consider installing a traditional long single line or a T-Pole washing line.
- A light to moderate breeze provides ideal conditions for drying most types of fabrics. However, a strong enough wind will tangle even heavy, durable clothes, which won’t dry when they’re wrapped around the line.
- Sheets, towel and jeans will withstand a strong, steady wind, but delicates and knits require special care. You’ve probably noticed that water adds considerable weight to your clothes, and the pull of gravity on wet fabrics hanging on a line will stretch or even damage certain items. The solution is to remove moisture from delicates and natural blends before you hang them to dry. You can do this by using the spin cycle on your washing machine, laying knits flat to dry or giving them 15 minutes in a tumble dryer before hanging them on a line. With some of the moisture removed, your delicates will be light enough to withstand gravity and a moderate breeze.
- You can dry your casual clothes, bedding and towels from beginning to end on a line. If towels and jeans feel stiff, put them in the dryer for 10 minutes with a damp towel from your second washing load. The moisture from a damp item will soften your jeans and fluff up your towels as much as a full cycle in the dryer. This method also works to tighten up knits or any item that may have stretched from hanging on a line. In addition, ten minutes in a tumble dryer will remove most pin marks from clothes.
Simply spending a little time outside and getting some fresh air can reduce your laundry drying costs by 90% or more. The use of a few simple tricks will enable you to dry almost any article you own without damaging or stretching delicate fabrics. Best of all, while you’re saving money, you’re also saving the earth by reducing your family’s carbon footprint.