Clothes dryers are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the average household, accounting for up to 10% of total energy use, second only to refrigerators and lighting.
Although modern energy efficient clothes dryers have reduced energy usage substantially, the most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes is still the good old fashioned clothesline.
Why Clotheslines Are Better For You, Your Clothes, and the Environment
Clotheslines put the air and sun to work for you, so you can save money on energy bills and reduce your family’s carbon emissions by an average of 720 pounds annually.
Energy savings and environmental benefits aren’t the only reason to switch to clotheslines. They have many other benefits as well:
- Clothes dried on clotheslines have a naturally fresh, clean smell that has never been equaled by any detergent or dryer sheet.
- Clotheslines are easier on your clothes than dryers. The stuff in your lint trap after every load is your clothes falling apart, thread by thread. Air dried clothes tend to last longer and have fewer problems with shrinkage and static electricity.
- Air drying clothes is more convenient, because you don’t have to take clothes down immediately when they’re dry to prevent them from getting wrinkled, as you do with dryers.
- Clothes dryers are a common source of house fires, accounting for more than 17,000 annually in the United States alone. Using a clothesline eliminates this risk.
- Outdoor clotheslines encourage mild exercise and increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air, improving your general health.
- Indoor drying racks ca provide natural humidification for dry winter air, reducing dry, chapped skin and other health problems associated with dry air.
Five Great Clotheslines For Every Need
The classic Umbrella Clothes Dryer from Gaiam is a compact and easy to assemble outdoor clothes dryer that rotates for easy clothes hanging and folds down when not in use. It contains 164 feet of clothesline and typically holds three to four loads of laundry at once.
Another classic style for clotheslines is the convenient pulley clothesline, which allows you to stand in one place while hanging and taking down clothes. The Clothesline Kit from Real Green Goods contains a sturdy clotheslines and easy to assemble pulley system with a total of 100-150 feet of line drying space.
For a clothesline that you can easily store out of sight when not in use, consider the Extenda 4 retractable clothesline from Breeze Dryer. The Extenda 4 has contains four retractable lines that can extend up to 21 feet, for a total of up to 85 feet of line drying space. When not in use, the clotheslines retract back into the modern-looking cabinet. The Extenda 4 can be mounted either outdoors or indoors, and also works great in basements, garages, and balconies. Each line is individually spooled to prevent tangling and allow individual tension control.
If you are one of the 60 million Americans who live in communities that don’t allow outdoor clotheslines, you don’t have to wait until the ordinances get changed! Consider a handsome indoor drying rack such as the Wall Shelf Drying Rack from Gaiam. This space efficient pine drying rack doubles as a shelf and a hanger for coats, nightclothes or other items. You can also use it to dry flowers and herbs!
Another space-efficient indoor drying rack is the lightweight 3-Tier Mobile Airer from Breeze Dryer. This wheeled wire rack squeezes nearly 70 feet of drying space into an approximately two by two foot area, and folds up for easy storage. It also has wire shelves for flat drying .
Main Image Credit: erix!