With warm spring weather finally upon us and summer just a little bit away I have started using my clothesline again to dry some of my clothes. Not only does drying clothes on the line save valuable electricity dollars but it also keeps the dryer from heating up my house in the hotter months, and I love the smell of freshly dried clothes on the line. I often get a ton of questions about drying clothes outside on a clothesline and hear many people complain about the feel of their clothes after they have dried them on the clothesline. Drying clothes on a clothesline does take some getting used to but once you get the hang of doing it, it can be something that you will love doing. Here are a few tips for drying your clothes on a clothesline.
There is a certain way to hang clothes on the line. You do not want to drape your clothes over the line, you only want to hang one edge of the clothes to the line. This allows the wind to blow through easily allowing the clothes to dry quicker. The exception to this rule is when it comes to bed sheets, you will need to fold bed sheets and drape them over the line to dry them.
Another trick to drying clothes is to hang them upside down by their hems, this will keep clothes from getting creases or pinches in the shoulder.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about drying clothes on the line is that they are stiff after they dry. There are several things that can be done to help keep clothes from getting stiff. One of the easiest ways to avoid stiffness is to use a liquid fabric softener in your washing machine. If you do not want to use fabric softener you can add half a cup of vinegar to your laundry before the rinse cycle. The vinegar will act as a fabric softener and the vinegar smell will fade out by the time your clothes have dried.
Another way to keep your clothes from getting stiff on the line is to remove them as soon as they are dry. On a sunny, windy day this can be as quick as half an hour. The longer the clothes hang on the line the stiffer they will become.
You can also run the clothes through the dryer for about ten minutes on a no-heat, air only cycle when you remove them from the line. This will help remove any stiffness that has set in while they were on the line, and will not cost anywhere near the amount of electricity that running an entire dryer cycle will cost.
To keep the sun from fading your darker colored clothes while they are on the line you can turn items inside out before hanging them on the line, thus protecting the outside of the clothes from the sun while still drying it on the line.
White clothes however actually are brightened by the sun so leaving your whites out on the line longer on a bright, sunny day will actually be good for them.