Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Save On Laundry Expenses

Every year, there is just something so thrifty and pioneer-ish about spring and summer and it has to do with my laundry.

Now, I’m surely not as committed to thriftiness as I could be. I mean, I’m not willing to boil my water, get out the washboard and a metal bucket, and scrub my laundry by hand.

But I am willing to forgo my dryer and hang my clothes outside for the sun to dry. Not only does it keep my house from getting heated by my non-stop dryer use during those hot summer months, but it is saving on my electricity bill and my fabric softener expense to hang my clothes outside.

“But, I can’t stand when my clothes get all stiff and scratchy,” you say.

Well, I've even found an answer for that.

It seems that only my towels and my jeans seem to get stiff. T-shirts, underwear, and poly blends dry up nice and soft.

And funny enough, my husband prefers his clothes all starchy and stiff.

But my kids don’t like their jeans to be hard.

And I prefer my towels to NOT feel like sandpaper.

Go figure.

So for those items I toss them in the dryer on Air Dry (not heat) without any (homemade) fabric softener sheets for about 5-10 minutes to fluff them up.

And if you like it enough you can keep doing it inside during the winter.

This great little gadget can string across your laundry room, garage, or basement and then retracts when you’re not using it.

So consider giving it a try. You’ll save on your electric bill as well as your laundry supplies.


jewlsntexas said...

We don't hang our clothes outside because of allergies - cloth does grab pollens and it makes us miserable. However, that inside line looks like a great idea.
Do you make your own homemade dryer sheets?

Tara said...

I hang mine in my garage year round or on a collapsable drying rack that never gets collapsed it seems. We kind off like stiff jeans too...The only things I dry are towels, socks and underwear, and our sheets which is about five loads a week. I would hang them out but don't have enough room. Our neighboorhood doesn't allow clothes lines which really upsets me a bit!

carrie said...

Hey! That's what I do! I do the same thing with my towels, socks and underwears. I don't want the neighbors to see my private wardrobe.

It's harder to get out there with a baby around, but now that he's walking, I hope to do it all summer and fall.

Leanne said...

No hanging laundry here....allergies will kill us!

I don't like the idea of having a line in my garage...

I'm snooty!



Sarah Mae said...

I really like that line thingy tool...I want one! I guess I should convert to hanging my clothes out to's laziness that stops me. Well, that and the stink bugs that leave a stain when I try to smack them off my laundry!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Hanging clothes is not new to me, BUT I have come to a new realization this spring- the hanging of clothes on the line actually makes me happy- it relaxes me. It is just so neat, tidy and productive looking- plus economical! And I sound so old and lame... Oh well, I think it has to do with sunshine and lovely smelling clothes too. I do the same thing- pop the scratchy items in the dryer for a short time.

jskell911 said...

I have already started to line dry myself. Sheets and towels are still dried in the dryer though. Can't stand the smell of line drying on these items.

jskell911 said...

I hang out about every third load. DH and DS don't mind their clothes line dried. but I must admit-I hate them. So, my clothes, towels, and sheets go in the dryer. The savings more that offset the rate for running the A/C in the summer.

Anonymous said...

I like scratchy towels! :) Lets me know when I first use them that they are fresh out and they also give me a bit of an exfoliant for free! I put the things that would need ironing only in the dryer as you mentioned, then hang on hangers on the clothes line. Some still need a bit of touch up later but most don't. The rest goes directly to the lines. I put a shower rod up inside the tub we seldom use to hang things when it is raining. It can easily be taken down as it is only up by tension. Since many things go on hangers a lot an be put up on this extra rod...and the regular rod can be used if needed too. I think the clothes line thingie you showed could be put up in a tub area the same. I love your blog and get so many good ideas from it. Thank you so very much! Sarah