I began looking into reviving my mom’s custom of hanging clothes to dry, and the benefits were everywhere. When I was a kid we moved out to the country to a home on 40 beautiful wooded acres. I spent so many hours walking through our woods, paddle boating on the pond, riding my bike, and playing with our dogs. It made for a lovely childhood.
Shortly after moving there my dad put up a clothesline. It was my first experience using one. Soon I found I loved the chore of hanging the clothes on the line. It was relaxing and the clothes smelled amazing when you brought them back in. Plus it was an easy chore that could be done outside, my favorite place to be.
When I got married I moved back into town. I dreamt of having a clothesline again but we never got around to putting one in. That all changed when we bought our new house. The home was built in the early 1960’s and still had the t-posts for a clothesline. Before we even closed on the house I was dreaming of hanging clothes on the line again.
Having a clothesline again has been great. There are so many benefits to line drying clothing. It’s really sad that it’s something so few do anymore, at least in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong I still love that I have an electric dryer but there are just so many benefits to line drying clothes that I’d rather rarely use it.
1. IT’S GOOD EXERCISE.
Putting your clothes in the dryer from the washer takes a little effort. However, carrying a basket of clothes out to your line and putting them on the line can help get you moving and the arms up and down movement can help get your heart working a bit more.
If you use a Fitbit, it will thank you for this new habit!
2. IT SAVES MONEY.
In the U.S., it costs approximately $0.45 to dry a load of laundry in an electric dryer. I do about 8 loads of laundry a week, during some seasonal cleaning even more.
That’s more than $180 a year. I can think of many ways I’d rather spend that money than on drying my clothes.
3. Hanging Clothes WHITENS YOUR WHITES.
The sun is one of the best ways to naturally bleach your whites. This will help save you even more money and helps keep more harsh chemicals off of your clothes. I like to dry my whites on really sunny days and around noon when the sun is directly over my line.
If you are worried about colored clothes fading, put them out on overcast days or when the sun is less bright. For me, that’s the morning because the sun is blocked some by my house.
4. GREAT SMELLING CLOTHES WITHOUT THE HARSH CHEMICALS.
When I get a “new” vintage clothing item it always spends at least a day outside. The fresh air really does wonders for reducing any odors it may have.
The same is true for all of your clothing. I really like this for my cleaning rags, no matter what I’ve been cleaning they always end up smelling fresh again.
5. SAY GOODBYE TO STATIC CLING AND DRYER SHEETS.
Drying your clothes on a line gets rid of the need for dryer sheets helping reduce even more harsh chemicals on your clothes and saving you even more money. Dryer sheets are full of harsh chemicals and build upon your clothes, especially towels.
When you ditch the dryer sheets you may find your towels are fluffier and dry a lot better. That’s because that build up is making your towels less effective.
6. YOUR CLOTHES WILL LAST LONGER.
Line drying is far more gentle on your clothes. It also will prevent your clothes from shrinking.
This is yet another benefit that will save you money.
7. LESS WRINKLES.
I’m not a big fan of ironing or steaming and since I wear a lot of cotton skirts and dresses I can end up doing a lot of both.
Line drying reduces wrinkles naturally. I still have to do some ironing/steaming but a lot less.
8. IT’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
With all the ways it helps you reduce harsh chemical use and the energy saves it can really help reduce your environmental impact.
It’s just another example of how being environmentally friendly also saves you money.
9. IT GETS YOU OUTSIDE.
More time outside has been shown to provide all kinds of health benefits from weight loss, to increased vitamin d levels (which helps keep you from getting sick as often and is important for bone health), improved brain function, less depression, better vision and so much more!
10. BETTER MENTAL HEALTH.
Many people report that line drying clothes is relaxing. I know this is true for me. I haven’t found any studies on what about this activity makes it relaxing, it’s likely a combination of things.
Whatever it is, more and more of us are dealing with chronic stress and the many health problems that can come with that so any stress relief is a good thing.
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