Hanging the laundry outside

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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By Margaret Boyles

Old Farmers Almanac

I don’t own a clothes dryer, which means that I need to use sturdy indoor and outdoor drying equipment. When the wooden posts holding up our old outside clothesline finally collapsed, I found one online featuring steel posts, crossbeams, and a lifetime guarantee. We set the support poles into 18 inches of cement and years later our laundry still swings brightly on sunney days year-round.

Let me give you a few of my top reasons for hanging the family laundry outside:

* You’ll lower your gas or electric bill. Project Laundry List estimates that the average household could save 10 to 20 percent annually on utility bills by hanging the wash.

* You’ll lower your risk of a home fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, clothes dryers or washing machines cause about 4 percent of house fires. In 2006, these appliances caused 15 civilian deaths, 360 injuries, and $194 million in direct property damage.

* Hanging laundry gets you outside. Being outside in bright light can alleviate depression, improve immunity, increase social relationships, and more.

* Line-drying prolongs the life of your clothing. The rolling and tumbling of damp laundry takes its toll on the fibers in clothing and bedding.

* Sunlight is a good bleach and disinfectant. Line-drying also helps remove stains without adding chemical agents to your wash. The downside: Fading. To prevent bright colors from fading, turn the items inside out or hang them on bars in the shade.

* You can’t beat the scent of line-dried laundry Ahhhhh! Plunging my nose into a pile of sun-dried clothes releases a cascade of feel-good endorphins.

* Rough, air-dried towels make the best exfoliants. (Did you know that you can actually buy “exfoliating towels?) Saves time and money, since you can multitask — exfoliate all over while you dry off — and forget about buying exfoliating scrubs and scrubbers.