Go Green: Hang It All Out

Q: What kind of energy is sustainable, renewable, free, and helps dry clothes?
A: Solar (and some days, wind)

Yes, that's right, I hang my clothes out to dry. You may call me old-fashioned, but I think I'm smart.

I hang my clothes out to dry, not only because it saves energy, but because I like the feel and smell of fresh air-kissed towels. I like being outside, especially in the summer. I have good memories of watching my grandma, and even my mom, hanging their laundry out on a clothesline.

But there are more practical reasons for hanging your clothes out to dry, too. Electric dryers are one of the biggest energy users in the home at around 4.2% of annual consumption (the average refrigerator claims about 3.5% annually). Using a clothesline also helps to lengthen the life of your clothes. Dryers actually break down clothes - that's where lint comes from. You don't get lint on a clothesline!

Many electric companies have something called Peak Hours - this is usually between 12 and 7 pm or between 2 and 7 pm. During these times, especially in the summer, the use and cost of electricity is at the highest. Your electric company may offer a savings if you use most of your electricity outside of these hours. Hanging your clothes on a clothesline not only saves on your electric bill overall, but it allows you to dry your clothes all afternoon long guilt-free.

It's easy to set up a clothesline. The actual line is very cheap and you can even get it at Walmart. Just tie it between two poles or even two trees. If you don't have the space outside, you can tie the line up in any unused space or you can buy an indoor drying rack. Although there are heated drying racks available, you can also get the plain racks that use no electricity.

I hope that you'll consider using a clothesline, even if it's just during the summer. I believe if you try it for just a couple of months, you'll notice the savings in your electric bill.


  1. I don't hang my clothes outside but I air dry almost all of my clothing inside either on drying racks or hangers. I only toss some pajamas or clothes I am trying to shrink in the dryer. Dryers absolutely ruin clothes and create this weird nubbiness I can't stand. Who wants shrunken nubby undies? haha. If I'm short on time I will sometimes "air fluff" which is drying with cool air instead of heat to prevent these things. Takes longer though and I doubt it's any more energy efficient.

  2. I hang my clothes inside as well and open the screened windows....because I can't stand spiders in my clothing!

  3. I found an old, metal, reel type cloths line while yard-saling. Now, just to figure out where to use it.

  4. I can't stand the bugs, never fails, every time I hang stuff out to dry I get mothed in the faced :(

  5. I hung our clothes outside for years until I heard that it worsens allergies. I miss it though because of its environmental and financial benefits.


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