Friday, June 24, 2011

Dear Clothesline....I Love You

A couple of days ago I was reading a post by Birdman about hanging clothes out on the line to dry. Each day, since the chiclets and I have been off for summer break, clothes have been on our line. I think there are two schools of thought on this practice. Some, eco-minded folks, like the option of using less electricity for this daily chore. Others prefer that fabric softener scented clothing that comes straight from the dryer.


I have become one of those eco-minded folks who like using less electricity. I also like that our clothes come from the line smelling like no fabric softener can make them smell. Sheets and pillowcases from the line are my personal favorite.


Hung correctly, clothes can also have less wrinkles. Hang pants from the waistline to allow the legs to hang freely. Pin shirts upside down, or at the bottom of the shirt, to avoid clothespin marks and allow the wrinkles to literally fall out. Hang dark colored clothing inside out to avoid fading and allow white clothes to stay right side out and get the bleaching effect from the sun.


If you feel like your clothes are not soft enough after hanging on the line, make sure you give them a good shake, (so you get that snap), before pinning them on the line.

Clothes that are line dried have a much longer life than do clothes that are dried in a dryer. That lint filter is actually full of fibers from your clothes..... The heat can also damage elastic as well.

I admit that all I learned about drying clothes on a line I learned from my Gran Lucy. She taught me well....even if my kids do complain that our towels feel a bit crunchy from time to time.

Do any of you line dry your clothes? 

52 comments:

  1. my mother was a faithful clothes line user and as long as i lived in her home, i was the basket runner and hanger. :) haven't done it as an adult.

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  2. Absolutely! Year round. Or, I hang them on a wooden dryer in the house in winter, when it's not fit to go outside. :)

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  3. I love your photos. Although I'm a dryer/fabric softener kind of girl I do think the practice has a nostalgic feel to it. And I love to see a line blowing in the breeze!

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  4. We had a clothes line that was used A LOT in the summer when I was growing up. I do remember that fresh smell. I also remember how my mom kept her wooden clothes pins in a washed out plastic bleach bottle. She cut a bit out of the handle to make a hook which would hang on the line and cut out a large section from the front to make it easier to toss in and/or retrieve the pins. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane, and for the tips.

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  5. I never tire of clothesline pictures. They make me so happy.

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  6. I WANT a clothesline... no one seems to understand this desire. Very good post!

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  7. I remember the clothes line when I was young..Always hung the clothes out...Wish I had a clothes line now..It would be great to smell the freshness of clothes coming in from the line.....This post brings back memories...
    Hugs,
    shug

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  8. I wish I had a clothes line I prefer it to the dryer...I usually hang dry all my jeans...they last so much longer...oh and the smell of clean sheets that have hung on the line...nothing like it...

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  9. Me too! I rarely use my dryer. It's so hot here that my clothes are dried really fast...faster than a dryer somedays. I'm a penny pincher too! And line drying fills that obsession.

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  10. Me too! I rarely use my dryer. It's so hot here that my clothes are dried really fast...faster than a dryer somedays. I'm a penny pincher too! And line drying fills that obsession.

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  11. I love my clothesline too. I hang out year round, when I can and have even put boots on and hung out with the snow on the ground and the crisp blue sky above..I also enjoy the savings, on months when I could hang out frequently, I saved more than $30. Yay!

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  12. Sure do. Sheets and pillow cases smell divine don't they?

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  13. We always used a clothesline when I was growing up. I have one now, but I don't use it as often as I should. I do use it more in the summer when I'm not working. Maybe tomorrow! :)

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  14. All the time. I love line-dried sheets; they don't just smell sweet, they scent the whole room.

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  15. Nothing like the smell of air dried clothing/bedding. If we had a clothesline I would.

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  16. Love those pictures,yes I also love to hang our clothes outside. There is nothing like that sun,fresh smell,sometimes though I do like to pop our towels into the dryer...

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  17. I'm so jealous! I want a clothes line - now that we're at the farm I'd love to have one IF I can find a spot in the sun that is not under the trees so the birds won't poop on my clothes! My mama and grandmother always had a clothes line and I had to help out with that. I miss that wonderful smell!

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  18. Clothes hung outdoors smell way, WAY better than fabric softener. :)

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  19. Dryers are not common here, but I am lucky to have a wide terrace so I can line dry my clothes. Thank you for couple of your tips I didn't know!

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  20. Ok, you've added a lot to my line drying technique. They all make sense to me. I would certainly agree and say that in certain parts of the country, the strength of the sun plays a big part in the fading of colors and lifespan of clothes. Thanks for the 'piggyback'.

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  21. Haven't hung clothes out in years...miss it sometimes.

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  22. I can't wait until the rain stops so I can use my new clothesline.

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  23. Every time! I love hanging up my laundry to dry. I find a good breeze also softens the clothes and linens when I leave them up after they are dried. There is a lot to be said for good ole fashion ways.

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  24. Growing up we didn't have a clothes dryer. (Revealing my age here...I don't think anyone did!...) I love the smell of clothes coming off the line. I am getting away from using chemicals and never use fabric softener any more.
    There are soap kits to make your own laundry soaps (liquid or powder-I prefer liquid) that have a minimum of chemicals and the clothes come out smelling fresh and clean and they are soft..from the dryer or the line ...

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  25. I do handwashes and use hangers to dry things, but my yard is so tiny and filled with gardens that I don't have a clothesline, but I NEVER use artificial fabric softeners...wow, the allergies they caused. I harvest lavender heads, dry them, and fill muslin bags with the lavender, which lasts and lasts...some of my dryer bags have been used 30 0r 40 times.

    I LOVE the smell of clothes dried on a line.

    Thanks for this!

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

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  26. I love clothes dried on the line, But I must confess, I always use my dryer. I love photos of clothes on a line.. It's probably one of my favorites.. Clothes on a line. LOVE THIS POST.

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  27. THE BOSS has been after me to put in a clothesline since we moved in 7 years ago. After talking our daughter's boyfriend into giving me a hand I finally got it done last fall. THE BOSS still hasn't used it but we came back from vacation to find our eco-conscious college student daughter hanging her clothes on our line.....after using our washing machine....and A/C......and refrigerator.

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  28. I love these photos... they make me want a clothesline! Though, I have a feeling that I'd have to wash everything again by the time that it dried... so much dust blowing around.

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  29. A good post, Farmchick. I'm taking the Fifth.

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  30. Well, not really my department, but my wife has been doing this for 35 years (winters excepted). In fact, she has insisted on doing this, and hanging things just as you described. I'm enlisted to take them off the line if she's away and rain threatens, but I have specific orders on how to lay them carefully in the basket. My only other involvement is in ensuring the clotheslines (yes, we have 2 long ones) are always in good working order.

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  31. oh yes, when I was a child that was all we had. That old clothes line is still there to this day! I don't have the space for one now cause I'm in a condo! Regardless, I agree, a wonderfut thing to do! Takes you back to your roots!

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  32. Nothing like the fresh smell of sheets dried on the line.

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  33. With the cattle and the flies that come with them, there were not too many good days to hang clothes, so we no longer have a clothes line outside. We do hang up some work clothes down in the basement, but I have some great memories of clothes lines from my childhood. It was the unofficial badminton net, and other times it was the foundation of a tent. I also remember scrambling to get the clothes off the line if a storm blew up or the wind changed direction (we lived on a dirt road!) Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

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  34. I really loved this post. It warmed my heart to see pictures of clothes hanging on a line and know that it isn't a lost art. I love that someone as young as you has been taught how to do this for the best results. We lived in the mountains for 7 yrs. when our boys were young and I hung out our clothes.(We had no electricity for 2 of those years) I too loved the sheets...the feel and the smell. Hubby always complained a little about the towels too, but I love the way they feel.
    Your pictures brought back memories of my Mom too, who always hung out her clothes and taught me how to do it properly.
    My favorite memory was handing her clothes pins when I was little.
    Thanks for pulling a little at my heartstrings with this post and the wonderful pictures of clothes blowing on the line.

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  35. You are so right. I think the sun cleans germs away too. I miss my clothes line. I gave it up with the shoulder injury. I can't snap or reach. It does save on the clothes wear and tear. Try my home made soap you'll love it and it's so easy to do.

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  36. My wife rarely uses the dryer. She hangs the clothes out year round.

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  37. I used to hang my clothes outside all the time but then began finding bees (yellow jackets) in the seams of things like pants and blouses. And I wouldn't even see them there when I was folding them and bringing them back in so it was not fun when you would finally put that "something" on and "zap"...get stung by a bee. Any solutions for this? Does it happen to you too or just me?

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  38. Oh how I miss my clothesline...don't have the room in my backyard for one right now...but one day..again hopefully!

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  39. Oh yeahhhhh...that's what I grew up doing and still do. I love hearing the "snap" too ;)

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  40. I'm the odd one out on this post, I don't have a clothesline!! so I use the dryer, I wouldn't be without it, one good point about it is if you get the clothes out at the right time no need to iron.
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

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  41. It has been a long time since I have heard the lesson on hanging out clothes. And its true, there is a way that it's done correctly for all to come out right. The dryer is my friend because the dogs run off with our clothes. Its a fun life!! Debi

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  42. I kind of compromise...I hang them on the line until they are almost dry (doesn't take but 5 minutes in the Az summer)..then I throw them in the dryer for about five minutes...best of both worlds for me.

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  43. I lined dried my clothes for many many years as did many others living around me. It slowly seemed to become a thing of the past and now I don't see a clothesline anywhere. It is the same with air conditioning. We neve rhad one whilr the kids were growing up but now everyone has them in every window!

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  44. I personally think clothes off the line smell much more fresh than dryer clothes. I enjoy it!






    http://hello-fello.blogspot.com/

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  45. Oh, I have been begging the hubby for a clothesline ever since we moved out in the country! Maybe I should see if I can manage it myself! I remember playing at my mother's feet as she hung out the wash--then as I got older, I was able to do it myself before we got a dryer. I love the fresh smell, and yes, the clothes DO last longer! Reminds me of a funny story about my mother's unmentionables hanging on the line--hard to have many secrets from the neighbors when your wash is hanging out for all to see! lol Maybe I should write about it!
    V

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  46. I love my clothesline too :) I think I just like the walking outside part-if forces me to stop for a minute and look around : )

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  47. I agree.... Hang up to dry.

    The first house that I owned was fairly modern and had a space for a dryer or dishwasher. My Mother didn't have either so it was difficult to choose which one to install. When it was time to move house years later, I hadn't purchased either and instead the space was used in the duration as a kitchen pedal waste bin.
    The current house I own has a space behind an enclosed cupboard door in the utility room for a dryer ... but I tend to use the space for fold away sun chairs for the nearby back garden.

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  48. Nice post and I love your commentary your Gran Lucy was a smart woman. I love the smell of lined dry clothes. My girls are not keen on the rough towels either. B

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  49. We don't actually own a dryer - never have, even through the years of having small children. All our clothes are either dried outside on the line, or on a Victorian pulley airer in the garage. Despite our climate, Scotland is a land of clothes lines. When we did a house exchange with a family from Los Angeles, we looked in vain for a clothes line in their garden. We couldn't believe that there wasn't one, with all that sunshine, and with the city having electricity brownouts due to excess demand.

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  50. I love my clothesline! There's just something about the act of hanging everything up, one piece at a time that I find therapeutic. And I like being eco-minded as well!

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  51. I only have a tiny yard and I recently found this outdoor umbrella clothesline that holds 4 loads of laundry and is easy to take out of the hole in the ground when my kids decide they need the room to play or my husband wants to mow. Now I can have that awesome sun dried smell, too.

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