OK, this is probably offensive. I apologize to folks who are appalled that I would write a post on hanging out laundry. But here’s a sad fact. Many people who come to my house and ask what they can do to help me have no idea how to hang out clothes. They are used to just popping it in the dryer. On a sunny, breezy day, yet.
I like a dryer as much as the next girl if it is wet and cold out. I love to put on clothes warm from the dryer when it is cold in our bedroom. Dryers even remove a certain amount of lint from black clothes and leave bath towels soft and fluffy. Dryers are great for drying and fluffing pillows and down jackets.
But dryers suck immense amounts of power, which is expensive and bad for the environment, unless you have high tech solar panels or wind turbines. And you don’t. If you did, your lights would probably dim when you used the dryer. Plus drying laundry in the sweet air and sunshine makes it smell nicer, and bleaches and disinfects your clothes. Therefor if you have dark clothes that are liable to fade, dry them on a hanger in the shade.
OK, first you need your low tech solar clothes dryer. Read the rather apologetic post. Once you have all that in place, continue. If you can’t be bothered, make like a camper and hang your laundry on bushes.
While the Sun Shines.
OK, you can dry laundry in cold weather- I have peeled frozen laundry off the line and taken it indoors for a final fluff and dry- at least it saved some dryer time. But basically, if I see a nice sunny, breezy day, I think it would be fun to do some laundry.
Take your laundry out in a basket with your pins in the bag I described how to make in the last post.
Give larger items a good snap to shake out wrinkles as you hang them. My line is long and sags in the middle, and I don’t care to prop it up with a long, wackly pole, so I just hang short things in the middle. Long things like sheets, jeans, and overalls go at the ends. Thin things like sheets and shirts can be held overlapped with one pin. This isn’t because I am too cheap to buy pins, but so that the wind won’t blow everything up and down the line. You should try not to pin two thick things together as it will leave a wet spot. Just grab something thinner as you hang up the clothes.
Thick things like jeans should be hung by the waist, because when I hang them by the hems, the water drips down into the thickest part of the jeans that are hardest to dry. Pull out the pockets. Shirts should be hung by the corners so the wind bellies them out like a sail; it blows the wrinkles out and you can hang socks and underwear in the space where it sags down in the middle. Dress pants I hang creased by the hems, but I suppose they would be just fine tossed in the dryer for 5 minutes with the very dark lint-loving clothes and then hung up. Dresses I hang by the hem so they belly out in the wind and dry without stiffness or wrinkles.
Fragrant and Clean
Curtains, sheets and pillowcases are obvious. If you only hang one thing, it should be your bed linens. The smell of air dried sheets is so wonderful! You will even sleep better! But you really should dry your socks and underclothes in the sunshine. The sun’s rays are free, non-toxic bleach and disinfectant. You can hang them facing backwards so they don’t look too public if your clothesline is in a place people can ogle knickers, -if you know such people. And one nice thing is that if you used to feel you needed to buy laundry detergent with perfume, you won’t need to anymore. God’s sweet air is nice enough.