I hangout almost everything we own except jeans, towels, and workpants.. I never see any huntout when i gofor rides.. I and my husband can't imagine getting into bed and not having the sheets smell sooooooooooo nice... I just thought people don't like to air thier clean laundry now adays... I save sooooooooo much on electric also... Just thought i'd ask....Have a great FARM day....Maureen

-- maureen (, August 31, 2001


I do! My dad (who was the electrician for our home-building) thought I was a little nuts for not wiring for an electric dryer. I haven't used a clothes dryer for 4 years now and don't miss it. I spent $30 on several wooden drying racks and in the winter it helps put humidity into the house by having the clothes dry on them. I have a nice alcove at the top of the stairs where they fit perfectly, it's where the heat from the wood stove comes up and they dry pretty fast. In the summer, we've got clotheslines strung under the deck and I dry everything out there. Yes, the towells and jeans are a little stiff, but they soften up soon enough from use or wearing. It's not a hardship, really. But, I have learned to shake out the clothes hanging outside when I fold them because I've found a spider or two hanging on to them! We also have no microwave, so have a very low electric bill (hopefully one day NO electric bill!).

-- Rose Marie Wild (, August 31, 2001.

Yes, I hang out laundry! I have a dryer but mostly only use it for emergencies. Nothing smells better than sheets hung outside. Downy is no comparison. It also gives me a good feeling to see the clean clothes on the line. But you are right, not many people do that anymore. Most people don't even have a clothesline.

-- ugly (, August 31, 2001.

Though I do have a clothes line I rarely hang clothes out, even when I have to I would hang them in my summer room. In the spring the pine pollen is so thick it stains your clothes and makes me sneeze! In the summer it is bugs and if you don't have everything in by afternoon it is raining! This time of the year though it is raining now, it is normally dry and dusty makes for dirty clothes, and just about year round it is so humid that the clothes never really dry well. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, August 31, 2001.

I also hang out all of my laundry during good weather. Using a wringer washer it just wouldn't make sense to dry them in the dryer. It would probably take forever. In the winter or rainy days I hang things on lines in my laundry room. I put everything that goes on hangers on the hangers, this frees up a lot of space. I use wood racks for small items. My husband made me a clothesline with hooks on each end that I stretch across the dining room (in front of the woodburner) and I hang jeans and heavy items that take a while to dry on it. If I hang them before I go to bed they are dry by morning. Then I can take the line down and we don't have to look at it all day! I see no reason to spend money to dry clothes when they will dry for free just hanging there. Of course, we should probably take into account the cost of the clothesline, wood racks, etc... ( I already knew what you were thinking Ken!) But it is an extremely low cost way of drying clothes!

-- Melissa (, August 31, 2001.

Yes, I hang my cloths out. Especially Jeans. Year around. I do not hang out our undies. Not that I don't want anyone to see them but it is so time consuming to do all those sox. I hang my better T's inside so they won't fade in the sun. The dryer DOES use a lot of electricity. When you read or hear of someone trying to cut their expenses, You never hear anyone say to hang out the laundry. Oprah never mentions it. They just tell us to cut back on eating out. For us, we would go out to eat once every two years. I'd rather hang my cloths out and keep to my once a year.

-- Belle (, August 31, 2001.

We used to, and I just LOVE that fresh smell line dried clothes have, but then found out that our son has severe allergies to just about all types of grass. So we dry our stuff in the dryer now to minimize his exposure.

-- Eric in TN (, August 31, 2001.

I hang my clothes outside all summer long and have lines running from wall to wall in the spare bedroom where I hang them all winter.

One reason you don't see clothes hanging outside in some areas is it's not allowed. One of my brothers lives in a newer housing development and clotheslines ARE NOT are not permitted. I can't imagine such a rule but that's not the only one they have. You cannot paint your house a different color without getting permission from the board, only certain plants can be planted, a car/pickup or a vehichle of any kind cannot sit outside w/o being moved for more than 2 days and on and on. This is in CA where they were having all the blackouts etc. Wouldn't you think they would start encouraging the hanging out of clothes, etc. to save electricity? To be honest maybe they are. This was a couple of years ago that my brother was telling me of all these rules.

Thank heavens I live in the country. I would have trouble with so many rules.

-- Dee in Iowa (, August 31, 2001.

Yes! We hang out ALL our clothes all the time! WE had a dryer and it broke last January but I was already hanging out most of the clothes anyway! I told my husband (who is a handyman and fixes stuff for everybody else!) NOT to fix our dryer because if it's not workable, then we're not tempted to use it when we're in a hurry!

We have to fight the pollen in the spring but we work that out (we both have bad allergies)

On rainy days (like today) I hang clothes on two little lines I have stretched in the pantry off our kitchen. They usually are dry by the next morning unless it is something heavy like jeans and then it might take an additional day

We're saving on our electric bill big time! And we're not wasting energy! This summer, it was so hot that we could hang out clothes and go back and bring them in in less than an hour! Almost as quickly as they would have dried in the dryer!

-- Suzy in Bama (, August 31, 2001.

I hang is wash day as a matter of fact! I do it because I like the smell and because it is sooo much cheaper. This winter I will hang them in doors. It really helps on the dry air. Around here there are alot of people that hang out..but now that I think of it...they are mostly rural and not in town.

-- Sher in southeast Iowa (, August 31, 2001.

yes... I still hang out ALL of my laundry outside. We do have an electric dryer but doesn't heat really well and can't be bother having it fixed and besides we have "stuff" in front of it in the basement and it would take a mountain climber to get to it. During the winter I do have wooden clothes racks also that dry things really fast next to the kitchen wood stove. Hang the large things in the basement near the wood burning stove to dry down there. They dry in just a matter of hours !!But even during our winter here in upstate PA I still hang them outside. They do freeze on the line and surely no fun trying to pull them off in the cold but they do dry pretty well anyways. If you soak your clothes pins in salt water before using them they will not freeze onto the clothes lines during the winter. Can't imagine living somewhere that you can't have a clothes line. Can't have a car that doesn't move. Why my car hasn't moved in 5 days. Haven't been into work during that time. What would you do ?? Run around moving your car all of the time ?? How would I hide that "spare" car for parts ??? No.....leave me in the country. Pity the poor city/suburban family. They don't know what they are missing !!!

-- Helena Di Maio (, August 31, 2001.

We hang our clothes out when the weather warm enough. I guess we could in the winter too and freeze dry them, LOL. We just love the way the feel and smell when they are hung out. We do see a few other people around us that hang their laundry but not many. I wouldn't have my bath towels any other way.

One question though. We do use a conventional washing machine that is only about 4 years old. Some of my fleece sweatshirts and other similar types of clothes have a lot of lint deposited on them that we can only get off by putting them in the dryer once in a while. Any suggestions?

-- Trisha-MN (, August 31, 2001.

Yes I do and I'm so lucky to have a nice heavy metal one. My husband has a friend whose wife didn't want that "ugly" thing in her yard. Luck for us! They live in one of those areas that is in the country but has a lot of restrictions. What is the point of being in the country if you have to do what everyone else says? There's also a neighbood outside of the town where I work where you aren't allowed to have your garage door open unless you're going in or out with your car. Get real!!!!!!

-- Robin (, August 31, 2001.

Trisha, I know what you mean. I find that if I put towels with clothes that attract lint I have the same problem. You just need to watch what is washed together. But still I occasionally have to run things through the dryer a bit to remove lint or make something more presentable for work. I think it's important to just use the clothesline as much as possible and don't sweat it if you have to use the dryer once in a while.

-- Robin (, August 31, 2001.

Mother Nature provides us with a free dryer why pay for drying. I have been married 41 years and never had a dryer even in the days when I had dipers everywhere. I personally feel that clothes last longer and look better when not put in a dryer and I also escape the big electric bills. I think it is just a matter on how you grew up and what your choices are. Sally

-- sally stanton (, August 31, 2001.

Here in Upstate NY, I hang everything outside from about April through Oct. Everything gets hung out, even undies (just hide them between other lines of clothes). During the winter, the snow is too deep to get to the clothesline. I have lines on clothesline poles instead of a reel. The reel line wouldn't give me enough room. During the winter, I hang everything in the basement and it is usually dry by the next day. We put jeans in the dryer during the winter for a few minutes just to soften them up. My husband drys his car rags (flour sack towels) in the dryer to get the lint off but they don't take very long. Electricity here is extremely expensive but I wouldn't use the dryer even if it was cheap. It's such a waste when the sun is free.

-- Cindy in NY (, August 31, 2001.

I've known people in suburbia who strung clotheslines in the garages and dried there. The door would only be opened a couple of inches to allow airflow.

I have one of those fold-up umbrella-type clotheslines at one corner of the deck. However, normally I just drape most over the deck rail or hang them on a line running down one hallway.

I know this is going to sound wierd, but when I worked I would tie my socks into a loose knot when I took them off and washed/dried them that way. No sorting afterwards. Now, except for getting dressed up, I just wear the same brand and style of grey athletic socks.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, August 31, 2001.

Yup. I hang the laundry out most of the year. I have a clear roof over the porch of the bunkhouse and it gets nice and warm under there. I live in western Washington State so it's pretty humid most of the time. The clothes don't always get completely dry, but I can finish them off on a rack in front of the wood stove during the winter (or same place with no fire going in the summer.) This summer I am finishing lines *inside* the bunkhouse, so that when I have a fire going in the wood cookstove out there, I might as well dry the laundry.

-- sheepish (WA) (, August 31, 2001.

Yes, of course I hang laundry on the line. I can't imagine not doing it. When we moved to our home 7 years ago, I was thrilled to find 2 poles with 4 clotheslines and there were even some pins with it. Everything is hung outside most of the year. Towels are washed on very windy days so they soften up some. I won't refill the birdfeeders if I'm doing laundry and sometimes I won't do laundry if the manure is being spread across the road. Not that I mind the manure smell, but not on my pillow :) I also shake out each article before bringing it in. My father in law tells a story about finding a snake in his bed that came from the laundry basket. No thank you.

-- Charleen in WNY (, August 31, 2001.

We never even got around to buying a dryer. We hang out year round. Otherwise we hang in the basement or the living room.

Delicates we don't want to risk getting excess lint on (even after cleaning the lint trap) we place in a pillowcase and tie the end then wash. this keeps my work shirts from getting covered and we have a couple old pillowcases we use just for this purpose.

-- Anne (, August 31, 2001.

I use a wringer washer and hang out EVERYTHING. It's only my opinion, but I think using the automatic washer and dryer is lazy work. You get a lot of excersise washing and hanging clothes and a real appreciation for the way things "use to be". Besides, I enjoy being out in the fresh air and working with nature not only in our homesteading duties but with all things...even our laundry!

-- Karen (, August 31, 2001.

Another option is to run the clother in the dryer for only 5-10 minutes on "air-fluff--no heat" to soften up the towels a bit. I used the dryer with cloth diapers too--stiff as a board not so nice for baby!

Bear in mind of course that the stuff you pull OUT of the lint trap are your clothes wearing away...another reason not to use the dryer any more than you have to.

Right now, I have no clothesline, so clothes on hangers are hanging on the birdfeeder, and on a folding wire rack that I bring inside at night. I don't use the garage because I don't like the car fumes on the clothes. I also use one area near a coat closet, but then have to move the clothes to get into the closet.

Eventually we will either put up an umbrella line or a pulley line-- debating the merits of each right now at home.

-- GT (, August 31, 2001.

I used to hang everything out, till we moved here. The house is on the same electric bill as the barns, so the farmer we rent from pays our electric. It's all included in the low rent we pay. I definately have gotten lazy, throwing the clothes in the dryer all the time, instead of hanging them out. I still do hang out the sheets and occasionally the towels. I think that when the clothes freeze on- line (computer lingo there) they have such a better smell.

-- daffodyllady (, August 31, 2001.

Laundry is outside in the fresh air during summer, inside on plastic hangers on the racks in the basement beside the woodstove during winter. I have a drier, but only use it very sparingly. I found the greenhouse we put up this spring to be very useful during summer: hang the clothes on plastic hangers and on the racks in the empty greenhouse, they're cooked dry in no time. On those days with "occasional showers" they STAY dry, too!

There's nothing cosier than crawling into bed at the end of a long day and smelling clean sheets that have been hanging out in the fresh air.


-- Chelsea (, August 31, 2001.

I have, unfortunately, been unable to peruse all of the above answers. Nonetheless, as an ecologically-minded Libertarian, I set money aside and purchased, for both my lovely mate and myself, a state of the art solar dryer. We love it, and it is very economical! GL!

-- Brad (, August 31, 2001.

I just have a state of the homestead pulley-style clothesline and I love it. Okay, Brad, I thought a solar dryer was something you dried fruits and vegetables in, not clothes! I bet it doesn't make the clothes smell as good as the clothesline! It may, however, be a shade more convenient when you notice after getting up in the morning that your last clean pair of pants has lost it's seat and you need clothes washed and dried in 2 hours for work....

-- Sheryl in Me (, August 31, 2001.

Brad solar dryer cost me $5.! ..3 -30 foot long stainless steel lines. darn little upkeep cost for my dryer. I figure that maybe next year [don't want to rush things] I might have to get some new C47's

-- Jim-mi (, August 31, 2001.

We hang our clothes out unless it is rainning. If you are afraid about the sun fading some types of your clothes out do what I do. I turn them inside out before hanging. If you're worried about stiffness, either take them off the line just right before are fully dried or throw them in the dryer for about 5 minutes.

-- r.h. in n.e.okla. (, September 01, 2001.

We use the sun all of the time! Our 18 and 21 Y.O. complain that our drier is unreliable (sometimes won't heat up). Such a shame!

-- rick K (, September 01, 2001.

GT- the lint trap I was referring to is in the washer. Lots of folks forget that it is there. Still guess that it is the clothes wearing away though. As I do on average three loads of laundry a day due to my work, I find using a washer isn't lazy but an effective use of my time.

-- Anne (, September 01, 2001.

Yes, I've always hung out my clothes in the spring, summer and fall, but all I have for winter is a couple of wooden dowel racks and they just won't keep up with the amount of laundry I do. This year we're planning on burning wood in the cellar, so maybe I can rig up some clothes lines down there like my mother does.

-- Nancy in Maine (, September 01, 2001.

Our dryer died a few years ago and we never replaced it. I dry everything outside or inside on good drying racks. Several folks here mentioned the clothes being stiff. Well I fill one of those downey balls half full of white vinegar and throw it in the wash. It rinses all of the detergent out and leaves them much softer. And no...they dont smell like vinegar. Drying fleece stuff like sweats and blankets in a dryer will mat down the fluffy side. We have sweatshirts that we've been wearing for several years and they are still fluffy on the inside. Besides I never did like paying the power company to do something that the Lord does free. Blessings Peggy

-- peggy (, September 01, 2001.

I hang laundry out everyday just about. If it is above freezing during the day and not raining, there is laundry on the line! And I dry everything out there. When I lived in Ohio and sold real estate, I couldn't sell houses in one particular area because the whole development had deed restrictions against clotheslines, among other things. I would get very sarcastic when talking about these properties so it got to the point where if someone was interested in that area, I had another agent show them the houses.

-- Patricia Ramsey (, September 01, 2001.

NUTHIN' beats the smell of sun dried clothes. Sad commentary on modern housepeople (like that one, folks??) that a clothes freshener has to be labeled so you know what you're smelling - "country springtime", "mountain fresh whatever", "rain", etc. And just for jollies, whose nose came up with those ideas, anyhow? Don't like the way they make my clothes feel slippery, either. Ya, toweles are a little stiff/rough, but just think of all that money you're saving on expensive exfolient creams, masques,etc... Ya, like I buy any of that, right? In your dreams.

Pretty day here, hope y'all enjoy yours, too.........Kt.

-- K-K-K-Katie (, September 01, 2001.

Anne, I use the pillowcases too. They're great. There are even lint filters you can buy for the washers but they are very expensive (supposedly they keep the stuff out of the septic tank). I don't think they are made for the typical washer that is often out in the garage nowhere near a sink so that you could do the nylon stocking filter (which is the much cheaper alternative.

On the other hand, if we only washed 100% natural fibers, I would think that they would eventually break down in the septic tank like everything else.

From what I understand, it is the heat that makes running both the washer and the dryer expensive, when compared to gas. The washer is a great timesaver and well worth the cost.

-- GT (, September 01, 2001.

I enjoy hanging out the laundry in warm weather. The clothesline is next to the butterfly garden and I see the most beautiful creatures while I'm out there. It's kind of a meditation thing for me.

-- debra in ks (, September 01, 2001.

Ditto to most of the above answers. And who needs to use a lofa sponge for dry skin just use a line dried towel :o) I do put my towels in the dryer on air fluff for 10 minutes before hanging outside, they aren't like a board then. LOL!!!

-- Kelle in MT. (, September 02, 2001.

We use a line most of the year, and the dryer on occasion. I can really tell the difference on the electric bill without the dryer on all the time, same with the central air.

-- Uriah (, September 02, 2001.

I line dry, but use a washing machine. There is no way I'd be without one. I tried handwashing clothes for awhile. A washing machine is definitely an appropriate use of technology.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), September 02, 2001.

I line dry my clothes, but won't go without a washer. I sure wish sometimes that I had a dryer for emergency gotta have those jeans NOW moments, but for the most part, I really love the smell. I was worried at first about the allergies, but if I shake them before I put them in the basket, it seems to help. Who knows, it may be my imagination, but it works. I don't have space to dry them in the house all winter, so I am not sure what I will do then. My dryer died in March of this year. I put some wooden racks over heater vents..I am thinking of putting one in each childs' room. Right now, they are in the living and dining room and makes the rooms feel cramped. I hope it is saving on the electricity bill, that thing is high enough as it is!!

-- Cindy in Ok (, September 03, 2001.

We have very high humidity in South Florida but our clothes are still dry in about 2 hours. I had to handwash our clothes 30 years ago when I was a welfare mom- I do love a washing machine, but keep telling dh the next one wiull be a watersaving front loader!

-- Mitzi Giles (, September 03, 2001.

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