Senate Bill 1338 in Hawaii, recently sent to Governor Linda Lingle, would “prohibit real estate contracts, agreements, and rules from precluding or rendering ineffective the use of clotheslines on the premises of single-family dwellings or townhouses.”
In other words, the state senate wants to ban the prohibition of clotheslines as part of energy- conservation efforts that include requiring solar water heaters in new residential construction. Hawaiians have the highest electricity rates in the country.
The Hawaii legislation comes at a time when the “right-to-dry movement” has been gaining momentum in this country, with groups like Project Laundry List promoting the environmental aspects of line drying clothes. Opponents of line drying decry the aesthetic impact of clotheslines and suggest that clotheslines can hurt property values.
Clothesline enthusiasts will tell you that hanging laundry saves electricity, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, and leaves laundry with a fresh scent that fabric softeners and dryer sheets can’t match. Note that your savings won’t be great—the average electric clothes dryer costs about $80 to run a year—but the cumulative effect would be significant. (You’ll find any number of sites with instructions for setting up a clothesline, including these from Instructables.com and eHow.com.)
Line drying is also gentler on clothes. The lint you pull out of the dryer is actually a sign that your clothes, sheets, and towels are wearing out. (Be sure you cleaning the lint filter after every load. This enables the dryer to work faster and use less energy, and it reduces the risk of a dryer fire.)
Essential information: Use our buying advice if you’re in the market for a new dryer. Keep in mind that all dryers use about the same amount of energy, so they are not part of the federal Energy Star program. When you’re shopping for a dryer, buy one with an energy-saving moisture sensor, which shuts off the machine when laundry is dry. Visit the Energy-Saving Guide for tips on cutting household energy use.
That $80/year figure is skewed by all the commercial laundry, including Laundromats and multi-family laundry facilities. We have 2 million people in jail who get their laundry done for them on our dime and there are a lot of college students, too. (Do they wash? That is a different question.) Then there are the early (pre-historic) adopters who use clotheslines. They drag down this average again. It is close to 20% savings for a lot of households that I talk to...when they go cold-cold turkey. Cold water washing is almost as important as line drying.
Have 'never' understood the overwhelming aversion or resistance to clotheslines!
Growing up long ago in a very small community in Maine, there simply was NO other means ever used.
Later, while in college in Norman, OK, there was 'no choice' - as funds were always very, very tight plus Oklahoma always has much more than a "gentle breeze!"
Ever since, it has simply become "second nature!" Heavy work clothes, sweat shirts, exercise outfits, even bedding actually dry MUCH more quickly, too.
I think it's a great idea to mandate that clotheslines are allowed. But I do seem to recall there is a huge Australian clothesline maker that is bankrolling the movement. They had sold millions of clotheslines in their home market and were mystified when their attempt at US sales failed.
We also have to understand that this is a nation that only likes manual labor if they get to use toys - I mean machines. Explain the need for a five-acre lawn and the tractor to mow it. How about a smaller lawn and a push (reel) mower? Works for me.
Is it REALLY necessary to have to look up how to make a clothes line?
"(You’ll find any number of sites with instructions for setting up a clothesline, including these from Instructables.com and eHow.com.)"
I stopped using my electric drier and my $100 electric bill fell to $70. For me it was a 30% savings!
I would like to say that I live in a condo with no outdoor space and I still "line dry" my clothes (& my husband's & 2 kid's.) I have two big wooden drying racks that I stash on top of my washer/dryer and I set them up in front of a window. I can get a whole load of clothes on them and they dry over night. No one sees them but us. It is a very easy & cheap way to cut your carbon footprint. Not just for folks with yards!!
Something's wrong with a country where you can conceal your handguns in national parks but you you're not allowed to hang your washing in your own back yard.
I found this site with cool clothesline laundry tips: http://www.clotheslinesource.com/laundry-tips.cfm
I gave up our clothes dryer over a year ago. I live in the NW in wet rainy Seattle. In the spring/summer and part of the fall I use a retractable umbrella style clothesline outside. In the winter I hang all my laundry by hangers from a pipe in the garage and supplement with a wooden drying rack. Everything dries in 24 hours in the winter even during humid weather in my unheated garage. Of course when I hang outdoors, everything is dry in a couple of hours max. I can hang up to 4 loads on my clothesline outside and 2 loads inside. I just wash, hang and instead of the buzzer of the dryer holding me hostage to pull the clothes out so they don't get wrinkled, I can now just hang my clothing and retrieve them when I am ready to fold them. I find that once in the pattern of doing this it is actually easier to use the clothesline. It is nice to be able to run all my laundry, hang it and go off for the day doing whatever I want to do and not sitting home waiting for the dryer, load after load. If I can do it in the NW then anyone in the USA can do it. I for one am extremely happy to see people going back to line dried laundry.
Drying inside on a rack or line in the winter may help humidify the air.
Drying outside during the summer may help the house (by not running a dryer) and outside stay cooler.
Actually there are a couple of facts you seemed to have missed... not that I am against clotheslines BUT your clothes will fad quicker if you line dry them... so if you consider having black shirts turn grey as wear and tear then drying outside can cause a different type of wear and tear. Also, it isn't always safe to line dry clothes. In parts of the Caribbean you simply don't do it because if you do certain types of flies will lay eggs in your wet clothes and when you put them on the flies get into your skin (when they do line dry clothes they then iron them to kill the flies). So while I support the idea, it does have problems you don't mention.
I have been line drying all of our clothes since May of this year, and we all love it. My kids have actually helped with the laundry much more. Since I have made this change to our lives, I have also made other changes to improve our life. I now use a Natural laundry soap. It works great to leave our clothes extra clean and it is gentle on "mother earth" as well. Please ask me if you have any questions about the changes I have made.
I have been reading a bit about health and environmental concerns regarding using dryer sheets. I haven't found anything on ConsumerReports covering that subject. Any reliable information about the concerns would be appreciated.
Have you noticed it seems kids have more alergies now then ever before?
My doctor actually suggested to me that I line dry (outside) my sons
clothes especially his linens in an attempt to help him build a
tolerance to pollen and other airborne alergins. He told me that he
strongly believed that children have developed more alergies as we have done more and more to prevent exposure to all things natural.
We do air condition our homes instead of opening windows in warm weather and in many parts clotheslines are a thing of the past.
So I tried it, well within in 6 months we noticed his alergic reactions to many pollens became less and less. Well 6 years later I am pleased to say the ragweed is about the only thing that gives him minor problems. Food for thought. If you not exposed to something it's impossible for the body to build a resistance to it.