The Benefits of Solar Laundry Drying
When you dry laundry on lines out in the sun you will save approximately 20,000 BTU/hour of dryer heat in the summer time, and nearly twice that much on a winters day (assuming, that is, that you are not set up to recycle your dryers heat with an Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger). This is enough heat to warm a small house while your dryer is running. And, according to www.ecohomeguy.com one ton of poisonous gasses are created at the powerplants each year to run your average clothes dryer.
Gentler on Clothes
Besides saving all of this heating energy you also save your clothing from wearing out so soon when you dry your laundry on the line. The tumbling action, and the high temperatures that clothes are subject to in a clothes dryer, wear the clothes out more quickly. This is a hidden waste that one prevents when you do your laundry drying the solar laundry way.
You can also avoid using as much soap, and will feel less need for bleach when you dry clothing and linens on the laundry line. The sunshine interacts with the moisture that it is evaporating to create a natural bleach that is much more gentle than clorine based bleach, and which is non toxic. Sun dried clothes always come out brighter than they would otherwise. The UV radiation in sunshine also serves to sterilize your laundry. Solar laundry has a terrific clean smell, and this is why.
When you have finished drying your laundry in the sun, fold it as soon as you take it off the laundry line. This way you will keep your clean laundry wrinkle free. Also, when you dry laundry on lines you will not get any static cling in your clothes. You might find some of your clothes have dried too stiff. Personally I like sun-stiffened clothes. It reminds me of how just how fresh the laundry is. But, if you want your solar laundry to feel softer, all you need to do is to put it in the dryer on fluff for five minutes.
Clothes Lines & Hangers
Nowadays there are a lot of different clothes hanging set ups that you can buy and put to use. Laundry lines don’t have to be large and obtrusive. There are numerous different folding clothes racks and and retractable laundry lines available on the market. You can find quite a few different arrangements to choose from, all ready to purchase and install and which will make out door laundry drying very easy and quick.
Neighborhood rules may interfere with your freedom to make use of the solar clothes dryer of the world. But, if you are troubled by rules perhaps the Project Laundry List Organization can help you to deal with this situation. Bring privacy to your solar laundry drying operation by installing bamboo fencing, or lattice work, or by planting a hedge to break eye contact of passersby with your laundry. Indoor laundry drying is an option too. I do this myself during the rainy season.
This post is part of the series: Solar Laundry - An introduction to the Gentle Art
The clothesline, much beloved in some circles and yet equally despised in others is the technological base of truly green clothes drying. To the clothesline enthusiast, the ritual of hanging out the laundry is not a chore, but a rite. Here are a few notes, and a few clothes lines.