December 30, 2016

The biggest clothes dryer you could wish for.

Not so long ago, Martha Stewart was doing a programme on reducing your carbon footprint.  With an extremely superior air, she asked her audience ‘Did they know of a better way than using their clothes dryers which are one of the worst users of energy in our homes?’. 

Hmmm, I thought.  Use an even BIGGER clothes dryer.  The sun!  ‘Yes,’ she told them, ‘did you know that it is possible to hang clothes out on a LINE.’ Yikes, I thought, where is the person who DOESN’T know that so I can beat them with a soapy copper stick!  But it became worse.  “At Turkey Hill,’ she added, ‘I have a DRYING YARD for my clothes.  But I don’t hang out my underwear. I wouldn’t do that.’  By this time I believe every Aussie girl watching would have been rolling on the floor and cracking ribs with laughter.

But St. Martha was serious.

And some states of the USA and some HOUSING ESTATES and APARTMENT BLOCKS in other countries actually forbid the hanging of washing on the line.  Especially undies.

Even in Hawaii, we have been told that once, a person’s social networking could be followed by observing what was on their clotheslines, but now that lines have been banned in most of that sunny state, people aren’t as close or friendly any more.

Many years ago, my aunty in Buderim realized there was no kindergarten for her children.  She walked around the town looking at their clotheslines to see who had nappies hanging out, knew there had to be kids in there and knocked on those doors to get a committee going to establish a kinder.

Project Laundry list is an organized rebellion that has reacted to the stupidity of some people calling laundry ugly.

I too, believe that we need a rebellion against the wasteful practice of an energy guzzling mechanical clothes dryer and get back to the basics.

Yes, the sun is your best clothes dryer, disinfecting while drying with its partner, the wind.

You can dry EVERYTHING on the line. Underwear is only clothing or bits of fabric in varying sizes or shapes to cover bits of bodies that some prudes have designated ‘risqué’.

A line can be simply a pole sticking out your window or across your balcony to catch the breezes.  You can get large nosed pegs (Jumbo pegs) on ebay or via one of those door-to-door sellers.  They are GREAT.  You can just put string up in a reachable place.  This is cheap and you can wash the string occasionally so that your washing doesn’t get marks from acid rain etc..  Or you can install a real clothes line such as my favourite, the Aussie invented Versaline or the classic Hills Hoist which doubles an umbrella in summer.  If these options are not available to you, then buy a clothes horse from the $2 shop and arrange your washing over your heating ducts if you have them with a sheet on the outside to make a drying tent.  Warms the room and dries your washing.  Dry in front of heaters or in a sunny window.  Always be aware of fire-risk if drying in front of the heater.

Note that if you use a Laundromat, the drying is the bit that costs a fortune.  Imagine doing that every time you washed!  Every time you dry a load on the line WITHOUT any electricity or gas or energy, throw $4 in a jar towards your next holiday.  You will be amazed at how much money will build up in there to say NOTHING of the huge amount of energy you are not consuming and the cost of a dryer and its maintenance as well.

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  1. Great post! Another Aussie here and can’t imagine life without a backyard clothesline. Another negative about dryers is they shorten the life of your clothing- they may fluff up your towels but can also shrink the woven band, distorting the towel. The heat also quickly wrecks the elastic in waistbands and the stretchy stuff in socks. New clothing with stretch can sometimes shrink if tumbled dry before its been washed a few times. And who could bear that heat and humidity they throw out in summertime?
    Hanging clothes out to dry is as old as humanity. And totally harmless. What audacity to outlaw it- madness.

  2. Green Australia says:

    You’re right Joanne, the heat and humidity is a deal breaker for us! We are living in far north Queensland and don’t need any added humidity that is for sure!
    And the smell of washed laundry that has been hung in the sun to dry is just the best!

  3. It’s unfortunate that people got out of the habit of using clotheslines. They save so much energy, and it is kind of peaceful to hang the clothes.

    We live in an apartment and don’t have a clothesline, but still air dry our clothes indoors using this laundry rack – being round it works really nice under a ceiling fan!

    • Green Australia says:

      That looks like a great product to use – we just use a simple clothes horse when it is raining and can’t go outside. It is strange how people get addicted to the clothes dryer smell and warmth. I can understand in winter to warm your socks up but really, just put them on and your body heat makes them warm!

  4. Great idea, as long as there is not some A-hole SMOKER nearby, poisoning the air with toxic tobacco smoke!



  1. […] their country. It covers very similar themes that we have talked about here as well – hanging laundry to dry in the sun should be your first choice with the clothes dryer being the last possible […]

  2. […] have sung the clothes lines’ praises time and time again and we know the benefits gained from not using a clothes dryer, namely a huge […]