Fabric Care

One of the best ways to extend the life of your apparel and linens and save electricity to boot is to line dry them whenever possible. The fibers that you find in the filter are generally the shortest that are being pulled out of your linens and apparel. These are also the fibers that make the material feel the softest.

Your clothes dryer uses more energy than of any of the other appliances that you might have in your home. The average dryer in the US uses 3.3 kWh per load. This is about as much as running a 100W light bulb for 2 weeks. Energy Star, the US government program that evalutes energy efficiency in consumer products, does not rate clothes dryers. A home clothes dryer on average has a carbon footprint of about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of CO2 per load of laundry dried. So even just occasionally line drying is one of the biggest contribuions you can make to reducing your carbon footprint and save money!

Art and Science of Line Drying Laundry

Even if you do not always line dry you can still save energy by hanging the occasional load outside or if you have enough space in your laundry area use a rack. You can also run blouses dress shirts through the dryer for just a few minutes to eliminate the wrinkles and then hang the shirts on hangers. When they are dry just hang directly in the closest. Usually no further ironing required. Not drying light shirts and blouses reduces wear and tear they will look nice and new for twice as long. Don't forget that each time you machine dry you are losing fibers to that lint filter in the dryer.

line dry whites in bright  sun for natural bleaching

Use the Sun to Bleach Stains and Brighten Grayed Fabrics

For example a bright sunny day is the best time to do those whites. The sun will bleach out stains and is less hard on fabrics than bleach and also kills bacteria and molds. We can even use this for items we do not often wash such as pillows. I hang my big heavy white down comforter on bright hot days even when I have not washed it. It does work to reduce odors and stains.

On bright sunny days you can hang items inside out to prevent fading. In the case of colors it is best to hang them early in the morning or later in the afternoon. When you select a place to locate your clotheline consider a place near the house that is shaded part of the day and still gets the sun when it is at its brightest is a good choice.


Give your clothes a good snap when you take them out of the basket to make them hang nice and straight before you hang them.

Breezy days are best for towels so that they come out nice and fluffy. There is no reason not to hang out on an overcast day if it is not raining. Your clothes will still get dry.

Some fabrics such as bamboo, modal and linen dry quickly and do not come out stiff on windless days.


Bamboo towel hanging in winter sun Antalya Turkey