Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Praise of the Humble Clothes Line

Now that Spring is finally here to stay, it’s great to open up the house and let all that fresh air in.  It’s also a great time to come home to a good old fashion clothes line for your laundry.  There are many advantages to using a clothes line: getting rid of all that hot air that a dryer generates in your house; reducing costs (estimates say that the average US household spends $150 or more a year just on drying clothes in a dryer); reducing your energy usage (Project Laundry List estimates that US households can attribute anywhere between 10-25% of their electric bill to an electric clothes dryer), and the fact that clothes will last longer (and your jeans won’t be as tight) when they’re line dried.  And they smell good.  If the towels and jeans feel too scratchy, just throw them dry in the dryer for about 2 minutes (vs 60!) and…..voila!

Fortunately, Congress has yet to regulate DC’s use of clothes lines, and they come in all sorts of styles.  I have a collapsible drying rack with lots of bars that I use inside and outside,  weather depending.  You can buy a couple of pulleys, hooks and some rope at your local hardware store and easily rig your own clothes line up in no time.  And those retro retractable models are still out there which are perfect for our small yards that need to adapt to multiple uses (my local hardware store on the Hill carries them).  I have one of those clothes lines that you find in hotels rigged up above my bathtub which is great for year round laundry.  Give the dryer a break and put the sun to work!

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