Last weekend, we enjoyed the first truly sunny, warm days in Portland! Aside from the fact that I had a chance to replenish my diminishing supply of Vitamin D after a grey, rainy winter, I was also able to air dry my laundry outdoors---in a matter of hours!
I purchased a retractable clothesline at Home Depot, installed it in a half-hour or so, and ran inside to wash the linens that had been piling up---I was dreading the idea of trying to figure out how to dry sheets and blankets indoors. By Sunday afternoon, all of my sheets were clean, and I even took the opportunity to wash my duvet cover---something I generally avoid even when my dryer is working, since it's so large and unwieldy. I confess that after the duvet air-dried, I put it in the dryer to tumble for a few minutes, just to remove the last remaining bits of lint and pet hair. It worked like a charm!
Ahhhh, if only Portland could offer sunny weather on a more regular basis. It's been years since I slept on sheets that had been air-dried---since I was a child, really---and the smell is fabulous!
With that said, I did learn some tips to make line drying more successful:
- Snap the clothing, sheets or blankets before hanging them on the line. This will help smooth out some of those wrinkles the items gained while clumped up in the washing machine.
- Hang socks and shirts upside down, to avoid any stretching.
- Fold towels and jeans over the clothesline, and flip to the other side halfway through. I forgot to do this with a pair of jeans, and the legs look a little weird. . . .
- Use a bit of vinegar in the wash water, to help avoid the crunchy-crinkly feel of towels, sheets and clothing. You can also throw these items in the dryer for a quick tumble, which may help soften them prior to folding and placing in cupboards or closets.
- Hang colored items inside out, to avoid their being bleached by the sun.
- Wash items that may generate tons of lint with other items of the same color/type. Now that my black polar fleece jacket is covered in white lint, I'll pay more attention to these details in future!