Dryers use a lot of energy to run, and reduce the life of your clothes. As a teenager I realized that all the lint that the dryer collected was evidence of my clothes gradually falling apart, and I started using a laundry rack to hang dry anything I really cared about. Generic socks, t-shirts, and towels still went in the dryer, but if I wanted something to last a long time I would hang it up instead.
This continued for years, until we bought our house and could set up a larger outdoor drying area, with space to dry a whole load of laundry on two fold-up racks:
|The bungee cord keeps a wobbly rack from tipping over.|
While dryers do suck the life out of your laundry, they also fluff it up nicely, leaving items softer than they might be when they hang dry. I find this is really only a problem with towels, and occasionally with jeans and socks. Most everything else still ends up being pretty soft after haning dry. If the stiffness bothers you, you can always toss a few things in the dryer for about 3 minutes, on an "air" cycle, just to fluff them up. For me, I've come to accept of bit of stiffness and no longer expect my towels to be "downy soft". Usually after one use, or right after I put the stiff jeans on, they soften up on their own anyway.
While we don't live in Seattle proper, we "benefit" from their notorious weather patterns. It's wet. The typical clothesline setup would only work for about 3 months a year here, so we have to hang laundry someplace where it's protected from the weather. For a while, our only covered outdoor area was the front porch, and in the wet months I dried our laundry there. Not the most inviting sight for a front porch, but I was committed to this energy-saving method.
In winter, it can admittedly take a couple days for heavier things to dry, but in summer they will often dry faster than they would in a dryer. When the wind blows the rain sideways, they can still get wet or get blown off the racks, but all in all it's very effective and easy.
The roof extension also provides handy dry storage for bikes & trikes, and other outdoor kid toys as well as Nik's motorcycle projects. It's been very handy!
Update: I have upgraded from these flimsy wooden folding racks, to one that I absolutely love. It is so clean and sturdy, can hold an entire large load of laundry, and folds up easily when not in use. I've been using it for over a year now, and am so happy with it. It feels like it will last forever. I'm linking the ad for it below; if you decide to purchase it through my ad link, I will earn a little income. Thanks in advance!
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Hang Dry Laundry Year Round- Even In Seattle
4/ 5Oleh Mellow De Tray