Air Drying

I’ll start this challenge by being completely honest: I air dry my clothes because I’m cheap and lazy.


Now let me explain:

My dryer is ancient. It came with the house when I bought it over six years ago, and I’d be shocked if it wasn’t 20-30 years older than that. It’s an old, rumbly thing, but it does the trick when I need it to. Most of the time. Sometimes, it doesn’t want to start. And I really don’t want to shell out the cash for a new dryer. So my solution was to use it as little as possible.

It’s not hard to avoid, because while my washing machine is in the kitchen, the dryer is in the shop. Out back. Separate from the house. Cue me being too lazy to take the laundry out there, wait an hour, then go back for it.

I guess I can’t truly say I’m lazy, because I have a retractable clothesline installed on the shop that I use in nice weather. That means I’m taking clothes outside still, hanging them up one by one, then coming out later to take them down one by one. That’s more work than throwing a lump of wet clothes in a dryer, but it seems easier, somehow. (Don’t try to speak logic to me.)

For not-so-nice weather, I have an indoor drying rack that I started using when my son was a baby, to dry his cloth diaper inserts in between washings. I love that rack so much that I bought a standing rack where I can hang shirts and dresses to dry. I also got some hangers with clips on them for socks, personals, and handkerchiefs, which take up a lot of room on the drying rack otherwise. (Note: those are not affiliate links, but that’d probably be smart of me to do, huh?)

Besides doing this because I’m too cheap to buy a new dryer if mine breaks, and too lazy to walk outside (did I mention I’d have to unlock two doors to do so? Goodness.), there are plenty of benefits to air drying your clothes.

  • The sun gets them dry quickly, and when you bring them in to put away, they smell so fresh.
  • You’re saving money and energy by not running your dryer.
  • You’re saving even more money if you stop buying chemical-laden dryer sheets.
  • And you’re saving even more money, because air drying is gentle on your clothes. The extreme heat of the dryer, and the force it uses to tumble your clothes around causes them to wear out quicker.
  • You’re getting exercise by hanging your clothes out, and you’re getting outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Even hanging clothes on racks inside uses more energy and calories than tossing them in the dryer.
  • If you air dry clothes inside in winter, the damp fabric helps the humidity in your house so your nasal passages will be less dry in the cold weather.
  • Dryers can catch fire. Even if you diligently clean your lint traps, it’s still a risk you can avoid.

Last but not least, air drying clothes is just a small change in your life that makes a difference to the environment. Small steps are easy to take and really add up, so consider giving this a try!

Would you air dry your clothes? Do you have a clothesline in your house or backyard?



  1. Great first post for the A to Z! I do a combo, partially dryer then hang on all the rods in my pantry. No back yard really so outside isn’t an option. I love photography so will look forward to ramdom posts about your craft.

    I’m a fiber artist with loads of random interests.

    Pulp Paper & Pigment-My Fiber Art Blog


  2. LOL! Dryers are not that popular here in Italy. Like many people here, I don’t even own a dryer and and my clothes on the line regularly.
    I’ve seriously never thought much of it 😉


    • I love hearing about how cultures do everyday things differently! My friend in England always dried her clothes on a rack inside, or outside on a small but tall rack. I visited years ago and I think that’s what helped influence my change here in the US. Most people I know who use clotheslines are older, but hopefully younger people will start doing it more! It’s a great way to get outside on a beautiful day.


  3. I love to air dry and I used to have a clothesline until my hubby took it down promising me he would put it back up. The liar,liar pants on fire! He doesn’t like people seeing our clothes hanging out but I grew up a bit European and love it. One day…..


    • HA! I can understand the privacy side… but I always put my delicates on a row in between larger items like t-shirts, pants, and dresses, so they’re not easily spotted! People see those clothes anyway, so it’s no big deal! Maybe you can suggest that to him as a compromise and get him to hang your line back up!


  4. I air dry the laundry when the weather is nice, but use the drier through the winter and when it’s raining. I do have a rack and line in the basement, though, for the more delicate things that never go in the drier. I like hanging the clothes. It’s relaxing. Not so relaxing to rush out and take them down and bring them in when I’m also in the middle of preparing dinner, though!
    Black and White: A is for Amphiptere


    • I use the dryer more in the winter too, but I’m trying to air dry in my bedroom more with the racks I mentioned. I do love spring and summer weather when it’s nice enough to use the outside line, but yes it can be a rush to take them down if the weather changes suddenly or you forget them until it’s almost dark! I try to watch the forecast and do laundry on nice days, because I also hate the rush of having to get them out of the dryer before they get all wrinkly again!


  5. Here in sunny Queensland I don’t own a dryer. Many people still do. We hardly ever used our dryer and when it broke we didn’t bother getting a new one. I also have a place I can hang clothes under the house when it’s raining, so can live without the dryer.


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