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?