Air-dry your wet laundry
Air-drying some or all of your wet laundry could save you $135 in energy costs every year, prevent tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, and might result in less wear-and-tear on clothes.
How to air-dry your wet laundry
Drying clothes on a line can take a little longer than throwing clothes into a dryer, but it doesn't have to be an unpleasant task. In addition to cutting down on energy use, other benefits can include enjoying the outdoors or adding moisture to your home (when clothes line-dry indoors). Here's how to get started:
- If you don't already have one, get a clothesline. For those who can install one outside, choose one that either mounts directly into the ground or has a weighted base. You'll also need to purchase clothespins for hanging your laundry. If it happens to rain, simply keep the clothes on the line until they dry again. The rain won’t harm your clothes and may enhance the fresh, outdoor scent.
- If you can't hang your clothes outside, there are several clotheslines made for indoor use, including free-standing models, retractable options, and those that can be installed directly in your laundry room.
- By hanging wet laundry indoors, those that live in a dry climate can ramp up indoor humidity, and save on energy bills by turning the humidifier off. You may want to choose a lower spin speed on your washer so that more moisture is left to evaporate into your home.
- If you live in a humid climate and don't want added moisture when drying indoors, choose your washer's highest spin speed to extract as much water as possible. This will shorten the time required to line-dry clothes.
- If you want your laundry to be soft but can't rely on outdoor wind to do the fluffing for you, consider hanging your clothes on an indoor rack until they are about 90 percent dry. Then, toss them in the dryer to finish the job. This short stint in the dryer will give them a quick fluff to reduce stiffness.
- If you're worried that clothes will fade when hung outside, turn them inside out. That way if they do fade, it won't be noticeable.
Find it! Drying racks for air-drying your laundry
Those living in humid climes who are inclined to hang their clothes may find the battle to get things dry frustrating. Enter the Spin Dryer—it’ll spin your clothes to the just barely damp stage in cycles of 3,200 rpms (dryers use about 500 rpms and a lot more energy), so you can spin and hang to your heart’s content!
Save space, save energy, and save money with one of these out-of-the-way laundry drying racks. They raise up to 30 pounds of wet laundry out of the way, making it easier than ever to skip the dryer.
Stenic Products Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, is the North American distributor for the Swiss company Stewi, well-known in Europe for more than 50 years for its indoor and outdoor laundry racks and clothes dryers.
Air-drying your wet laundry helps you go green because…
- Less energy is consumed because you'll be using your dryer less and may not need to run your home's humidifier. These two factors can save you a significant amount of money—$135 or more each year.
- Clothes last longer, meaning you will need to replace clothes less often, thereby requiring less water, energy, and natural resources to produce new materials.
- You’ll use fewer dryer sheets, which contain many chemicals and fragrances that pose health hazards and add toxins to the earth and groundwater.
ENERGY STAR doesn't rate dryers since they all use comparably high amounts of energy. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average household dryer consumes 1,079 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which amounts to 2,224 pounds of carbon dioxide. If every US household let one load of laundry air-dry, 250,000 tons of CO2 could be saved. This is equivalent to shutting down 15 nuclear power plants or cutting back coal use by 30 million tons each year.