The sun is shining, the birds are singing and for the last 7 months, my washing has been in the tumble drier or on an airer in the house. No, I haven't stopped my natural way of life. We moved into a new build and I had to leave my washing line in the previous house as my husband had cemented it into the ground. Even though the house was great, with unpacking, building storage and everything else with moving home as well as winter it's taken us this long to start on the garden. The first tasks I set my husband was to locate and find a spot so that I could get on with Line Drying our clothes.
Why Line Drying Clothes is Better than a Drier
So why do I want to line dry my clothes, I know when I've spoken to some people they have looked at me strangely - why do that when you have a perfectly good machine to do it for you! But there are so many benefits to doing it. Although some we have eliminated through our gentle detox of the home there are others that it's why it's the first thing I requested.
So let's list them here:
It will save us money
Without a doubt not running the tumble drier for the on average an hour that it takes to dry the clothes will save us money - on average drier costs between £50 and £60 a year to run. So without using it for 6 to 7 months of the year when it's dry enough outside, we save half of that. Ok, it's not a huge amount but.... still, every penny counts.
So we've reduced our chemicals a lot - we make our own washing powder, use homemade fabric softner and dryer balls. But if you don't then line drying means your clothes are fresh, no dryer sheets used with chemicals on them and combined with DIY washing powder your clothes will cause you fewer skin problems than normal.
Kinder on your clothes
Hanging on the line will mean your clothes last longer. The running through the dryer does cause problems for fabrics whether natural or man-made. There isn't "unnatural" heat being applied they aren't tumbling they are hanging in the breeze to dry. On a hot sunny day you will be surprised at how quick the washing will dry.
Saves you time
EHHHH.... how on earth will hanging your clothes save you time. So first off, no separating out of the clothes that can go in the tumble drier and those that can't. Then as you hang up - well if you are me - I turn everything the right way round, make sure sleeves and legs are straight and hang up without creases in. Then once dry I take off and fold into iron and non-iron piles ready to go straight upstairs and into the ironing pile for the weekend. It does really save me time, or it appears to maybe because I'm doing most things at once and not a little here and lot there!
It's fresher and there is nothing nicer than line dried clothes
Ok... so disclaimer here we live in the country not a city so a lot less pollution but even when we lived backing onto a freight rail track I still hung out the clothes to dry. There is just something about the smell of line dried clothes that means that they are fresher and cleaner as well.
Choosing your Line
How on earth do you chose the line that you use? I have a criteria - space, number of loads and ease of putting up and taking down.
There are 3 options for line drying -
A line across the garden. My grandmother had one of these and if it was washing day that meant no playing for us in the garden as the washing would get soaked, muddy, be used as a hide out for games.... often the clothes would need a rewash if we ignored her no play whilst washing is on the line rule.
A traditional rotary line - this is my preferred line, it takes up a lot less space, can be moved to the edge of the garden, folds away when not in use and throughout the winter can be stored in the shed or garage to come out again in the spring.
OR - a rotary line attached to the side of the house? Yes, a fold out rotary line giving you, even more, space as it folds away completely. With all of the benefits of a rotary line in that the washing is contained in an area to dry.
A Rotary Line for our Family Garden
So what did we choose - a rotary line of course. They are easy to put up and take down, we didn't have a sunny wall for the wall fix but we did have a sunny spot that over the last 7 months I have observed it having sunlight from early in the morning - when my washing is ready to go out as I follow my early morning success steps for night owls and it's out of the area of the garden where the children will play.
As I try not to wash every day building up enough washing for a full load and then ending up doing two loads in a row I wanted something that could cope with a "laundry day" so when choosing a line I needed space 50m of line is ideal I can hang a few sheets and towels, or 2 - 3 loads of washing on it at once with space for the air to flow around it.
We have fairly dry and sandy soil and from previous experience, a ground spike is not very successful - hence why our previous line was cemented into the ground. So when looking it was essential that the line could be cemented it but also removed (not cause we planned on moving but so it could be put away when not in use).
The solution to our problems a Rotary Topspinner 50 metre with a concreted spike tube perfect for all of our family needs. And what's more when buying a line from Brabantia saving the environment in your own little way they also plant a tree for you in some of the areas of the world where deforestation has got rid of the natural forests.
It was so easy to install - dig a hole, position the spike where we needed it. Use post concrete and follow the instructions - leave to set. And the very next day after 7 months I have washing drying on the line and I'm happy doing my little bit saving the environment, saving some money, reducing the need for new clothes and spending a few more minutes outside every day as I hang up the clothes.
We received the rotary line from Brabantia in exchange for this post