July 21, 2011

Advantages of dry heat

A little over a year ago, my husband installed a multiple-line, retracting clothesline. We had been discussing it for a while because standard dryers typically take an hour or more to dry clothes. I had noticed that it takes very little time to dry wet towels and bathing suits and I figured that we would save both time and energy, which turns into money, by hanging clothes out to dry.

In the summer, it takes almost no time for clothes to dry. Yesterday, with temperatures at 107 degrees, I washed the sheets. It took two loads because we added some new sheets I purchased at IKEA and a new duvet cover. I decided to use the same bin for both loads, which meant that I had to start hanging the second load on the remaining line before taking down the first load. When I ran out of room, I took down just enough to hang the rest of the load, then took down the remainder of the dry bedclothes. By the time I was done taking down the dry stuff, the first sheets I had hung were dry--about 15 minutes.

In winter time (I use the term loosely in deference to my Northern friends and family), the clothes take longer to dry, closer to the time it takes the dryer to dry them, unless I hang them out in prime time--10 to 1 p.m. So I use the dryer a little more.

In general, I really like hanging the clothes to dry. I am sure the clothes are getting some dust in them, just because of where we live. It is another reminder than nothing in this life will ever be perfectly clean until Jesus comes back. I have had birds leave droppings on the hanging clothes, too, which is pretty gross. The other advantage, though, is that clothes don't get wrinkled as long as I fold them as I take them down. This means that, in order for kids to fold their own clothes, they have to come out with me as clothes are taken down. We have all become really good at folding clothes without laying them down. For sheets and towels, I especially like having the kids help me because then, we can do "the folding dance:" Fold two corners together, then come together to meet up with the other two corners. Share a kiss as I grab the entire partly folded sheet/towel. Repeat as necessary, especially with the kisses. Sadly, my oldest refuses to include kisses in the folding dance, but I love seeing the ear-to-ear grins from the other three as I bend down to kiss them.

In general, I am very glad to have the clothes line. It is also very convenient to put wet swimsuit on after a swim, quick or otherwise. I am also one step closer to being prepared if we ever suffer total economic collapse, including a total loss of power ;-).


Kate said...

yes, but have you worked out an alternative to washing clothing sans power? I did 15 loads at the laundromat last week while the power was out and it made me wonder.....how would I do this IF? Lehman's has a two tub with a hand crank wringer combo and that's the closest I could come to self-sufficiency. Thoughts?

AquaJane said...

Wow, that is really quick drying. I bet your kids will treasure memories of the folding dance.

tandemingtroll said...

@Kate: I have thought about it and if the Federal Government decides to raise the debt ceiling, I might just save up for one of those hand-crank washing machines to store away for impending economic collapse. We would also probably only wear two outfits a week--our everyday clothes and our Sunday best to cut down on the volume of washing. Elz just hand-stitched a skirt, so we have someone to make our clothes for us when we run out or outgrow them. Cooking would also be a problem, though there are plans for solar ovens on the internet. All I need is a two year supply of food and I will be mistaken for a Mormon. LOL
@ Jane: It is amazing. I am hoping that they pass on the folding dance tradition.

Mama J said...

15 minutes!?! Wow! Now if only you could find a way to wash the clothes in the pool. ;) ;)