In a modern world with fast-paced lifestyles, and so many of us living in increasingly urbanized cities, we tend to prioritise convenient and time-saving solutions. This often means using washer-dryer combos, tumble dryers and other time-saving appliances in an effort to make our laundry rooms a joy to work in. While these machines are necessary in many cases, they have a significant environmental impact due to the high consumption of energy they require for operation.
Of course, they do get the job done much faster than traditional line drying, but the latter also offers a range of other benefits that are often overlooked. In fact, there’s a reason why this practice of airing out clothes has endured for so many generations, with consistent use across the world. So why not harness the power of a resilient and environmentally friendly clothesline for increasingly efficient operation?
What Types of Clotheslines Are There?
First thing’s first – there’s a specific type of clothesline that’s most suitable for your home. The design is based on how it’s mounted on the wall or on the ground, which inherently affects the amount of space it can occupy.
The first and perhaps most common type is the wall-mounted design. This is a great candidate for those living in apartments or other smaller spaces as it takes up very little room and can be conveniently installed on any flat surface. You need to consider how many lines are needed – as this will indicate the length of line required – along with the quality and strength of the material.
For instance, if you need more space to dry your sheets and larger items, you might want to opt for an extra-long retractable wall mount. This involves a thicker line that’s stretched out to meet the extra length and then reeled back in for easy storage.
The second type is the ground-mounted consider, which is ideal for those living in larger homes or with plenty of outdoor space. This type of design is usually made from steel and has a sturdy construction, making it perfect for airing out heavier items like bed sheets and towels. The lines are secured onto posts that can be installed into the ground with concrete footing, so they require more effort to install but have a sturdier base – ensuring your clothes are kept safe and secure.
Is Line Drying Better for Clothes?
The short answer is yes! While many people may think that line drying can damage their garments, this isn’t the case if done properly. In fact, there are a range of benefits to air-drying your clothes over using traditional tumble dryers or washer-dryer combos.
Prolonged Lifespan of Clothing
For starters, line drying your clothes can help to prolong the lifespan of garments. This is because the items are less exposed to excessive heat, which can cause shrinkage and fabric damage. They are also exposed to less friction as they remain still when hung up on the line.
When you put them outside in a natural setting, the clothes are able to freshen up with natural air and breeze – eliminating odours. This makes them smell great without having to use any harsh chemicals or detergents.
Natural Disinfection and Bleaching by the Sun
Another major benefit of line drying is that your items can naturally disinfect themselves in the sunlight. Thanks to its UV rays, items hung outside are exposed to a natural bleaching agent that helps to sanitise the material and reduce bacteria. This is especially useful for washing nappies or other items used by babies.
Elimination of Static Cling
If you’ve ever put a shirt straight from the dryer and noticed it’s full of static, you know how annoying this can be. This happens as a result of dry air that builds up in the fabric from high temperatures and causes static electricity. When you hang clothes outside on the line, they are exposed to moisture from the air which helps to reduce this static cling.
Naturally, it does take more time for them to dry fully but it’s a much more desirable outcome. You no longer have to deal with those pesky static shocks or clothing sticking to your body once you take it out of the dryer.
Energy Savings and Reduced Utility Bills
The most obvious benefit to line drying is that you save money on your energy bills. Without having to run a tumble dryer or washer-dryer combo for hours, you cut down significantly on electricity consumption – resulting in lowered utility costs over time.
Not only does line drying help you save money on your electricity bill, but it also supports a more sustainable lifestyle that protects our environment from carbon emissions. This is due to the fact that tumble dryers and washer-dryer combos are powered by gas or electricity, which leads to high levels of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
Additional Care and Maintenance Tips
While the benefits of cloth lines are quite clear, they won’t be of much value if you don’t maintain them correctly. Of course, it’s important to make sure you have the right type of line for your home, but it’s also crucial to take proper care and maintenance of your clothesline.
Clean Your Line Regularly
Clotheslines often collect dirt from the air over time, so it’s best to give them a good cleaning every few months. You can do this by using a soft cloth and mild soap, as anything too abrasive may damage the material.
If you have a retractable line, make sure that you only use cleaning products specifically designed for this type of material. This will also help to ensure that the mechanism continues to work properly and without any issues.
Space Out Your Clothes
When hanging clothes on the line, make sure that you space them out evenly in order to avoid stretching or creasing. You want them to be able to get plenty of air and sunshine, so don’t overcrowd the lines.
For example, when hanging trousers make sure that they aren’t touching or overlapping each other. Straighten each item before leaving it to dry so that it doesn’t develop any creases or marks. Leave a few centimetres between each item and ensure that they are securely hung so they don’t fall down.
Use Clothesline Covers
When you don’t need your clothesline, you can keep it protected from the elements by using a cover. Clothesline covers come in various sizes and materials, so make sure to research which one is best suited for your needs. They also make great accessories you can use when line drying your items – as they help keep them away from dirt and dust while still allowing air to circulate freely.
Even if you live in a mild climate, having a cover can help keep the line protected from the harsh elements and will also make it easier to store away when not in use. This is especially useful if you don’t have much storage space available, as they can often be folded up and kept in cupboards or drawers.