Green Manolo » Could You Go a Year Without a Clothes Dryer?

Could You Go a Year Without a Clothes Dryer?

By Christa

Annie Hintsala did, after her dryer broke one day and her handy husband pronounced it dead. Rather than buy a new one, she swapped her dryer for two clothes lines… and she liked it. The bonuses were a lower electricity bill, no need to run a humidifier in the winter, and clothing that lasts longer. Oh, and a little family time.

….as the days went on and we thought about giving up and just buying a new dryer, we found that the chore became a chatting time to catch up on the day. Our son would often help, and it turned into less of a chore. It became a routine that simply was part of the daily set, like doing dishes and cooking.

Not that there haven’t been downsides. A line of laundry does take up space, especially when you’re a family of three. And a clothes dryer gets rid of lint and stiffness and a certain amount of static electricity. But if you have the space for it and don’t mind dealing with some fuzzies on your clothes, ditching your dryer is not a bad way to live a little greener.

My own answer to the question of whether I could go a year without a clothes dryer is sure, probably. Here in Massachusetts it wouldn’t be ideal in the winter, but it would certainly be doable in our particular house. And when I lived in Costa Rica, I went without a dryer or a washer – that’s right, for four months, I washed all of my clothing by hand in a great big tub, stomping on it with bare feet and ringing it out in the shower. Ever tried ringing out a soaking towel all by yourself? Not fun, but again, doable.

Could you go a year without a clothes dryer?

Image: Tabitha Blue

3 Responses to “Could You Go a Year Without a Clothes Dryer?”

  1. lali Says:

    Hi! I live in the Philippines (which has two seasons, the “dry” and “wet” seasons — although some say they should be called “hot” and “hotter” seasons) and I know of no one who owns a dryer, although washing machines with spin cycles have become ubiquitous over the last few years.
    Most folks have clothes lines strung up in back yards, roofs, or anywhere where they can get sunlight and it works out quite well. There is something really lovely about the smell of fresh laundry that dries in sunlight. On the other hand, things can smell nasty on those days when the rain doesn’t let up and the clothes hanging on lines in the kitchen won’t dry because of the humidity. But a day out in the sun once the rain stops does the trick.
    I can’t imagine drying clothes on a line in a cold place with snow though. Would they dry at all?

  2. Little Red Says:

    I live in a condo so outdoor clothesline is out of the question. But I do have a drying rack that I use.

  3. The gold digger Says:

    I would be happy to line-dry my clothes year round, but we live in Wisconsin, so putting them outside in the winter is not practical. I discovered that jeans freeze before they dry.

    I do have drying racks in the basement for my underwear and gym clothes, but it still takes a couple of days for those items to dry. I don’t have the patience to wait for jeans and other heavy items.

    When I lived in Chile, my clothes were washed in the bathtub (I finally hired a cleaning lady because I was spending my entire Saturday washing clothes and cleaning house) and hung outside to dry, which was fine when it didn’t rain but didn’t work so well in the winter, when rain was an almost daily occurrence. Then I had to hang the clothes on drying racks next to the wood-burning stove and on the little rack that attached to the chimney of the stove. I learned that if you put clothes too close to the chimney, they will catch on fire.

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