Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Line-drying laundry

For a few weeks the dryer in our apartment building has been broken. Problem? Easily solved. After putting in a call to the landlord, we hung our clothes fresh from the washing machine out to dry on the balcony.

It's easy to string a line of twine from the hooks already hanging from the balcony ceiling. Yes, they're more for hanging plants. But they do the job just as well.

I piled clothespins in a basket and, working quickly, clipped shirts and PJ's to the line. Because the balcony faces the street, I decided to dry delicates inside on a wooden clothes rack stolen from my parents' house.

We line-dry clothes every summer when we're on vacation, but I always forget how stiff and wrinkly clothes get on the line. And when the weather's humid, the clothes stay damp for much longer than you'd expect. Nevertheless, once they're actually dry, they have this fresh-laundry smell that you just don't get from a hot dryer. And this handy old-fashioned method saves a ton of energy.

Have you ever line-dried clothes? What do you do to get the wrinkles out? And do you stick with it even through the winter months?


  1. Line-drying and ironing clothes are pretty much the only thing I HATE about Europe! I know it's American and awful, but I love dryers. We live in an apartment (in France), so everything doesn't smell laundry-fresh but rather like whatever we cooked that day.
    I admire your commitment to green and historical but decidedly disagree with the warm and fuzzy sentiments you express about line-drying.

    1. If we didn't have a balcony, I think I would hate line-drying clothes, too. And it's kind of a pain to hang them up at 9 at night when you're angry that the dryer doesn't work. So I hear you!