How Do You Dry Your Clothes?

I do actually have a washing machine that is also a dryer, but I very rarely use it to dry my clothes. We have 100% renewable energy here, so the occasional emergency load is not too much of an issue. But if you are still reliant on fossil fuels for energy needs, drying clothes can take its toll.

In a humid and sometimes wet climate like mine, drying clothes can sometimes be a challenge. In summer, when the weather is fine, drying clothes is easy. I don’t know why so many people have forgotten just how easy and beneficial line-drying clothes can be. But in the winter, and when the weather is wet, it can be difficult to dry clothes outdoors.

I use an old fashioned clothes horse to dry my clothes inside. That usually works fine here, and we have enough space to air things properly. When we get our wood fired stove and move into our barn conversion, I plan to get a rack with pulley system to raise up towards the ceiling that will give space for drying. In smaller homes, or for large families, I appreciate that it may be more difficult to find the space for drying clothes in winter.

If you have a garden, clothing drying could be yet another use for a polytunnel or greenhouse structure. String a line above crops in such a structure and you can hang out clothes even when it is raining outside. As long as there is enough ventilation, clothes should dry relatively quickly. Using a porch or covered veranda area could also be a viable solution.

Some people are embarrassed to hang their clothes on a line where neighbours can see. But really, we should be more embarrassed not to do so. Why should be be embarrassed about reducing energy use and doing the right thing for people and planet? If it really is an issue where you live, a well positioned sheet, privacy hedge or fence could keep your clothing shielded from prying eyes.

If we think practically, there are plenty of simple solutions to the daily challenges we face. If you need some help to come up with a plan to make your life more sustainable, please do get in touch.

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