Laundry Tips & Tricks
Project Laundry List provides this information to help you do your laundry in a more efficient, environmentally-friendly fashion.
"Hanging a clothesline well is one of the unsung arts of housekeeping. It isn't easy to distribute laundry along a taut line and pin it tightly enough to keep it from falling to the ground, but loosely enough that shirts and sheets sway in the breeze."
-HOME WORK: The Quiet Pleasures of a Line in the Sun, The New York Times (July 23, 2006)
Frequently Asked Questions
See our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information about drying in the winter, our programs, etc.
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- It's Your Money
- Clothes Dryer Consumer Tips
- How to clean a washing machine
- Washing Lines and Clothes Pegs
Nancy Snow's Tips
- Always keep an eye on the weather if you plan to hang clothes out. (I've made www.weather.com my home page).
- Fold jeans and pants with the crease down the front if you'd like a crease when dry.
- Hang shirts by the hemline instead of the shoulders -- you won't have bunched-up shoulders when the shirt is dry.
- Be careful about drying black and navy clothing -- or anything else that tends to fade -- in the sun. They may fade, but not evenly -- just where the sun hits them. Dry these items on a line or rack in the house if needed.
- Be sure not to set up a clothesline under trees (birds have the potential to make your clean clothes not clean anymore).
- Take laundry off the clothesline when jeans or towels are still just barely damp and dry the load the rest of the way in the dryer. Everything -- towels, socks and all -- will be soft and flexible just as if they were in the dryer the whole time. When I do this, I don't include any clothes I intend to iron -- I like the tiny bit of "starch" that line drying gives to dress shirts and slacks.
- During cold or inclement weather, hang a clothesline in a basement, garage or other large enough place that is heated and has fairly good air circulation. The clothes may not dry all the way as they do outside, but you can cut the dryer time by at least 2/3.
- Clotheslines can work -- even for busy people. It just takes a little more attention and effort. I hung clothes for a family of five the whole time I was working full-time and taking college classes. It can be done, and it goes a long way toward reducing the use of electricity, natural gas or propane, all of which have global warming and other negative environmental effects. It also saves you money.