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Solar Dryer Back Up and Running

February 19th, 2011

It’s been so nice the past couple days (in the high 50’s & low 60’s) I washed and dried a few loads of laundry – outside, on the line.

This is what my clothesline looked like a few weeks ago when that big ice storm came through.

Yesterday it was lined with kitchen towels and rags instead of ice. It’s going to get cold again, but I think I’ll have at least one warm day each week I can plan to line dry on that day.

It’s always a good feeling when you can line dry the clothes again. The towels smelled so fresh when I folded them after they had dried. There’s just something about the laundry when the sun and the wind dry them.

Do you line dry any laundry? Can you do it all year long?

29 Comments to “Solar Dryer Back Up and Running”
  1. Sue on February 19, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Oh, you’re so lucky! Jealousy jealousy!!
    We still have tons of snow in the yard-I’d sink up to my knees, but I sure do miss it. I had hubby out the other day rounding up lines from the garage so the SECOND we get home from vacation, he can hang it re-string them and I can start drying outside again. No more blechy dryer smell in the clothes, no more frantic trying to get stuff hung up before the wrinkles get baked in…..I HATE the dryer! I so miss line drying. But soon, very very soon!

    Reply to Sue's comment

  2. Mich on February 19, 2011 at 6:15 am

    As i type this it is lashing down with rain here in Oxfordshire UK; so definately not a line drying
    I try as much as possible to dry the laundry outside i love that fresh smell that comes with line drying.

    I do have a drier which I have to use sadly, but am also lucky in that I have a Aga so I dry some stuff on the hand rail :)
    Best of both worlds.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  3. Mavis on February 19, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Here in Maryland, we made a switch to line drying in early August last year, by stringing a line between the posts on our back porch across to the pergola posts. Luckily, wood decking connect the two, so there’s no mud or damp ground to be of concern. Once the cold weather came, we put up a series of 3 lines in our upstairs hallway. It just holds a load of clothes and adds wonderful moisture to the air! The electric dryer has not been turned on in 6 months!

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  4. goatpod2 on February 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

    We do dry some laundry outside if it is nice out!


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  5. Laurrie on February 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

    There is just something very comforting about laundry on the line. I love it.

    Your first photos looks like a line of prayer flags! I live in one of those communities that bans clotheslines (I know, I know), but in the summer I hang stuff over the railing of the deck, or hooked on the patio umbrella struts.

    Reply to Laurrie's comment

    • Susy on February 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Crazy that places can ban clotheslines, just crazy!

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Rhonda on February 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

        I live in one of those silly neighborhoods too and I am just itching to get away. I bought a big wooden drying rack just the other day and I’m going to put it on my deck that way no one will be able to see it. I’m in love with this drying rack, I paid a LOT of money for it (a lot to me, anyway) but it will hold a whole load of wash! This thing is six feet tall. :-) Right now it’s being used in my kitchen, but I can’t wait to get it out in the sunshine!

        to Rhonda's comment

  6. Grant on February 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I only really do it in the summer, but if it is a nice day during the spring/fall/winter, then it is also possible. I have a lot of cousins in germany, and most of them are able to hang their clothes all year by putting them on a clothesline in their basement and then drying them with a fan. I think this would take way too long so I don’t do it.

    Reply to Grant's comment

  7. risa b on February 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    We have an outside line but our Willamette Valley weather restricts it to about May (June is often rainy), then July through early November (if lucky). And the occasional “blue hole.” Otherwise, we are dryer-bound, except we took one of those wooden collapsible drying racks and hung it in the washer room, horizontally along the ceiling. It can manage about one load a week. When Beloved retires, in about six years, we should be able to lose the dryer for good, by having two racks, one of which will stand in front of the woodstove on Mondays …

    Reply to risa b's comment

  8. Deb on February 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I loved when we lived in Florida and I could dry my sheets outside! Nothing is better than climbing into a bed made with sun dried sheets. Sadly, the neighborhood I live in now in Michigan, also has a rule about drying laundry outside. Maybe someday I will be able to do it again.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  9. sarah on February 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

    When I lived in Brooklyn all the apartments in my neighborhood had lines going out the back fire escape to a pole in the alley, and a pulley. I loved drying stuff outside even if that meant lugging it home wet from the laundromat several blocks away by foot.

    Now I don’t have anywhere to hang clothes outside (and it’s below freezing 6 months of the year) but have a collapsible indoor rack that does a surprisingly good job on shirts and an ok job on towels.

    Reply to sarah's comment

  10. Katherine on February 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

    My neighborhood has a rule against line drying, but no one has ever complained about my laundry outside. Its mostly on the back deck – on a collapsible rack and hanging from the patio umbrella. I’ve even seen a few neighbors in the last year with a line up. Progress!

    I rarely use the dryer, using the outdoors if at all possible or in the winter I use the rack in front of the heating vent (or if its sunny but too cold, in front of the glassed in back door) and hanging in the bathroom. We really only use the dryer when we get long soggy spells in the spring/fall, when the heater isn’t running or when I haven’t planned well. I had to run 2-3 loads in the dryer right before we went away for Christmas (I’d been sick and hadn’t kept up with it and then bam we were leaving).

    Reply to Katherine's comment

  11. Lillian on February 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I’m so inconsistent with it, don’t know why – I love it! My neighbor, though, is almost 80 and as long as it’s not raining or a blizzard, she has laundry out at least once a week all year long. It makes me so happy to look out there on a winter day and see her laundry flapping!

    Reply to Lillian's comment

  12. MAYBELLINE on February 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Yes and you can find a list of how to best hang a line of clothes by searching clothesline etiquette. Believe it or not, there were certain ways laundry was hung.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  13. Louise on February 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Yes, when the weather permits. I use a metal drying rack from IKEA (see link). It is foldable and can be stored away when not in use.

    Reply to Louise's comment

  14. annie on February 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Love line drying. I can do it most of the year (just not when it’s raining). Even on humid cloudy days I hang the laundry to shed some water before putting it in the dryer otherwise the dryer takes cycle after cycle to work.

    Reply to annie's comment

  15. Beth L on February 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    When we lived outside of the city, I dried all of our washing out on a line year round. In the winter everything sort of freeze dried. Sometimes it had to finish off drying on a rack in the house when it was really cold. This was all in NE Ohio.

    Reply to Beth L's comment

  16. Kathi on February 19, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I can’t wait until the spring when I can hang my first load of laundry out to dry. Sounds crazy, but it is one of my favorite things to do. I line dry from April to October.

    Reply to Kathi's comment

  17. Mary W on February 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    We had perfect temperatures for hanging laundry today, but the wind didn’t cooperate–the wash would have ended up in the neighbor’s yard. This summer will be our third with the clothesline and we adore it. Luckily, our neighborhood is older and there are no restrictions.

    Reply to Mary W's comment

  18. Lemongrass on February 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I am lucky that I live in the South East and can dry my laundry outside year round. I love the smell and feel of the laundry. I do not have a dryer and have been line drying for the past seven years.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  19. beryl lynn on February 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I am lucky to be able to line-dry laundry 365 days a year because I live in Florida :) The only issue is that we rent so we don’t have a permanent line installed, only a ghetto rigged one! It still works though!

    Reply to beryl lynn's comment

  20. Joy Giles on February 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Yep, dry all clothing on the line,but I do use the dryer for a minute or two to fluff them. In Austin, Texas, there are very few weeks when we can’t dry clothes on the line.

    Reply to Joy Giles's comment

  21. Marianne on February 20, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I can’t believe there are places where washing lines are banned. Why? What on earth’s going on?

    Reply to Marianne's comment

    • Michele Stapley on February 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      I know! It’s incredible! Did you find out why? I’d love to know..

      Reply to Michele Stapley's comment

  22. trashmaster46 on February 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Line drying doesn’t work very well for us. I’m in an area with some amount of rain (light to heavy) year-round, so it’s difficult to count on having days to put wet clothes out. On top of that, I’ve got tendonitis up and down my arms which makes carrying the heavy basket of laundry up the stairs plus hanging up & removing items from the line very difficult for me.

    Reply to trashmaster46's comment

  23. Michele Stapley on February 20, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Wow! I am ASTONISHED that there are rules against line drying!!!?
    What is that about?

    I live in Sydney, Australia where almost every yard has a “Hills Hoist” enabling us “Sydneysiders” to line dry practically every day of the year.

    After reading the above comments I feel silly having taken the regular event of walking to my clothesline for granted. I’m very lucky :)

    Reply to Michele Stapley's comment

  24. Sarah on February 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I was so excited to see this. Last week we had sheets on our line. I love the smell and feeling of lined dried towels, sheets, and clothing. I loved your towels. Those are my kitchen colors as well and finding yellow is kind of hard. Where did you get them from.

    Reply to Sarah's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

      They’re from William’s Sonoma. I got them on sale after Christmas. They’re a little more pricey than some kitchen towels, but well worth the price as they’re top quality I have found.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  25. Sincerely, Emily on February 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Line dry all the way. We don’t have a dryer. Just a nice long line outside. When it is raining I have to hang indoors. The drying rack plus shirts on hangars around the canopy of the 4-poster bed and it works great. (we bought the bed in Kenya and the canopy is made for mosquito netting, but we don’t need that here). I must say hanging laundry is one of the things I enjoy a lot. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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