Getting Creative With Line Drying
Just last month I posted about how I finally got a drying rack and was using it to dry about 15-20% of my clothes sans electricity. Wendy and Green Bean both left me comments about how "once you go rack, you never go back" and said that I would become "racked with guilt" anytime I turned on the dryer. Pfffff.
Well, turns out them bitches was right. I load my rack up to the point where it nearly topples over, then I begin to toss items across the back of kitchen chairs, over the top of doors and shower curtain rods - I even utilize the various door knobs when possible. All this leaves my house looking like some shabbily-dressed strippers just left, and it tends to make my OCD personality twitch. Besides, I've caught the kids wiping their paint-y hands all over things recently and don't want to have the "but those were my best work slacks" conversation with hubby.
Of course, you loyal readers will know that I live in a subdivision whose HOA rules prohibit me from hanging a clothesline anywhere outside of the 4x4 fenced area that houses our garbage cans and compost bin. Not the best spot to hang clothes -- especially when you realize that area sits directly under several sappy pine trees. I initially had planned to go commando and install some sort of 007-esque retractable line this spring, but I have to wait for the foliage to grow in a bit more or it will be visible from the road. And in the meantime, Wendy and GreenBean's prediction is coming true. I am obsessing over what I dry in the machine.
So here's the stylin' new clothesline at Casa Del Burban:
Tres chic, no? Well, as my Dad always says, Form Follows Function and that puppy is definitely functional. I took a length of rope and two of those screw-into-the-wall-hooks. Some pounding and spinning, a couple of those "the rabbit comes out of the hole, around the tree and back down the hole" knots and voila! Instant clothesline. It's totally retractable too. Kind of. I just unhook one end, loop the line up (with clothespins still attached, of course) and hang it on the other hook. Although the clothes don't have that "sunshine smell", they also don't smell like a garage. Plus I'm not violating any HOA rules,and most importantly, I'm not using my dryer!
The only downside is, when I told hubby about my plan, he was quite concerned that whatever spiders may be in the garage would wind up in the clothes. I poo-pooed that idea and told him we were WAY more likely to get spiders from hanging the clothes outside. He insisted that he did not want his clothes hung up in the garage and, being the dutiful wife that I am, I relented and assured him I would definitely not put his clothes out there to dry.
Now how long do you suppose it will take him to realize that means he'll be doing his own laundry?
I still use the dryer for socks, underwear and bras. After all, nobody likes crunchy toes, butts or boobs (but if you do that's ok, we don't judge here). As such, I have gone from an average of six full dryer loads per week to one really small load. Since I use the moisture sensor, that one load only takes about 35 minutes to dry.
So, get your calculators out folks. Our 3,000 watt dryer went from running 45 minutes, six days per week (13.5 kWh / week) down to 35 minutes, one day per week (1.75 kWh /week). That's a weekly savings of 11.75 kWh per week, 611 kWh per year. At a windblown electrical rate of approximately $0.10 kWh, that's a dollar savings of $61.10 a year.
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5
Getting the idea was easy, since Paula Hewitt left a comment on my drying rack post about how she hangs her wash in the garage. Constructing the indoor line was also a relatively simple task. Even the actual hanging process is nice because it allows me to escape to the quiet sanctuary of the garage for a few moments in the day, where I can no longer hear "DAH-EE KNOCK OVER MY LEGO TOWER MOMMY!!!!!" and the oft-repeated rebuttal of "BRUH-BRUH KICK ME!!!!!" I'm thinking about getting a washboard and a bucket to put out there, if only to buy me some solitude. Maybe then I could get in a full 30 minutes of meditation. ;-)