Give Me Those Washday Blues

Blue days, that is.  Or windy ones.

Or are you depriving your washables by using a clothes dryer?

Hanging washing to dry naturally is a simple practice that benefits the environment and you.  And, once you have a clothesline (or clothes airing rack) and pegs, it’s free!

Blue sky days (like I have today) are great for bleaching and freshening washing.  There’s nothing like the smell of sun-dried washing.

Sunlight contains a lot ultraviolet light, which is a natural sterilising agent.  Leaving washing out overnight in subzero temperatures adds to the cleansing process…great for nappies and white linens.

If you have lavender bushes, drying linen on them can add an antibacterial, antifungal fragrance that may help reduce anxiety and promote sleep.

Windy days are fantastic drying days.  A good wind:

  • dries washing quickly
  • fluffs towels as well as any tumble dryer
  • smooths clothes (if hung straight), so that little if any ironing is needed.

In contrast, clothes dryers – like any appliances that use electricity to create heat – are big energy users.

The most inefficient clothes dryer in Australia uses 4.5 times more energy per cycle than the most inefficient clothes washing machine for the same weight load (on cold wash).  And clothes dryers are right up with refrigerators among the biggest energy consuming appliances in your home.

I know it can be tricky if you live in an apartment or a place where clotheslines are forbidden.  (Maybe some you could do some lobbying to get the rules changed?)

But even inside, washing can be dried naturally.

  • An amazing array of airing racks and indoor clotheslines are available.
  • Even hotel rooms usually have unobtrusive lines that can be strung from one end of the bath or shower to the other.
  • And you can always use coat hangers to hang clothes like shirts and dresses on the top railing of your shower screen – at no cost.  Often you can just take the dry clothes and hang them in your wardrobe without any ironing.

And hanging your washing to dry can be a meditative activity.  Try immersing yourself in the rhythm of reaching into your clothes basket or tub and hanging the item of washing (and the reverse rhythm of taking each item down, folding it and popping it in the basket).

Hanging outside also connects you with nature.  And sunlight can help lift your mood and regulate your body rhythms, especially early in the morning.

So, how do you feel about the gentle art of hanging your washing to dry?  If you’ve never done it before, give it a try.  Share your thoughts and experiences in the in the Reply box.

Till next time…be gentle to yourself and our world!