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Sunday, June 19, 2011


Out to Dry!

As a young girl, living out in the country, we had the privilege to be able to hang our clothes out to dry. I say this as I look back but I'm not sure we viewed it as a privilege.  I recall on occasion when taking the clothes off the clothes line that some pants were stiff as a board as we would try to take advantage of the minimal sun as it tried to peak through the clouds in hopes of touching our clothes.  Obviously it didn’t always quite do it’s job in the late autumn days. Inside during the much colder weather, our clothes racks would often be full of clothes drying. There were seven of us. Eventually we jumped on the bandwagon and purchased a clothes dryer.

Now that I am married with children, I have found myself eager to have my clothes dry outside. Is it because line drying is so ingrained in how I did things growing up? Or maybe I know that it will cut down on the electrical bill. I have to admit that I have fond memories of placing clothes on our clothes line one piece at a time and moving the line forward as needed to add more clothes. Even if it took only ten to fifteen minutes for this chore, I do recall a time of quietness and just being in touch with the outside world, with nature. When I visited my sister in Canada about four years ago, I was ecstatic to be able to hang the clothes on her clothes line. Soon after coming back home, I made it a priority to start hanging my clothes outside. Living in the suburbs we are limited in our options for outside drying. Regardless I feel blessed to be able to hang clothes even if it is just on a clothes rack.

Here are a few benefits of drying clothes outside.
  • Sun can bleach whites and at the same time will be able to kill bacteria
  • Outside fresh smell added to clothes
  • Preserves clothes, dryer will wear out clothes much faster
  • Less static build up
  • Limiting shrinkage of clothes
  • Conserves energy, clothes dryers are among the highest energy users. According to Earth911.com they note that GE’s Data Visualization, shows that an electric clothes dryer uses on average of 3,400 watts, the 3rd most energy consuming appliance after a furnace and air conditioner respectively.
There are many ways to line dry when a clothes line is not an option. Here are a few suggestions.

One Homestead family could not find a good clothes rack and therefore decided to build their own.  I first learned about Homestead Dry Racks from Homestead Revival this past spring. Here is their Pioneer Clothes Drying Rack.  They are made to last a life time.  It is priced at $149.00 which is mid range. (Photo Credit to Homestead Dry Racks)

How about a fold down frame clothes line.  This one sells for $138.85 on Amazon.  (Photo credit to Google.com)

For those of us who may not have an option of having a permanent clothes line, using a retractable clothes may work. This retractable option can be set up in various ways, ie, wall to post, post to post, wall to wall.  Price starts at $209 at QualityClothesline.net (Photo credit to QualityClothesline.net

This past week, I took some time to sew a clothespin bag using some left over fabric which I had.  There are some much easier tutorials to be found.   If you feel encouraged, there are many free patterns online. If you are looking for an even more creative way to bring your clothes pins outside, visit Home Shalom’s post Laundry on the Fringe!

I challenge all of you who are still drying clothes using a clothes dryer to venture outside.  And if you are one whose already made the change, please do share the blessings of drying clothes in His presence!

many blessings
All of us at Pebble Crossing

Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? 
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment? 
Who established all the ends of the earth? 
What is His Name, And what is His Son’s Name, 
If you know it? Mishle/Proverbs 30:4


  1. We have 3 tall drying racks and use them all the time! Great tips that you've shared here :)
    Love Lus x

  2. Wow Lusi, ok then for sure I'll be coming to visit you!

  3. We live in the country and have space, so we have an outside clothes line which I do use for most things when it isn't TOO COLD. I love hanging out the clothes myself, even though I have a daughter who could do it. Sometimes I "let" her, but she doesn't care how she puts them up. I like to hang them in a certain order and I usually put each family member's clothes up together in order, so when I take them down I can fold them. Then when I come in that task is done. And being outside is an added plus. One tip I learned: you can hang everything outside but some things like towels, jeans and socks, dry so stiff on the line. If you have a dryer, you can throw them in on air dry for a little while and that will soften them up some. Not like drying them in the dryer with the heat, but it does help!

  4. Oh yes Anonymous, you've brought memories back for me (sigh :)) I recall now I used to organize my clothes on the line. That was the organizer in me. I'm smiling right now.

  5. I'm used to just stringing up a clothesline, so I think these drying racks are pretty neat. There is home in my neighborhood with a clothesline similar to the retractable option, but it is a permanent structure strung up between two tall, wooden poles. I love driving by it. :).

  6. We love our clothes line...and I hope to keep as far from the electrical dryer as possible...my next venture is washing by hand...I have hopes!

  7. We've never had a clothes dryer... I'm Czech, and I guess clothes dryers appeared here later than in the US, and many people still don't have them. We have lines in the garden and lines running along the walls in the house for rainy days and winter months. It's a very clever structure made by my dad, utilising chains of key rings to keep the line off the walls.
    I'm used to it and would never want it otherwise.
    I also think line-dried clothes are much easier to iron and much more pleasant to wear. I've experienced tumble-dried clothes when I was visiting USA, and it wasn't a particularly pleasant experience - they just dry with all the wrinkles.
    (I'm here via Feelin' Feminine.)

  8. Hello Hana, i so appreciate your comment, to be able to view others' methods of clothes drying outside of North America. Thank you for your blessing!

  9. Love your post! I wrote a post on line drying last week as well! I would really like one of those retractable lines- maybe one day!

  10. I love this. It's such a simple thing. In Seattle it rains so much you can't do much but I do have one in my utility room where the furnace is. At least in the winter I can dry thin things before they start to smell moldy!

  11. I love my clothesline! And it just so happens that I will be getting one of the Homestead Drying Racks in the mail shortly. There is just something so special about letting the sun dry your clothes. Thanks for sharing this post at the Homestead Barn Hop this week!

  12. I found your blog via the link-up over at Amy's Homestead Revival blog. What atracted me to your blog was your fold-out rack for drying clothes. I used to have one just like it when I lived in Germany. It was the best thing ever. I had to leave it behind when I moved back to the States. I've seen some on-line, but they're spendy. They're worth it. I'll be saving my pennies, for sure :) :) Where did you get your drying rack? Have a lovely day. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  13. Wonderfully encouraging post! I think our reasons for loving a clothesline are all the things you mentioned. Thanks for adding your photo and post to my blog!

  14. Great post. I love hangin out the laundry, I need a pretty lil laundry bag.

  15. Most of my friend think I'm crazy but I love hanging out my laundry...really cute bag you made!

  16. Patti, I love it too, its over 100 F here in Texas and I still put my clothes out on our rack.


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