Solar Clothes Dryer??? Hey, wait a minute….

At first I was so excited....
At first I was so excited….

When I first saw this sign at Kendall Hardware in Clarksville….I had gone there to look at their woodburning stoves, as we’re looking at some alternative ($$$$$$$$$) ways to heat the homeplace this winter, as opposed to oil heat. And when I saw this sign I was genuinely excited….What a great idea I thought, because as you know, the electric clothes dryer is a big waster of your kilowatt hours….some say they cost about $100 a year to run.  But then someone pointed out to me in a rather droll fashion…”They’re talking about a clothes line.” Oh. Then I’m not really interested.

Hey, I grew up hanging out wash in Alabama(I know, so old school but my parents were not quick to  get the latest, not when they had 3 girls to hang the wash), but let me tell you, for those of you who’ve never had the pleasure, hanging wet sheets on a cold day with freezing fingers is not as picturesque as it sounds. I’ll never forget when we got our first clothes dryer…we were simply amazed by how soft everything was when they emerged all warm and fluffy…..not stiff , like from the line, and while I know there are many of you who just LOVE the smell of line dried laundry, I’ll just buy a laundry detergent with a fragrance called “Fresh Linen” and call it day. But there has been a resurgence of interest in drying laundry outdoors….for environmental reasons and more personal ones….websites devoted to the art, and ways to make your laundry less stiff.  But I’ve been there, done that. Don’t want to go back.

Oh there are times I do use my solar clothes dryer…. a few white things like tablecloths that dry well in the sun, stretched out on the grass… and in the summer, they even bleach out a little. It’s great, as long as a dog doesn’t pee on it. But I love my dryer…love it. I suppose it would be ok to have a drying rack like we used to have at home for drying things in the basement in the winter….(you know the old wooden folding ones?)…might as well make use of all that heat and add a little humidity at the same time. But the dryer stays.

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7 Responses

  1. While I have great memories of running through the sheets with my friends in the backyard after my mother had hung them out to dry, I have no desire to recreate this experience for my son’s enjoyment. (Come to think of it, I don’t think today’s kids would find much enjoyment in running through wet sheets hanging on a clothes line!) Besides, it never failed that when I would hang something on the clothes line, the birds would make it their own personal bathroom! And the item would have to be rewashed. I’m with you, Donna…the dryer stays!

  2. About a month ago Donna, I just put a brand new clothes line up for my mother. Her old one, after 30 yrs, finally collapsed one day. Mom has a Dryer, but still loves to hang her clothes up, when she can. I too can remember times of hanging clothes up as a youth. I was one of four boys ( no girls in the fam. ) that had to help with that task. I asked my wife if she wanted me to put a clothes line up for her. She said Quote ” Don’t you Dare ” unquote. She too had that wonderful experience. We have a small line outside she uses for some things, but for the most part we love the Dryer.

  3. My Mom has 2 wash lines in her back yard, and still dries the laundry that way. However, my HOA won’t allow for any laundry drying outside AT ALL.

  4. I grew up hanging laundry on the line. Can’t say I miss folding frozen sheets and finding a little friend (spider) in bed with me at night after the sheets had been on the line. However, my Mom was still hanging out clothes at the age of 82!!

  5. From my childhood in Texas, I remember 1/2 of our backyard ended up devoted to hanging clothes out to dry with the 2 posts and 2 lines strung between them. My mother would hang the laundry out there during the summer until we got an infestation of sowbugs (what my dad called them) one year. It was mating time for them and they covered our clothes. We ended up washing them all again and drying them in the dryer (it was for winter use at that time). The poles came down soon after that.

  6. There is nothing in the world like the smell of clothes dried outdoors. However when I was a young mother I had my husband make sure that I had clotheslines in our back yard. He poured 50lbs of cement to hold the posts for the lines. Worked his butt off.
    After hanging out diapers, towels, sheets, clothes, etc outdoors on bitter cold days I decided a clothes dryer would be a blessing. And I was right.

  7. Solar clothes dryer isn’t necessarily clothes lines.
    As this article describes: http://greenprophet.com/2008/11/03/3796/aytec-avnim-solar-power-clothes-dryer/

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