Drying the laundry: The green way

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A few years ago, when I was drying my weekly wash in our condo building’s community laundry room, I was cleaning the fluff filter in the dryer. ‘Where does this all come from?’ I wondered. The answer was obvious really – the fluff generated in dryer was fibres from my clothes.

That must be bad.

And then I remembered that wonderful smell from when I was a child – that gorgeous aroma of sheets and clothing that had been dried outdoors on the line. There’s nothing quite like it. Yet I’d been putting perfumed laundry liquid into the washer, and then adding dryer sheets to make the laundry smell good. I realised that this was bonkers. There’s no way that any artificially produced perfumes can match that sun-dried, wind-blown smell of laundry that has been dried the old-fashioned way out on the line.


I realised too that the chemicals in those dryer sheets probably weren’t terribly desirable.

So realising that my clothes were wearing away and that I was wearing a chemical cocktail next to my skin, I decided it was time to turn the clock back and, just as my old mum used to, dry my laundry in the wonderful fresh air.

There’s another aspect too.I read that the dryer can be the most energy-gobbling appliance in many households.

So why on earth had I been using all that electricity for so many years when the fresh air and sun were available free of charge without adding to the burden we place on the planet.

What surprised me was that it meant so very little extra work. Putting the washed clothes on the line to dry takes only a few minutes – then I can leave it alone and let nature take over.

When there’s a good breeze, clothes get so well aired and because they are hanging, there’s usually no need to get the iron involved, especially if garments are folded as soon as they are removed from the line.

Oh and that smell!

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Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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