Top 10 Reasons to Line Dry Laundry

line-dried laundry

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Backyard clotheslines may seem old-fashioned and are actually banned in some communities as eye-sores. But our great-grandmothers were onto something when they hung every load of laundry outside to dry. It may seem like hard work, but there are some great benefits to line-drying laundry.

The choices in types of clotheslines have grown over the years and some are quite stylish. One of the best choices is the Brabantia Rotary Dryer because it can be collapsed when not in use, the height is adjustable, and the lines spin to you so you don't have to move the laundry basket as you work. You may even choose to install an outdoor drying rack that attaches to a flat surface and folds away to look surprisingly like a plant trellis.

If your neighborhood has banned outdoor clotheslines citing they are unsightly, you can still reap the benefits of line drying by using an indoor clothesline or indoor collapsible folding rack

Let's take a look at the top ten reasons to line dry laundry.

  • 01 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Saves Money

    The average household in the United States that chooses to abandon their automatic utility-powered tumble clothes dryer can save on utility bills. A new clothesline is much less expensive to purchase and operate than a new clothes dryer.

  • 02 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Promotes Energy Conservation

    Line drying laundry conserves energy and helps to protect the environment by saving precious fossil fuels. It is the pinnacle of green laundry and living!

    There are more than 90 million clothes dryers in the United States, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Air-drying clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year. Experts determined that if all Americans line-dried clothing for just half of a year, it would save 3.3 percent of the country’s total residential output of carbon dioxide.

  • 03 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Enhances Freshness and Helps Remove Strong Odors

    Line dried clothes and sheets smell much fresher than clothes that are tumble dried without the use of additional chemical laundry fresheners like dryer sheets and fabric softener. This is particularly important for those sensitive to perfumes and dyes used in detergents and dryer products.

    And fresh air is less expensive than dryer sheets. 

  • 04 of 10

    Line Drying is Gentle on Clothing

    Tossing and tumbling in a dryer can cause wear and strain on clothing fabric due to stress on seams and snags from buttons and zippers. Excessively high heat in the dryer can ruin some fabrics and cause irreversible damage. Except for knitted sweaters and garments that should be dried flat to prevent stretching, line drying is more gentle to fibers than a dryer. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Line Drying Increase Physical Activity and Promotes Weight Loss

    Hanging up laundry is a physical activity that you can do inside or outside. Fifteen minutes of hanging laundry or removing it from the line burn 68 calories. That's saving enough calories to enjoy a snack of 20 olives, two clementines or three mini candy bars!  

  • 06 of 10

    Line Drying Helps Whiten and Disinfect Laundry

    The ultra-violet rays of sunlight help to bleach and disinfect laundry. This is particularly beneficial for white sheets, towels and cloth diapers. However, for dark-colored clothes, excessive sunlight can cause some harm. So keep dark colors in the shade, if possible, to prevent fading.

  • 07 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Inside Increases Winter Humidity

    The colder temperatures and dry air of winter typically drop the humidity level inside homes. Lower humidity can contribute to dry nasal passages that welcome cold and flu viruses.

    Drying clothes on indoor racks can add humidity to a home's air during dry winter weather.

  • 08 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Prevents Fire Risks

    Clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually in the United States. The yearly structural costs in the U.S. for fire loss due to clothes dryer fires estimated at $99 million. Using an indoor drying rack or outside line will help protect your family from dangerous fires.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes Can Create Peacefulness and Harmony

    The average amount of time needed to hang a load of laundry is less than 10 minutes. But taking that time to enjoy the weather, the feel, and smell of clean laundry can offer an outdoor experience that is meditative and helps reduce stress.

  • 10 of 10

    Line Drying Clothes is One Small Step in Making a Difference

    Line drying laundry demonstrates that you and your family are taking small steps to make a difference in your well-being. You don't have to wait for the government to take action to protect the environment or reduce your monthly expenses.