How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

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Do you know how to dry laundry without using a dryer? Perhaps you do, but find it inconvenient, or just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Check out this simple guide on how to dry laundry, with great tips as you go through each step, and you will definitely give it a try sooner rather than later!

How To Dry Laundry Without Electricity

I must admit, I hate doing the laundry, but I hate musty-smelling clothes from the dryer, and a shocking electric bill, even more! While drying clothes in a dryer is as easy as throwing articles of clothing inside then taking it out once they’re dry, I say, where’s the fun in that. I have long abandoned the use of a drying machine, except when it’s raining non-stop and I have no choice. You might say I have control issues, but there is an art to drying clothes without the aid of a machine. How the clothes are arranged in the clothesline even has a purpose to it. Find out how to dry laundry as you read on.

Why Dry Laundry Without A Dryer

Why Dry Laundry Without A Dryer | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Why Dry Laundry Without A Dryer | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Besides the huge cut on your power bill, drying clothes without the use of a dryer has a lot of benefits. These are some of the most notable, which will certainly give you something to think about.

  • You can save as much as $200 every year by line-drying laundry.
  • Consequently, saving on your power bills helps protect the environment with energy conservation.
  • You have fresh laundry without the use of chemical-laden fabric softener and deodorizers.
  • The sun helps disinfect and whiten laundry naturally.
  • Promotes physical health and well-being by being active outdoors.
  • Avoids the harsh effect of excessive heat from the dryer on clothing.

How To Dry Laundry Without A Dryer

What You Will Need:

What You Will Need | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

What You Will Need | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

  • Clothesline or drying rack
  • Hangers
  • Clothespin
  • Laundry basket with pockets on the side (optional)
  • Apron with large pockets (optional)
  • Ladder or step stools (optional)

Step One: Do The Laundry

Do The Laundry | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Do The Laundry | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Separate articles from color and whites and turn the clothes inside out. Wash your clothes and other articles as usual. You can either wash using a washing machine or by hand washing. Squeeze excess water from the articles after rinsing, but avoid twisting the clothing hard so as not to stress and damage them. You may also allow excess water to drip off by placing the clothes on a rack with holes or slats.

Step Two: Sort Laundry Pieces By Size

Sort Laundry Pieces By Size | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Sort Laundry Pieces By Size | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
After rinsing and while squeezing excess water, you can sort articles straight according to their sizes and weight. This will help you hang the clothes faster and more efficient. For example, sheets and towels are heavier and go to the back of the clothesline. For undies, socks, and hankies, you can put them in a neat stack pile, hold the pile up, go across the line, then hang and pin. You won’t have to stoop back down to the laundry basket for another piece with the articles sorted.

Step Three: Hang Laundry Pieces

How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Now, you can start hanging the clothes, and if you are able to do so, figuring out where the wind is coming or going will help. Hang thicker and wider articles to the back and smaller ones on the front so the wind can freely move through and dry the articles faster.
The ideal height for your clothesline should as tall as your height when your hands are reaching up. This way, longer laundry articles won’t touch the ground and get dirty, and you can easily reach to hang the pieces with a ladder or a step stool.
Use an apron with a large pocket to keep clothespins in so you can easily pin each item as you go along. Fold sheets in half and hang articles of clothing with the bottom up to help the clothing dry faster.

Tips For Drying Clothes Without A Dryer

Tips For Drying Clothes Without A Dryer | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Tips For Drying Clothes Without A Dryer | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Some of the worries against drying laundry on a clothesline or drying rack can easily be dealt with. Follow these tips to help you enjoy the benefits of line-drying and avoid a few setbacks.

1. Check Weather Forecast

Check Weather Forecast | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Check Weather Forecast | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
One of the worries about drying clothes outside is that the weather can change quickly and rain down on your almost dry articles. You can always check the weather forecast via news or apps online.

2. Ideal Hanging Stuff

Ideal Hanging Stuff | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Ideal Hanging Stuff | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Personally, I like the old steel cable for my clothesline, although plastic coated and cotton are highly suggested. They last longer, clean easy and don’t sag even with heavy articles. I also prefer wooden clothespin as they are organic and environment-friendly. You can also use a hanging clothespin rack to hang smaller items like socks, undies, and hankies.

3. Pick An Ideal Site

Pick An Ideal Site | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Pick An Ideal Site | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Another worry for drying clothes out is the ire of the neighbors. If you have a close neighborhood but have a fenced backyard, then perhaps you can freely dry your clothes in the backyard. If you have a wider space and neighbors are far apart, as in a homestead, then it’s good news. Even then, you still have to consider where you set up your clothesline. Make sure there is no smoking, burning, and composting going on when drying clothes if you don’t want your laundry to smell. Set it far from falling leaves or fruit, which may stain the clothes.

4. Mind The Sun

Mind The Sun | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Mind The Sun | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
While the sun can disinfect and make your white items whiter, it cannot be said for your colored ones. The harsh heat of the sun can potentially ruin the fabric and make the color fade. Pick an area for your colored pieces to dry where the morning sun can shine on them, while trees or a structure can shield them from the afternoon sun.

5. For Softer Articles

For Softer Articles | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

For Softer Articles | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
The extreme heat of the sun can also make thicker fabric like jeans or towels stiff and coarse. You can add half a cup of vinegar when washing the clothes to help keep the fabric soft. Keeping your clothes in a cool and dry spot after folding them properly will also eventually make the pieces softer.

6. Use Some Shade

Use Some Shade | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Use Some Shade | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
For light and colored materials or clothing, drying them under shade or dappled shade is a good idea. The wind can easily do a good job of drying them and the shade will help protect the light material from wearing and the color from fading.

7. Iron Less

Iron Less | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Iron Less | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Before hanging the clothes, give each piece a good snap or shake to take out folds and creases. When hanging bedding, you may fold a blanket or sheet in half. This way, the corner top will neatly hold on to the line with a clothespin. For your clothing articles, make sure to pull the ends tight but not stretch it, so they don’t sag and result in wrinkles. With fewer wrinkles and creases, you may even skip ironing altogether.

8. You Can Hang Dry Indoors

You Can Hang Dry Indoors | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

You Can Hang Dry Indoors | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
You can dry clothes indoors on a drying rack. With a drying rack, you can save on space and organize your clothes better. Hanging clothes indoors, especially in winter, helps increase humidity levels and helps maintain a humidity level which is good for your nasal passages.

9. Sorting Laundry Articles

Sorting Laundry Articles | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way

Sorting Laundry Articles | How To Dry Laundry The Practical Good Old Homesteading Way
Sorting the articles and hanging them up according to their group will also make folding easier once they dry. I remember feeling all frustrated when I randomly hang articles because I want it done quickly. I’ve learned my lesson and now with socks, undies, shirts, and sheets nicely separated, folding and keeping them is so easy.

Follow the step-by-step guide and steps on how to dry laundry in this video:

Now you know how to dry laundry on a clothesline outdoors or a drying rack indoors. Don’t you find it practical, simple, and even nostalgic? Now your little ones get to experience hide and seek and tag among the hanging clothes just like how it was in the days of old. Learn how to dry laundry without the drying machine and experience wholesome fun!

Will you dry laundry without a machine now? Tell us your thoughts about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: Weekly Cleaning Schedule | Homesteading Tips

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This post was originally published on June 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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