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On my last trip to Ireland I noticed that finding a place to wash and dry my clothes was like finding a place to park in New York City.    We went from village to village asking about laundry services and nothing.    We  asked the owner of our B&B what was up.   Dryers were very rare.  She said she would be happy to put our laundry in the washer but they would have to line dry because she didn’t have a clothes dryer and never planned on getting one.  I said brillant!   Our clothes smelled so fresh saturated with sea air that I thought I had died and went to the green emerald in the sky.

Needless to say, we have been using our own clothes line ever since and only use our dryer when it is really cold out.   Risky you say?   No way.  All you need is a few tips to get soft laundry and great smelling clothes.

Number One.

Let the wind do the work.   It is not the Sun that gets your clothes dry  it is the wind.  In fact,  direct sun makes your clothes crispier.   Shady spots are great for clothes lines.

Number Two.

Add 1/4 white vinegar to the rinse cycle and if you can take them out about a minute before the spin cycle ends.   A bit more water makes for softer clothes on the line.

Number Three.

Watch the soap!   It is recommended that you use half the amount of soap that the bottle or box says to use.   This will cut down on soap residue that is left behind on your wash and decrease laundry stiffness.

Number Four.

Give your jeans, shirts and towels a strong shake out or a snap before hanging them.   Hang your jeans  by the pantleg ends and shirts from the bottom.   Pin up your towels by both ends  so that the fold is in the middle.  This way the wind can go through the middle of the towel and fluff them up.  Do the same for sheets and pillow cases.

A note about detergents: Avoid mainstream laundry soaps and dryer sheets.   Use natural plant based soaps and powders like Seventh Generation, Ecos, and Method.    Dogs end up at the vet all year long with unknown rashes chemically laden detergents and fabric softeners.   Sadly most of them end up on antibiotics and steriods to deal with the problem when all their owners have to do is stop using the products that are made by the big companies “that you can trust”  Right!

Energy Savings

Using a clothesline can save you 5-10% on your energy costs per year.  Wow!   As a nation that savings would put alot more green in our environment and make our dryers last ten times as long.

The Right To Dry

Home associations and some cities have outlawed clotheslines because they are seen as an eyesore.    I believe it to be a right to be able to dry your clothes outside if you want to.   People can make rules about how the line should look all they want but to outlaw them completly?  Give me a break.  First your lawn and now the drying of clothes.   Americas obsession with how their little plot of land looks has went a bit too far.  We are the largest user of fossil fuels on the planet.   For this reason alone I challenge everyone to rethink what really matters in life and hang out your clothes.   If you live in an area where their is a ban, join LaundryList.org and join the fight for your right to hang out where  you want to.

To get in on the clothesline movement check out LaundryList.org

Laundry List is a great way to get involved one piece of clothing at a time…get hanging!

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