Tips for line drying clothes

Well our dryer broke. Darn! Why don’t appliances ever consult me first? :rolleyes: So we will probably be without one for a few months. I know it’s really a small inconvenience of life and am SO not complaining about it. But I do have a question about line drying clothes. I’ve done this before, but always have to iron everything except the towels and sheets (cause who really cares if they are wrinkled? :p) How do you line dry shirts and pants and things without having to iron them all? Is this even possible? Thanks.

I line dry almost everything (except jammies, towels, jeans) and have never needed to iron anything. :shrug: I just hang them up, button/zip them properly, then give them a couple good shakes.

Also, prepare for your clothes to be stiff and crunchy if you are using regular detergents, as they leave a buildup residue and literally coat your clothing with things like whiteners, brighteners, etc…

I personally despise crunchy line-dried clothes so I switched over to a soap that left even hang-dried things soft. :thumbsup: (It was Charlie’s Soap, but I’ve since switched again to using nothing but Naturoli Soap Nuts - which are AWESOME!) :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Worth it if you want soft clothes, at least for a few months. :slight_smile:

Sorry about your dryer…that really stinks. :frowning:

VERY IMPORTANT :stuck_out_tongue:

My family doesnt use a dryer, haven’t for almost a year, and we like it, so we decided that it would be cool to go a bit more green. So we hooked up our washer to a pump and watered the yard :smiley: So to do that we got a new soap made from a berry, and by made from a berry, I mean you buy the dried berries, and soak them in water to make soap, and its a natural insectacide, and great for the lawn, and it makes clothes soft, and smell really great when dried out in the fresh air :D, smells like nature. (They are cheaper too, because you use a few nuts over several times until they stop working, then you use a few more)
I just thought I would share :stuck_out_tongue:

I carefully hang the clothes, so that’s not the problem. But…Ah…yes. We use whatever’s cheap and on sale. So probably chock full of who-knows-what. :o We don’t even buy fabric softener cause it’s too much of a luxury for us right now. So we’re talking very stiff clothes here. With tons of wrinkles. Oh and did I mention we also live in Memphis TN, chock full of humidity so the clothes take 2-3 DAYS to fully dry, and by then they’ve collected so much lint and dog hair that they barely look clean? :o

But you bet your bottom dollar that when I’m 80 I’ll be looking back and reminiscing that these were the “good ol’ days”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t carefully hang them, you gotta give 'em a good shake, like bring it up, then snap it back down a few times, get rough…

I bought a big old bag of soap nuts (which are actually berries as the pp said) from Amazon and split them 3 ways with my family. I have 212 loads for $17. And the 212 is on the LOW end of how many loads I can get - I can get up to 250 loads. :slight_smile:

I’d definitely look into them if I had no dryer. They condition your clothes naturally (I haven’t used fabric softener in years…yuck!) and don’t leave any residue, so your clothes, even when hung, will be SOFT. Very nice. :smiley:

I will modify this advice -

Give them a couple really good shakes, then hang them carefully.

I hang button shirts by their collars; polo shirts by the bottom hem, being careful to overlap them far enough that they don’t stretch out of shape; trousers, I match up the seams at the hems, give them another shake in that position, then carefully hang them by the hems. Then, I smooth down the legs to remove more of the wrinkles. If they still require ironing, this makes it a lot easier. It may look finicky but I find that taking a bit more time shaking and hanging them reduces the amount of ironing required afterwards.

Polo shirts, shorts, most of my ladies’ tops and trousers and blue jeans do not need ironing with this treatment. Permanent press fabrics usually do very well. It’s only the dress shirts and trousers that still require ironing. Despite my best efforts, these are still a little bit wrinkled.

I grew up with a friend whose family did not own a dryer and spent many a day helping her hang clothes. I also have my own line to dry clothes.

You can use white vinegar to help with softening the clothes. Take a downy ball and add a cup of white vinegar to it. Drop it in the wash before closing the lid.
You might know this next bit of info but others reading this might not. I have found that when hanging clothes, it is very important that you run a wet rag down the line before putting the clothes on there. You will get a black streak on your light clothes if you don’t do this. Lines hung outside have this nasty tendency to get dirty. :smiley: At least out here they do. :eek:

The way I was taught to hang clothes was jeans and pants are hung upside down. Clip them up by the bottom hem, two clips per leg. Shirts are also hung upside down. Although I tend to hand my polo, t-shirt type shirts by the shoulder as the pp does.

I don’t know why your clothes would be coming out so wrinkled. Mine have very few wrinkles in them when I line dry. Maybe it has something to do with all the humidity?

I live in southern AZ so I do not know if this will be a factor to you or not but when I line dry my colors I always turn them inside out if I don’t have enough room on the “shady” side of the line. The sun will bleach out colors.

I don’t own a drier and never have. I put vinegar in the final rinse to remove any remaining soap and to soften the clothes. I line dry everything and a lot of things don’t need ironing. I hang all shirts directly onto hangers and put them on the line. I have special hangers for pants that separate the legs so they dry quickly. Also, hang colours inside out so they don’t fade. Good luck!

After giving them a good shake I dry dresses and shirts on hangers ready to be brought inside.

Okay, I see another problem of mine here. :o Maybe I should clarify that we live in an apartment and that “line drying” for us means inside, not outside. :wink:

Vinegar? Wouldn’t that make your clothes smell…well…vinegary? :confused:

I also heard that hanging clothes in the bathroom while showering helps reduce the need for ironing. Doesn’t work either. What is UP with our air here? :rolleyes:

go online and look up the manual for your dryer and see if there are some simple things you can check to fix the problem. A dryer is a very simple appliance and there is a lot of information on the internet for DIY repair. What happened to the dryer exactly?

How about aiming a fan at them?

When you hang them in the bathroom, they are going to get MORE humidity = longer drying time. When you want to use the humid air in the bathroom to reduce wrinkles (it won’t work for set-in wrinkles, just for the little crumples) - you want to pull/smooth the clothes when they are slightly damp to work out the wrinkles.

Remember to get good old fashioned clothes pins to hang up the clothes.

If you are getting dog hair all the way up to the clothes line in the bathroom, I’d suggest brusing the dogs every day outside to reduce that hair.

They do not develop a vinegar smell. You would think they would as strong as vinegar is but they don’t.

:thumbsup: Isn’t it weird how this works? I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar, and DH was relieved that I didn’t stink the first time I tried it (although the shower smelled interesting while I was applying the stuff :p)!

I’m so sorry that your dryer decided to give up on you! Do you have one of those portable drying racks? Do you have a patio or balcony you could set it on? Also, if you’re in an apartment, maybe you could use the communal laundry facilities, if your complex has them. Our first year of marriage we didn’t have a washer/dryer and used the apartment’s laundromat. I think it was around $.50 to dry a load of clothes (and their dryers were HUGE, so I think we only needed one or two of those loads a week). It might be worth it to save you the hassles of keeping the dog hair off, etc. Good luck!

Sancta and Grahamaphone, those berry things sound so cool! I’m off to investigate! :slight_smile:

I grew in a family of 14 (on a farm) and my mom bought her first clothes dryer when my youngest brother was born (1975). She had about 200 feet of clothes line three wires wide and used it a lot even after getting the dryer since it could never keep up with the washing machines (she used one “automatic” and two wringer washers well into the 1980s). Jeans and T-shirts where on the line the most and I learned how to hang clothes without getting wrinkles very early on. The vinegar idea works well and I agree that the line needs to be wiped before clothes are hung. My mom even fashioned her own clothes pin “pocket” made from an old pair of my dad’s overalls with the lower half cut off and the front made into a pouch to hold a couple hundred clothes pins so she didn’t have to bend over to get more pins while holding the laundry on the line.

We were “green” long before it was fashionable.

If you need to use your bathroom to dry the clothes indoors - consider draping a line or a tension rod over the bathtub and use a standing oscillating fan…

We don’t have much opportunity to line-dry clothes here in FL - it’s FAR too humid… :blush:

What kind of berries are they?
Maybe your dryer just needs a new thermastat $3.00 part.
We use home made soap and when we line dry the clothes arent too bad, maybe you could try a different soap.

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