Monday, November 19, 2012
Small pleasures: line dried clothes
I'm now renting a house, and I was so happy to see a clothesline set up out back. I have made very good use of it. I used the dryer once--it started to rain one day when I did a sheet wash--but that was it. Otherwise, I have used the clothesline. Even though it's getting pretty raw outside.
First, my clothes and linens smell heavenly. There is something about drying things outside that really does beat drying them inside--the fresh air seems to get into the clothes. Second, they will last longer--the lint that ends up in the dryer comes from what you were drying, after all. Although I dry my clothes on the clothes rack even if a line dry outside isn't an option, it's nice that I now have that option for sheets and towels as well. (I am not against buying another condo, but I have to say, condominiums and homeowners associations really tend to side-eye clothes lines.)
I know some people don't like the fact that jeans are stiff and towels are scratchy after being on the line. I don't mind, actually. The towels soften up pretty quickly once you use them and the jeans soften up once you wear them--though I've never found them to be like cardboard or anything.
I had recently finished a book where the author was musing about doing different things to save the earth (instead of unbridled hedonism like yours truly). She couldn't bring herself to line dry things because of the scratchy towel issue and the fact she was self-conscious over neighbors seeing her underwear fluttering in the breeze. That did occur to me to at first--I'll be honest--but then I thought, well, line drying used to be a thing. Everyone did it. It was no big deal. Heck, when I was growing up, my mother did it (she finally stopped when we had an influx of Japanese beetles that would cling to our clothes and linens). If someone is going to gawk and point at my underwear, they should be prepared for me pointing at them and mocking them for being pervs.
I'm no purist though. I'm not going to lecture anyone who doesn't do it. I'm well aware that it's a lot of work, that the weather doesn't always cooperate, and that some people just plain do not like doing it. That's okay, as far as I'm concerned.
So readers, do you air dry your clothes?