101 Places to Air your (clean) Laundry!

| January 30, 2013 | 4 Comments

Part of our family’s saving strategy to allow me to be at home with the kids as a Save-at-Home-Mom is cutting back on hydro consumption.  Ottawa winters make air-drying laundry a challenge and I’ve had lots of fun finding new & creative ways to air-dry our laundry inside the house during these cold months.  While most of Ottawa was numbed by the cold weather last week, I was happy to see all of that sunshine, knowing I could get all of my laundry washed, air-dried, folded & put away each day before the kids came home from school all without ever having to run the dryer.

cold and sunny

Why Air-Dry?

  • It feels good to save on hydro consumption in terms of budget and the environment
  • It helps to humidify the house and it smells great!
  • It’s easier on our clothes:  fabrics hold their colour, shape & original texture a lot longer if kept out of the dryer
  • It’s faster.  Yes!  I’ve found that garments on a well placed clothes horse, or linens draped in the sun will dry twice as fast as a full & cramped load in the dryer.  Ours, at least.  Not scientifically tested or proven, that I’m aware of!

But I don’t have room to hang everything!  I didn’t think I did either – our home is a far cry from spacious.  But after thinking outside the “clothes horse in the middle of the living room” box, I’m amazed at how many effective places there are to air-dry our laundry.  I’ll share a couple of my favourites in this post and be back with more soon.  I’m not sure we’ll make it to 101, but hopefully you’ll be inspired to find your own knooks and crannies to hang yours and cut back on your laundry costs.

Hang Bed Sheets on Doors

air dry door backTwin fitted sheets fit perfectly over a standard interior door and dry in about an hour, less if exposed to the sun or near a heating vent.  It takes me longer to dry a full load of sheets in the dryer than it does to air-dry them!  Pillow cases clip nicely onto clothes hangers and if they are placed in the sun (think curtain rod over patio door, perhaps?) they can be hung 2 to a hanger and still dry within the hour despite the double thickness.

We have 5 doors on the second level of our house alone, and I often hang the children’s sheets out of sight upstairs during the day and have their beds made up by the time they come home from school.  In fact, it’s rare that I fold bedsheets and put them in the linen closet – I love deleting needless steps from any process!  Tip:  if your doors are untreated on the top, give them a quick coat of high gloss interior paint so that they’re easy to wipe clean and won’t snag your linens.

The Ikea Octopus/Spider is REALLY Strong!

ikea spiderI use this hanger for just about everything!

  • tea towels & dish clothes
  • childrens pyjama bottoms & light weight pants
  • lingerie & undergarments
  • mittens, scarfs & hats
  • pillow slip cases & sham covers

It has 16 really sturdy clips and folds up easily for storage (although ours almost always stays hanging in the rafters in our storage/furnace room).  His eyes kind of give me the creeps, and I haven’t decided if he’s a spider or an octopus, but either way, he’s a very valuable player in our mission to cut back on dryer use.

pj bottoms

Timing is Everything! 

Paying mind to the Time-Of-Use hydro hours will keep you from paying more out of your pocket.  Ideally, we could wash between 7pm and 7am during the “off-peak hours”.*   Our machine is a bit of a clunker though (it would wake the kids) so I often put the laundry in to pre-soak (no hydro required!) after the school bus leaves in the morning and then turn on the wash cycle at 11 when the hydro meter turns to “mid-peak hours”.   By pre-soaking the load, I can use a shorter wash cycle and have several loads hanging in the afternoon sun to be dry & folded by the time the kids get back off the bus.  And all the while, never having turned on the dryer.  If you haven’t tried it yet, I challenge you to give it a shot!   Your pocket book and fabrics will thank you!

*Time-of-Use hydro rates change each season.  Here are the current Hydro One rates:time of use

peak pricesDoing laundry on weekends or duing off-peak Hours can cut your hydro usage of the washing machine by almost 50%.  And by air-drying your laundry, you’ll be saving even more.  And while cutting back on laundry costs might be a small piece of your savings pie, when it comes to finding ways to be able to be home with our kids, every little piece helps!  Stay tuned for more savings strategies to help you be a save-at-home-parent as well!

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Category: Being Green, Home & Garden, Living

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Comments (4)

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  1. K says:

    Thanks for the tips! I hang a lot of our stuff to dry, but not everything. You’ve given me some ideas and inspiration though!

  2. kathy downey says:

    Great tips,I hang everything outside to dry,I live in a small town with a big back yard,so I have a long clothes line.I mostly only use the dryer Jan/Feb.

  3. kathy downey says:

    Thanks passed these tips to my friends…..Happy Holidays

  4. Debbie White Beattie says:

    I hate the time shift because it messes with the routine and people aren’t able to change because of kids etc. However now I’m doing laundry at night but I do miss hanging it during the day

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