Wash Wednesday

Wash Wednesday
I’ve been following GardenMama’s Wash Wednesday for a while now and even though I almost exclusively line-dry our laundry in summer, I for some reason haven’t played along yet. Until now that is. This is the third summer that I’ve made a strong effort to line dry almost every single load of laundry we do. During the winter, it’s just too darn cold & damp to line dry clothes here in Sonoma, however there is no excuse in the late spring, summer and early fall. For the past seven years that we’ve lived here, I’ve had a string tied up between the banister posts of this overhang we have in our side yard, but when I got serious about line drying I went ahead and bought an official drying line from the hardware store and wrapped it around the entire perimeter of that overhang. That works so much better, because normal string stretches too much when you have heavy, wet clothes on the line.

If you are going to start hanging your clothes outside I recommend you buy plenty of clothespins. I started out with maybe a dozen or so clothespins and that just isn’t enough, you need oodles to get a full load of laundry dried. Otherwise, if you don’t have enough you’ll just start mentally thinking it’s easier to throw everything into the dryer, right?

Last summer I learned a great tip about how to hang your clothes and I’ve been converted ever since. What you want to do is notice which way the breeze is blowing and hang the clothes open so that the wind blows through them (mommycoddle has a great photo here of her pillowcases for example) it makes a sort of windsock. Ever since I started hanging my clothes that way, my drying time has been cut down considerably. I hang bottoms from their waistband and all shirts I hang upside down.
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Besides saving energy and money line drying, I, like many other women, love going outside to hang it up and going back out to take it down. It’s such a great excuse to get out every morning. It is so quiet and still at that time of day and hanging laundry almost becomes a meditation. Now that it is warm enough to hang dry my laundry and that I’ve mastered my homemade laundry recipe, rarely do I ever dread laundry anymore. That overhang creates a nice shady spot in between our peach tree and the boys play area so I can keep an eye on them while they play. I also keep a rocking chair nearby so that when my achy, pregnant body is tired from hanging all that laundry, I can sit and rock and enjoy.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Wash Wednesday

  1. I started hanging laundry last year, and I love it. Since we moved and are renting, I don’t have a line anymore, but I still dry everything inside on a collapsible rack. I can only do one load at a time, but that’s actually kind of nice. Of course it takes a little longer in the winter to dry, but it gets done just the same.

  2. When I said everything, I should have specified except sheets (space problem) and towels (hate crunchy towels).

  3. I have such fond memories of helping my grandmother hang laundry. She had all these wonderful old European linens that look so picturesque hanging on the line. Like Lauren, I hang a lot of clothes inside on a collapsible rack, but still stick towels and jeans in the dryer. I haven’t figured out how to get towels fluffy by air drying.

    Christine

    • asonomagarden

      I admit to line drying towels, my poor family has to deal with cardboard towels after their showers. On days when I’m feeling especially nice I’ll take them off the line when they are still a bit damp and put them into the dryer for a few minutes.

      Lauren, I hope you get a space to line dry your sheets, those are the best!

  4. A Facebook friend told me about your blog and I’m delighted to find that the first entry I read is about hanging out laundry!

    Eleven years ago I wrote a wee memoir about hanging out laundry and I attach a link to it.

    http://berkeleyscot.wordpress.com/my-articles/

    The story is called ‘Monday’

    I look forward to following your blog.

    I was in Sonoma yesterday as a 37th wedding anniversary outing, with my husband.
    I love it!

    Margaret

  5. Love everything on the line including towels. I really bugs me if someone leaves the pins on the line. That comes from being brought up by a clothesline snob.

  6. I haul all my laundry up to and from our pump house which is a good walk from our house. I haven’t line dried since we’ve been here because I can’t imagine hauling heavy, wet laundry home. I keep thinking I should at least TRY it, I could use the Radio Flyer wagon I suppose!

    You may have just inspired me :)

  7. Pingback: Four Years of Junes : 30 Days to a Better Garden Revisited | A Sonoma Garden

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