Over the last month, I have revived my clothes line for drying our laundry outside. While I think the overall environmental impact may be quite small (mixed research here) it has lowered our electric bill a bit over the last two months and gives me a boost of “getting off the grid” enthusiasm. It also harkens back to my grandmother and mother who taught me the “right” way to hang clothes.
My current problems with drying outside (other than living in New England) is that the towels coming in are like starched cardboard and get terrible reviews from the family (myself included). So I have started putting them in the dryer for about ten minutes just to beat them into submission a bit. They still come out a little raspy but you don’t dread using them on your body after a shower.
My second issue with drying outside has been the appearance of ticks in several pieces of folded clothing. Where I live ticks are just a way of life in the summer, and we tuck pants in our sock, wear natural tick repellent and check, check, check. But it freaked me out to find a tick on my son’s shirt I had folded the other day. So for now, my strategy is vigorously shaking each piece as I take it off the line. I also tried putting a bit of the tick repentant on the line this morning. I may try putting wood chips under where the line is hung – the grass around it also needs to be cut.