Monday, August 25, 2014

Improving the Laundry - For you and the Environment

We have all felt the pinch of electricity prices steadily rising over the last few years and it is no secret that the humble tumble dryer is one of the more expensive to run appliances in our households.

According to various articles I have researched, an average household wash and dry around 300 loads of laundry a year.  That is a significant amount when you take into consideration that as well as our  energy bill, electric clothes dryers add to our carbon footprint.

Yes, our clothes get clean, but the planet gets a little dirtier each time we turn the dryer on.
Here are some ways you can dry your clothes without racking up big bills or wrecking your fashions. They still use natural resources to get the job done, but those resources — sunlight, and air — are completely free.

1) Old-fashioned Clothes Line. Sunshine and fresh air can’t be beat when it comes to naturally eliminating germs and odours. If you are lucky enough and have the outside space, the expense of a clothes line and a bagful of clothes pegs can do the job.

When you air dry your clothes in the sun they are naturally disinfected and whitened. The sun provides UV light, and UV can be used to disinfect water and damp laundry. UV light reacts with oxygen dissolved in the water to produce reactive forms of oxygen that kill the microorganisms. UV from the sun also interferes with the reproduction cycle of bacteria by damaging their DNA. 

All that lint you remove from your dryer is your dryer slowly eating away at your garments.

2) A Foldable Clothes Line – Foldable clothes lines collapse into each other, then fold flat. Inside or outside, when you need it, unfold the frame and voila.

3) If you are lucky enough to have a back yard with a Hills Hoist, it is a perfect answer to your entire load of laundry.Your clothes can catch the breeze and dry quickly.

4) A retractable clothes line in your bathroom or laundry room. These lines can’t accommodate a lot of laundry at once, but they’re great for socks and underwear.

5) Dryer Rack. Dryer racks can’t be beat for convenience, and many of them are large enough to handle an entire load of laundry at one time. Set up on the inside, whether in winter or in an air conditioned environment, the humidity from the clothes helps humidify the dry air. Racks made from wood, which has natural antibacterial properties can be heavy, but a lightweight steel frame with rubber feet can do the job just as well.

If you’re using a line of some sort, you’ll need clothes pegs to secure the clothes. Use the sturdiest clothes pegs you can find. Choose wood, not plastic, and store the pins inside and away from the elements when they’re not in use to keep them from getting dirty or wet if it rains.

If you can, hang your wet shirts and blouses on a plastic hanger. They are easier to iron and nicer to wear.

6) Even throwing your shirts, blouses or sweaters over the side of a humble Shower Cubicle is a better alternative to a dryer.

If you hang your laundry in the sun…

Stiff  towels?

Line drying is terrific for sports wear, underwear, jeans, pants, towels, sheets, blouses, socks, and shirts. But towels? They can get a little stiff  or crunchy when they line dry. Some people find that adding white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser helps soften their towels. I prefer to dry mine on the line almost completely, then toss them into the dryer to fluff up for just a few minutes or so.

Keep in mind one final thought:

Dry drier clothes. The wetter your clothes are when you take them out of the washing machine, the longer it will take to dry them.

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